Self-consciously hip Londoners will have choked on their hummus and halloumi upon hearing that the capital no longer contain’s the UK’s hippest street, with the title, according to a Google survey, heading north to Gateshead.
South Shore Road – the site of the Sage music centre and the Baltic contemporary arts building – is apparently now the country’s hippest address after Google named the best streets in Britain.
For London, Google’s findings made for dispiriting reading – it was also overlooked in the “most romantic street” category, which went to Copse Hill Road in Lower Slaughter in the Cotswolds. Furthermore, no London street was even shortlisted for “best shopping street” – that title was won by Alnwick’s Bondgate Within in Northumberland.
The only silver lining for London came in Whitecross Street, Islington – once synonymous with poverty and grime – coming in third in the hip list, mostly on the back of its upmarket street food.
The victory for Gateshead is a triumph of urban renewal and the way Tyneside has reinvented itself. After the collapse of its traditional ship building and heavy industry, a surge of new galleries and cafes have seen it emerge as a regional hub for culture, arts and nightlife.