If you find yourself in any of these East London hotspots and you’re not Instagramming it, your phone must be dead. While the trendsetting East End may have lost its rougher edge in recent years, here at House of Coco, East London’s enduringly cool creative hub still has our heart. Set against a backdrop of street art, scandi-chic coffee shops and unique independent stores – why not take inspiration from the artistic scene for your Instagram, with #TeamCoco’s guide to East London’s most Instagrammable spots…
This pretty as can be cafe is more vintage Miami than Hackney – and we’re crazy about it. Think palm print wallpaper, pastel pink hues and sumptuous velvet armchairs. Potted palms and a cascade of hanging baskets make for a trendy, tropical vibe while a zero laptop policy creates an animated atmosphere. A plant-based seasonal menu offers avo-toast and acai bowls aplenty, while candy coloured red velvet lattes complete the perfect Insta-shot. Major #brunchgoals.
The Barge House
Three words. Breakfast IN bread. That’s all you really need to know about The Barge House – a local haunt overlooking Regent’s Canal between Haggerston and Hoxton. At weekends only, they serve up scooped out sourdough loaves, stuffed with everything from your standard full English to smoked salmon – topped with some serious #yolkporn. #TeamCoco’s favourite cure if you’ve overindulged the night before.
Only in East London would you find a boutique dedicated to cacti and succulents. Inspired by a visit to Yves Saint Laurent’s Jardin Majorelle in Marrakech, Gynelle Leon, owner of the brilliantly named Dalston store sources the most unusual and exotic cacti and succulents from across the UK and Europe – selling over 150 species. If you’re a fellow fan of the humble cactus and want to up your home’s Instagram game, we’d recommend heading over to Kingsland Road, sharp.
Add a vintage-inspired edge to your Instagram with a stroll around one of Spitalfields most sought-after streets. Formerly dilapidated, Fournier Street is now home to some of the city’s most immaculate Georgian mansions. Although restored, the street’s historical architecture is as impressive as ever, with exposed brickwork, fantastic facades, painted doors and elegant sash windows – the perfect backdrop to any Insta-shot. Don’t forget to snap a shot of 11 and a half Fournier street, if you can find it!
You might easily miss this East London hangout’s unassuming entrance, but hidden atop Hackney’s Netil House lies hipster hotspot Netil 360. Overlooking London Fields, this versatile space is open from April and attracts a creative crowd from day to night – with a laid-back lounge vibe, co-working cabins, yoga classes, cinema screenings and cafe. Pull up a deck chair and indulge in some seriously Instagrammable views of East London’s skyline.
Hidden in the heart of the city’s concrete jungle, lies one of a botanical variety – an Instagrammers oasis within the brutalist walls of The Barbican building. London’s second-largest, the Barbican Conservatory is a lost world of exotic plants, towering palms and encroaching ivy. It may only be open on selected Sundays and bank holidays, but is free and serves afternoon tea on Sundays (bottomless prosecco optional, but highly recommended – just be sure to book in advance).
God’s Own Junkyard
There’s no better place to brighten up your grid than this psychedelic slice of Las Vegas out east in Walthamstow. The largest of its kind in Europe, Gods Own Junkyard is a warehouse wonderland showcasing light artist Chris Bracey’s collection of new, retro and salvaged neon signs – which began with Soho sex shops and have since featured in films like Eyes Wide Shut. Open Friday and Saturday, entry is free.
Shoreditch Street Art
For all its gentrification, London’s East End is still the home of counterculture – which is why you’ll find some of the city’s best street art here. From Chance Street’s kaleidoscopic colours to Fashion Street’s whimsical murals – a dash down any of Shoreditch’s side streets will turn up alternative artists, from the instantly recognisable Banksy to Eine’s colourful letters and Loretto’s satirical pieces. The art is ever-changing, so join a free tour if you want some insightful information for your captions.
It’s hard to walk down Brick Lane without being beckoned into this East London institution by a waft of their delicious dough. Harder still when they’re open 24/7 – which incidentally, also makes this the place for late-night Shoreditch party-goers looking for sustenance (prepare for an eclectic crowd). Opened in 1974, while this deli’s old-school, no-frills approach may be bemoaned by some, their rainbow bagels are just what your Instagram ordered.
Columbia Road Flower Market
Every Sunday, this East London road is transformed into an oasis of flowers with everything from potted chilli plants to plumes of peonies spilling over the stalls. Open from 8 am, our advice is to beat the crowds and go early or for closing, if you’re after the best deals. While the market itself may get busy, you can always retreat into the independent shops behind the stalls, which sell an Insta-worthy array of goods, from cupcakes to vintage fashion finds.