Everyone is moving. They're getting out. They've had enough of London. The prices. The people. The shit. Those in the know have discovered the next best thing. Only it's a better thing.
If you adore Dalston for it's mad mix of people, styles, places and "vibe" you're gonna love this tip for the top for 2012.
If you want to change gear and you've woken up to the fact that life a ain't all about working your bollocks off, you need to take note. The answer lies 60 miles south of The Smoke. Sitting beside the sea. It's a paaaaarty town full of artists and all sorts of creative people with fascinating personalities.
People who've discovered there's more to life than high street traffic and hyper-tension. Not faceless accountants. Or bankers out to fuck you (and each other). And it's friendly. This place is resplendent in its former glory. A mix of Decimus Burton pomp & grandeur and quirky, kooky, funky alleyways oozing intrigue and invitation.
I'm talking Hastings/St Leonards. Where Brighton has its Hove so Hastings has its St Leonards. One blurs into the other.
Look back at what happened to Brick Lane and Hoxton and watch what's happening to Hastings/St Leonards. As the artists moved in (cos the space was cheap) so the developers quickly followed. This pattern recurs.
Now the artists can't afford Shoreditch cos it's too expensive so they've moved up Kingsland Road to Dalston.
Not that long ago Dalston was a desperate dump. Now Vogue magazine tells us Dalston's the coolest part of the city of London. And to think it all started with "Wah Nails"...
I suggest you ditch Dalston and dive into Hastings/St Leonards. You'll be quids in. Go to Rightmove or Primelocation and have a look at what's on the market.
The prices are un-bloody-believable...at the moment. You'll find a huge period house for under £300K. And by huge I mean 6 or more bedrooms.
Proper huge not estate agents' huge. For £200K you'll find a house or flat that'll blow you (and the cobwebs) away. Think what they'd do with these houses in London Fields or Spitalfields and apply that thinking to Hastings/St Leonards.
Whacking great rooms with sky high ceilings. Period charm. No chintz. All for the price of a studio flat. It'd be easy for to name drop names regarding who's taking the plunge and moving to Hastings/St Leonards but I won't. That'd be vulgar.
Believe me you'll be surprised, shocked and impressed. It's a veritable who's who of musicians,producers,writers, stylists, decorators, designers, architects, artists,students,media somethings, social entrepreneurs,online wizards and off line white witches.
Come down when Jack-in-the Green is in full swing and you'll never want to leave. Not if you "get" what Hastings/St Leonards is all about. The grungy, dirty charm you find in Camden. The eclectics and aesthetics you find in Notting Hill and Primrose Hill. The Taj Mahal,voted best curry house in the country. Authentic Northern and Southern Indian food that ain't stained orange !
The old town in Hastings takes you back in time and St Clements in St Leonards takes you back to The Caprice (where the owner/chef used to work).
Seems like there's a new bar or cafe or club or eccentric shop opening every week. Mixed with the artists and the media men & women are the crack dens, the down and outs and the dogs on pieces of string.
The drunks and the drop outs. This is the real world. Not the Cotswolds.
Think of it as Dalston-on-Sea.