Twenty-four hours in Shoreditch, London
London member and photographer Hal Haines spends a weekend in Shoreditch, using Redchurch Townhouse as his home base
Hal and Ed stayed in room 33
‘We set up our picnic on a bench in Boundary Gardens: boxes of calamari, Padrón peppers, potato salad, burgers and fries, all washed down with Press juices’
10.30am: check inI get to Redchurch Townhouse early, because I always overestimate how long it will take to cycle across the city. Fortunately, my room is ready and waiting for me, so I take the lift up and make use of the rainforest shower and Cowshed potions. I try out all the sitting spots, robes, and radio and TV, before Ed arrives to find me looting the minibar.
12pm: bike ride and picnicAt midday, we head over to tokyobike to borrow some Mini Velos for the afternoon. We pick up a takeaway lunch from Shoreditch House and ride to Columbia Road. Then, go back to Hoxton before eventually settling in Arnold Circus. We set up our picnic on a bench in Boundary Gardens: boxes of calamari, Padrón peppers, potato salad, burgers and fries, all washed down with Press juices. We talk about a shop I used to like on Calvert Avenue, one of the arms that protrudes from the Circus, and share anecdotes about visits to the area over the years. The sun peeks through the trees above, children laugh nearby, and the traffic murmurs in the background.
3pm: Negronis in the bathWhen we get back to the hotel, it’s finally time to run the bath. Ed preps the water with more Cowshed goodness, while I call up reception for ice and revisit the minibar to prepare the premixed cocktails. With Sade on the aux, we soak for an hour or so.
‘With Sade on the aux, we soak for an hour or so’
6.30pm: dinner at Cecconi’sI love Cecconi’s – for the decor and the friendly staff, not to mention the entire menu. We sit at the open window, and after two Eastern Standards, we of course over-order: pizza, pasta, meatballs, roast potatoes and focaccia, followed by profiteroles and the most delicious tiramisu. An enthusiastic puppy friend of the maitre d’ yaps and dances about outside as cyclists look in, enticed by the spread on our table.
8.30pm: the deckWe head up to the Shoreditch House rooftop for a nightcap on the deck – only one Eastern Standard this time, plus a Negroni. As the DJ fades ‘Golden’ by Jill Scott into the mix, we lay back on the loungers and look out at the skyline, appreciating it, as if seeing the city for the first time.
9pm: early nightTucked up in our pillowy cloud, we watch Incredibles 2 in the twilight (and fall asleep before the end of the film).
‘It’s so quiet, with only the sound of guests swimming laps in the pool and the kitchen team working away’