Whistles Neighbourhood: East London
Situated in the heart of the East End, our Boundary Street store hosts a considered edit of womenswear contemporary casuals. Discover the neighbourhood with our insider’s guide.
Labour and Wait
Taking its inspiration from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s exhortation to ‘Learn to Labour and Wait’, this boutique was founded by two former menswear designers who regard functionality, quality, and honesty at the heart of their business. Based out of an old Truman brewery pub, there are household goods, books, and gardening gear all available, with each piece chosen to promote a love of trade and craftsmanship.
That Flower Shop
Famed for their ‘scruffy’ bouquets, That Flower Shop is nestled to one side of the trendy Ace Hotel. Founded by self-confessed farm girl Hattie Fox, the small but sprawling space offers hand-tied bouquets and a smattering of potted plants and succulents. Ramshackle and charming.
Founded in New Zealand, coffee roasters and espresso specialists Allpress offer some of East London’s best coffee. Based in a restored old joiners building, their mission is to control the quality of your coffee from farm to cup, using innovative roasting technology and expert baristas to craft the perfect espresso. Alongside the exceptional coffee, they also offer a simple, complementary selection of unique sandwiches, breakfast plates, and canteen dishes.
Run by Margot Henderson, the outrageously talented wife of similarly blessed chef Fergus Henderson, out of an old school shed, Rochelle Canteen started its life serving local artists and other creatives. Although it’s only open for breakfast and lunch between Monday and Friday, the décor of this location is an exercise in understated style and the food is at the absolute forefront of British cuisine.
Open since 2009 and located in The Boundary, a converted late Victorian warehouse, the Albion is a café and small shop with an in-house bakery and renowned cake counter. The menu focuses on long-established British dishes made from typically English ingredients – you’ll be pleased to see homely classics like kippers, rarebit, and kedgeree all gracing the menu. Meanwhile the shop offers everything from seasonal specialties like grouse and rhubarb to everyday items like jam, biscuits, milk, and juices.
Run by first class foodie Leila McAlister, this part community grocery, part neighbourhood café offers a hearty mix of seasonal produce and simple, straightforward, timeless dishes. With a bounteous selection of cheese, coffee, rare vegetables, Sicilian lemons, sausages, and their signature egg dish on offer, you’d need a strict diet or dull palate not to be tempted to stop by.
The Royal Oak
Sometimes it can feel like ‘old’ London is being washed away by a wave of high cost apartments and chain cafes, so somewhere as unapologetically old school as ‘The Royal Oak’ can be a breath of fresh air. Set on Columbia Road by the world famous flower market, the practically untouched façade and interior have played host to a number of film crews over the years trying to capture the look and feel of the East End. With a solid selection of beers on offer and one of the capital’s best Sunday roasts, there are few better places to spend a lazy weekend afternoon.
Urban menswear specialists APC (Atelier de Production et de Creation) was founded in 1987 and specialises in easy-to-wear menswear mainstays and best-in-class denim. Their upmarket Redchurch St store reflects their clean, pared-back Parisian aesthetic – and that alone is worth the trip.
The historic British brand Sunspel have been crafting their impeccably made basics in Nottingham since the Industrial revolution and can be credited with introducing the boxer short to Britain and clothing Daniel Craig’s James Bond. Explore their range of menswear mainstays at their pared-back Redchurch street store.
Whether it’s architecture, photography, graphic design, fashion, or art, your creative medium of choice is sure to be well-represented at Artwords Bookshop. Crammed with both weighty artist’s books and obscure magazines from around the world, this is the perfect spot for broadening your horizons or decorating lonely looking coffee tables.
Aiming to ‘create a culturally relevant experience influenced by the flow of culture rather than the trends of the fashion industry’ this East London-based multi-brand boutique has a refreshingly curatorial approach. Despite selling a selection of menswear, womenswear, lifestyle and cosmetic products from over 200 brands, every piece feels like it has been chosen individually and held to the highest possible standards.
Founded in 1985 by Sheridan Coakley as a manufacturer and retailer of modern furniture, this shop-come-gallery space sells classic and hard to find pieces as well as designs of its own. Homebuilders, design buffs, and furniture fans will all find favourites amongst the carefully curated selection of functional and beautiful pieces that have been made to last.
Sager + Wilde
Warm, unpretentious, dimly lit and eclectically decorated, wine bar Sager and Wilde is the perfect place to finish your day’s exploration of East London. Run by husband and wife team Michael and Charlotte, it offers a fantastic selection of reasonably priced wines that are underpinned by excellent pairings. Don’t leave without sampling the variety of deli boards and gourmet sarnies.
Not only does the Ace Hotel slot into the spirit of the area its in, it enriches too. Trendily appointed from the lobby to the rooms, guests and locals both have access to the hotel’s rich selection of restaurants, bars, and events. ‘Miranda’, a bar in the basement, will have book readings one night and gigs the next, whilst ‘Bulldog Edition’ has freshly made pastries, cakes, and award winning coffee.