All of London at your feet

The Sun Street Weekender

We’re perfectly placed at the epicentre of one of the world’s great capital cities. No wonder The Sun Street Weekender is fast becoming a new London institution.

48 hours on the border of Shoreditch and the City of London.

The first piece of advice is to allow a little more time than you were thinking. It’s hard to get past the reception of Sun Street, the lift or the staircase, the Lounge or the Bar without behaving as if you’re in a gallery, stopping and gazing at the intriguing artworks that form part of the hotel’s mixture of contemporary and classical décor.

When you do venture out, convinced by GPS that you are just 10 minutes’ walk from Shoreditch High Street, you find yourself constantly stopping, pointing, camera in hand

However well you know London, or even this specific corner of London, there’s always something new, something in development, or some other wonder that you hadn’t noticed before. If this is your first visit, this guide should give you a head-start in planning your weekend. But three into two doesn’t go – you’ll almost certainly have to save some of the treats for another visit to Sun Street.

Leadenhall Market

A smorgasbord of culture awaits in Shoreditch

The weekender starts here.

There are plenty of bars, pubs and restaurants within a few minutes’ walk – from Giovanni’s on City Street (you know the food is authentic when the majority of customers are talking Italian) to The Flying Horse pub on the corner of Sun Street itself, or the Singer Tavern. But there is relatively little traffic, or competition for a taxi, and no-one is sprinting past you to catch the train home. In the City, Thursday is the new Friday, which makes Friday the new Saturday.

Leadenhall Market
Brick Lane

"Once the working day, and the immediate post-work drinks are over, the area around Sun Street is surprisingly and pleasantly quiet on a Friday evening."

The Bar and Lounges at Sun Street Hotel are part of this new vibe – small oases of calm, atmospherically lit, and discreetly attended. If the Google Bird prints and motifs have piqued your interest, order up a Poggle Bird or Sun Bird cocktail, some bar bites and immerse yourself in the Hotel’s new edition of the illustrated Edwardian book that inspired art consultants Tomkinson Churcher and interior designers Bowler James Brindley.

Somewhere old. Somewhere new.

Sun Street sits on the border of Shoreditch and the City. Why not theme your weekend by the old and the new, striking out north to one of London’s trendiest areas on one day and south to the city on the other.

Fuel up. There’s a lot to pack in!

First though, breakfast. Fuel for a day of discovery. Head to the Orangery – flooded with light and full of details that will bring a smile to your face – from the exquisite white crockery with subtle rays of sunshine to the playful salt and pepper cellars. If you can drag yourself away from the convivial comfort of the Orangery, it’s time to fire up your step-counter.

Getting to know the Shoreditch circle.

A roughly clockwise walk, taking in Broadgate Tower (which masqueraded as a Shanghai skyscraper in the Bond movie Skyfall), Boxpark, Rivington Street, Hoxton Square, Arnold Circus, Brick Lane, The Truman Brewery Markets, Old Spitalfields and the Whitechapel Gallery will ensure your Fitbit clicks well over the mythical 10,000-step mark, whilst offering an eclectic mix of wondrous architecture, independent and big-brand boutiques, culture, street-art and hipster ambience.

Leadenhall Market

BOXPARK, Shoreditch

On the city border, Georgian and Victorian architectural gems snuggle up between the modern glass behemoths, but as you head north towards Shoreditch and Hoxton, the skyline lowers and the old outweighs the new, which is why you’ll often find a film crew recreating Victorian or post-War London in the likes of Fournier Street.

This part of London never ceases to amaze, and a beautiful point at which to draw breath and feast your eyes is Arnold Circus – where a quaint Victorian bandstand sits atop a three-tier garden in the centre of a circular, residential street. There’s no great fanfare about it – almost as if the area has so many jewels, so much to do and see, that it’s been left in its own peace and quiet.

Leadenhall Market

Arnold Circus, Shoreditch

If you time your arrival at the restaurant alleyway, Artillery Passage, it’s a perfect spot for lunch, where you can choose from Ottolenghi’s, or Enoteca, Ye Ye Noodle & Dumpling or Yuzu for a well-earned bite to eat.

On your way, you’ll have had the opportunity to rehydrate at Boxpark’s Vitamin Drips, buy something that you didn’t know existed from the Backyard Market as a gift for the relative or friend you’re never quite sure what to get, stop to check that in amongst the graffiti really is a genuine Banksy, and fill your camera roll to breaking point. And it’s still only Saturday afternoon!
Back to Sun Street. Fill up the freestanding bath, or revitalize under your drench shower, and start contemplating dinner in the Restaurant by pulling up the à la carte menu on your in-room, flatscreen TV. Black Truffle & Burrata Tortelloni? Dorset Lobster from the Josper Grill? Those calories that you burned off today are about to return!

Roughly 3.5 miles

Shoreditch walk

  • 01

    Turn left out of Sun Street Hotel, and then bear left  into Appold Street. On your right after 100 metres, you’ll see an entrance to Exchange Square, which is worth a quick diversion. 

  • 02

    Rejoin Appold Street, before turning right onto Primrose Street if you want to have a look at Broadgate Tower which featured in the Bond film Skyfall. Then turn left on to the A10/North Folgate which will take you up into Shoreditch.

  • 03

    Boxpark is about 200 metres on your right. Have a look round, then turn back to the A10, turn right. Rivington Street is about 500 metres on your left. At Charlotte Road turn right up towards Hoxton Square. 

  • 04

    From Hoxton Square head East back towards the main road (A10). If you cross at Calvert Avenue, you’ll come across a large square with Shoreditch Church in the centre and gardens all round it. Then another 50 metres further along, you’ll find Arnold Circus and Boundary Gardens.

  • 05

    Come out of Arnold Circus on to Club Row, take a left on to Redchurch Street and, in about 200 metres you’ll be at the northern end of Brick Lane. The mile-long Brick Lane will take you past and through The Truman Brewery, Spitalfields Market, Brick Lane Mosque.

  • 06

    If you continue on to Osborn Street, this will take you down to the Whitechapel Gallery on Whitechapel High Street.

  • 07

    Turn right out of the Whitechapel Gallery, right again into Commercial Street for about 400 metres, then turn left into White’s Row and straight on to Artillery Land and then Artillery Passage. From Artillery Passage you are about half a mile from Sun Street Hotel.

Roughly 3 miles

City of London walk

  • 01

    Turn right out Sun Street Hotel and walk up to Finsbury Square. Head South from Finsbury Square along the main road (A501) before turning left into Finsbury Circus. 

  • 02

    Come out of Finsbury Circus on the South side (Circus Place), turn left on to London Wall, right onto Throgmorton Avenue, left on to Throgmorton Street and you will come to the Bank of England. 

  • 03

    Turn left on to Bartholomew Lane, at the foot of which you’ll see The Royal Exchange, Mansion House, Bank and various monuments and memorials.

  • 04

    Follow Cornhill East for about 300 metres. Turn right on to the A10/Gracechurch Street and in about 30 metres you will see Leadenhall Market on your left.

  • 05

    Follow the market round to the right and out into Lime Street. Follow Lime Street in a Southwards direction and you’ll come to Fenchurch Street and the Sky Garden.

  • 06

    If you return to the London Bridge City Pier you are about 1.3 miles from Sun Street.

  • 07

    Turn right out of the Whitechapel Gallery, right again into Commercial Street for about 400 metres, then turn left into White’s Row and straight on to Artillery Land and then Artillery Passage. From Artillery Passage you are about half a mile from Sun Street Hotel.

Roughly 1 mile from Sun Street

Visiting Sky Garden

The Sky Garden is on the 35th floor of the Fenchurch Building, 20 Fenchurch Street EC3M 8AF. The building is nicknamed the ‘Walkie-Talkie’, and as well as the public facility it contains a lot of offices.

There are a range of tickets you can book in advance to guarantee your visit. It is possible to just turn up and enter, but it will be very busy during the peak London visitor season, and so it’s best to book if you want to guarantee your visit. Free tickets are available to book up to 3 weeks in advance.

You can book a table in the restaurant. Pre-pay for a coffee and pastry.

Taking an Uber boat

Jumping on and off an Uber Boat by Thames Clippers – to give it its official title – is actually very straightforward. The boats are part of the Transport for London network, and so you can board the boat using your ‘contactless’ card or smartphone, just like a regular bus or tube. The signage, however, can be a little confusing, as it appears to say that you must buy a ticket before you get on. All this means is that you must have the means to pay (ie a contactless card or phone) or have an Oyster card, or a pre-booked ticket. So there’s no real need to stand in a big queue at the ticket office, and what’s more using your ‘contactless’ card is actually cheaper than any other payment method.

City in the sky. Rolling down the river.

After breakfast – or even for breakfast – take the 15-minute walk through the City to the Fenchurch Building. After following the points of the compass, it’s now time to look upwards.

First though, the walk from Sun Street through the City on a Sunday morning is a real pleasure – the unusual quiet allowing you to stop and breathe a little. While the boutiques, cafés and wine-bars will be closed on a Sunday, be sure to detour through Leadenhall Market to fully appreciate this listed Victorian passageway.

Leadenhall Market

Leadenhall Market, City of London

The whole area is punctuated with any number of alleyways, small squares, courtyards, hidden spaces and public gardens. But for sheer drama, it’s hard to match the Sky Garden on the 35th floor of the building known as the ‘Walkie-Talkie’. (You can visit the Sky Garden without booking in advance, but it’s worth reserving a ticket or a table if you want to make sure).

This 160-metre high concourse, garden, café and restaurant is simply the best, most panoramic view of London available, from which you can pick out virtually any landmark. It saves a lot of walking and enables you to claim that – during your Sun Street Weekender – you saw the whole of London, and still be back in time for lunch at Sun Street, a Cappuccino on our own hidden corner, the Courtyard, or sink into a leather sofa for afternoon tea in the Library.

Leadenhall Market

Sky Garden, The Fenchurch Building

Time permitting, having viewed London’s iconic sights from the sky, you could get up closer by taking a riverboat along the Thames. The London Bridge City Pier on the south side of the river is just half a mile further on from the Sky Garden, and it’s as simple as jumping on a bus or tube. From the riverboat you’ll enjoy views of Shakespeare’s Globe, Tate Modern, the Millennium Bridge and the Houses of Parliament. You could jump off at Battersea – where the famous old power station is now converted into an ultra-chic shopping and leisure destination – or wrap up your Weekender by taking the return trip to Sun Street by bus, tube or taxi.

While check-out is by 11am, you can leave your bags at reception, or do ask the lovely reception team whether a late check out is possible.

Culture on our doorstep

Explore our neighbourhood

Our favourite places

  • 01


  • 02
  • 03
    Rivington Street
  • 04
    Brick Lane
  • 05
    The Truman Brewery Markets
  • 06
    Backyard Market
  • 07
    Old Spitalfields
  • 08
    Whitechapel Gallery
  • 09
    Arnold Circus
  • 10
    Leadenhall Market


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