10 Jun

Neighbourhood Guide: Bethnal Green

Often mentioned in songs and the current home of London’s top vintage markets, Bethnal Green is a hidden gem one can check out after a Top Sights Tour! Check out our neighborhood guide below.


Situated in the fashionable East London, Bethnal Green is a dynamic inner city hub boasting excellent Overground and Underground links. A 6-minute train takes you into London’s Liverpool Street, but with all Bethnal Green has to offer, you’ll never have a reason to leave.

Wander up to Paradise Row and grab lunch in the trendy bars and restaurants that now occupy the railway arches. Spend a sunny day relaxing with a book in nearby Weavers Field or Bethnal Green Gardens. Take a 15-minute stroll down to Brick Lane for one of the world’s most colourful bagels. Or wait until after dark to saunter into vibrant Shoreditch and discover your new favourite cocktail bar.


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Shoreditch’s rough-and-ready neighbour Bethnal Green has managed to remain an authentically East End ’hood despite the steady spread of gentrification. For every new coffee shop and cocktail bar that crops up in the area, you’ll find a family-run restaurant and a traditional boozer not far away.


Bag some bargain blooms at Columbia Road Flower Market

East London’s vibrant Sunday flower market is a local favourite. Here, you can barter with market stall merchants for everything from houseplants and fresh bouquets to succulents and seeds. Columbia Road is well worth a visit from Monday to Saturday, too: the lack of Sunday crowds leaves you free to wander the street’s many independent businesses, including art galleries, antique stores, homeware boutiques and even an old-school sweet shop.


Take a trip down memory lane at the V&A Museum of Childhood

is London’s most nostalgic museum, showcasing dollhouses, action figures, teddy bears and various other childhood objects dating as far back as the 1700s. Alongside its permanent collections, Bethnal Green’s toy museum hosts film screenings, workshops for kids and inspiring exhibitions. Admission is free.


Have a proper ‘caff’ experience at E Pellicci

Run by the same family for over a century, this much-loved café on Bethnal Green Road is a must for breakfast or lunch – even if just for the cool Art Deco interior. The place is small and always busy, but known for its incredibly friendly, hospitable atmosphere. You’ll leave with a smile on your face and, if you’re lucky, some free bread-and-butter pudding.


Get rowdy (and raunchy) at Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club

A working men’s club since 1887, this East End institution remains London’s go-to spot for a night of proper entertainment. With a roster of offbeat events ranging from comedy and cabaret to panto and burlesque, the club proudly supports local performers and creatives, as long as it’s a party worth throwing. Head here for everything kitschy and kinky – just leave your pretensions at the

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Find your inner Zen at London Buddhist Centre

Down the road from Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club is London Buddhist Centre, the perfect place to cleanse your chakra after all that debauchery. Offering drop-in yoga classes, meditation and mindfulness courses and even creative writing workshops and film nights, the centre is a tranquil respite from city living.


Eat like an East Ender at G Kelly Pie and Mash

If you’re looking for bona fide East End grub, look no further than G Kelly. An acclaimed pie shop serving up jellied eels, classic meat pies and mashed potatoes, head here for hearty meals that will fill you up without emptying your purse.


Catch local stand-ups at Backyard Comedy Club

This Bethnal Green comedy club is one of London’s best, biggest and longest-standing comedy venues, and is owned by British stand-up and TV regular Lee Hurst. Big names and bright newcomers take to the stage almost every night of the week, and customers are free to enjoy table football, ping-pong and board games. It’s the perfect place for a cheap and cheerful evening out.


Test your knowledge at The Star of Bethnal Green’s quiz

A friendly, modern boozer that’s become a hit with E2’s bright young things, The Star of Bethnal Green is a must-visit for its Tuesday quiz night. With a boisterous quizmaster and extra points available for dancing during the music round, the quiz night is a regular on lists of the best things to do in London. The pub’s bottomless brunch and raucous karaoke room also draw in locals.


Go to Repton Boxing Club and learn about the history of the sport

A legendary old boxing gym once frequented by the Kray twins, Repton Boxing Club allows visitors to learn about the history of boxing in the East End and get a first-hand insight into its modern-day significance. It’s housed in a Victorian bathhouse, and you’ll find walls adorned with boxing posters dating back to the ’50s, framed photographs, vintage punching bags and, of course, a huge boxing ring.


Enjoy a French cocktail at Coupette

Coupette is the slickest of the bunch. It was set up by former head bartender at the Savoy’s Beaufort Bar, Chris Moore. Expect immaculately concocted drinks using regional French liqueurs and a menu of classic French dishes, including confit duck leg and croque-monsieur.


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