After our interview with Stephen Markeson, where he expressed his love for London and the east end, we thought we’d journey there this week to see the newly opened Pan Pacific London. London’s east end is typically seen as a melting pot of cultures with areas like Brick Lane being tourist destinations specifically because of the mix of cultures living there. Pan Pacific brings together the traditional and modern elements that characterize areas such as Bishopsgate and Liverpool Street with its 43-storey bronze tower. This mix of the new and old is perfect for the City of London with its 800 years of history found in the architecture, museums and galleries nestled amongst the skyscrapers.

Pan Pacific brings Asian elegance to the area with its sleek exterior and the beautiful landscaped public plaza connecting the two central hubs of the hotel. The hotel pulls together Singaporean hospitality and contemporary British design to create a haven in the middle of the city. The interiors and their botanical theme, created by interior design firm Yabu Pushelberg, are sleek and bring the atmosphere of the heights of Singapore straight to London. Ultimate Library reflected this botanical theme and Pan Pacific’s Singaporean roots in the books we curated for the hotels 237 bedrooms; we included titles such as Botanical Singapore by William Sim and The Story of Gardening by Penelope Hobhouse and Ambra Edwards.

Brick Lane

Only a short 15-minute walk from the hotel, this vibrant and iconic street is a hub of excitement and independent business. Home to many in the Bangladeshi community, this winding street is famous for its curry houses as there are more than 20 to choose from. And if it’s food you want there are plenty of other cuisines available, from pop-up venues that change every week to stalwarts of the area such as Brick Lane Beigels. Open 24-hours a day, this beigel shop has been open for almost 50 years, making it one of the oldest beigel shops in the city serving traditional Jewish-style filled beigels. If you don’t want to go out, you can dip into South-East Asian flavours at the Straits Kitchen. The restaurant overlooks the plaza at Pan Pacific and showcases a melting pot of cuisines from Singapore’s many cultures. Guests can even treat themselves to Singapore’s national dish of Wok Fry Singapore Chilli Mud Crab to full immerse themselves in the hotel’s culture.

Another thing Brick Lane is famed for is the masses of vintage shops that line the streets and fill the basement of Truman’s Brewery. Shopaholics can get their fill here with treasures dating from the 1920s through to the 1990s in every style and fashion imaginable. This and many other areas in East London are thought to be hubs for independent fashion and business; it’s because of this history and entrepreneurial spirit that the meeting rooms in Pan Pacific are named after nearby areas such as Brick Lane and Spitalfields. We included books that were specific to each of these areas and to the cultures found there. In the Brick Lane Meeting Room, we included Denim Dudes: Street Style Vintage Workwear Obsession by Amy Leverton to reflect the vintage markets that make up the fashion of the area.

Columbia Road Market

Also the name of one of the meeting rooms, Columbia Road Flower Market is one of the most famous and beautiful Sunday markets available in London. A short bus ride away or a slightly longer walk, this is the perfect place to visit on a Sunday morning if you want a slightly more relaxed day. The market is one of the go-to places in the city for plants and cut flowers with a massive variety available and expert knowledge from the stallholders. Many of the traders are the second or third generation of their family to sell at the market and know all about their wares. Alongside all the flowers and plants, you can also find traders selling foods, antiques, soaps and homemade homewares; this may be the perfect place to find a souvenir for your trip. If guests do enjoy the more traditional English aspects of the city then Pan Pacific’s Orchid Lounge is the answer. With a menu created by executive pastry chef Cherish Finden, this lounge offers a twist on the traditional afternoon tea with the flair of Asian flavours and the Singaporean-inspired Kopi Tiam. We included many books on London in the Orchid Lounge alongside some classic literature to bring back the sense of place within the hotel.

We thoroughly enjoyed working with Pan Pacific London, bringing to life the different aspects of the hotel’s ethos and the unique cultures of East London.