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Brick Lane

Features

Drop in with us at a couple of Brick Lane's landmark addresses, and then let's stop off for a curry, before going to meet authors Monica Ali and Tarquin Hall.

What's in a Name?

Street names provide important clues to an area's past. This is certainly true of Brick Lane, a place that wears its history on its sleeve. Names of roads in the district not only give an insight into former trades and religions, but the stories, myths and personalities associated with this part of the East End.

What's in a Name?
South Asian Food

South Asian Food

Like other types of what we think of as ethnic cooking, the food of south Asia has gone from being an exotic and unfamiliar taste to being one of the staples of the British menu. Initially treated with great caution because of its reputation for explosively hot spicing, so-called Indian food is now one of our favourite options when eating out, ordering in or taking away – so much so that a government minister was able to suggest in recent years that chicken tikka masala had achieved the status of a British national dish.

East End Art

Spitalfields, where the East End meets the City of London, has in recent years become the adopted home of the mega-rich and trendy, from fashion designers to musicians. Young artists have moved to the area searching for cheap studio spaces, while renowned, world famous artists have been attracted to its unique character and super-hip status.

East End Art
59 Brick Lane: a History

59 Brick Lane: a History

Now one of London's largest mosques, 59 Brick Lane is a symbol of change and continuity. It has been claimed by each successive community as its own, revealing the history of a street in one building.

19 Princelet Street

Just round the corner from Brick Lane is a house with a big wooden door. The brownish paint is peeling. There’s no plaque to tell you what sort of place it is, no sign hanging outside. From this side of the door you might be forgiven for thinking that there’s nothing in the building at all, that it’s just one of those places that used to be something once and has been abandoned for years, decaying away as it waits for a property developer to buy it and bulldoze it and put up a block of implausibly expensive flats for trendy people who work in PR. But if you’re lucky enough to go inside, you will find yourself in one of the most engaging and surprising museums in London.

ICONS meets Monica Ali

Novelist Monica Ali broke onto the literary scene in 2003 with her dazzling novel of East London life, "Brick Lane". ICONS met her.

Interview: author Tarquin Hall

ICONS met journalist Tarquin Hall, author of "Salaam Brick Lane: A Year in the New East End", to ask about his experiences of living on Brick Lane and what Banglatown had taught him about “Englishness”.

Interview: author Tarquin Hall
Ten Things…

Ten Things…

Here are ten interesting facts about Brick Lane - how many do you know?