Things to do in Brick Lane London

I’ve written many reviews on things to do in other countries such as Bangkok and Dubai. But, since I live in a rather tourist-y area itself, I figured I ought to do a roundup of things to do in Brick Lane.  So here it is…
When people told me that I lived in a very trendy part of London, I never believed it.  Having the City, Brick Lane and Spitalfields market on my doorstep meant nothing to me, as I was more of a high street girl anyway.  I just assumed that Brick Lane was a hotbed of curry houses and charity shops.

This is mainly true.  However, after spending one Sunday afternoon there, I realised why people from all over the world flock to Brick Lane – it provides an escape from the mainstream, not to mention one of the best food courts I’ve tried.

In fact, what started as a leisurely stroll ended as a full blown afternoon with lunch and some purchases to boot.  And it’s a great way to while away a lazy weekend.

Things to do in Brick Lane #1 – The backyard market

The entrance to the Backyard market in Brick Lane

You may know about Spitalfields market, but the Backyard market, situated just a few minutes away is a hidden gem.  Similar to Spitalfields, but smaller and slightly more rustic, the backyard market has quirky, cute and affordable artwork, jewellery, bags and bric-a-brac that you wouldn’t get on the high street.  I bought two watch chains which are great keepsakes as well as wearable timepieces. 

The one with the hidden watch doubles up as a vintage-look pendant with its own little mirror:
A small vintage brass pendant clock with a mirror
Vintage watch chain from Backyard Market

 

A pendant pocket watch with beaded case

 

Bronze-clad rose coloured watch pendant
Rose frosted watch opens up to reveal…
The dials of a watch pendant with a white clockface
…white clock face
Situated next to the backyard market is the Tea Rooms, which boasts everything kitsch and retro from old-school telephones, gramophones and cameras.  Again, you can find some really unique gifts here.

Things to do in Brick Lane #2 – watch random happenings

A red convertible parked near Shoredtich Underground station
The great thing about the East End is that there’s always something going on in the area.  Whether you’re with a group of friends, or going alone, you’ll be well entertained with street dancers, beat boxers and other off-piste goings-on in the area.
A red convertible wedding car at Shoreditch tunnel

In fact, you never know what you’ll see.  When walking near Brick Lane, we came across a newlywed couple who had chosen the grungy graffiti art as the backdrop for their wedding photos.  Not only that, they had on standby the most amazing vintage car to whisk them away.  Now that’s getting married in style!               

Things to do in Brick Lane #3 – stuff your face at the World Food Market

The Ethiopian stall at the World Food Market, Brick Lane
Brick Lane’s famous World Food Market
If nothing else, Brick Lane’s Spitalfields market is well worth a look for its extensive World Food Market.  Housed under one roof is cuisine from Ethiopia – lots of salad, pulses and veg, Turkey – kebabs and shwarma, South India – chicken, lamb and veg curry, and Thailand – spring rolls and green curry, to name just a few.
I’m slowly working my way through the different cuisine on offer.  It’s great as each stall really does
boast unique flavours.  The only one I tend to avoid is the Mexican stall – not because I don’t love burritos and tacos, but because I’m put off by the Old El Paso packets they use – it kind of kills the authenticity.
The World Food Market in Brick Lane London is open on Sundays

On my recent visit, I tried the shrimp burger stall.  The shrimp patty was delicious, like a healthier version of a chicken burger, while the chunky, skin on chips were perfect.  It was a great meal and something I wouldn’t normally try.  In fact the closest I get to seafood in a bun is McDonalds’ Fillet o’ fish.  The meal (minus a drink) cost around £4.50, making it the same price as a burger meal from a takeaway, and much tastier.

A shrimp burger and chips sold at the World Food Market, Brick Lane
Shrimp burger and chips from Spitalfields World Food Market
In fact all the dishes at the World Food Market cost around £5-£6, and if you go after 5.30pm, most dishes are reduced to around £3-£4.
Brick Lane’s World Food Market is open on Sunday, so it’s well worth combining this with a mooch around the rest of Brick lane.  You never know what you’ll find, and it’s a great end to the weekend.
For another things to do in London, check out my vlog from Madame Tussauds.
HalimaBobs

About the Author

HalimaBobs

I’m not a makeup artist, chef, lifestyle guru or stylist. I’m just me. And like you, I’m trying to make the best of most things, only I’m sharing my warts-and-all thoughts along the way.

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