On a quest to meet as many Airbnb folks as possible and bring their stories to you, we’ve embarked on a Great Mediterranean Tour! The “Great” referenced “Great Britain” – our first stop on the journey. The destination was Shoreditch in the borough of Hackney. A trendy, up-and-coming neighborhood, Shoreditch is lined with hip restaurants and cafes, but comes most alive after dark. Bars pepper each block, and denizens gallivant from one to another in promise of a cold pint, great tunes, and interesting company.

The host: It is only fitting that our host, Romily W, resides in such a colorful area. Romily herself is a fascinating character. Though we were her first Airbnb guests, she met us with a excited smile and properly-spiked, black leather jacket. Gentle in demeanor, it’s hard to imagine her as the front woman for grunge band, the Japanese Voyeurs, but videos of them in concert show her screamo side as she wails on the guitar. She’s a rockin’ gal.

The space: Romily’s influences are can be seen all around the flat; behind the couch (that sleeps a short person comfortably) posters of Tool, the Melvins, and Nirvana cover the walls, though a closer look reveals ticket stubs to the Swan Lake ballet, pointe shoes, and a respectable collection of film and literature. And lucky us, the one bedroom apt is available whenever the JV’s are on tour, and proves a fantastic place to stay in the heart of the hood.

The stay: We spent a happy first night rocking out to In Utero, doing our laundry, and watching a documentary on R. Crumb. Then at 1:30am, fresh with jet lag and surrounded by tempting nightlife, we hit the town and soon discovered the standard 3am close just meant changing locations as after-hours clubs are serve until the wee hours. The sunrise found us, doner kebab in hand, marveling at how easy it is to live like a local when you stay with one.

Neighborhood recs: Saf for vegetarian, BLT Deli for a to-go sammie, Plastic People for dance mania, and Brick Lane Market a short jaunt away is a vintage hound/Etsy-lover must.

Meetup: We had an absolute blast getting to know the community at our Airbnb meetup at Wax Jambu! The London crew is a particularly well-traveled and curious bunch and had many insights to offer on the Airbnb experience. Have a look at the photos. In fact, inspired at how thrilled everyone was to meet each other, we’ll be hosting a grand ol’ party next week. We hope you can join us on the 14th for our Gin & Juice Social! And remember, Londoners, get your place listed pronto to cash in on the Royal Wedding…