Hoxton Square is old, even by London standards. This pretty garden square in Hoxton was first laid out in 1683, and it’s been a popular spot to play, relax, and catch up with friends ever since. In its earliest days, the square was a meeting place for various non-conformist sects, and while it’s gone from industrial to trendy–these days it’s ringed with loads of chic galleries, restaurants, and pubs–its counterculture vibe has endured. So grab your mates for your next night out and follow a festive tradition more than three centuries in the making.
You have plenty of dinner spots to choose from, but Zigfrid von Underbelly is great for groups. This peculiar venue is inspired by the punk scenes of New York and Berlin, and it’s decorated with quirky artwork and bric-a-brac (look out for the rocking horse suspended from the ceiling). Comfy couches, straight-backed leather chairs, wooden Tiki carvings, fringed lampshades, neon signs — somehow, the brilliant chaos comes together perfectly. Enjoy a juicy Ziggy Beef Burger and a prosecco-dazzled Ziggy Spritz cocktail, or keep it classic London with a pint of beer. As night sets in, the place turns into a music venue, where live DJs blast tracks cool enough to fit in with the artsy decor.
You’re been hearing good things about Hoxton Square Bar and Kitchen, so that’s your next stop for the evening. A new artist takes the small stage every night, and tonight’s offering is a chilled-out rock duo, already filling the room with catchy beats and guitar strums. The Tex-Mex dishes from the kitchen smell delicious, but you’re still full from dinner and therefore focus strictly on cocktails — specifically, the Mister and the Maestro, which is a sour-sweet concoction of Olmeca Altos reposado tequila, chartreuse, grapefruit juice, and blood orange. It’s wonderfully sippable, and a perfect accompaniment to the relaxed atmosphere. As the music winds down, the conversation keeps going strong. When it’s finally time to spill out into the street, Hoxton Square is buzzing with the late-night revelers who still keep the area lively and unique after all these years.