The Square Recording Studio is located in Hoxton Square in north London, and is what used to be the Milo recording studio, which was originally opened in the 1980s before Shoreditch became a popular place to hang out or start up a digital business.
A rich history of music runs through this building and now it is a perfect tracking and overdubbing studio that is filled to the brim with equipment, including a restored vintage hayman Vibrasonic drum kit – only music superfans need apply to appreciate the detail here.
What will interest just about anyone however, is that some of the world’s most current popstars have been recording their songs in this studio, including Jamie XX, MIA, Tom Odell and Hurts, among many others.Odell and Hurts, among many others.
Thanks to its brilliant location The Square isn’t just a place to follow the music, it’s also an excellent marker for lots of things to see and do in Shoreditch. As The Square and its various iterations have been in this area of London for years, it and the people who work there have watched Shoreditch come alive, and have only the best recommendations of what you should do when you’re visiting.
Must-see attractions near The Square
The Ironmonger Row Turkish Baths are at the top of The Square’s must-see list, and the Evening Standard has referred to them as “the best value-for-money, stress-busting technique in town”.
It includes a steam room, three different temperature grades of hot room and marble slabs for massage and body scrubbing. There’s also an icy plunge pool to wake you up, if you get too relaxed.
St. Paul’s Cathedral is nearby, it’s one of those famous sights that everybody has to see at least once, it’s rather breathtaking when you see it in front of your eyes.
For clothes you won’t find on the high street and delicious street and deli food, head along to Spitalfields Market on Commercial Street. Open seven days a week, it’s a real highlight of Londoners’ lunches and weekends, and it will certainly be a high point of your holiday.
How to get there
It’s very easy to get to The Square (and thereabouts) by car, by overground or by bus. If you want to travel by Tube, it will take you as far as the Old Street station and you’ll need to walk a maximum of five minutes to Hoxton Square. Easy peasy.
By car, there are plenty of directions available on The Square website that will help you on your way from Gatwick Airport and West Sussex, or from Birmingham and the West Midlands.
With regards to parking, you’ll need to get there early to avoid disappointment, as Shoreditch generally isn’t blessed for spaces and there are keen ticketing officers patrolling the area.
However, there are three car parks in the near vicinity, including an NCP on Great Eastern Street, Easy Car Parks Ltd on Paul Street and City Car Parks and Storage on Crondall Street. Some of the bars and restaurants will have spaces, but it’s advised that you call ahead to try and reserve a place before you get there.
Restaurants and bars
In this trendy and quirky area of London you aren’t going to be stuck for somewhere to eat and drink, although they can be busy. But, luckily, because there’s so much choice, if somewhere is full you don’t have far to travel to find somewhere else to satiate your hunger.
One of The Square’s top restaurant recommendations in Shoreditch is Eyre Brothers on Leonard Street. This is a low-lit and moody restaurant that offers exciting Spanish and Portuguese food and wine. The food is bang on-trend, featuring small plates of tapas, which include lashings of jamon, prawns, chorizo and seafood.
There are bigger portion sizes, if you fancy a main course to yourself, but the tapas plates are really worth sharing, particularly if you’re out for a romantic occasion.
It’s recommended that you go there to try their pasteis de nata, a traditional Portuguese custard tart with cinnamon – it’s a delectable way to finish off a meal.
For something cheap and cheerful, try Beigel Bake on Brick Lane. It’s become quite an institution in Shoreditch because of its great food at low prices, and even better, it’s open 24 hours! Some even say that they’re the best bagels in the UK, why not stop on by and give them a taste for yourself?
Cocktails at Park Grand Hotels London – Espresso Martini
If you like your espresso with a side of vintage clothes shopping, then you’ll want to head to Prufrock Coffee on Leather Lane. This place has the artisan/hipster thing down to a tee, but it is actually full of staff who know how to make a delicious cup of coffee. This isn’t just us giving you a recommendation, as the shop has been voted as having the best espresso in London, and The Square says that everyone who comes through its doors recommends Prufrock.
For a typically scruffy Shoreditch boozer that’s simply swimming in cool people, get yourself along to Vibe Bar on Brick Lane. Try a Bloody Mary, particularly when it’s sunny as they have a nice courtyard that’s perfect for British Summer Time.
If you’d like something a bit more glamorous, but still every bit as Shoreditch, try Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen. Despite the name this really is more of a bar than an eatery; there are several good places to get burgers in the area though, so head to those first. In Hoxton Bar & Kitchen order yourself a decent local beer or a gin and tonic and you’ll fit right in.
Of course, if you’d like to combine a bunch of activities at once The Square recommends you go to All Star Lanes on Brick Lane. Close to the recording studio, it fuses bowling with food (think popcorn shrimp and nachos) and cocktails – there’s something for everyone.
Events happening near The Square
Finding yourself in Hoxton Square and near to a recording studio means that there are going to be lots of music-based events for you to enjoy, or at least to try.
This is a creative and particularly quirky area of London that loves to experiment with theatre, so it’s great for people and families who are looking for something a little unfamiliar to watch.
A theatre show called Big Wow, Small Wonder is coming to Hoxton Hall on Saturday 20th February at 2pm. It features a tall story about a small boy in a town and how much fun it is to be little. It’s performed by a poet named Justin Coe and is a great activity for children aged four to eight, who can come along with their parents and families.
Currently, the Museum of London is showing a free exhibition on the history of tattooing in London. It takes a look back to Captain Cook, who made his adventures to the Pacific, and it gives a novel insight into the history of the art that help make tattoos what they are.
The exhibition will also be offering an inside look into four contemporary tattoo studios in the city with commissioned works by tattoo artists from New Wave, Into You, Seven Doors and The Family Business. The museum will be opening late on Monday 22nd February for a particularly special event, Tattoo London: Under The Skin.
The Museum of London is just a short walk from The Square – roughly 20 minutes – and this special tattoo exhibition will be showing every day from 10am-6pm until Sunday 8th May.