Brushfield Street- from the busyness of the City to the ghosts of Jack the Ripper.
You can’t miss this street- it is the one which takes you away from busy Bishopsgate road right to the Spitalfields market. It also ends with the famous Christ Church Spitalfields built in 1700s by Nicholas Hawksmoor.
Old names of this streets were Little Paternoster and later Paternoster Row, but in 1870 it was renamed in honour of Thomas Brushfield, a Justice of the Peace, trustee of the London Dispensary.
Jack the Ripper was supposedly seen here on the night of 8th September 1888.
North side of the street is dominated by the market and adjutant shops and contemporary sculptures, such as
“I Goat”- the winning design of the inaugural Spitalfields Sculpture Prize. Kenny Hunter’s hand-sculpted goat stands atop a stack of packing crates to create the 3.5metre high I Goat, which was inspired by Spitalfields’ rich, ongoing social history.
Another curiosity is a set of white rabbits called “Spitalfields Spirit” by Paul Cox. You may be mistaken that you are in Alice in Wonderland, but in fact you are in Spitalfields Market. “I am late , I am very very late”- well, fits perfectly well with the environment of always rushing office workers who come here to shop and eat.
And, my favorite backdrop for the portraits is called “Red Church” by Eleonora Aguiari. Her ‘church’ seems to be playing with the Hawksmoor original pretty well. One is blank and distant, and another is bright and inviting.
Well, enough for the art! Usually people come to this street to enjoy food as it is one of the top destinations for breakfast and lunch breaks, along with the mid-work and after work-drinks.
Let’s start with the Gun pub.
It’s a regulars’ pub, with blokes (mostly) from the offices nearby being ably catered for with decent beer – Broadside, Bombardier, IPA and Deuchars on the hand pumps. The upstairs restaurant seems to do a roaring trade at lunchtimes – and the Masons used to meet here, which makes the place all the more interesting.
The do have outside shelves to put your beer on if you want to enjoy the fresh air and watching passers by.
54 Brushfield Street, Spitalfields, London, E1 6AG
PATISSERIE VALERIE is another popular place. Stop here for coffee and desert. I don’t like this place myself, but it’s useful to use it as a meeting point with the people who are not too familiar with the place. And, they have tones of outdoor tables.
Bishops Square, 37 Brushfield Street. London E1 6AA
Monday to Sunday 7.30am – 8pm
Verde & Company food store is a must! This is a kind of delicatessen and small grocery shop that sells small cakes, jam, honey, olive oil, foie gras, and even some Tibetan Food! They serve healthy food options and make Italian coffee as well.
40 Brushfield Street, Spitalfields, E1 6AG