Why I Live in Aldgate East: Felix Conran’s East End District Guide

II rented my apartment in Aldgate East from a friend for two years. He was using it as a photography studio and showed it to me at three in the morning.

It’s in an old factory building and is a blank white space with beautiful floors that I managed to impress. I live there with my Greek rescue dog, Apollo, and love the endless recreational frenzy in the area.

Better eating and drinking

I adore sweets addicted to Bread Bakery. Built under an arch on Dunbridge Street, they sell excellent coffee and delicious little cakes. My product is a sponge covered with vanilla and raspberry whipped cream.

I regularly work at Tayyabs on Fieldgate Street. Punjabi lamb chops are legendary. Lahore Kebab House on Amberstone Street looks like a crazy canteen, but the curry in it is delicious. For small European dishes and a great wine list, try Crispin on White’s Row.

Proper East End Hungerford Arms Pub on Trade Road

/ Matt Rittle

Hungerford Arms on Commercial Road is probably the worst pub in London, but it’s my favourite. It is a suitable place for the Middle East; Everyone in there has a personality. Someone once tried to buy my friend’s dog.

where i work

I am not a gym goer. I mainly stick to walking and running along the river and canals. It only takes 10 minutes to reach the banks of the River Thames. You have to set the timing right so you don’t end up getting your feet wet, but that’s cool. I also do yoga but at home.

To connect with nature

This is not a green area, but the Bethnal Green Gardens are nearby and picturesque. I was doing guerilla gardening in one of the little neglected gardens near me; Some of the weed seeds I sprinkled started to appear.

to reform the culture

The Whitechapel Gallery on Whitechapel High Street always does a great job, but I also love taking advantage of the trendy Benk & Bo community on Gravel Lane. It’s a mid-century-style coworking space that runs art shows, life drawing lessons, jazz nights, and a book club. Solo cinema trips in the daytime are fun for me, so I adore the Genesis Cinema on Mile End Road. They show all the big blockbusters but also an eclectic selection of indie movies that they love.

Lovely home: Benk & Bo’s co-working space hosts art shows, jazz nights, and a book club

/ Matt Rittle

Grocery shopping

I do a lot of cooking and the wonderful YoYo Oriental supermarket on Alie Street are my companions. They always have different candy in their fridge; I go in every day to see if they’ve got a matcha mille crepe. I’m also a big fan of the frozen dumplings and the spice combo.

There are two great markets here: Whitechapel Market on Whitechapel Road and Watney Market on Watney Street, south towards Shadwell. Exotic fruits and veggies are amazing – huge sticks of sugar cane and 18 inch green beans that you buy in a big flexible pack.

roaming around

He’s great on this front. Everywhere walkable or accessible on the DLR, Tube, Overground or National Rail. Billingsgate Market on Trafalgar Road, for example, is only a 10-minute drive from the DLR.

Arrive at their café early – it’s open from 3am to 10am – and enjoy London’s best bacon sandwich, featuring fresh scallops. Easy to get to Camden and Peckham too.

Whitechapel Art Gallery always does a great job

/ Matt Rittle

dream street

Avenue Fournier, between Commercial Street and Brick Lane, with all its splendid Georgian buildings. A lot of new buildings have come up lately, but it’s not my cup of tea.

Something you only see in Aldgate East

I am quite accident prone, so it is reassuring that the Royal London Hospital is right around the corner. There is something reassuring about knowing I can crawl in there. I like to play the detective in the hideous little garden next to it, trying to piece together everything that happened overnight. I once found an unusual number of crabs there, without a clue where they all came from.

What interest?

It’s dirty. There has been a lot of redevelopment lately, but it still lacks basic cleanliness.

in three words

Crazy community, connected.

What does it cost to live in Aldgate East

Buy

Average property price: £589,920

rent

Studio apartments: £1,890 on average

Two-bedroom apartments: £3,030 on average

Source: The Hamptons

schools

St Paul’s Whitechapel Church of England Primary School and Bigland Green are both rated excellent, with many local schools rated as good by Ofsted. For high school rankings, the high-achieving Mulberry Girls’ School is rated excellent, along with nearby Swanlea School and Sixth Form.

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