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Brick Lane

Brick Lane: the Basics

East London's most famous thoroughfare is steeped in history. Now the vibrant heart of the district known as Banglatown, it has been a magnet for migrant communities of different origins over the centuries. The building that now houses the Jamme Masjid mosque is symptomatic of the shifting identities of the area: in the past, it has served as a Protestant church for Huguenots, a Methodist chapel and a Jewish synagogue.

Brick Lane silhouette
Brick Lane makes its impact on all the senses. From the cries of traders on market day (Sunday) to the enticing aromas of the bagel bakeries and Asian street food stalls, it's all here in an intoxicating multi-ethnic mix. The bustle and dynamism of the area has been notably captured in Monica Ali's 2003 novel Brick Lane.

As well as restaurants numerous enough to suit every pocket and palate, there is also the planned museum of immigration at 19 Princelet Street, the ornate shuttered Huguenot houses on Fournier Street, and the Old Truman Brewery, a multi-media arts centre where leading lights in fashion rub shoulders with graphic designers and DJs.