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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

Boxpark Pop Up Retail Mall opens in Shoreditch in time for Christmas

Boxpark opens today with a promised appearance from Dizzee Rascal. Visit the top floor for gifts from niche retail units run by Amnesty and Art Against Knives, and food from independent retailers such as Hop Namo, Chop'd and Foxcroft and Ginger.

Written by Amelia Gregory

Boxpark Shoreditch - photography by Amelia Gregory
Boxpark in Shoreditch, All photography by Amelia Gregory.

Now, I would be the first to admit that I’ve had my doubts over the new Boxpark Pop Up shopping mall that opens today just beside Shoreditch station. I say Pop Up but actually it’s set to be there for at least five years, depending on whether the developers do or don’t get planning permission to build a mega mall over the top of the station (hence the reason that it’s been boxed in with an attractive concrete shell). From the outset I heard rumours that Boxpark was set to support small independent retail companies but that many bigger brands were muscling in… bringing a taste of consumer madness that bit closer to my home.

Boxpark Shoreditch -onepiece
Dancers show of their skillz outside Onepiece.

So I went along to the press opening on Thursday to check out Boxpark for myself, and came away pleasantly surprised: yes there are a load of big retailers ensconced in the crates, particularly along street level on Bethnal Green Road – with 55DSL and Nike taking three crates each at pivotal positions along the bottom and top of the development – but up top, where I hung out, there are also a plethora of interesting niche retailers and eateries to check out. The area is much more personable, with wooden benches between the units where you can sit and munch on your food as you consider the next Christmas shopping option (and possibly even enjoy a dose of warm sunshine with a glass of wine as next spring time approaches).

Boxpark Shoreditch -Art against knives photography by Amelia Gregory
Boxpark Shoreditch -Art against knives photography by Amelia Gregory
Boxpark Shoreditch -Art against knives photography by Amelia Gregory
Art Against Knives Pop Up unit.

Boxpark Shoreditch - Amnesty
Boxpark Shoreditch - Amnesty jimbobart
Gifts from Amnesty, including limited edition plates by Jimbobart.

Boxpark Shoreditch -Foxcroft and Ginger Georgina Boxpark Shoreditch - photography by Amelia Gregory
Boxpark Shoreditch -Foxcroft and Ginger Georgina Boxpark Shoreditch - photography by Amelia Gregory
Georgina of Foxcroft and Ginger offers us a delightful morsel outside their units.

Boxpark Shoreditch -Onepiece photography by Amelia Gregory
The seating area. Onepiece do amazing giant babygros for adults.

Once Boxpark officially opens this afternoon (with rumours of a special appearance from Dizzee Rascal) I fully expect the upper deck to be heaving with interested visitors to the area: and we all know how busy Shoreditch gets on the weekend. Boxpark has arrived.

Boxpark Shoreditch -Chop'd
Boxpark Shoreditch -Chop'd
Fresh local produce awaits the kitchens outside Chop’d. Other interesting eateries include upmarket burger joint Bukowski, Frae frozen yoghurt and Hop Namo modern Vietnamese food. Shops I am most looking forward to looking around include Marimekko – bright Finnish textile design, Irregular Choice – bonkers shoes – and the Phaidon bookstore.

Boxpark Shoreditch -Sara Darling
Fashion stylist Sara Darling waves hi from the second floor of Boxpark, with the Tea Building in the background.

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