We began the morning with Trafalgar on a walking tour that was guided by a Local Expert and designed to showcase how London continually regenerates and reinvents itself. Hosted by VisitBritain, we headed straight towards the hip area of Shoreditch and Spitalfields — both former working class neighborhoods that have now been turned into creative hubs. The former part of the walk focused on old London, while the latter part of the walk focused on new London.
My favorite thing about England’s capitol is that you can be wandering down a street, turn a corner, and feel as though you have entered an entirely new place. One minute I was admiring the facades of buildings from another era and the next minute I was surrounded by bustling markets and vibrant street art. Unfortunately, I did not have much time to spend at the Spitafields Market, which at first glance looked like somewhere I could get lost in for hours, although I had just enough time to indulge in a delicious Ferrero Rocher® hot chocolate from the Chocolata stall on nearby Brick Lane before we moved on.
In East London, street art is held in high esteem and it is a challenge to find any surface that has not already been decorated. Some people love it and consider it art, some people hate it and consider it graffiti. I happen to be in the group that loves it! I think it adds character and color to a destination, even a city as electrifying as London.
One of the first murals that we happened upon was in the process of being created. The talented artist was a fellow American named Beau Stanton, who just had a solo exhibition at Last Rites Gallery in New York City this past summer.