Our trip back to Blighty: a Shoreditch stopover
At the end of January we took a little trip back to the UK to celebrate a couple of family birthdays and to enjoy a quick touchdown on home soil. It was our first trip back together since August last year, so we were more than a bit excited to frolic round our old haunts.
First, a Shoreditch stopover…
We landed into T5 on Friday night, hopped in a hire car and skedaddled straight down the motorway until reaching the area that was our home for so long. Shoreditch on a Friday night is a rather mixed bag, but we quickly tiptoed past the ‘tourists’ to make the most of our evening.
Steven had a craving for buffalo chicken from our old neighbour, Bird, on Shoreditch High Street. We arrived after closing but they kindly snuck us on a table so we could stuff our famished faces. Chicken may seem like a simple choice in an area that dishes out amazing restaurants faster than you can say '‘michelin'‘, but for us it was the perfect combo of super tasty, nostalgic yumminess slathered in heavenly blue cheese.
Suitably poulet-ed, we meandered back down the high street to our bed for the night. We stayed at the Ace Hotel where we were greeted by a bustling throng of hipsters spilling out of the lobby. A few years ago we stayed in the Ace in New York and soaked up their famous lobby vibes night after night. This time, we opted for a chilled in-room tipple for two, donning our robes and sipping gin from the perfectly stocked fridge.
Next day I woke up early and made acquaintance with the dinky basement gym (joined only by an unassuming gentleman who attempted to traverse the climbing wall only to tumble unceremoniously to the floor from his 10cm incline. Based on my observation, I strongly expect he is related to Mr Bean.) Then we hit the streets for some very important life admin.
Whilst Steven visited Hannah, his barber at Murdock on Redchurch, I popped to see Nicolina at Arch Shoreditch. Her (perfectly painted millennial pink) Box Park salon is a gorgeous new addition to the area, but Nicolina is a long-time Hackney local and is - in my eyes - the only brow guru any girl will ever need.
Shopping built up an appetite just in time for lunch with friends. We met our pals at Hawksmoor for a long, boozy afternoon fuelled by marmalade cocktails and excellent steak. Hawksmoor remains my absolute favourite place for steak in the City. There’s also a very fairly priced ‘express’ menu for weekend lunches, which made me feel far less guilty for choosing a rather opulent dining spot (although the boys quickly decided that “fuck the express menu” was to be our mantra for this particular visit.)
Around 5pm we decided it was time to hit the road and head up to Norfolk for the next part of our UK tour. Stevie drove whilst I slept off a few of the marmalade cocktails and listened to Radio 1. It was like we’d never left.