Photo: Ilka and Franz
Marc Goldfinger moved to London nearly 10 years ago to begin postgraduate studies in neuroscience, and was signed by a modelling agency within a year. The Toronto native works with clients like Levi’s, Hermès and Ted Baker while completing a Ph.D. in clinical neuroscience, using Hoxton as his home base. “A youthful energy permeates the whole area – it’s just on the precipice of being grungy – and people here are still looking to push the envelope.”
Photo: Guy Montagu Pollock at Arcaid, courtesy of Whitechapel Gallery
Emerging artists are usually on display here, so it’s great for discovering something new. Once, there was a brilliant exhibition of Middle Eastern art, and the next time I went, it was all about video games as art. Entry is free, as at most museums in London, but visitors often miss this gallery just off Brick Lane, so it’s never crowded.
77–82 Whitechapel High St., 44-20-7522-7888
Photo: Kris Piotrowski/Time Out/REX/Shutterstock
My favourite thing about this place is the cocktails, which change daily. If you don’t know what to order, name a flavour and the staff will prepare something spot-on for you, like a Tuxedo #2, with gin, vermouth, orange bitters and absinthe. The vibe is a mishmash of pseudo-speakeasy, taxidermy menagerie and granny chic, but with hip hop on the stereo.
343 Cambridge Heath Rd., 44-20-7739-8362
Photo: Alex Segre/Alamy
Victoria Park is one of the largest green spaces in the city, and it’s bordered by two canals, Hertford Union and Regent’s, that connect to the rest of East London. Walk off a late night along the park’s winding paths, then head to the Pavilion Café near the lake for a breakfast of farm eggs and bacon, and bread made in house.
Old Ford Rd., 44-20-8980-0030
Chef brothers Chris and Jeff Galvin gutted an old church to create a Michelin-starred restaurant with soaring vaulted ceilings. The food in the main room is impeccable – the pigeon tagine in harissa sauce is a standout – and there’s a bistro on the side where you can grab a great burger.
35 Spital Sq., 44-20-7299-0400