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Flower Power Celebrating 21 years of learning at McQueens Flower School

Celebrate our 21st anniversary with 10% off all courses taken by 28th February 2020. Book online by 30th July 2019 using code McQueens21 or call 020 7251 5505 m c q u e e n s.c o.u k /s c h o o l


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BEAST magazine is brought to you by Editor Emma Winterschladen Creative Director Nicky Acketts Sub Editor Jane Gazzard Digital Writer Charlotte Davey Photography Carmel Jane Features Lara Mills, Guzzie Armitage, Chantelle Pattemore, Leonie Helm, Bun Boisseau Social media Cliodhna Quinn, Contributors Ed Holton, Ellie Smith, Thomas Palmer, Ann Castle, Nicola King, Rob Daniel, Jean Egbunike, Tara Sadeghi Printed in the UK by CPI Colour To advertise contact partnerships@beastmag.co.uk ON THE COVER, Christophe Berreterot, Sophie Powell and Alina Dheere Babaletsosf shot on location at McQueens Flower School. Photography by Carmel Jane Beast magazine is published five times per year and is available throughout East London. Every effort is made to ensure the information contained in the magazine is correct. We cannot accept responsibility for omissions or errors. Opinions expressed in the content are strictly those of the authors.




East London Love Stories


Tales, trends & talk from the beating heart of East London




Arielle Free’s journey from Harry Potter to BBC Radio 1 via Hoxton

LEAP OF FAITH The new fitness craze sweeping London Fields

Tales, trends & talk from the beating heart of East London

Tales, trends & talk from the beating heart of East London

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO US! It’s been a year since the very first issue of BEAST magazine landed on the streets of East London, and what a year it’s been. Here we are, launching our sixth issue, bigger, bolder and brighter than ever. We’ve been so overwhelmed by the love and support so far, and have been lucky enough to feature in our pages some of the most creative people, coolest places and inspiring stories from this vibrant corner of the city. Our hope is that we can continue to grow our platform and reach in order to champion the very people, places and stories that make East London so special. We’d love your help with this. If you are a local business and would like to work with BEAST, please drop us an email at partnerships@beastmag.co.uk, or if you have a story that needs telling, get in touch at editor@beastmag.co.uk. And if you’re a happy reader, please spread the word – particularly over on our Insta @beastmag_london. Our community is fast growing and we want you all to be a part of it. Thank you for being our champion – onwards and upwards we go! Love,

Emma Winterschladen EDITOR




21 YEARS YOUNG We partnered up with McQueens Flower School for our special birthday cover to celebrate their 21st year and BEAST magazine’s first year. This behind-the-scenes pic of Sophie Powell, the school’s Principal, was taken at McQueens’ HQ in Bethnal Green on the day of the cover shoot. It was a day of creativity and colour, flowers and fun - not to mention delicious noritacos from Sugoi JPN! Head to page 16 for our full interview with Sophie, where she talks all about this East London institution’s journey so far, and where it’s going. We were also interviewed by McQueens for their online journal, which you can read over on mcqueens.co.uk/journal.

OUT THERE Eyes wide open and ears to the ground



THERE’S NO SMELL LIKE HOME These unique candles are an ode to Hackney – the home of independent candlemaker Kate. Scents include ‘Columbia Road’ – a floral extravaganza of tuberose, peony and English rose that will transport you to the famous flower market – and ‘Freehouse’, a provocative teakwood scent that pays homage to Hackney’s well-loved watering holes. Pick one up at Grace & Thorn, at local markets, or online. £20, thehackneyedit.com 8


The Ace Hotel in Shoreditch has been hosting a sublime menagerie of art, dance, drag and burlesque. Fusing classic cabaret with debauched underground nightlife, we can confirm it’s a flamboyant night to remember. Should you wish to attend, you must abide by three rules: ‘always be your authentic self, support and respect everyone in the family and always be on your worst behaviour.’ We can do that. Tickets cost £10 in advance and £15 on the door. For upcoming events head to mirandalondon.com/events/cabaretandrogyny

Need a remedy for mid-week monotony? Then head down to The Birds in Leytonstone for the unforgettable Boogaloo Stu’s Big Quiffy Quiz. Laughs are guaranteed as your host (with his magnificent sparkly quiff) takes you on a whistlestop tour through general knowledge and music rounds, as well as the notorious Plasticsexscene challenge – not to be missed. Every Wednesday at The Birds, 692 High Road, E11 3AA


FROM FICTION TO FACT There’s a new postcode in town - welcome E20. This former Olympic village has only gone and bagged itself the postcode of Walford, the fictional borough of everyone’s favourite soap EastEnders. Since being converted to residential use, the new neighbourhood has, in true East London tradition, seen lots of independent shops and eateries pop up. We’ve got our eye on Signorelli, an Italian-owned bakery that has all our Sunday brunch needs covered with freshly baked cakes, pastries and focaccias – delizioso! eastvillagelondon.co.uk




Happy 100th birthday to the Classic Negroni! To celebrate, our friends at Strazzanti are putting on a four-evening Sicilian supper club extravaganza at TT Liquor. Campari UK will be serving up classic Negronis and BEAST cover stars McQueens Flower School will be creating a prickly pear installation. 26–29 June, TT Liquor, 17B Kingsland Road, E2 8AA Tickets are £55 and available strazzanti.co

We wouldn’t usually recommend eating your dinner on the tube but we’ll make an exception. This oh-so-London pop-up supper club is back, and serving up a four-course feast in a disused, transformed tube train. This time it’s welcoming Columbian head chef Beatriz Maldonado Carreno, with a menu that reflects her roots and the food that she loves. A unique dining experience, that’s a world away from your grab-and-go commuter grub. supperclub.tube

If you’re after an on-the-go java then you can’t go far wrong with a can of Minor Figures Nitro Cold Brew. Silky smooth and naturally sweet, they’re team BEAST’s summer drink of choice. And for those keener on brewing their own, this impressive East London start-up have also just launched their brand new ‘Double Origin’ ground and whole bean coffee to Ocado. Combining two single origin coffees (from Brazil and Columbia) we can confirm it makes for a deeply fragrant, perfectly balanced brew. £6.99, ocado.com




Down the Rabbit Hole with Tess Ward

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We love the newly launched podcast of author and chef Tess Ward. Tune in as she burrows deep with her guests into all that’s weird, wonderful, sexual, spiritual and supernatural. Topics include ‘dating a sociopath’ and ‘social media hypernormalisation’.

These hand-crafted cards from Fern, an East London maker, are the perfect excuse to let a loved one know that you care. We’re loving her brand new housewarming range made from retro maps. Spread the love, support local talent and brush up on your geography – multitasking at its finest! Prices start from £2.50, @cardsbyfern



Calling all coffee lovers…


This summer, Bethnal Green welcomes The Arches – a perfect all-day destination which serves East Londoners from upcycled shipping containers across six Victorian railway arches



burden of renting an office. Here you can find a stage, working space and a room built for meetings, conferences and supper clubs. Just when you think there could be no more surprises at The Arches we stumble across The Taproom – a cosy space filled with upcycled furniture and 24 craft beers on tap. With a mission to support local businesses, expect to find a rotating beer selection featuring Hackney Brewery, Redchurch, Crate, Five Points Pilsner and One Mile End. And pop along to the Taproom quiz night for the chance to beat the bar team and win a round of drinks. Railway Arches, 157-162 Malcolm Place, Bethnal Green, E2 OEU atthearches.co.uk



hether you’re looking for coffee, zero waste cocktails, locally brewed beer or a space to read the latest copy of BEAST, The Arches has it all. Falling under the umbrella term ‘The Arches’ are 640 East, Taproom and Drop Yard which encourage ‘coffee by day, beer by night and food for thought’. Following the success of the Canary Wharf branch, 640 East has found a permanent home under ‘The Arches’ serving Caravan coffee all day and cocktails by night. Up for grabs are a host of zero waste cocktails, craft beer and sparkling wines which can be found on the ‘Bubbles’ menu (so called in honour of the Bubbles Car Wash which previously occupied the 640 East bar arch). Expect locally produced and curated drinks from the spirits of East London Liquor Company, to the wines of The Modest Merchant – not to mention your favourite international beers. With an on-site kitchen, 640 East welcomes a rotating schedule of chefs to satisfy your appetite and bring their dishes to life in regular supper clubs, to be held on the last Thursday of every month in conjunction with The Modest Merchant. From 640 East, head through to Drop Yard – an urban co-working and events space perfect for artists, freelancers and those seeking to escape the financial



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A dude-bro revolution Meet Ed Holton, the Cotswolder-turned-East-Londoner on a mission to discover the best craft beer. This time, he pays a visit to hackney’s humblest taproom...


ar from conventional, the ethos, principles and strategy of Forest Road Brewing Co. have seen them establish themselves as one of the main players in London’s craft beer scene. There is much to admire, from their story of rags to riches, starting out home brewing in the garden of a flat in Hackney’s Forest Road, to owner Pete building a taproom off Westgate Street with his bare hands. Largely alien in this industry they exude character and personality, and their honesty draws you to them as a brewery. Between trips to Belgium brewing their beer, they openly admit they spent too much money on parties and (Pete’s) trip to Ibiza. Their taproom ranks alongside the best, not because it is the biggest or state of the art, but because it is fitting to them as people and encapsulates the quirkiness of our borough. From the delivery van parked up inside, to revellers thrashing around in the paddling pool in the forecourt on a summer day, what you get here is an experience that will stick with you for a long time.


Most importantly, they produce a decent beer or two. Refreshingly, while most breweries go about releasing a plethora of new beers on a weekly basis, they take great pride in ensuring the quality of their core range. Notably, beers such as ‘Dank’ and ‘Work’ are IPAs without the customary haziness yet they retain maximum flavour. “Posh” offers a clean and crisp lager, and newer releases, such as their Pale Ale ‘Chip’ and Amber Session Ale ‘Chop’, are of the upmost quality. You will also find a tasty selection of rotating guest beers on tap. The story of a brewery reaching the success they have, from humble beginnings to a taproom with ambience, while producing beers for you to enjoy of the highest standard, makes this a must-visit. As Craft Beer Channels Johnny Garrett quotes on a banner as you enter the taproom, this ‘Bizarre, dude-bro revolution’ is one that is well worth following. B Forest Road Brewing Co., 8 Netil Lane, E8 3RL forestroad.co.uk



Estelle Digridi @estellethegazelle Ciindrella Balthazar @ciinderellabalthazar

Sarah Mulwinda and The Mayor of Newham @RokhsanaFiaz

Twins, Gareth and Mason McLaughlin @twinsontouruk and Finlay Lucas

Cephas Williams @56blackmen

Annaliese Dayes @annaliesedays

3 Gentlemen

Madison Paris @madisonxparis Gerry Calabrese and Kim Timpson @hoxtonspirits Jodie Deakin, Sylwia Fargo, Lexi Fargo and Mathilde Legrand

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Love Life Gala

Cee Cee O'Neal and Zahra @zmaalow

London’s newest urban destination for day and night

BEAST were lucky enough to attend the inaugural Love Life Gala last month at Old Town Hall, Stratford. The brainchild of fashion stylist Cee Cee O'Neal, this new important charity aims to tackle knife violence and support vulnerable young people around East London and beyond. We were blown away by the inspiring guests, speakers and performers on the night, including Mayor of Newham Rokhsana Fiaz, singer-songwriter Ciinderella Balthazar, and mother-son duo Dreya Elaine and Thaniel. Keep up-to-date over on @lovelifegala’s Instagram.




Let it

GROW Since its humble beginnings as the learning arm of McQueens, this Bethnal Green-based flower school is now celebrating its 21st birthday. Editor Emma Winterschladen spoke to BEAST cover star and Principal, Sophie Powell, about McQueens Flower School's rich East London heritage, its ever-evolving creative vision and her exciting plans for its future PHOTOGRAPHY BY CARMEL JANE


cQueens has been on the East London scene longer than lots of us young‘uns have been alive. Since its birth in Shoreditch almost 30 years ago, it has blossomed into an international affair. As has its educational offering – McQueens Flower School. With bricks and mortar schools now in New York and Seoul, and clients in Australia, the US, Dubai, China, South Korea and Mexico, it’s safe to say they’re leading the way globally. Its growing success is something Sophie Powell, who has been principal of the school for a year now, is well aware of. “For me it’s about getting the balance between us being a global brand and also maintaining the East London experience of each individual student coming here.” Sophie and I are chatting after a day shooting our BEAST cover: a joyful celebration of McQueens Flower School’s 21st birthday this summer, which happens to coincide with our own first birthday. That we would partner up with McQueens Flower School is a no-brainer. Not only are they thoroughly embedded in the community, often involved in flower design for local events such as our friends Hackney Coffee Co. and Strazzanti’s supper clubs, but the team behind the school are also a fabulously creative bunch. ➠

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Left to right, Alina Dheere Babaletsosf, Christophe Berreterot and Sophie Powell

BUDDING TALENT Sophie herself has actually been part of the McQueens’ family for far longer than a year. “I was introduced to McQueens 10 or so years ago, and floristry in general actually, when my brother bought me a day class at the school. I’m fine art-trained and it felt very natural for me to make things.” Her career history up until then had been varied and colourful, ranging from secondary school teaching to balloon decorating and TV prop design. “There are lots of transferrable skills there, and there’s a real crossover between art and floristry, with your choices of colour textures, spacial awareness and composition. It all comes into play”. It’s this creativity that Sophie and her team of tutors, Alina Dheere Babaletsos and Christophe Berreterot look to nurture in their students – primarily through the school’s in-depth four-week vocational course. “We cover all the fundamentals of flower design, including technique, work experience and the opportunity to create iconic and visionary flower installations.” It’s a varied and unique course, with all three teachers offering something different. “We have brilliant chemistry. When you have three strong creatives together, it could be a disaster, but it works. Christophe has the industry knowledge having been a trained florist all his career; Alina is extremely artistic, and I’m the ‘mum’ of the crew, not afraid to push the boundaries.”

out in new ways, reflecting the wider company’s new talent development programme. “It’s certainly a priority for us to identify those with ‘the gift’ and give them the skills to train and flourish within McQueens” And as for the future of the school? She has clear ideas. “It’s important to me that we’re looking at what’s going on in the world and reflect that back into our work. That means being dynamic and staying on top of trends, as well as creating new ones of course.”

CREATIVITY IN BLOOM The school today still reflects founder Kally Ellis’ vision in many ways, but Sophie wants to push it further. “McQueens has been around since the early 90s and has established itself

NURTURING A NEW GENERATION Aside from the creative side of flowers, Sophie is adamant that learning at McQueens also offers real, sellable skills. “There’s money to be made in the creative industries and I want to show students that they don’t need to just open a flower shop. There’s a whole world of opportunities – they can provide installation for fashion windows, TV, opening ceremonies, catwalks, events. It’s a brilliant launch pad and actually intersects so many other career paths too, such as interior design, set design and photography.” Sophie wants to create a space for meaningful learning, to cultivate a new generation of flower designers. There’s no ego involved here, just a desire to teach: “Watching talent bloom is just the best part of the job.” That’s not to say she isn’t personally ambitious. Sophie wants to see the school expand 18 B E A S T

Honey, I'm Home RHS Chelsea Flower Show interactive installation devised by the McQueens Flower School team



They look after my dog Orbi, who is a much-loved part of the McQueen’s team, and they also dye him pink! H9 Ravenscroft St, Bethnal Green, E2 7SH


Local to us, these guys bring together possibly the best two cuisines: Latin and Japanese. We love their noritacos so much we had them on the BEAST cover shoot. 7 Arch, Gales Gardens, E2 0EJ


as a leader in floristry. For a long time it had a set look: very contemporary and very clean. But we’re trying to push the boundaries and be more diverse and as brave as possible to stay young and fresh.” In practice, that looks like Sophie and her team incorporating more ‘of the moment’ designs into their teaching – from wild meadow flowers, dyed and dried flowers, as well as bold props, such as the brightly coloured balloons on our cover. “I’m all about the wild card!” As for her proudest moments to date since taking the helm at the flower school? “Doing the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, highlighting the plight of the honey bee, was a real career high for me. And also the opportunities we've created for the students to work outside the classroom – such as filling an old London telephone box with poinsettia or the almond blossom installation for Hackney Coffee Co. Having strangers come up to the students and say ‘that’s amazing’ fills me with such pride for them, and makes me feel really proud that we can facilitate that. It’s about letting our students have their moment, and then take what they’ve learnt out into the world.” Teacher by name, teacher by nature. B One-day flower workshops £225 per person One week courses £1,850 l Four-week vocational course £5,750 @mcqueensflowerschool, mcqueens.co.uk/school l l

We order in pizza from here once a week and they’re delicious - good for team morale when things are busy! They also serve at my local The Chesham Arms. 105 Lower Clapton Rd, E5 0NP


One of my favourite vegan cafes. It’s run by volunteers and very bohemian and free-spirited. Try their jerk tofu stew. 76A Clarence Rd, Clapton, E5 8HB


DESIGN With its roots firmly planted in East London’s Bethnal Green, streetwear clothing brand Nicce wants to give back to the community that inspired and supported it from the start

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or many designers, the formula for success tends to follow a similar path: fashion degree, interning and learning the ropes at an established fashion house. However, the trajectory for Mitch Galvin-Farnol, founder and CEO of East London-based clothing brand Nicce [pronounced kneechee] has been notably different. Not only did he derive the brand’s name from an in-joke that his group of mates had one summer in Ibiza, but the few T-shirts he initially created were never intended to evolve into a full-on clothing line. Yet despite this, it has taken just a few years for the company to secure its place at the forefront of the UK streetwear market. Prior to launching the company, Mitch had zero design experience, but he was “living the lifestyle and understood what people wanted from brands. He saw an opportunity to bridge the gap between premium branded apparel and the streetwear/casual sports look”, explains Mark Cowland, marketing director at Nicce. “He was quite simply thinking: ‘What would me and my mates wear, and what isn’t already available on the market?’” After some of Mitch’s DJ friends in Ibiza wore the T-shirts he had created, “it all flowed from there”.

Upon returning to the UK, a move to East London from Norfolk provided the inspiration and space required to fully launch Nicce. “Mitch found a studio and put together a team that included Jimmy who remains our head designer today,” Mark tells us. “From there, the design went from black and white branded T-shirts to being influenced by the scene they were partying in. In Ibiza, this had very much been about electronic music; but here, it was more inclusive of grime and similar styles. This led to the designs taking a bit more of a streetwear look with hoods and outerwear, while maintaining that clean-cut aesthetic.” Fast-forward five years, and Mitch and his team recognise that remaining loyal to their East London roots and local influences is vital for Nicce in retaining integrity and driving further success. “We didn’t want to become another brand that moves to central London and loses their original objective,” says Mark. “Bethnal Green Road [where they recently opened their new HQ] has a great mix of cultures that is perfect for Nicce.” While their new residence comprises “a huge courtyard, massive showroom and a capacity of 300 as an event space”, it also stands alongside another building that will house their flagship store from this summer. Nicce aims to be “inclusive, not exclusive” and the new store will reflect this ethos. “We want to create a hub where people can get involved with the brand. Yes, product will be sold, but there will also be an opportunity to collaborate [with us] and use the space for popups,” Mark reveals. This, he says, is very much in-line with what they’re doing with the N-Studio – a dedicated studio space to which the brand invites a couple of artists each week to record mixes that are then presented on Nicce’s platforms. Showcasing Nicce’s strong link to music, the N-Studio is currently housed in their HQ, but will become a key part of their new flagship: “You’ll see the DJs and vocalists through the window as you walk past.” A non-profit venture, Nicce views the N-Studio as a chance to


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THE OLD GEORGE For drinks and food –it’s a really chilled pub with a big garden for summer days, and they do banging English classics on the menu. 379 Bethnal Green Road, E2 0AN ADAM & EVE Our regular for both food and drink. 155 Homerton High Street, E9 6AS

give back to the community that supported it from the start. “We want to kick off more of a buzz for brands and music in this area,” Mark explains. “We’ve got this amazing space that we can offer to anyone who needs to shoot for an album release, or do a mix, or curate an event in partnership with us. It’s great to be able to offer that to creatives in the area.” After cementing their roots with the new store, Mark reveals that Nicce will be extending their reach into the US and European markets – where they’ll push the N-Studio concept, too. But no matter where the future takes them, he knows one thing is for certain: “We’ll always try to be creative in our own way and drive the brand forward by making our own path, rather than following others.” B nicceclothing.com


CLUTCH CHICKEN 4 Ravenscroft Street, Bethnal Green, E2 7QG THE GOOD EGG Stoke Newington Church Street, N16 0AS MAE + HARVEY For lunch 414 Roman Road, E3 5LU Any decent place I can take my dog to!




mind body soul You needn’t travel far for some self-care and soul searching. East London is home to a whole community of wellbeing spots, dedicated to helping you carve out a little time and space to recharge – both physically and mentally Still, Dalston The world of Icelandic wellness has arrived to the streets of Dalston. Founded by Shelly Elson, she has brought the elemental serenity and natural principles of her Nordic heritage to her new salon. Aside from offering toxic-free mani/pedis and creative nail art, STILL also offers a range of holistic therapies in their treatment room at the back. I arrived flustered and stressed for The High Vibe facial by Daisy (@East.of.indigo). This bespoke experience incorporates the physical – cleansing, exfoliation and massage – with the spiritual – reiki, crystals and reflexology. I don’t know exactly what Daisy did, but at one point I felt myself almost floating above the table, my body flooded with deep, warm emotions. My breathing slowed, and my stress seemed to melt away. “I don’t feel comfortable charging money for energy healing, so it’s nice to incorporate it into a facial,” Daisy told me afterwards. All I know is that I left STILL feeling lighter, calmer and with really soft skin. The High Vibe facial £80 for 90 minutes 450 Kingsland Road, Dalston, E8 4AE still-london.com 24 B E A S T


TAYLOR TAYLOR London, Shoreditch As far as blow-dry experiences go, this is up there with the best. Sitting proud on the corner of Commercial Street, ‘Tay Tay’ as it’s affectionately known, has become a beloved institution for a reason. What with its flamboyant rococo interiors, glasschandeliered ‘Grand Cutting Room’ and golden underground wash room, this unisex hair salon is the sort of place you want to carve out time for. Not least because they have a cocktail bar too. My stylist was Erika Selvaggio, who it was clear within seconds knew exactly what she was doing. She took in my rambled description of what I wanted: “Like, you know, a bit of floof and jooz here and volume here?’’ managing to whip and blow and curl my hair into Marilyn Monroe-esque heights – while I sat sipping one, then two, then three espresso martinis. The perfect interaction between selfcare and hair-care you may say. Wash, cut and blow-dry from £60. 137 Commercial St, Spitalfields, E1 6BJ taylortaylorlondon.com

SOMA HOUSE, Spitalfields Sitting above the bustle of Old Spitalfields Market, you’ll find this luxurious sanctuary of wellness. Founded by Cambridge grad husband and wife team Dr Theo Koutroukides and Jennifer Hersch, they’ve created a health-focused member’s club of the highest calibre, specialising in their own “intelligent cross-training’’ (officially FUSION-X™), developed from their respective backgrounds in scientific research and eastern philosophy. The classes on offer range from pilates and barre, to spinning and targeted strength training, but it was the yoga I found myself going back to time and time again. Their creative Hot Flow system is based on over 20 years of practice in hot yoga, dance, pilates and science – all designed to offer strength and balance (both physically and mentally, as I found out!). The classes are divided into the elements, depending what you need that day. Included is their earth hot flow; grounding and slow, it’s perfect for quietening a frazzled mind. Their water flow is, unsurprisingly, more fluid like, with dance-like movements incorporated to create space in the body and joints. But perhaps their most empowering flow is the Fire + Pilates, a hot energetic class that left me sweating and strong. Oh and an added luxury is that each yoga class ends with a cold lavender-infused flannel to cool down. But it’s not just about ‘moving your body’ at SOMA, their philosophy runs much deeper than that, hence the name School of Mindbody Athletics. It’s about creating space and time for yourself to switch off the noise and focus on you. 1 class £25 / Intro offer (7 days Unlimited Pass) £34 / Unlimited membership £179.00 per month. Old Spitalfields Market, Upper Terrace, 8 Horner Square E1 6EW soma.house beastmag.co.uk

MASAJ, Oval Space There is certainly an energy to London, and it’s one that can be highly-strung. It’s exciting and creative, but it can also be exhausting. Enter MASAJ, the brainchild of Scarlett Crawley and Alice Vaughan. Their new space in the shipping container community, The Gossamer City Project, is a feat of minimalistic, sustainable design including eco-certified vinyl flooring and a refill service for their organic skincare range. They’ve redefined massage with a menu focusing on ‘‘bodywork’’ which, as they say, ‘uses the power of touch to restore anatomical balance’. I opted for their No1, which was all about relaxation. I could feel stress melt away as Rita worked her magic (and that’s what it felt like). There are also more targeted treatments for releasing chronic patterns of tension, restoring specific areas and for those who are sporty or pre/post-natal. The key thing is they understand the nuances of each body, so every treatment is unique. £70 for 60 minutes / £90 for 90 minutes. The Gossamer City Project, 58 Gossamer Gardens, The Oval, E2 9FN masaj.me BEAST



ENDLESS THE ARTIST Bun Boisseau caught up with Endless as he was busy painting his famous ‘Lizzie Vuitton’ on the wall of Limehouse’s new pub The Star of the East in commemoration of The Queen’s upcoming birthday


ondon-based artist Endless knows these streets well. In fact, despite featuring on the walls of galleries and private homes worldwide, it’s the walls of East London that so often remain his canvas. Using well-known logos and icons with a tongue-in-cheek edge, his brand of street art lies somewhere between social commentary, advertising, high street fashion, pop art and graffiti.

So tell me when and how did you become a street artist? It was after uni where I studied print making and screen printing. When you’re at uni that is freedom; you have all this equipment at your fingertips and you can do anything you want. But when you leave they don’t teach you how to be an artist and you’re left with none of the extremely expensive screen printing equipment. So that’s why I started to use stencils, because it’s the same layering process as screen printing. The next question for me was then how do I start showing people my work without having to use galleries? Going to the streets gave that freedom. ➠

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Head to beastmag.co.uk for our full-length interview with Endless

Did you always know about street art? I always knew about it but for me the most powerful form of street art was just advertising. It might be all about money or selling a product but those images had the best ability to get into your head. So I thought I would play with that type of branding then rehash it in my style and put it back onto the street. I wouldn’t really call myself a street artist, I’m more of an advertiser, trying to advertise my ideas.

Now you are enjoying some success and you get to work on commissioned pieces in daylight hours, do you still find time to get back to your roots and work on the street? Oh yeah for sure I still do. I’ve always liked the aesthetics of the street, a crumbled wall, an old piece of wood – I think it can bring the work more to life than it can in a gallery.

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Is there a certain thrill to it? Have you had any brushes with the law? Yeah, I have. I think they always expect a bit of back-chat but I mostly just speak politely to them and luckily I’ve got away with a couple of warnings. I do pick my spots though, I’m not painting anyone’s house or a church or anything – usually it’s just a bit of old temporary boarding. I’m not out to annoy people, the main thing is the freedom of being able to put your work out there for everyone to see.

How did you arrive at using The Queen as one of your icons? Are you making any social comment on the royals at all? No not like that – I’m a big fan of The Queen! I actually think she is such a positive figure in the world, but mainly because I am always commenting on branding and using it, she is probably one of the biggest brands there is. Far above any other celebrity personality! B Follow Endless on Instagram @endlessartist and at endlesstheartist.com


meet the maker

Karolina Merska East London is teeming with talented makers, dedicated to honing and sharing their craft with the world. Self-taught artist Karolina Merska is one of them, specialising in the Polish folk art of ‘pajaki’. In the first of our new series, Sophie Rochester, founder of creative teaching platform Yodomo, chats to Karolina about her craft and why she enjoys teaching it What was your inspiration to start making? I studied history of art and was always interested in the history of Polish folk art. I had always thought that the Polish pajaki (chandeliers made of paper and straw) were unique and it made me sad to only ever see them covered in dust at ethnographic museums. I wanted to bring them back to life and see them hanging in contemporary homes.

When and where did you discover pajaki? I think it was in a museum in Lublin. Then I saw more of them in Krakow, where I moved to study. It was only in 2015 I started making them myself.

How did you learn how to make them? I’m a self-taught artist, and the first pajaki I made were inspired by photos found in old craft books. I spent time experimenting with materials and shapes. Then I had the chance to attend an amazing craft fair in my hometown, Lublin, where I met folk artists who taught me how to make pajaki and pompoms in a more traditional way. I still visit folk artists and always learn something new from them.

What inspired you to start teaching and sharing your skills? My pajaki started to attract a lot of attention and I began receiving enquiries about how to make them. I started to run workshops so I could share my skills and knowledge – I’m so happy that people want to make them. 30 B E A S T

What do you enjoy about running workshops? My pajaki-making workshop lasts for at least six to eight hours, so the group is together for the whole day. We talk and we laugh – all the while learning. I’ve met so many lovely people during my workshops and many have become friends. I run my workshop in a relaxed way so it has a therapeutic feel to it as well. It feels very traditional as ladies used to gather together while making them back in Poland. Also now, thanks to Yodomo, we’ve been able to film an online version of the workshop so people can join in from all around the world.

Why do you think so many people are coming back to traditional crafts? I think people became fed up with mass-produced, soulless designs and started to appreciate things made by hand. It’s important to know a designer, the story behind each product and to support their craft. I am happy to see that so many traditional crafts, like macrame and basket-making, are becoming popular with younger generations. Crafts are an important part of a culture’s heritage and we can’t let them die out. B Karolina Merska teaches pajaki workshops at her studio in Hackney Wick and online at yodomo.co




As a professional baker of all things beautiful, East London-based entrepreneur Lily Jones was the obvious choice for BEAST’s first birthday cake. Guzzie Armitage met with this superstar cake maker to talk about growing a successful brand, the creative challenges it entails and the importance of celebrating community

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ucked away in a quiet street off Columbia Road is a little bakery; perhaps it’s the customers spilling out into the street that draws you in, or perhaps it’s the smell of freshly baked sausage rolls. Before you know it, you’re inside, greeted by a huge counter filled with pastry and cake. Welcome to Lily Vanilli’s bakery, one of East London’s sweetest sanctuaries. The force behind this award-winning bakery is Lily Jones, AKA Lily Vanilli. She’s a baker-entrepreneur, author of three recipe books and an internationally established culinary consultant. During the week, the bakery is a quiet and focused hub of experimentation, creativity and innovation; whether it’s a bespoke wedding cake or collaboration with a major fashion brand, no two days are the same. On Sundays the doors are thrown open to the public and locally roasted Coleman Coffee is served alongside a weekly changing seasonal menu. A new menu every week? Lily’s enthusiasm is infectious. ‘‘We have all week to prep and plan the menu, in and around our bespoke orders, so there’s time to put lots of thought into it! We’re currently perfecting a version of the baked cheese tart I tried in Tokyo last month. It’s getting pretty good!’’ I ask if she ever runs out of inspiration. Apparently not: she finds it in nature, in art, in the ingredients themselves, and very often when travelling. ‘‘I’m away a lot for work and always come back with new ideas and ingredients.’’ Consulting for brands around the world, her experience ranges from the Ultimate Kerala mess (a take on the Eton mess with local fruit and coulis) in South India to an afternoon tea concept in China, where the brief was ‘Botticelli, the sea, Chinese folk talks and the birth of Venus’. So, you know, fairly broad. But wherever Lily is, you can expect a unique artistry and fearless experimentation. As we talk, I get the sense that this appetite for artistic challenge is precisely why Lily Vanilli has grown as fast as it has. ‘‘I’m lucky that a lot of brands and clients come to me with their more unusual and creative briefs, so I get to experiment ➠





Lily Vanilli’s EAST LONDON

A PORTUGUESE LOVE AFFAIR “My favourite local spot for a while, the owners are really friendly and the atmosphere relaxed whether you’re going for a coffee, dinner, or wine and snacks. The food is delicious – I even had my birthday dinner here in March. They have a BBQ outside in the summer just by my house which I love. They also have the best pastel de natas in the country (officially – they literally won the award).” 142 Columbia Road, E2 7RG GILLETT SQUARE “The best spot for summer drinks and people watching, NT’s Bar in Netil House throw really fun parties here in the summer too. My friend Marawa has a hula hoop shop here too.” 3 Bradbury Street, N16 8JN ABNEY PARK CEMETERY “I love early morning walks here, you can get lost for hours among the graves and feel miles away from the high street you just left. There is a really pretty dapple from the light through the trees in the summer.” 215 Stoke Newington High Street, N16 0LH MARQUIS OF LANSDOWNE “I’ve been coming here for years to play pool, its one of the only places I still like in Dalston - open til about 2 most nights, weird, mixed crowd and a juke box” 48 Stoke Newington Road, N16 7XJ

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and play around more.’’ It was this experimentation that drew her to baking in the first place. What began as a childhood pastime baking scones and traditional cakes with her grandmother didn’t become an ‘obsession’ until her twenties. But when she began to study the science and method behind core baking staples, the passion was ignited. ‘‘I started baking a lot, experimenting with cake sculptures, recipes, ingredients and flavours’’, eventually setting up Lily Vanilli in 2008. Two years later the doors were opened to the public and the Sunday café began. But this wasn’t always the plan, she says, claiming that she’d never have had the courage to believe it was possible. Much like her seasonal ingredients, her growth has been organic. Starting out by selling a few cakes from her home in Hackney, she was soon able to set up shop, and has been in her current spot for almost eight years. She says, ‘‘I wanted to find a hidden gem and give people something to discover’’. It’s this curiosity and willingness to dive in that had led her to some of her proudest achievements. Taking opportunities as they come, she recently set up another bakery in Tbilisi, Georgia. ‘‘It just happened naturally! I love Tbilisi and I met some people who shared a vision for a modern bakery in the city. It’s such a cool city, everyone should visit!’’ This will, of course, mean that she’ll be spending more time in Tbilisi in the near future. But living five minutes from the bakery in Bethnal Green, she admits that she does miss popping in and out of the bakery when she’s away. Surrounded by a trusted team and a huge network of local suppliers and collaborators, London will always be her home. There is a strong sense of community – it is never ‘I’, but ‘we’, and for someone as successful as Lily, she’s remarkably egoless. Always one to champion others, she co-founded the Young British Foodie awards in 2012, which seeks out and celebrates young British talent in food and drink, judged by food giants such as Ottolenghi and Marina O’Loughlin. There’s no denying Lily Jones is a busy woman: she’s also written three recipe books, her most recent #BakeforSyria being the latest iteration of the #CookForSyria global movement. A collection of Syrian-inspired recipes and traditional desserts donated by celebrity chefs and Syrian families, it celebrates a really proud and long history of ‘‘some of the best food in the world’’, with 100% of the profits donated to the UNICEF Syrian relief fund. I’m exhausted just hearing about how much she has going on, so ask if there’s any downtime she can look forward to. Not really, she says, brimming with excitement. From the sound of it there are some seriously fun things on the horizon, but she’s keeping them under wraps for the present. However, as she looks out of the window at the cloudless blue sky she does admit, ‘‘I’m hoping to spend more time in London during the summer, working on projects here and baking in the café. London summer is the best’’. Couldn’t agree more. B Follow Lily on Instagram @lily_vanilli_cake lilyvanilli.com


Deep-Filled chocolate chip cookies with salted caramel (vegan) Makes 10-12 l








420g Billington’s Dark Muscovado sugar 225ml vegetable or olive oil 125ml water 500g plain flour 2 tsp baking powder 1½ tsp bicarbonate of soda 1 tsp salt (preferably good, flaked sea salt) 125g dark chocolate chips

You will need l

A cupcake or muffin pan, well greased

Note: make the caramel at least two hours ahead of the cookies. It will thicken up with time in the fridge and keeps well sealed airtight in the fridge for a week.

FOR THE COOKIES Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4. Mix together the oil, water and sugar until evenly mixed. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, salt and the chocolate chips, so the chips are nicely coated in the flour mix. Now just stir the dry mix into the oil mix, so it’s really evenly mixed and nice and smooth.Grease your cupcake or muffin pan really well, all the way to the top. Scoop in some of the cookie mixture so it fills the base of the muffin pan. Then spoon in some of the vegan caramel (see recipe below), then scoop some more of the cookie mixture on top. Sprinkle the top of the cookie with some more salt if you like. Bake for 16-18min – they should still be chewy and a bit soft, so don’t over bake them!




150g Billington’s Light Muscovado sugar 250ml coconut milk Salt (preferably good, flaked sea salt), to taste

Heat a heavy bottomed saucepan to a medium high heat. Now add the sugar and stir it around the pan for about 1 minute to heat through. Add the coconut milk and and sea salt, stir to combine. Bring everything to a boil, then reduce it to a mediumlow heat and let simmer for about 15 minutes, until the caramel has thickened, stirring occasionally. It should be sticking to the back of the spatula. Stir in your salt – don’t try to taste this while it’s hot, just wait until its cool, you can always add more salt. Remove pan from the heat and allow it to cool slightly (for around 10 minutes) before transferring to a sealed container and into the fridge for at least two hours – it will thicken up more in the fridge.


When it comes to dining out this summer, East is obviously best. From street food to soul food, we’ve got you covered

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lavished in creamy yoghurt, tamarind chutney, charred chickpeas, onions and tomatoes, and topped with a crispy lotus leaf. The result? A Sitting quietly on White’s Row, just off the bustle cooling delight of a dish. Soon after arrived arguably the star, if not beauty, of the show: of Commercial Street, you’ll find this petit spicy venison and vermicelli doughnut. Indian gem. But don’t let its small size belie you Ordered on intrigue alone, after many a its mighty reputation; Gunpowder is forever recommendation, it arrived dressed as a Scotch busy for a reason. In fact, we arrived just as it egg – a hearty beige ball hiding within a deeplyopened at 12pm on a rainy Tuesday, and within spiced interior, served with a sweet and spicy 20 minutes the place was full with drop-ins. dip. Its meaty centre and crispy shell ensured all Admittedly with only a dozen or so tables this the comfort of a box of Krispy Kremes, just with may feel like an easy feat, but then you think of more umami joy and less sickly sweetness. the many other restaurants vying for lunchThe rest of our food arrived, and as we goers’ attention within even a 100 metre radius. spooned moreish mouthful after mouthful into In terms of ‘vibe’, think exposed brick walls, our mouths, it became clear that the chefs at chalk-board menus and bare bulbs – in other Gunpowder really know what they’re doing. words, every bit East London understated High-quality ingredients are cooked with bright, and cool. This would seemingly reflect the vibrant flavours and a knowing food, which they themselves combination of spices. The bhuna describe as a ‘‘home-style ANYTHING BUT aubergine and crispy kale salad Indian kitchen’’. But just one HOMELY, with goat’s cheese, and saag with glance at the menu would ITS DISHES READ tandoori paneer were the perfect beg to differ. Anything but homely, its dishes read like LIKE CULINARY ode to veggie-centric cooking, as were the porzhi okra fries (AKA culinary poetry: karwari soft POETRY ‘lady fingers’). The whole meal shell crab and rasam ke bomb. could have been happily meatThe problem, of course, with free in fact (not withstanding that naughty such an enticing small platters menu like doughnut), but in the name of research we Gunpowder’s is that it’s easy to come over with thought we’d try ma’s kashmiri lamb chops too, a case of ‘kid-in-a-sweetshop’ syndrome and draped as they were in a juicy marinade – the order the whole thing. sort that seeps deep into the meat. We polished And so, we put our trust and meal in the them off, meat between our teeth, and were hands of our lovely waiter. She recommended both feeling ready to wind down with a chai tea we kick things off with the rasam ke bomb: when, quite unexpectedly, the aforementioned a zesty, tomatoey soup shot with a potatocrab turned up. Deep-fried in a light lentil-flour filled puri on top. Punchy and piquant, it was batter, skewered with a lime, and topped with reminiscent of a spiced-up Bloody Mary, only a garlicky, tomatoey compote, we soon found with less vodka and more umami-kick. Next up space – all in the name of research, of course. was their nod to traditional Indian street food gunpowderlondon.com – aloo chaat. Spicy and smoky potatoes were 11 WHITE’S ROW, E1 7NF




Born out of a love for American urban culture, this newly established Hoxton restaurant-cum-event space is ‘‘all about the streets, big beats, vibrant and colourful art and delicious, honest soul food. It’s earthy and it’s real’’. The colourful, eclectic graffiti inspired by the street art of NYC adorns the walls and they have several nights a week hosting live music, comedy, DJs and urban poetry and rhyme. The menu is full of tempting options and the staff will literally sit down beside you to talk you through the carefully curated seasonal and locally-sourced menu. The extensive drinks list, including numerous craft beers from around the world, will leave you spoilt for choice. Food is cooked from an open-plan kitchen, they make their patties for the ‘dirty burgers’ by hand, source the best succulent chicken for their speciality fried chicken and waffles and serve a delicious range of hand pressed tacos. This really is food for the soul! To start, it had to be the blackened Cajun popcorn shrimp with crispy Cajun popcorn shrimp & roast red pepper ketchup. Lightly spiced, it was an incredible and exciting twist on the real thing. Although the meat options seem absolutely incredible, Meat-free Monday guided our choice of vegan burgers – especially as they offer 25% off all vegan and vegetarian food every Monday. The waiter recommended ‘The Moving Mountain’ – a plant-based patty with house slaw, beetroot aioli, vegan cheese, baby gem lettuce, beef tomato and toasted vegan brioche. It was a juicy joy. Urban rhythms of soul, funk, hip-hop, jazz and R&B floated through the air as we scanned the tempting dessert menu. ‘Cookies and Cream’ (baked cookie dough, melted nutella, white chocolate ice cream) and ‘Vegan Chocolate Brownie’ with vegan salted caramel ice cream were the chosen BIG BEATS, ones. The combination of hot and cold; sweet and sticky, all VIBRANT AND dripping from the spoon, meant we didn’t put the spoons down. COLOURFUL ART The chilled vibes, welcoming staff, stunning food, great AND DELICIOUS, music and the large neon reading ‘Feed Your Soul’ made us feel even more relaxed and at home, although that may have been HONEST SOUL something to do with the porn star martinis…. FOOD



Every morning on the streets of Beijing, you’ll find hungry commuters queueing up along street vendors for a Jian Bing, a savoury breakfast pancake. But to call this beloved Chinese delicacy simply a ‘breakfast pancake’ doesn’t quite do it justice. Light and crispy in texture, and deep and tangy in flavour, just one bite is enough to convince a move east so you can gorge on them every morning. And by east, we mean East London. That’s because Pleasant Lady have brought the breakfasts of Beijing to the streets of Spitalfields. With a vendor in the centre of the market, you’ll spot it by the crowds. There’s something so therapeutic about watching the experts freshly make up your Jian Bing. The batter pours onto the hot plate and is swirled around, then topped with a cracked egg, tangy sauce, the herbs and spring onions and crispy wonton. And if you fancy adorning the original with a meaty morsel, they also offer Iberico Char Siu Pork, Cumin Spiced Lamb, or Grilled Miso Chicken. What better way to spend a sunny summer’s day than peoplewatching while you’re gorging on the champion of all street food?


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Gloria is a glorious mash up of an Italian trattoria x French bistro. It is sumptuous, over the top and totally camp but in the best way possible. Myself and my ‘date’ truly loved the décor; a big blousy affair of pink-fringed boudoir lamps, intimate booth seating, Mediterranean-tiled tables and ceramic pots housing lofty flora that climbed the ceilings, cascading over its customers. Gloria feels both glamorous and relaxed, think Versace mansion meets Italian mama’s Sicilian villa – here, minimalism is a dirty word. The service is attentive and charming albeit slightly weird with the orders being taken over a Nokia 3310 mobile! Naturally we started with a spritz, a Spritz Veneziano and a Capriani to be exact and a wonderful cichetto of deep-fried artichoke which was light and delicious and totally moreish served with an amazing aioli. This aperitivo relaxed us into our cushion-clad booth, sinking us into the continental mood. We hungrily anticipated our starter, spying other dishes as they danced to their tables from the kitchen. We were delighted when our burrata arrived, a generous portion and I think the creamiest and freshest I have ever tasted this side of the channel. Not to mention beastmag.co.uk

the incredible bread to go with it and the delectable olive oil to douse it all in – needless to say we were happy. Then, on with the spicy lamb ragu. A dish made for two, it was generously served on a deep filled plate. It has to be said that the ragu was a little on the thin side, and was not as rich as we would have liked however it still satisfied. Of course, there is always room for a little dessert, or should I say an iceberg of dessert. I opted for the lemon meringue tart – the fluffy, sweet stuff dreams are made of. A beautifully balanced lemoncurd custard with the creamiest of Italian meringue, I certainly will be returning for this dessert alone and since found myself, gazing into the distance, getting pudding flashbacks... Gloria is a gaudy welcome change to the restaurants we are inundated with today, an antithesis to the stripped back industrial décor that fills every crevice of Shoreditch. Yes, the food is good but I say it’s more about the occasion, the atmosphere. Gloria is a big night out. It is somewhere to get dressed up, sip cocktails and savour the food, without worrying that your allotted time slot is up.






Whether you’re a fan of a simple Margarita or a controversial Hawaiian, there’s always comfort in knowing what to expect from the humble pizza. But, it’s safe to say, Homeslice Shoreditch is shattering the expectations of pizza conventions, one 20" pizza at a time. With an ever-changing seasonal menu, this trendy spot rolls out the finest flavour combinations for East Londoners to feast on all year round. Having caught sight of a 20” pizza in real life we opt to go for half and half (kudos to you if you’re feeling ambitious to have one to yourself!). We toss up between the Cauliflower Shawarma, Tahini, Pomegranate and Chickpeas, the Spiced Lamb, Savoy Cabbage and Sumac Yoghurt and the Provisions’ 4 Cheese, Jalapeno Salsa and Rye Crumb with Garlic Oil, and both go for the latter – though it's a tough call. If you’re looking for pizzas with pizazz, then this is the place to go – just be prepared to roll yourself home! homeslicepizza.co.uk

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A Spitalfields refuge where you’ll want to dine and sip the day away, the recently evolved Galvin Hop is a thoroughly charming bar and French-Italian bistro-inspired gastrothéque. Brewery-fresh Czech Pilsner (some of the best beer in the world according to us) is housed in copper tanks above the welcoming bar where you can enjoy light bites and several glasses of Galvin Grande Réserve Brut Champagne or delicious cocktails. Rows of small tables are placed together in the bistro, Parisian-style, which in warmer months will no doubt spill outside. Acclaimed chefs, Chris and Jeff Galvin, serve up a short menu of carefully sourced ingredients, grown ethically by their loyal suppliers. The menu is uncompromising, with tender navarian of lamb, Jersey royals and spring vegetables sitting alongside artisanal charcuterie and farmhouse cheeses. The menu manages to hit the spot on any number of appetite specific levels, from sea bream ceviche with lime and chilli to the incredible slow-cooked suckling pig with smoked mash, shallots and PX jus. The quality and taste even extends to the vegetables and salads; crisp endive, Papillon Roquefort and walnuts or vegetable-packed minestrone, pesto and wild garlic. You won’t find a dish that disappoints. If you can’t decide on the wine, HOP’s cutting-edge wine system means you can sample all their boutique and delicious wines on tap, as well as by the bottle. The desserts are first rate too – Gariguette strawberries whipped cheesecake with pistachio and basil cress, and the Valrhona chocolate marquise with mint ice cream, a delight. Whether you’re with family and friends for Sunday roast, a work colleague for lunch or meeting a friend for a quick snack and drink, be sure to add Galvin HOP to your diary. galvinrestaurants.com/s/62/galvinhop

WHAT A VIEW Part of the new 42-story development at the Olympic Park, we’re itching to visit Allegra - a brand new restaurant and sky garden just days away from opening its doors. It boasts breathtaking views of London’s skyline and a seasonal menu served under Patrick Powell, former Head Chef of the Chiltern Firehouse - one for the summer bucket list! Opens June 6th, Olympic Park, 20-22 International Way, E20 1GQ beastmag.co.uk

East London Girl

There’s no where I’d rather be on a British summer’s day than East London. Here are my top picks for the best bars and pubs to gather with your best people Dalston Roof Park Set among Hackney’s Victorian buildings, the laid-back vibes of this rooftop garden make it a top sunny season spot. Not only is it a great space to relax, eat and drink with friends, but they are set to host a whole series of events this summer – from gigs, parties and poetry evenings to comedy nights and yoga sessions. They’ve also teamed up with Sassy Cidre, who will be serving light and refreshing floral cocktails all summer long, another reason why you’ll find me there in the coming months. The Print House, 18-22 Ashwin Street, E8 3DL @DalstonRoofPark

People’s Park Tavern Home to one of the biggest beer gardens in London, this popular Hackney establishment was one of my first finds when I arrived in East London almost five years ago. Situated on the north side of Victoria Park, the rows of benches and little huts in the garden are always bustling with happy people sipping on a cold drink. At the weekends you can enjoy bingo, brunch and booze for just £28, with bottomless Mimosas and Bloody Marys served with a side of comedy (trust me, it’s as fun as it sounds). And if you’ve got the stamina, DJs play until 1am on a Friday and 2am on Saturday. 360 Victoria Park Road, E9 7BT peoplesparktavern.pub

Netil 360 As one of the first rooftop bars to open in East London, this not-so-secret garden in the sky has been a firm fixture on the after-work summer drinks scene. Situated at the top of Netil House and only moments away from London Fields and Broadway Market, it offers an expansive terrace area to relax and party throughout the warmer months. The fact beastmag.co.uk

Follow Nicola King on Instagram at @EastLondonFoodieGirl eastlondongirl.com

it overlooks the overground train tracks just adds to that whole East London vibe. Expect panoramic views, communal tables, street food, local craft beers and cider, global wines and regular live sets from guest DJs. Just remember to arrive early to avoid disappointment as they don’t take bookings – the queue is always worth the wait though. 1 Westgate Street, E8 3RL netil360.com

Queen of Hoxton This has been my longtime favourite rooftop bar in East London for years. Tucked away at the corner of Curtain Road, it’s pretty unassuming from the outside, but if you venture five or so flights upstairs (no lift!), a large rooftop space welcomes you. Every year, a new theme is chosen to see through the summer, with this year’s being Las Mexicanas, so that's tacos, tequila and giant frozen Margaritas. It’s also cocktail hour on Monday to Friday with £5 tipples from 4-7pm, so go and grab yourself a thirst-quenching bargain. 1 Curtain Road, EC2A 3JX queenofhoxton.com

No 90 Hackney Wick is home to not only great graffiti, but some bloomin’ great bars too. And right in the heart of its creative hub, by the canal no less, sits this funky bar and kitchen. Inside its industrial-esque space, you’ll find large ceilings, hanging plants and rustic tables. But outside, on its terrace overlooking the canal, is where you want to be on a sunny day. Be it huddled close with friends or strangers at a table, or settled onto one of their oversized cushion chairs, just make sure you’ve got a glass of cold craft beer – or a juicy, rum-laced Slick Wick cocktail – in hand at all times. 90 Main Yard, Wallis Road, Hackney Wick, E9 5LN number90bar.co.uk BEAST



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Reach for the (MICHELIN)


It’s all change at Bōkan with new executive chef Guillaume Gillan at the helm. BEAST catches up with France's finest foodie export


ix-and-a-half years ago, Guillaume Gillan moved to London from Nice, France, to pursue a career as a chef. He couldn’t speak a word of English and job interviews were conducted through a friend brought along to translate. He moved from L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon to Bōkan in Canary Wharf, where he has just been promoted to executive chef. Aged just 27, he now oversees 26 chefs. Guillaume spent two years at Bōkan before being asked by the outgoing executive chef, Aurelie Altemaire, to take over her role: “It was my baby for two years. I knew everything. I knew the place really well,” he says. In this time, he’s been able to make his mark on the menu. He’s now using his influence to celebrate the very best local ingredients in radical takes on quintessential European dishes. “Now it’s a bit more me, and my touch on the dishes,” says Guillaume. And he’s rewritten the rulebook when it comes to one of his native staples, French onion soup. “It’s classic French onion soup, but it doesn’t look like onion soup,” he adds. His slow-cooked onion and beef stock velouté is served alongside beef tongue and short rib, cooked for 24 hours, which is shredded to make a croquette. Explaining the provenance of his ingredients, Guillaume says: “The vegetables are all from England. All our meat and fish is from the UK, and all our birds and lamb are from Rhug Estate, an organic farm in Wales. To work with good produce is always important.” But how does he feel about working with English cheese? “Even though I’m from France, all of our cheeseboard is from England. Some people say the best cheese is from France. I used to say this.” In his understated way, he continues, “but now I know English cheese is really nice”. Bōkan currently has two AA rosettes, but they’d love to go beyond a third. “We’re aiming for a Michelin star,” adds Guillaume. “We are working hard to achieve our dream.” B bokanlondon.co.uk

An easy going hideaway with striking views across London and a crafted menu inspired by rich European cultural cuisines



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From Georgian townhouse luxury to a floating hotel, we’ve got all the ingredients for a thoroughly chic city break


THE ROOKERY , Clerkenwell


You may not have heard of The Rookery. You almost certainly won’t have just stumbled upon it. That’s because this Georgian hotel is nestled away so discreetly down a lane near Smithfield’s meat market that even if you did happen upon it, you’d probably just ooh and ahh at its architectural charm, perhaps snap a pic for #prettycitylondon and then move on. But if you were to come across it, say in a cool East London magazine, and did book a room here, you’d be in for a sumptuous stay of soul-pleasing proportions. Oozing history, character and charm, as soon as you enter this 18th-century abode, you’ll feel your shoulders drop. It’s the sort of place that envelopes you immediately in that warm, fuzzy, home-from-home feeling – except the ‘home’ is something far posher than you probably live having arrived after a Sunday spent shooting the fabulous cover in. Although ‘posh’ is far from how you’d describe its colourful for this issue, I was tired and happy and with a mind buzzing history, with it once being home to an eclectic bunch of East with creativity. It was also a mind that needed switching off, so London dwellers including tanners, coal dealers, glass stainers, I left my phone upstairs and headed downstairs to their garden boot makers and cheesemongers throughout the 19th century. room, book in hand. And it’s there I sat in my cosy nook, for three The interiors are period charm with a touch of mischief, with luxuriously-long hours. stern-looking oil paintings hanging on the wall, lavishly patterned Before I knew it, the clock had struck 10pm. Turns out you’re soft furnishings, expensive antique furniture still a tyrant to time, even if you do feel wholly and an honesty bar stocked to the brim. It’s removed from it. I returned to my room, rested THE INTERIORS warmly lit and welcoming, yet with an exclusive and adamant to not touch my phone before ARE PERIOD CHARM sleep. To avoid any temptation, I ran myself a air about it. The communal areas feel more private home than hotel, with a library room bath in my room’s grand, chessboard-floored WITH A TOUCH OF and garden room. My boudoir was my favourite bathroom and wiled another hour away MISCHIEF spot though. The hotel has 33 suites and rooms, reading and pampering with the REN bath and mine was named after the imminent local products provided. surgeon Henry Bennet Smith. It had two big windows, heavily It’s worth noting that there’s no restaurant at The Rookery, but draped, looking out over the urban bustle below. The first thing that doesn’t matter. The hotel is located in what’s oft referred to I clocked, though, was the bed. Big and inviting, it beckoned as ‘the Soho of the East’, and there are a wealth of fine eateries me forth into its soft embrace. I couldn’t help but have a wee right on your doorstop (my favourite are Humble Grape and half-an-hour nap, bathed as I was in that glorious, golden, lateApulia). What you can expect, though, is to be woken to an afternoon light. I woke to a gentle tap at the door: afternoon tea abundant room-service breakfast of smoked salmon and cream was delivered. Is there anything quite as spoiling as a warm pot of cheese bagel, green smoothie, freshly brewed filter coffee and fresh tea, made with loose tea leaves, enjoyed in sweet solitude fruit. As if I needed another reason to not leave? on a Sunday? I think not. Rooms from £161 per night I can’t tell you how best to spend an evening here, but I can 12 Peter’s Lane, EC1M 6DS recommend it’s away from a screen. I speak from experience; rookeryhotel.com beastmag.co.uk






THE GOOD HOTEL, Royal Victoria Dock ‘Sleep good, do good’ is the with an eye for trends of the moment, such as plants, ever so simple, yet quietly monochrome colours, natural light and a communal powerful mantra of this spirit. Its main ‘living room’ area offers shared aptly-named hotel. Or should we say ‘floatel’, because working space, cracking views and comfy seating it’s on the water that you’ll the historical Royal with magazines (such as BEAST) scattered around Victoria Docks, on the River Thames to be precise. generously. There’s also a roof-top bar for those The Good Hotel, part of the globally-growing and balmy summer evenings, a restaurant and a café. The not-for-profit Good Group, was sailed across from vibe, as it were, is very cool. The decor, industrial chic. the Netherlands in November 2016. And the atmosphere? Friendly, with a Since then, it has been providing distinct creative buzz in the air. THE HOTEL stylish, premium-quality hotel The utilitarian corridors have, PROVIDES AN accommodation in a great location, unsurprisingly, the feeling of a INSPIRING, with all its profits going to good compact ship. The rooms are certainly causes in the process. on the ‘bijoux’ side, with a real cabin EMPOWERING The hotel itself boasts 148 feel to them, but the fixtures and MODEL FOR A rooms and four suites, many with fittings are of the highest quality, the SOCIAL panoramic views over the docks. beds are super comfy and there’s a Its design is carefully conceived great tea tray for your before-bed or ENTERPRISE 46 B E A S T


morning brew. Breakfast is a simple affair – croissants, fresh fruit and filter coffee, but being able to hear birds sing and watch the shimmering river is no doubt a bonus. Yet despite feeling far away from the urban bustle of London, the hotel is factually well connected to all forms of public transport – it’s a few minutes walk to Royal Victoria on the DLR line. Better still, its prices for a double room start at £89 per night, which really does make it a great-value option for this part of town. But as much as we enjoyed our night’s stay, arguably the real story is not how great it is to stay at The Good Hotel, but rather the charitable work that is being done locally and abroad in the name of hospitality. With all the profits going to back into the business and charitable donations often being made from each stay, the hotel provides an inspiring, empowering model for a social enterprise. Here in our own East London community, it offers opportunities for training and employment for disadvantaged and unemployed members of the local Newham community, with over 300 people being trained to date – over 70% of which still remain in employment. On so many levels The Good Hotel is doing, well, good. It gets the BEAST vote for an affordable stay on the more eastern edge of East London. Rooms from £89 per night Royal Victoria Dock, Western Gateway, Royal Docks, E16 1FA goodhotellondon.com

If you’re interested in booking this wonderful course, email italy@rebelrebel.co.uk rebelrebel.co.uk

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Tuscany Summer Flower School


What could be better for the soul than learning floristry among the olive groves and blue skies of Tuscany? This Hackney flower shop seems to agree. They are taking their expertise to the mountains near Barga for a five-day workshop, where you'll stay on an organic farm. 5-9 August 2019. Prices from ÂŁ1,550





A real gem Situated at one end of the Southend ‘Golden Mile’, Thorpe Bay is a timeless, charming English coastal town and one of its jewels is undoubtedly the four-star Roslin Beach Hotel. They say that first impressions count, and from the grand splendour of its terraced frontage to the 1920’s chic of the interior, we knew that our stay would be special. Our room was perfect. The super king-sized bed backed onto a marble-clad en suite with a choice of invigorating shower or a bath you could lose yourself in. And upon opening the balcony doors, we were treated to wonderful views across the sparkling estuary, miles of award-winning beaches and of course that world-famous pier. Pre-dinner drinks called, and gathered around the hotel bar was an eclectic mix of clientele for the evening. Families and couples mixed easily with ‘young hipsters’, providing an atmosphere that was relaxed with just a hint of excitement – everyone gathered knew how to have a great Saturday night out! A dry Martini was the prequel to our meal in the hotel’s award winning restaurant where we were introduced to our hostess for the evening, Anne Marie. She guided us through the four-course menu and extensive wine list. Everything sampled, from charcutuerie to scallop, from fillet steak to sea bass, was faultless. After a perfect night’s sleep, we were treated to the hotel’s extensive breakfast buffet in the terrace restaurant, accompanied once more by that wonderful sea view. The Roslin Beach Hotel had so much more to offer, but alas we did not have time to sample the Spa Retreat, the exquisite afternoon tea and the beachside terrace. But we vowed to return soon, very soon. Rooms at Roslin Beach Hotel start from £74. roslinhotel.com 50 B E A S T




Peacock Cut Out Recycled Eco-fabric Swimsuit Buttress & Snatch, £145, buttressandsnatch.co.uk

Newington Floral Jade Sandals Peponita, £139.00 95 Columbia Road, E2 7RG peponita.com

Zero Waste Shampoo and Body Wash Unisex Beauty Kubes, £8.50, beautykubes.co.uk

TAKE A Freddie Waxed Cotton Holdall in Cobalt Ally Capellino, £350.00 allycapellino.co.uk

Calm Balm

Skin & Tonic London, £12.50 skinandtoniclondon.com

Samuel dress saffrom L.F.Markey, £160 lfmarkey.com

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Bamford Travel Kit Bamford, £60.00 bamford.co.uk

Bulldog - Abstract Good Wives and Warriors Mid-Length Swim Shorts Orlebar Brown, £225.00, orlebarbrown.com

BREAK Jetting off near or far this summer? Here's our ultimate holiday edit

Corazon Hat Bamford, £150 bamford.co.uk

US Miliatry trainer natural/black by Reproduction of Found £83, hubshop.co.uk

Everilda Sunglasses in Dark Turtle Cubitts, £125.00 cubitts.com

Balder Shrt - Ecru Surf by Kings of Indigo £140, hubshop.co.uk

Julie Attwood, creative director of Pirmid Designs

The art of design Jenna Buck, founder of independent estate agency EastHaus, recently caught up with interior designer Julie Attwood, Creative Director of Pirmid Designs, whose latest project is One James Lane, a collection of five stunning design-led three-bedroom houses in Leytonstone, E10. Jenna and Julie talk interior trends, design tips and where to go hunting for that perfect piece

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How did you first get into interior design?

Where do you get your inspiration from?

After studying at the London College of Fashion, my journey began working for fashion houses in the heart of the rag trade. My first interior design project was my first house. It was here that I found my passion for curating spaces. I have spent my life going to French brocante fairs, buying furniture, fabric and decorative items.

Inspiration comes from my everyday life. I find beauty in the structure of things, from architecture and fashion to nature. With design I think it’s important to rely on your intuition. I love to create an eclectic mix of textures and cultures in all of my projects.

What does interior design encompass? In London especially, I believe design has to be not only about styling, but functionality. Since working with SN Developments (the developers behind One James Lane), I have been more involved with the structural flow of the properties. Working alongside architects, I can give a different perspective on the use of space.

One James Lane is a unique collection of houses. Were you given a guide as to what kind of feel the houses should have or did you have free rein to use your creativity? I was very lucky to have been given creative freedom with One James Lane. The houses are unique, affordable homes with character. Too often today, new builds mean square box, but we wanted to design something that was exciting while not breaking the bank. beastmag.co.uk

What are the stand-out features in the houses for you? I love how the minute you step into the front door, you’re stepping into the heart of the house. The kitchen creates a sense of tranquillity and calm, the feeling that as soon as you walk in, you can just sit at the island, make a cup of tea and shut out the world. The vaulted master suite is also stunning, it takes the entire top floor of the house and oozes luxury. In terms of the design itself, I love the nod to its industrial past with the exposed brickwork and floor-to-ceiling windows.

One James Lane has some beautiful pieces – we particularly love the bathroom tiling and the fab artwork in the living room. Where do you source your furnishings from? At the start of a project, I can spend weeks searching for the right pieces and sometimes it only takes one beautiful vintage piece that will then set the design for the room. I source decorative items from all over. The Pencil Artwork in the living room is from Andrew Martin, the wooden sculpture with black plinth I purchased from Battersea decorative fair from Lee Wright Antiques. Flooring and tiling is an area that I like to be more creative

Living room, One James Lane, E10

with – the tiles I used are hand-painted concrete tiles from Ca’Pietra.

What do you see as the main interior trends for 2019? I believe that consumers are becoming more conscious throughout all aspects of their life. I see 2019 as moving into more organic, natural and eco-friendly materials, crystals and semi-precious stones. Palette tones, muted corals, ochre, burnt yellows. B See more of Julie’s portfolio at pirmiddesign.com The houses at One James Lane are currently for sale with EastHaus. For more information, visit easthaus.co.uk

Kitchen and bathroom, One James Lane, E10

Julie’s TOP 5 TIPS for making an impact in your home on a budget 1. UPCYCLING Replacing a kitchen can be very expensive, but you can make big changes by spray-painting unit doors and changing handles. Fitting a sheet of tarnished copper or brass as your splashback can transform your kitchen. 2. DON’T BE AFRAID OF PATTERNS Replacing bathroom tiles with geometricpatterned tiles can make a real impact and make the space more current. 3. ADD COLOUR The simplest way to update your home is by adding colours from soft furnishings. Layering with fabrics, cushions, throws and adding new artwork or some house plants. Another way to add colour to a space is by creating a feature wall. 4. AUCTION HOUSES are another good source for purchasing interesting items at reasonable prices, and mixing styles creates depth and interest. 5. MIRRORS are indispensible in a room to reflect light, create depth and reflection. A mirror placed in a hallway is very important, and in my mind the larger the better.





ACTION You may think Tower Hamlets is an unlikely place to host some of the best blockbuster films around, but you’d be wrong, says Leonie Helm

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hat do Tower Hamlets and Hollywood have in common? More than you’d imagine, it turns out. While Tower Hamlets may not boast beautiful beaches, a juice bar or yoga studio on every corner, it has in fact provided the backdrop for some seriously major blockbuster films, Spider-Man and Wonder Woman to name a just a couple. The Tower Hamlets Film Office, managed by The Film Office, are the facilitators of all this local excitement. Hackney is no stranger to a bit of cool glamour in this day and age, but to many who know East London of old, the idea of Israeli actress Gal Gadot swanning around the Wick is one of pure fantasy. Having said that, back in November the Tower Hamlets Film Office managed filming for Wonder Woman in Schwarz Wharf, just around the corner from the popular Crate Brewery, where Gal may have chilled out after a hard day’s filming. In fact, The Film Office offer support to any filming happening in Tower Hamlets, Newham, Enfield, Waltham Forest and Merton, from Hollywood blockbusters to small independent films. beastmag.co.uk

WEST MEETS EAST Mission Impossible, Mary Poppins, Wonder Woman and SpiderMan are just a few of the flicks that swapped the sun-kissed shores and historic studios of California in favour of Tower Hamlets. And surprising but true, the stunning Leopold Buildings on Columbia Road (accommodation we’ve all lusted after) apparently look more like New York than New York, providing a cinematic backdrop for the famous city in the Oscar-winning film Bohemian Rhapsody. What’s more, you might have caught glimpses of actor Tom Holland swinging around the likes of York Hall, Raine’s Foundation School and Tower Bridge Wharf in Spider-Man: Far From Home, which is due for release this summer. The film stars Tom Holland, Samuel L Jackson and Jake Gyllenhaal – all in Tower Hamlets! And fans of BBC show Luther (or just of Idris Elba) will recognise many well-known East London locations in the gritty detective drama, including summer’s day staple Victoria Park and Robin Hood Gardens estates, which are currently under development.



Idris Elba and Nahimul Islam during a Q&A with the Luther cast.

Spotlight Centre, which helps inspire local youth creativity and holds sessions for teenagers specifically interested in grime music, and a group of students were able to not only watch the production process, but be in the video themselves. East End family-run business Empress Coaches are a stalwart of the area, having been in operation since 1923 (if you’ve ever been on a school trip out of East London, you’ll have been on an Empress). The gem of a courtyard in which they were based has been the setting for Fast & Furious, Legend, Mortdecai and Luther. Creatives have always been attracted to the strong identity and versatility of the East End, and it’s good to know that the rest of the world has recognised the area for its cinematographic worth. B

But the Tower Hamlets Film Office does not just allow huge film companies to roll into town to take from this glorious borough. This is very much a community affair, and The Film Office and film companies OFFER YOUR OWN HOUSE give back to the communities they You can even register your own property at profit from. For example, after the filmhub.co.uk and see your gaff featured in filming of Bohemian Rhapsody, Tower the next blockbuster or indie classic. Hamlets Community Housing – the They're also expanding The Film Office into charitable house provider of Leopold Newham, Enfield, Waltham Forest and Merton Buildings – said: “Disruptions to the where a whole host of exciting film locations local community are always kept to are being discovered – such as Millennium Mills, a minimum and through The Film empty offices and spooky empty hospitals. Office’s support, local residents have Only last month, they facilitated a fashion benefited from donations helping photoshoot for PYLOT Magazine. Gucci, Vivienne Westwood and Alexander McQueen with brightening up estates, such as all flocked to Stratford’s Shopping Centre for bulb planting through to assistance the shoot entitled “What Makes A Man?”. with a pensioner’s Christmas party.” Go to The Film Office website for the And Bow-born Dizzee Rascal latest news – you never know, your street came back to his roots in Poplar last could be next. If you would like to register your November, when filming for his new property as a location for film and photography, music video Don’t Gas Me in Poplar. please head on over to filmhub.co.uk The Film Office got in touch with The

Register your property and read the latest at filmhub.co.uk or towerhamlets.filmoffice.co.uk

and register for free!






With so many of us eschewing fast fashion in favour of not buying new, charity shops are having somewhat of a renaissance. Manon Richard, manager of Mary’s Living & Giving in Stoke Newington, has been shopping in charity and vintage shops since long before they were trendy. She knows exactly what makes her customers tick. Mary’s Living & Giving charity shops are well known for their vibrant displays, boutique feel and high-end clobber (designer clothes are often donated by brands) and the Stokey branch is no exception. Manon adds new pieces daily to keep eagle-eyed bargain hunters on their toes, and rotates the stock fortnightly. And it’s not just clothes – Manon also sells plants, each of which she personally names. She’s always looking for keen volunteers to help with window dressing, stock taking and sales in her buzzing, cheery store. “When you visit the shop, you will always feel our good vibes and happiness,” she says. “We always play funk, disco or electronic music, and obviously some French songs sometimes. Find our playlist Funky Shop on Spotify.” B 155 Stoke Newington Church Street, N16 OUH Follow @mlg_stokey on Instagram


Mary’s Living & Giving charity shop in Stokey is a labour of love for Manon Richard



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Beast magazine ISSUE 6  

East London magazine - discover the people and places that make the area, plus the best bars, restaurants and places to go

Beast magazine ISSUE 6  

East London magazine - discover the people and places that make the area, plus the best bars, restaurants and places to go

Profile for beastmag

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