Town Hall Hotel & Apartments are housed in Bethnal Green’s old council building: modern fixtures such as floor-to-ceiling glass have been added to the grand design of the Edwardian building; the marble floors, high ceilings, stately staircases remain in charge. Fine-dining lovers are attracted by its superstar restaurant, Viajante, and you won’t spot a magistrate anywhere.There’s no spa at the hotel, but a Cowshed one awaits down the road at Shoreditch Rooms. If you're staying solo, Nelson and Nancy (the Town Hall's resident goldfish), can stay in your room for a small fee.
On Sundays, make sure you wander down to Columbia Road for some bartering with East End traders at the flower market. Shoppers will love Spitalfields, which opens on Thursdays for antiques and vintage, Fridays for fashion and art, and Sundays for everything. Combine a curry with searching for second-hand clothing on a trip to Brick Lane. If you’ve brought children along, take them to Hackney City Farm (www.hackneycityfarm.co.uk) to spy on the array of donkeys, turkeys and pigs.