4 September 2023

Food, Fashion, Fun & Loads of History - Discover Clerkenwell

Buckle up for a cultural joyride because Ruby Stella welcomes you in the vibrant neighborhood of Clerkenwell. Dive into a world where the past mingles with the present, and every corner is brimming with quirky shops and treats tailored to your individual taste. Whether you’re a history buff, a fashion fanatic or a foodie, the southwestern pocket of Islington Borough is packed with surprises for every soul.

Join us as we uncover the magic that still thrives in every cobblestone and corner.

History lovers are in for a treat, as the area is packed with architecture, museums, and landmarks that connect to medieval London. Enjoy fascinating exhibitions at the Museum of the Order of St John, where you get to relive the story of the ancient chivalric order that has left its mark not only on London but also on vast parts of the Mediterranean region. The museum finds its home at St. John’s Gate, a splendid remnant of the medieval period itself.

Discover Clerkenwell on foot and uncover medieval treasures like Charterhouse square, stroll through historic shops such as bookbinderies, print shops, and jewelers that have weathered the centuries and wander through charming streets that still exude their authentic medieval charm.

Ready for a dose of literature? Head to the charming Charles Dickens Museum. With a collection of over 100,000 items, including paintings, manuscripts, and Dickens' quirky personal belongings, the museum holds the world's most extensive Dickens collection. Step inside and embark on a journey through the very halls where Dickens himself once lived and worked.

Need a lunch break? The traditional pubs in Clerkenwell are more than just places to quench your thirst. They are popular venues for locals to gather after (or during) work and part of Londoners’ DNA. Soak up British pub culture as you sip on a refreshing ale and indulge in a great selection of classic pub grub in the cosy ambiance of The Crown Tavern. Or enjoy the flavours of Southern Europe and the Mediterranean that hit all the right spots at The Eagle, known for its pioneer role as a gastropub. This trendy corner pub isn't just famous for its mouthwatering gastropub food; it also impresses with a great selection of beers that will tickle your taste buds. For those seeking vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options, The Clerk and Well is a trendy central pub offering an excellent menu of food, wine, and draught beers.

Not in the mood for pub food? No worries. Clerkenwell is a haven of irresistible temptations here to satisfy all your cravings. Head to Leather Lane market to spoil yourself with food choices from around the world. Nestled between Hatton Gardens and Chancery Lane, this 400-year-old market is waiting to dazzle you with a huge variety of street food, fashion, household treasures, and more. Come and be part of the legacy – explore, savor, and shop in a market that's steeped in history yet alive with the spirit of today.

Once you have filled your stomach with the flavourful cuisine of your choice, it’s time to hit the runway. You heard right. Clerkenwell happens to be one of London’s biggest fashion hubs. Discover one-of-a-kind pieces and other stylish finds at Exmouth Market, which boasts a collection of independent boutiques offering unique clothing, vintage finds, and artisanal fashion items. Whether you're a seasoned fashionista or just looking to spruce up your wardrobe, Clerkenwell’s fashion boutiques will leave you feeling runway-ready and utterly fabulous.

If you’re a fan of vintage fashion, you should also keep an eye out for the Clerkenwell Vintage Fashion Fair that takes place periodically and offers a diverse range of vintage clothing and accessories. Check the dates here and get yourself a piece of clothing that whispers stories of bygone eras.

Design enthusiasts planning to visit Clerkenwell in May should definitely be a part of the annual Clerkenwell Design Week. It's a vibrant celebration filled with everything design-related, from fashion and textiles to stunning architecture and interior design, spread throughout the entire neighborhood. So, keep your fashion radar on, as this stylish neighbourhood occasionally dazzles with pop-up shops and stylish events, especially during London Fashion Week.

Seeking some dinner inspiration? Well, with a whopping 100 places to choose from, you're in for a culinary adventure. So, where to start? Let's begin by strolling along Cowcross St, where you'll find a delightful array of restaurants, pubs, and cafés. You can also follow Cowcross St down to St. John’s St, renowned for its iconic restaurant scene. For a taste of international flavours, Exmouth Market is your go-to spot. Brace yourself for a dazzling selection of mouthwatering restaurants, chic boutiques, inviting cafes, and lively bars – Exmouth Market is a food lover's paradise.

Ruby Recommends:
for meat lovers: St. John Restaurant (European, British, famous for its nose-to-tail-dining philosophy, around €40 p. person)
for vegans/vegetarians: The Green (vegetarian, vegan café located on Clerkenwell Green, budget-friendly €13 - €22 p. person)

As you can see, Clerkenwell has got to offer a little bit of everything. Just pick the things you enjoy the most and let the good times roll.

Plan your stay at Ruby Stella Hotel & Bar and be right in the middle of all the fun. With major attractions like the British Museum and Somerset House as well as popular areas such as Covent Garden and Soho all just a short walk away, Clerkenwell and Farringdon are just a smart base from which to explore the rest of London.

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