Mile End boasts some enviable pockets of serenity. The Regent’s Canal offers a charming route north to Victoria Park or south to Limehouse, and Mile End Park offers a lovely kids’ play area (with special apparatus for children with disabilities) and its own bridge carrying it over the main road.
Gentrification is very much under way here, which is good news if you like nice pubs and a steadily improving café scene. Slightly further out is Bow, but tucked away en route to Vicky Park is Roman Road, a real gem of a high street with a good mix of independent shops and a palpable community spirit.
The best bits of Mile End and Bow
Vintage bargains, east end boozers and avocado on toast: it's the best bits of Mile End
Pubs, parks and art – this is old-school east London at its best. Why should I go there? Smack dab between Whitechapel, Docklands, Victoria Park and the Olympic Park, Mile End’s situation on the fringes means it has a little something for everyone. Any nice pubs about? Obviously: this is the East End. If you fancy something new, mixed with a dash of hipster cool, then try the recently refurbished Victoria on Grove Road. Elsewhere, popular spot The Crown offers a convenient location directly opposite Victoria Park. But if you’re looking for a real slice of old London charm, seek out the dusty delights of The Palm Tree, an unreconstructed boozer in the middle of Mile End Park that’s perfect for a warming drink and a singsong on a winter’s eve. What’s on the menu? There are some nice joints that keep the locals well fed and the visitors visiting. For a meaty treat, try some wagyu beef at Greedy Cow (Grove Road). Elsewhere, Lebanese restaurant and takeaway The Orange Room (Burdett Road) serves up fresh, zesty dishes. For somewhere more relaxed, try Zealand Road Coffee (Roman Road) where you can munch on avocado toast with all the other cool young things. I fancy a spot of shopping... Mile End doesn’t have a high street as such, but those looking for a unique bargain will be rewarded by a visit to East End Vintage Clothes (Huddart Street). Pay by the kilo and fill up your bag with weird and wonderful discoveries at this well-hidden but promising bazaar.
You know you live in Mile End when...
Mile End may not be the edgiest bit of the East End, but it’s certainly not lacking in character. Those of us who’ve come to call this little nugget of London our home wouldn’t swap it for any number of rainbow bagels or beard parlours. You really know you’re a Mile Ender when…. You have to slalom around endless dog shit when you’re on your way anywhere. Good luck on those late-night strolls…. Nipping to the shop means a stark choice between the world's unfriendliest Tesco on Roman Road or the world's narrowest Tesco on Mile End Road; aggression or high possibility of bum-to-bum contact in the biscuit aisle. Tough choice. A photo posted by Kelly♔ (@xjustkellyx) on Jan 17, 2015 at 6:23am PST You often wonder what you might see on your next trip underneath the ‘railway bridge of abandoned things’ just up from the road from the Morgan Arms on Morgan Street. Will it be a miniature pink keyboard? A tainted frying pan? Several throw cushions? Oh, the suspense! You like the idea of the ‘proper East End’ Roman Road Market and its myriad offerings of dodgy board games, weird furniture and Kelvin Clone underwear but in reality you’ve never bought anything there because it actually scares you a little bit. You constantly brag about how nice it is to be near the facilities of the Olympic Park without ever having actually used them. A photo posted by anne joyce (@anne_joyce) on Nov 11, 2016 at 3:54pm PST You’re justifiably smug that your Amazon d
Restaurants in Mile End and Bow
Mile End and Bow highlights
A magician has disappeared during a magic trick and his apartment’s about to be bulldozed. You’ve got one hour inside it to find his book of secrets and discover where the hell he vanished to (while, we imagine, hoping the Magic Circle don’t mind you ruining his trick). That’s the premise of this magic-based escape game, which throws actual magicians’ tricks in alongside the usual selection of logic challenges and combinations to crack. It’s an enjoyably hands-on game, featuring multiple rooms packed with so many impressively designed bits of kit to play with that you’ll feel a bit like a grown-up kid in a toy shop. The number of different tasks that team members can work on separately means that your team will soon be tearing around the room simultaneously piecing together clues in a whirl of literal escapism. One of the better recent openings within the world of escape games. You might even say that it’s a kind of magic.
Bars and pubs in Mile End and Bow
The perfect weekend in Mile End and Bow
Love London Awards: last year's winners
The distance north of Shaftesbury Avenue, though only 20 metres, is important. Barshu (the original of a Sichuan quartet along with Ba Shan, Baozi Inn and newcomer Baiwei) is distinct from Chinatown’s mostly Cantonese restaurants in looks and pricing, as well as cuisine. The dark wooden ground floor is brightened by red lanterns and partitioned by a beautifully carved screen; upstairs is similarly woody. Despite such rusticity, you could spend extravagantly here – though there are ways to lessen the bill. Order tea (£2 per person) rather than wine (the cheapest bottle is £21.90). You’ll need to slake your thirst to counteract the fiery, numbing and sour flavours that characterise western Chinese cookery. The menu holds much interest, listing the likes of pea jelly, prairie tripe, and stir-fried chicken gizzards with pickled chilli – each dish is depicted. To start, order from the ‘Chengdu street snacks’ section, rather than the pricey appetisers; sweet-potato noodles in hot and sour sauce was a filling bowlful of noodle soup, chilli oil and numbing peppercorns, for just £4. Main courses of fish-fragrant pork slivers (a pleasing textural mix including wood-ear fungus and crunchy bamboo shoot) and stir-fried long beans, chopped small and well-paired with minced pork, also hold delight. Drawbacks? Many dishes are hot and oily, so order steamed rice and (expensive) plain vegetables for balance. Service could be sharper too, but Barshu nevertheless remains London’s prime expone
Venue says: “Barshu is offering a £100 exclusive set menu (for four persons) to show our appreciation to our valued customers. T&Cs apply.”