If you're thinking of booking a hotel near Hoxton Square, London, you'll be staying close to one of London's oldest squares whose largely Victorian buildings are home to restaurants, bars and clubs.
Hoxton Square once housed mainly industrial premises but in the 1990s developed a reputation for being at the forefront of the London art scene. The White Cube art gallery, which closed in 2012, helped many of the Young British Artists (YBAs) come to prominence. The gallery showcased work by Tracey Emin, Damien Hirst and Gilbert & George among others. While many of the art dealers are moving on and the square has lost its cutting-edge, it's still home to many art galleries.
Arts and culture
Drop in at 20 Hoxton Square which opened opposite the White Cube in 2007. The gallery, which showcases the work of emerging artists working in mediums from wall paintings to collage and from sculpture to photography. It has two halls, a screening room, several smaller spaces and a bar. Exhibitions tend not to be scheduled in advance so it's worth dropping in to see what's happening.
Also worth a look is KK Outlet at 42 Hoxton Square which is both a shop and a hip gallery and the offices of a communications agency whose clients include MTV Japan.
And check out what's on at Hoxton Hall, built in 1863 as a saloon-style music hall, it stages a variety of entertainment including cutting-edge theatre, dance, music, film cabaret and visual arts.
Things to see and do
Feed the animals at nearby Hackney City Farm which has a range of farmyard animals including donkeys, goats, sheep and chickens as well as rabbits, guinea pigs, ducks and geese. Or swapping the outdoors for the indoors, explore the world of the home at The Geffrye Museum, an 18th-century house now a museum. It houses collections of furniture and textiles from middle-class homes from 1600 to the present day. Trace changing tastes and fashions through a series of rooms and various exhibitions. Entrance is free. You can also explore the gardens and there's a café.
Eating and drinking
For good food that won't break the bank try 8 Hoxton Square which offers bold flavours in an informal, relaxed atmosphere. Mains include scallops, Jerusalem artichokes and chorizo, beetroot carpaccio, goats' curd and pistachio and grilled sardines, coriander, yoghurt and preserved lemon. It also serves breakfasts and an all-day menu of small plates. The mark-up on wine is very reasonable.
And for a drink sample The William IV, a proper local in an old Georgian building, in Shepherdess Walk which has big screen sport upstairs, craft beers and real ales and superior pub food.
You don't have to go beyond Hoxton to find great entertainment options. For comedy head to the Comedy Café in Rivington Street which has been graced by the likes of Eddie Izzard, Jo Brand and Mark Lamarr. And for great live music make a beeline for The Old Blue Last, a legendary venue.
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