E1 Life Christmas Issue 2016

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Take me, I’m yours


We meet the Andy Warhol of Marrakech


Why the East is set to dazzle this festive season BUSINESS







LAUNCHING THURSDAY 10TH NOVEMBER, 5.30PM - 8.30PM FROM STUNNING NEW SALES SUITE Introducing a stylish new collection of one, two and three bedroom apartments set around the beautifully landscaped grounds of Mallon Gardens. Intelligently designed and well-appointed, each apartment has a private balcony, winter garden or terrace and all benefit from daily concierge services. With easy access to the best of the City and London’s vibrant East End, London Square Spitalfields also enjoys outstanding transport links from both Aldgate East and Liverpool Street.

To RSVP call 0333 666 0110 The Sales Suite, Commercial Street, London, E1 7SA, open daily from 10th November

0333 666 0110


External computer generated images depict London Square Spitalfields, internal computer generated images depict Apartment 10 at London Square Spitalfields and are indicative only. Details are correct at time of going to press, November 2016.


Wamuhu, photography by Hassan Hajjaj 2014/1435 Courtesy of Taymour Grahne Gallery, New York, USA

P 14 Well HelloFresh, pleased to meet you

P 19 Talking the talk at East London Radio

P 22 There ain’t nothing like a dame

P 24 The East-End artist who mashes it up

P 28 Flaming Nora, the grub’s good as well

P 36 Spitalfields folks are effortlessly stylish

P 42 Fitness to make you feel that 80s burn

P 50 Rocking around the Christmas tree

P 59 A taxidermist’s flights of fancy

PUBLISHER: Rosie Coxshaw EDITOR: Kelly Beswick CREATIVE DIRECTOR: Nicky Acketts ADVERTISING DIRECTOR: Nicola Euesden BUSINESS & PROPERTY EDITOR: Eric Woollard-White ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR: Ed Gibbs FOOD & DRINK WRITERS: Liam Barker & Anoop Parikh BEAUTY WRITER: Lily Earle FEATURE WRITERS: Catherine Hudson, Sam Montague, Katie Savin SUB-EDITOR: Gemma Rollason SOCIAL MEDIA: Charlotte Clarke Printed by Full Spectrum Circulation: RCP Media Published by RC Publishing Ltd: 0203 011 1194; info@e1ife.co.uk While every care is taken, RC Publishing Ltd cannot accept responsibility for unsolicited submissions, omissions or errors. Prices correct at time of going to press. All rights reserved.

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Only the hottest and most happening make the grade

1. WATER, WATER EVERYWHERE Fancy a leisurely stroll along the Hackney canal, but don’t want to leave the warmth and comfort of your sitting room? Well now you can enjoy all this amazing waterway has to offer without stepping outside thanks to a captivating new book by local photographer Freya Najade. Taking you on a slow boat from the Regents Canal to the River Lea, Along the Hackney Canal (Hoxton Mini Press, £14.95) captures the eerily evocative beauty and wilderness that lies in the heart of our great city to stunning effect. hoxtonminipress.com

2. MAKE MINE A SLICE A certain someone (clue: his birthday is fast approaching) famously changed water into wine, but did you know a local firm is turning bread into beer? Dalston-based Toast was founded by Tristram Stuart, an award-winning food waste campaigner who sources fresh, surplus bread to create eminently drinkable pale ale. The bread is toasted and mixed with malted barley, hops, yeast and water, adding a caramel note to the brew At £3 a bottle, it’s not cheap, but all profits go to Feedback, a charity that works to eliminate food waste, so win, win! toastale.com

3. BOX SET A Christmas market selling art, design and craft gifts along with seasonal pop-ups are just a few of the festive offerings Boxpark has in store over the holiday period. Among the temporary residents are present-wrapping service WrapperSnapper (wrappersnapper.co.uk), sock start-up Jollie (jolliegoods.com), whose British-made socks help support the homeless, and a mini Christmas tree gift delivery service (to decorate at home) from Bloom & Wild (bloom andwild.com). boxpark.co.uk

4. GUILT-FREE COCKTAILS The UK’s first alcoholic juice bar, Supernatural, has popped up on the first floor of Old Spitalfields Market until 28th November. The drinks combine artisan spirits, cold-press juice mixers, kale bitters, nutrient-dense raw coconut, nut milks and fresh ingredients – try the Pina Kaleada with rum, coconut milk, kale and citrus-smoked sea salt together with power-packed wheatgrass. The nourishment is carried through to the food offering, which includes healthconsious fare, from cacao coconut chia pudding for brekkie to superfood-topped organic corn chips. sprntrl.co.uk 5. PHOTOGRAPHIC EVIDENCE As any long-time resident will tell you, East London has undergone a dramatic transformation in the past few decades, and nothing better captures those changes than a new exhibition of historic photos depicting the everyday life of working-class folk. Curated by artists Lucy Harrison and Katherine Green, the exhibition at the Vestry House Museum, brings together images of the people living on the Warner Estates, a well-respected private form of social housing, before gentrification altered the area beyond recognition. One thing remains the same, however, as several of the photos testify, come Christmastime, nothing

Take a journey along the waterways of East London with photographer Freya Najade’s new book





will ever beat a get-together around a tinsel-festooned tree. walthamforest.gov.uk 6. RIBBET, RIBBET Fast becoming a Spitalfields stalwart since its summer opening, The Frog E1 has transformed its terrace into a gorgeous dining space, meaning that, despite it being nearly Christmas, you can still enjoy the outside, but with the warmth of the indoors. And talking of the festivities, chef Adam Handling has introduced a special menu that pits the traditional (turkey

and all the trimmings) against a more radical offering (cod, clams and white beans). Both sound good to us. Bon appetit! thefrogrestaurant.com 7. FULL OF BEANS Grind continues to go from strength to strength, with the coffee and cocktail specialists now boasting five new London locations, while staying true to its Shoreditch roots. Indeed, just round the corner from the Old Street Roundabout original, the company recently opened its HQ. It’s in a converted Victorian warehouse (originally built, appropriately, for coffee storage) and even has its own roastery where a small team take fresh coffee to giddy new heights. grind.co.uk 8. MAN WITH A MISSION His Tapas Revolution on Bethnal Green Road brought a taste of the real Spain to Shoreditch, but chef Omar Allibhoy, ‘the Che Guevara of Spanish Cooking’, isn’t stopping there. Determined to spread the word (forget greasy croquetas and sloppy paella) to a wider audience, his latest cookbook has just been published – Spanish Made Simple (Quadrille, £20) – in time for you to give your festive offerings a tasty Spanish slant. tapasrevolution.com

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9. SEEING IS BELIEVING Nothing’s guaranteed to get you in the Yuletide spirit as much as a classic Christmas movie and thanks to Pop Up Screens, you’ll be spoilt for choice. Creating a winter wonderland at the Hackney Showroom, complete with all manner of delicious fare, audiences will enter the cinema through a wardrobe where films such as Elf, It’s Wonderful Life, Love Actually and How the Grinch Stole Christmas will work their magic. popupscreens.co.uk 10. TUDOR THOUGHT IT? Visit Sutton House on any weekend between Saturday 26th November and Sunday 18th December to experience a Christmas market with a difference. The National Trust Tudor manor on Homerton High Street is being transformed into a winter wonderland with pantomime-themed rooms. As well as hosting assorted stalls and street food vendors, there’ll also be carols, film previews, local theatrical productions and even an appearance by Santa. nationaltrust.org.uk/ sutton-house 11. RAISE YOUR GLASS It probably won’t be a surprise to local imbibers, but at the recent World’s 50 Best Bar Awards, an incredible five are situated on the doorstep. Yes, the area’s reputation as a hotbed of mixology is still intact, thanks to the endeavours of The Gibson (number 6), Happiness Forgets (10), Nightjar (19), Oriole (32) and Callooh Callay (48). To celebrate, we suggest a bar crawl, but knowing the potency of their cocktails perhaps not… worlds50bestbars.com



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12. PICTURE PERFECT If you’ve been to the Globe Theatre lately, you’ll be familiar with the surreal illustrations of local artist Dan Hillier, whose distinctive work promoted the summer season. So happy were they with his intricately inked, fantastical humannature hybrids that he’s been asked to illustrate the Winter Wonder Season too. To see Dan’s work, visit the Sunday Upmarket at The Old Truman Brewery where you can pick up original digital and screen prints at reasonable prices. sundayupmarket.co.uk

13. TRADING PLACES Thanks to a super-successful crowd-funding campaign Well Street Market is about to relaunch. In keeping with its nearby neighbour, Broadway Market, it promises top food and drink stalls, as well as activities to support the local community, including a Teenage Market to help nurture young entrepreneurs in the area, a Student Maker’s Market that includes free business training to local creatives. And as it’s nearly the season to be jolly, cash has been set aside for Christmas lights, making it a twinkly, timely addition to the neighbourhood. wellstreetmarket.co.uk

Well I never…

In 1919 a 21-year-old East End grocer called Jack Cohen started trading from a barrow in Well Street Market. He went on to launch of one of Britain’s most successful businesses, namely Tesco.

Treat a loved one this Christmas

Buy a Cass short course gift voucher Architecture and Interiors | Fashion and Textiles | Film and Photography | Fine Art and Printmaking | Furniture and Upholstery | Graphics and Illustration | Jewellery and Silversmithing | Music and Instrument Making | Restoration and Conservation | RIBA Continuing Professional Development courses | Software and Digital Design

londonmet.ac.uk/TheCassShortCourses +44 (0)20 7320 1842


Now taking bookings for Christmas and New Year. For our full festive offering please contact our reservations team. LIVE MUSIC EVERY FRIDAY SATURDAY SUNDAY IN THE CHURCHILL LOUNGE UNTIL CHRISTMAS Churchill Lounge also available for private christmas functions

The Woodford, 159 High Road, London, E18 2PA w: thewoodford.co.uk t: 020 8504 5952 e: reservations@thewoodford.co.uk

Evening Standard Restaurant of the Year 2016


party party

Cocktails & canapés SECRET GARDEN BAR, SOUTH PLACE HOTEL It’s all happening at the South Place Hotel’s Secret Garden bar, which quite frankly won’t remain a secret for much longer if it carries on like this. Recently it transformed itself into Le Jardin de Chambord, a flamingo-adorned, palm tree-festooned month-long mecca to all things raspberry liquerrelated, with the Chambord Royale slipping down a treat, cheers! And now it’s become a luxurious winter wonderland for grown-ups, serving festive cocktails and seasonal canapés. Heck, they’re even promising a sporadic snowfall. Talk about all our Christmases...

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Comfort and joy

In your space

Fancy delicious, homecooked food, but lack either the time or the inclination to get in that kitchen? Well now there’s an app for that. Called Trybe (not to be confused with similar sounding apps, see below), and just launched in East London, it connects enthusiastic home cooks with their hungry neighbours. Whether Caribbean, Japanese or Jamaican, you can now dine on authentic, freshly prepared meals, or alternatively you might want to share your own cooking skills with a wider audience. try.be

Top tweets, pics and postings, plus apps and openings with a digital edge

Get fit fast

You name it

If you thought emojis were just a passing fad, then think again. The 16x16 little icons of delight have never been so popular – heck, Twitter even has a dedicated emoji designer (see page 66). But for those who like to keep it local, check out Fanmoji, where the Londonmojis section contains loads of lovely icons inspired by the capital, many of them specifically pertaining to the East. From familiar street signs to bearded Shoreditch hipsters, making your whereabouts known has never been so easy. fanmoji.co.uk

You know how Uber managed to revolutionise the way we hail taxis? Well now TruBe is looking to do the same, but instead of cabs it will help build your abs by matching you with local personal trainers. Just download the app, select your favoured PT, choose your workout and book, it really is as simple as that. You can exercise anywhere, at any time and even rally your mates round to workout as a group. One-off sessions £50, bundles start at £99. trubeapp.com

Office romance

If you haven’t already, check out cool co-working space provider Shoreditch Platform. It offers pay-as-you-go workspaces and a lounge/cocktail area where you can cultivate your business for as little as £5 an hour. Opt to work in the members’ lounge or a quiet workspace, with tea and coffee supplied free of charge. Colleagues and friends are welcome, too, while events take place regularly in the lounge. Just remember your laptop. shoreditchplatform.cobot.me

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Think pink

When we asked on Twitter what was the point of the pink Oyster readers, it seems that many of you were as perplexed as us. At Hackney, Stratford and Whitechapel Stations, they’re actually a money-saving device, working out a route that avoids you entering costly Zone 1!

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Outstanding Physics Teacher Programme 9 days of top quality face-to-face education lead by UCL Institute of Education.

January 2017 - July 2017 A free Teacher Subject Specialism Training course for teachers who wish to secure their Physics subject knowledge All sessions will take place in St Paul's Way Trust School, E3 4FT See our flyer for full details available from www.spwt.net/cpd-leadership Application deadline: 8th December 2016

St Paul’s Way Education



In the space of just four years, HelloFresh has become one of the biggest, brightest and best recipe box delivery services in the country. With its shiny new HQ just opened on Worship Street, we talk to co-founder Patrick Drake about the company’s phenomenal success and why it was always destined to be based East side


Patrick can still be found, spoon in hand, tasting the latest recipes to come out the HelloFresh test kitchen



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If you’re not familiar with HelloFresh, then you must have been hiding under a boulder for the past few years. A bit like chuggers, its bright young things (the company is teeming with bouncy twentysomethings) approach you outside tube stations and on busy high streets, but rather than wanting to take your money for a good cause, they want to give you money. Well, not money in the physical sense but in the form of a discount card that will allow you to sample one of their recipe boxes at a vastly reduced rate. And while certainly not a charity, the folks at HelloFresh truly do believe they’re working for a worthwhile cause, giving their customers everything they need to create highquality, nutritious, healthy and delicious meals for themselves, their friends and their families. Indeed, the arrival of a HelloFresh box feels a bit like Christmas, as you eagerly rip open the packaging (mostly recyclable, with the company being big on sustainability) to reveal a treasure trove of different ingredients and recipe cards that form complete kits for up to five generously portioned meals, with number depending on box type – the choices being Classic, Vegetarian or Family. Whether it’s Moroccan cod parcels, grilled aubergine spaghetti or pork satay burgers, you can rest assured you’ll have everything you need, right down to the dinkiest little pot of some particularly obscure spice. The recipes themselves are fairly simple, easy-to-follow and quick, averaging around 30 minutes from start to finish, so perfect for midweek suppers. Cost wise, it works out at between £4.99 to £6.50 per meal, again depending on box ➦

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choice, so not exactly cheap, but not prohibitively expensive either when you consider the efficiency (food waste is massively reduced) and convenience. It’s a formula that’s winning and not just in this country but in eight others as well, with HelloFresh sending out 8.5 million meals globally last month. Evidence of that success can be found in its new UK headquarters on Worship Street, a previously unprepossessing office block that’s been given an amazing makeover and is now all reclaimed wood and urban edginess with a smattering of vintage thrown in. From the reception-cum-coffee shop and the gorgeous open-plan kitchen, lounge and dining area to the vast floor-to-ceiling library of cookbooks and an amphitheatre partially enclosed by sea containers serving as meeting rooms, it’s a quirky and eclectic space, full of warmth and texture, and one that HelloFresh co-founder, Patrick Drake, hopes is reflective of not just the brand but also the area. “I love East London, it feels so alive,” says Patrick, 37, who moved to Old Street five years ago and became so enamoured with the area that he resolved

“There’s such a feeling of energy and change in East London. It pushes you to create more.” 14


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to bring the company along. “We were based in a not-very-attractive building on Oxford Street on a tail end of a lease, so my plan was to relocate here, where there’s such a feeling of energy and change – it pushes you to create and achieve more.” Patrick speaks as fervently about the area as he does the business, which only came in to being five years ago. Originally the brainchild of Dominik Richter and Thomas Griesel, a pair of young German entrepreneurs who decided to reach out beyond their home turf to see whether the concept might work elsewhere. “I got an email from a friend telling me about these guys wanting to set up a food firm in the UK and that they needed some help on the cooking side,” says Patrick, who started his professional life as a lawyer before pursuing his true passion for food. “I met them and within an hour I knew that not only was I on board for all the recipe development, but also the branding, sales and marketing as well.” Thus Patrick became one of the founders of HelloFresh UK, and was so eager to get the business up and running that two months later, in the living room of his flat, a small team was busy packing up shopping. “We spent all afternoon doing just ten bags and it was exhausting, but we were quite proud of our efforts, even though it was super basic compared to what we do now,” he recalls. “Then we hand-delivered them to the only people who’d even heard of us – our parents and friends. Afterwards we thought,‘Wow, that was only ten bags of shopping, how are we ever going to pack 50?’.”

Above, a quiet corner in which to peruse recipe books at HelloFresh’s HQ; below, there’s lots of room for meeting and collaborating


Secrets to success But manage they did and today the operation is super slick, with the Worship Street HQ homing 130 staff, while the out-of-town warehouse is manned by 350 employees, dispatching many thousands of boxes on a daily basis. The logistics of which is mind boggling, but as Patrick explains: “We’ve done it by bringing in very talented people who are true experts in their fields. I don’t know anything about how to run a 200,000-square-foot warehouse, but I don’t need to as we have people for whom that’s their life. That’s the key to it.” However, HelloFresh also lives or dies by the quality of its ingredients. “We’re incredibly particular about the suppliers we work with,” attests Patrick. “A lot of people will base their purchasing decisions on labels such as organic, free range and natural, but labelling can be so misleading. Our policy when sourcing ingredients is to make sure we really get to know the supplier and their operation intimately, to go there and actually see it. We need total assurance they’re doing the right thing by our customers and ultimately by the environment.” Another factor when choosing suppliers is their heritage and knowledge of what they do. “It makes it more interesting and a much richer experience for us,” says Patrick. “You learn so much from them and also we can pass that knowledge on to our customers, which is a lovely thing. There used to be a time when you knew the name of your butcher or greengrocer and they would give you advice on what to buy. That’s gone now, but we want to bring it back in our way. So essentially we’re delivering these old-school values using modern technology.” As for Patrick, his days of sweating over a hot stove to come up with recipe ideas have long gone. “We now have a team of development chefs and every day they’re devising and rigorously testing new recipes here at HQ,” he says. But being a self-confessed food obsessive of epic proportions, he admits he can still be found hovering in the background with tasting spoon in hand.


“Yes, I know it’s a cliché,” says Patrick. “And often when you look at what you are passionate about, you think ‘seriously, how am I going to turn that into a job’, but there’s always a way. It might not be the most obvious but if you work at pursuing what you love, it will eventually come to you. I knew that food was where my future lay. Initially I pursued a career as a TV chef as it wasn’t just a love of cooking but also being able to teach people that appealed, and funnily enough that’s what HelloFresh is all about.”


“There’s this amazing saying that type A people hire type A people while type B people hire type C people,” says Patrick. “What that means is that type A people who are driven and have vision will hire people who are just as good and hopefully better than them and they do that with complete self-confidence. But people who are type B are a little bit insecure about themselves, their position or their knowledge, so they tend to hire people who are worse than them so as not to be shown up. That is a disaster – it is the beginning of the end for the company in my opinion.”


“A lot of people spend far too much time trying to bring the things they’re average at up to an above-average level,” continues Patrick. “ So if they’re a five at something they’ll spend a disproportionate amount of their time trying to make themselves a seven. When they get to the point of being a seven they’re never going to be world class. So they’d be better off spending the majority of their time working on the thing that they’re a nine at and making themselves an 11, because that’s when they’re going to become world class and that’s when they’re going to rise above the noise and really be something exceptional. The same goes for a company as well as an individual.”


“When you choose the people you are going to work with make sure they don’t have the same skill set as you,” advises Patrick. “It is in a diversity of skill sets that the magic happens. Also, just as importantly it will cause less friction. As the saying goes: Too many cooks spoil the broth. That’s because everyone thinks they can do it better and has an opinion. Far better to have a group of people who each bring something different to the table and have an appreciation of what others are doing and trust their judgement.’


“When people start companies they often focus too heavily on the things that are urgent, such as operations, creating the product, delivering it, all that kind of hardcore fulfilment stuff,” says Patrick. “What they forget is the culture of the company, the brand and the reason why they’re doing what they’re doing. When we started I focused very heavily on the whys rather than the whats, and by focusing on that we really built a strong sense of mission, company culture and values that formed the foundation of the company we are today.”

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Listen up

They say it’s good to talk, and East London Radio certainly encourages that, providing people from all walks of life with the chance to air their views. We meet the ladies behind the station’s popular Saturday afternoon slot, appropriately called Talk WORDS BY KELLY BESWICK Every Saturday morning, at around 11.30am, a group of women meet up in a Leytonstone café and, huddled over hot beverages, they can be heard discussing everything from late motherhood, Hillary Clinton, giving up smoking and the closure of Fabric nightclub. Nothing special there, you might think, just a random coffee morning for some of the more opinionated ladies of the parish. But you’d be wrong! What you’d actually be witnessing is a dress rehearsal of sorts, or to make it more professional-sounding, a pre-production meeting, because the small group will shortly be making their way to the nearby East London Radio (ELR) studio where their weekly show, Talk, will go on air.

A veritable potpourri of oddly camp music (The Weather Girl’s It’s Raining Men and Cher’s Welcome to Burlesque were both recent show openers) and conversation that covers a wide variety of topics, usually with a feminine slant and often focused on East London, Talk is fast becoming one of ELR’s most popular slots. Indeed, as executive producers Ana Genover and Nadia Shah tell me, they currently have around 100,000 connections per show. “As an internet radio station, we can only count the connections,” explains Ana, who originally hails from Spain but has been a fixture of the capital for the last halfdecade. “But a connection is just one computer, which could be listened to by multiple people, so we don’t know for sure the exact size of our audience. On the Mixcloud charts we are currently ranking at number seven, so we’re definitely doing well.” And they’re not just popular in East London, although obviously that’s where the bulk of their audience is to be found. “We’re listened to all over the world,” says Nadia. “South America, Africa, the Philippines, Venezuela… in fact Venezuela is ➦ NOV/DEC 2016






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“We’ve been given the chance to create a really good show where we can talk about things that matter and affect people’s lives”

Some of the faces behind the voices on the Talk radio show

which I think is a large part of our appeal” One consistent element, however, is that on every show there is a designated leader, who steers the conversation and move things along if need be. Nadia often occupies this role (Ana prefers to stay in the background, doing the technical stuff). “I love doing it, but it’s important that other people also get a turn,” she says. “Right from the outset, Talk has been about the group, not the individual.” Having said that, in its fledgling days the show was definitely more anarchic and gossip-driven than it is now. “We had to impose more of a structure, as it was beginning to get too stressful,” says Ana, grimacing at the memory. “Hence our Saturday morning pre-production meeting when we finalise the running order of the programme so everyone knows what’s going to be discussed and when. “Also, while we are given free rein to pretty much cover any topic we want (although ELR does rule that religion and politics cannot be discussed from a personal perspective), we felt there was too much gossip about the Kardashians and such like in the beginning. That’s when Aaron and Ian said: ‘Look girls, you have a show for yourselves, we think you can do better than that.’ They were right, we’ve been given the opportunity to create a really good show where we can talk about things that matter and that affect people’s lives.” You sense that Nadia, whose day job is as an account manager at the University of East London (Ana is a practice manager in a dental clinic, although she did originally train as a journalist), has a magpie-like instinct for finding pertinent topics to discuss on air. “I am constantly on the look-out,” she admits. “I trawl social media for what’s trending and I can’t go five minutes without finding out the latest news. To be honest, that’s just the way I am anyway. I’ve always wanted to know what’s happening, what’s going on – I’m all over everything. So working on Talk really suits my personality.” And with that Nadia produces a crumpled piece of paper from her handbag with notes and ideas for the next show scrawled all over it. Ana grabs it immediately, keen to see her thoughts. With these two at the helm, it’s obvious that Talk will never run out of interesting things to say.


where we have the most connections outside of the UK, although we have no idea why that is!” At heart, however, serving the local community has always been at the forefront of Talk and indeed ELR’s remit. Founded back in May 2013 by friends Aaron McCarter and Ian Chambers, both of whom worked in third-sector radio, the station is run on a not-forprofit basis with the objective of giving a voice, not just to small, fashionable pockets of East London, but to the entire area in all its gritty, sometimes down-at-heel glory. Another equally as important aim has been to provide routes into the industry for young people and the long-term unemployed, and to date ELR has successfully trained hundreds of volunteers. “Everyone who works on our show does it for nothing,” confirms Nadia, who grew up and continues to live in East London and is a passionate advocate of the area. “I think it’s amazing. To give up a large chunk of your Saturday like that means you really have to be into what you’re doing and resolved to make a success of it.” There is in fact a pool of around 19 women who Ana and Nadia can draw on for any given show, with no more than four appearing in the studio at any one time. “We have such a mixture of contributors, it’s fantastic,” says Ana. “They’re from lots of different backgrounds – Italian, Nigerian and Ghanaian to name a few, and they’re all at different stages in their lives. It makes for a really exciting atmosphere in the studio, because you never know what you’re going to get. Sometimes it can be really loud and lively and other times more insightful and thoughtprovoking. No two of out shows are ever the same,


It’s behind Christmas is coming and so are the pantomimes – drama expert Katie Savin explores the history of the East End’s special attachment to this somewhat eccentric form of festive theatre. Oh no she doesn’t... oh yes she does

If you want to experience the real East End this Christmas, why not get yourself along to the theatre, better still, go see a pantomime? No, really. Believe it or not, our very own East End has a theatrical and pantomime heritage to rival London’s West End — despite the latter having a global reputation as the beating heart of the UK’s theatre industry. In fact, the first-ever house built solely for dramatic performance in Britain (called, aptly, The Theatre) was erected in East London, just outside the city limits in Holywell Lane, Shoreditch, and was soon followed by the Curtain, a few streets away, where the Elizabethan masses would flock for a night out. The real heyday of East End theatre, however, arrived towards the end of the eighteenth century. This is when the particular character of the area, with its reputation for community spirit, wit and street smarts, began to be reflected in its entertainment culture. From 1737 until 1843, theatres outside of the West End could not obtain a licence to stage ‘legitimate’ plays – they were permitted only to provide minor performances that included songs and dances. But East Enders found wily ways to get around the censorious legislation. Holding ‘Burlettas’, in which incidental songs and music were inserted into plays, meant that the theatres could perform any piece they liked, making the classics available to a local audience. In one East End staging of Othello a pianist struck an inaudible chord every five minutes, cheekily toeing the official regulation while enabling the audience to watch an uninterrupted version. Meanwhile, because unlicensed theatres were not



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allowed to take money on the door, neighbouring shopkeepers would sell tickets, keeping profits away from authoritarian eyes. In the later Victorian era, the East End became renowned for its music halls stars. Marie Lloyd, the Queen of the Music Hall, debuted at the Eagle Tavern, Hoxton, and later returned to the area to appear in pantomime. Dan Leno, a celebrated comedian of the time, also had strong connections to East London. He appeared at the Foresters Music Hall in Mile End during his London debut, and later became a regular at the Britannia in Hoxton. Of course, most of the local historic theatres and musical halls are no longer standing, but you can still experience the flavour of East End performance. This Christmas the newly refurbished Hoxton Hall joins Wilton’s Music Hall, The Theatre Royal Stratford East and the Hackney Empire, in keeping the popular entertainment heritage alive with pantomime. Pantomime is a ridiculous, joyful and irreverent

From left: Mother Goose at The Wilton; Sharon D Clark and Alexia Khadime in Sleeping Beauty; Gavin Spokes gets into character


WHAT’S ON WHERE If you fancy checking out a panto this Christmas, there’s lots of choice here in the East: • THE WILTON is staging the rarely performed Mother Goose – with an adaptation by aficionado Roy Hudd one can expect lots of double entendre. wiltons.org.uk • THE THEATRE ROYAL Stratford East has adapted Sinbad the Sailor. Although Stratford may offer a less polished show, with fewer celebs, the theatre has a real community feel. stratfordeast.com

• THE HOXTON HALL has a song-tastic version of Little Red Riding Hood. hoxtonhall.co.uk • THE HACKNEY EMPIRE’S impressive team including writers Susie McKenna and Steve Edis has created Sleeping Beauty. Filled with songs, dances and jokes, it promises to be hilarious. Regular Sharon D Clark, along with Alexia Khadime and Gavin Spokes, head up the cast. hackneyempire.co.uk

form of music hall that developed in England from Roman mime and Commedia dell’arte traditions. It is a celebration of British culture that embraces change and offers something for all the family. “Traditionally, panto has always been a mix of fairy stories, silliness, and quite rude political satire,” says Professor Kate Newey, a theatre historian at the University of Exeter. “It is like a rock gig for six year olds, their parents, their grandparents and everyone in between. In traditional pantomime, genders are switched, with the principal boys – the leading male characters – played by women, and the dames played by men. The rich and powerful are often mocked, too, with panto kings and queens usually penniless, and barons living in run-down residences with names like ‘Stoneybroke’ and ‘Hardup Hall.’ No wonder the down-at-heel populace of Victorian East London embraced pantomime with such gusto! According to entertainer and popular performance expert Tony Lidington, because of panto’s silliness, its significance as an art form is often overlooked. “It still has the greatest audience size and generates the largest amounts of money and participants in Britain,” he says. “Yet it rarely (if ever) receives direct subsidy. It is the foundation of the British clowning tradition and keeps other popular forms of physicality and musicality used through the past 250 years alive.” Although it didn’t originate in the East End, pantomime, the area is still well regarded by experts in the field as a hotbed for the form: “ Oh the East End is fantastic for pantomime!” confirms Professor Newey. “The Hackney Empire particularly. It’s one of the best examples in the country. I love to go. There’s something wonderful about how it maintains that community feel, with the dads up on the stage and the children eating ice creams during the interval. It’s a real Christmas treat.”

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His art is a marvellous, mighty mashup of Arabic aesthetic and East London street style, which is hardly surprising considering Hassan Hajjaj was born and raised in Morocco, only moving to the capital aged 14. Finding himself in a strange country and unable to speak the language, he learned to adapt fast and was soon hanging out with the cool kids. Several decades on and little has changed... WORDS BY KELLY BESWICK



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His distinctive images reflect the vibrant colours and heady atmosphere of the souk while drawing heavily on cutting-edge fashion, design and music, with everyday products, such as tins of mackerel, thrown in for good measure. The end result is pop art of such arresting quality that Hassan Hajjaj has become known as ‘The Andy Warhol of Marrakech’. But is it a sobriquet he’s happy to accept? “Well it is what it is,” he says equanimously. “I can’t stop people from using it. Someone from the press originally coined the phrase and it’s just continued from there. I don’t mind it. Warhol did some great works and I’m as much a fan as the next person.” But whereas Warhol and The Factory typified New York, Hajjaj is firmly ensconced in East London, or Calvert Avenue to be more precise, where his shop-cum-studio, Larache (named after the northern-Moroccan harbour town where he was born), is an Aladdin’s cave of colourful artwork, pimped-up furniture and Arabic products, including djellaba-clad Barbies. It’s a fun and frivolous mix that’s also incredibly appealing. Out back, sipping on tea, you’ll invariably find Hajjaj himself, an amiable man with a laid-back charm that quickly makes you warm to him. Being able to easily befriend people is a skill that has held Hajjaj is good stead, and never more so than when he first arrived here in the 70s. “I found myself in a totally different culture, not speaking any English and desperately trying to fit in,” he recalls. “The way of life, the education system, the colours, the smells and the atmosphere of Morocco were so far removed from the monochrome environment that was London at that time.” But fit in he soon did, forging friendships with a young and dynamic creative crowd who dabbled in everything from DJing, set designing and filmmaking to styling, photographing and painting. “It really was a golden moment, with all these really talented people coming together,” says Hajjaj. “It was also very mixed, the first real mixture of first and second generations born in London.” However, Hajjaj, who left school at 15 without a single qualification, struggled to secure himself regular employment. “So during that time I started to do lots of underground parties and then opened a small shop selling streetwear,” he says. “Then I met a friend who was a stylist and I assisted him ➦


When cultures collide

Mr James Hindiii, photography by Hassan Hajjaj 2009/1430 Courtesy of the Artist


My Rock Stars are portraits of friends and friends of friends who operate under the radar

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for a few years, working on both catwalk shows and magazine shoots, while another friend worked on music videos, so I helped out behind the scenes on those, too. That was my schooling, basically.” Being surrounded by photographers eventually inspired Hajjaj to pick up a camera himself. “One of my friends showed me how to use it and I just took it from there, taking pictures for myself. It wasn’t something that I thought would become a career or that I was going to become an artist.” It was when Hajjaj started to reconnect with his North African heritage that he found his creative voice. “I started going back to Morocco, spending more and more time there, and that’s when all the influences began to converge,” he says. “My first body of work was taking all these pictures of Arabic products hanging up and I then printed them on canvas. I just did it to show my friends something from my culture, in a contemporary way, but then I started to sell a few pieces and people began to take an interest.” And that interest continues to this day. He’s currently working on an ongoing series of portraits called My Rock Stars. “It’s about all the talent that’s around me, which isn’t commercial or mainstream,” he explains. “These are friends and friends of friends who operate under the radar, so I wanted to introduce them to the wider public.” Not content with simply shooting his subjects, Hajjaj also designed all the clothing and the vibrant sets used as backgrounds – clearly a man of many talents, as well having the coolest of friends.



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A man of many talents, Hajjaj designs all the clothes his subjects wear as well as the sets

Top left: Hindi Kahlo., photography by Hassan Hajjaj 2011/1432 Courtesy of Taymour Grahne Gallery, New York, U.S.A. Cisco, photography by Hassan Hajjaj 2012/1433 Courtesy of The Third Line Gallery, Dubai, U.A.E. Bottom left: Hindiii, photography by Hassan Hajjaj 2011/1432 Courtesy of Rose Issa, London, U.K. This page: Helen P.J.I., photography by Hassan Hajjaj 2011/1432 Courtesy of Taymour Grahne Gallery, New York, U.S.A.


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Our hot-right-now dining guide to suit all occasions WORDS BY KELLY BESWICK & ANOOP PARIKH





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Located in the rather splendid Grade II listed building once occupied by Les Trois Garçons, this is the third outpost for Dirty Bones, but the first in the East (the others being Kensington and Soho). It makes a very welcome addition to the area, serving up New York-inspired comfort food that puts a satisfied smile on your face. Then there’s the comprehensive cocktail menu that can quickly turn that smile into inebriated giggles, but this is a place designed for laidback laughs and fun, so simply go with the flow. On our early Sunday evening visit (it’s open all day, every day, serving breakfast, lunch, weekend brunch and dinner) the room, with it’s majestic Victorian bar and original mirrors, was already heaving, with great tunes adding to the buzzing atmosphere. It being the Sabbath it felt fitting to opt for a roast, and while usually for review purposes we’d choose different dishes, both my companion and I were dead set on the brisket and ox, with neither of us willing to budge. Good job we didn’t as the Robata roasted beef and slow-braised ox cheek were melt-in-your mouth sublime. Of the many accompaniments the truffled roast spuds and sharing skillet of taleggio and smoked cheddar mac ’n’ cheese were especially noteworthy. Dessert came in the form of a peanut butter and cookie cup and milk and cookies, both devoured at unreasonable speed. A shared spiked iced coffee provided the perfect end to a perfect dinner. This is comfort food at its very best. WHAT & WHERE: 1Club Row, E1 6JX dirty-bones.com/shoreditch

EATING IN OPULENCE THE GILBERT SCOTT Dining rooms don’t come much grander than that of The Gilbert Scott, but then again Victorian railway hotels don’t come much more ornate than the St Pancras Renaissance, in which this Marcus Wareing offering resides. The restaurant is named after the building’s English Gothic revival architect, and while it might look imposing, the atmosphere is anything but, being relaxed and informal, with friendly, attentive service that quickly puts you at ease. A fine glass of Nyetimber bubbly further enhanced our moods as we surveyed the menu, brimming with such Great British classics, that deciding proved especially difficult. After

much deliberation I opted for the roast foie gras to start, while my companion chose the Dorset crab. My naughty, but oh so nice, dish had the velvety slabs of deliciousness accompanied by black figs, ginger and radish and was beyond sublime, while the south-west country crustacean was joined by prawns, apples and potatoes, and proved such a winning combination that I never got a look in. For mains, however, my companion had to share as we’d decided on a 25 day dry-aged Aberdeen Angus Châteaubriand for two with grilled bone marrow, chips and truffle sauce. Now as a steak fiend, I’ve had some pretty fine cuts in my time, but this took the cow, well, over the moon, while the sauce added just the right note of decadence. Never ones to let ever-tightening waistbands get in our way, we finished the meal with a fine cheese selection from La Fromagerie, and as overindulgence was the order of the day, we washed it down with a glass of rather fine Sauternes. WHAT & WHERE: St Pancras Renaissance Hotel, Euston Road, NW1 2AR thegilbertscott.co.uk

QUIRKY ROYAL SERVICE DARBAAR London isn’t short of posh Indians, both people and restaurants. The former, together with their counterparts from other parts of the globe, naturally gravitate towards the latter. They expect a knockout room, decent service and expertly cooked food. Darbaar will likely tick all their boxes, but they’ll have to find it first. The restaurant’s location, on the ground floor of the Broadgate Quarter development, is deep within the network of streets to the north of Liverpool Street station. My tip: head for L’Anima or HKK. You’ll find Darbaar sandwiched between the two. Our visit was at lunchtime, the day after Diwali, and the restaurant felt like a good place to continue partying. To start, we ordered chef Abdul’s sharing platter of assorted grills and kebabs, the stars of which were perfectly cooked tandoori salmon and chicken malai kebabs. Next came heavenly Hyderabadi kid goat biryani, authentically rich and aromatic. The maitre’d’s suggested pairing with Chilean Casa Rivas Sauvignon Blanc was perfect, as the fruity gooseberry flavour managed to complement a whole host of tastes. Desserts were a spiced carrot cake with shrikhand (strained and sweetened yoghurt), and Valhrona chocolate chilli cake. A rich but delectable finale to an unquestionably posh meal. WHAT & WHERE: 1 Snowden Street, EC2A 2DQ darbaarrestaurants.com


‘One cannot think well, sleep well or love well if one has not dined well’ VIRGINIA WOOLF

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Old Spitalfields Market, London E1 6EW 020 7377 6443 info@cafe-caribbean.co.uk Catering enquiry: 0800 858 858 Opening times Every day 10am - 7.30pm


eat streets

Time to get the Santa pants out people and go comfort-food crazy at some of the area’s best winter food festivals and markets WORDS BY LIAM BARKER

Last Days of Shoreditch

Taste of London Winter

17-20 Nov London’s biggest restaurant festival is back for the winter. Go along and create your own menu from the 80 taster-sized signature dishes on offer from a selection of London’s best eateries – we’re talking the likes of HIX and Bubbledogs. And don’t miss out on the Chocolate Pot from Pizarro – it was one

of the dishes of the summer. Actions Against Hunger always shows up too, with its starstudded 5 Star Burger Kitchen, so remember to skip breakfast. This is also the place to pick up those craft alcohol offerings that’ll make you look like a connoisseur. Just brush it off when your Christmas party guests ask you where you got your Lemon Drizzle Gin from. WHERE: Tobacco Dock, Tobacco Quay, Wapping Lane, E1W 2DA london.tastefestivals.com

Head down to Tobacco Dock for a taste of seasonal spirit

Every Thursday, Friday and Saturday Last Days of Shoreditch is a collab between Red Gallery and Eastern Electrics, celebrating the very best of independent nightlife in East London. Its new venue comes fully covered with toasty fire pits bringing the heat. Chill out and enjoy being waited on in its new mezzanine- level restaurant, where you’ll receive table service from the resident traders including gyoza from Rainbo, jerk chicken from Mama’s Jerk and grilled cheese from the Cheese Truck (who else?). Along with a seasonal selection of winter-warmers, craft beers and classic cocktails Don’t miss their big festive parties too, with Eastern Electrics on 3 December and the Snowbombing ski extravaganza on 10 December. WHERE: Red Market, 288 Old Street, London EC1V 9LA lastdaysofshoreditch.co.uk Chill out while staying warm and cosy at The Last Days of Shoreditch

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Every Thursday, Friday and Saturday The new weather-proofed Dinerama is back with its winter menu, so you can enjoy all your favourites in the warmth under cover from the elements. And nothing says comfort food like brisket baps from Smokestak and freshly cooked doughnuts covered with warm salted caramel sauce. In addition, Asian flavours from Farang enter the fray to turn the heat up to another level, so get your gob around one of its Thai green chicken curries. If that’s not enough to warm your cockles, head upstairs to Dick’s Magic T-Bar for hot wine and frozen toffee vodka WHERE: 19 Great Eastern Street, London EC2A 3EJ streetfeast.com

Hyper Japan

25-27 Nov A celebration of all things Japanese, including culture, entertainment, fashion and, most importantly, food and drink. Check out the vibrant and colourful world of traditional Japanese sweets (known as Wagashi). Typically made from plant ingredients such as ‘skanten’ (agar-agar) and ‘an’ (bean paste), they’re best enjoyed with a good cuppa. And with a fantastic ensemble of Japanese teas on offer, what makes for a better winter gift! After all, who doesn’t like curling up with a good

book and a nice brew? There are wasabi workshops on offer too. Did you know? Wasabi, although called ‘Japanese horseradish’, is not actually a horseradish at all! WHERE: Tobacco Dock, Tobacco Quay, Wapping Lane, E1W 2DA hyperjapan.co.uk

Café Caribbean

Starting out in his mum’s kitchen, Café Caribbean owner Warren Richards learned to cook the old-fashioned way, with treasured recipes passed down from his Jamaican grandma. It was those same recipes that Warren used to set up his stall back in 1993, well before London’s street food revolution, and way before Caribbean cooking hit the mainstream and jerk chicken was so well established on London’s streets. These days you can find Café Caribbean in Spitalfields market where queues are regularly snaking out from the counter. The place has a real vibe of island life about it, with a relaxed approach to cooking. It’s not about following recipes to the letter. It’s about taste and larger-than-life flavours, and all kinds of chicken. No, seriously: jerk chicken, stew chicken, curry chicken and BBQ chicken. However, no birds are harmed during the making of all the other classics, especially the unctuous slow-cooked gelatinous oxtail, served up with rice and peas. So trust me y’all ain’t going home hungry. And don’t forget the customary hot sauce either. This stuff sells out quick, so get some and put in on everything! As Caribbean hot sauce goes, this is way up there – in fact, it’s quite possibly the best around town. It won’t quite blow your head off, as it has that perfect balance that gives you heat, but still gives you plenty of flavour to have you coming back for more. As for Warren, he’s still all about cooking up dishes that evoke memories of his childhood. When he isn’t at the cafe you can catch him cooking up a storm on his YouTube channel, showing how you can cook with Caribbean ingredients, so you can get your jerk on too. Even better are his feed your family for a fiver videos. Yes people it is possible! Good wholesome food isn’t expensive, so share the love. WHERE: Old Spitalfields Market, E1 6EW cafe-caribbean.co.uk


If you happen to be visiting the city or are lucky enough to work closely to the newly opened Flavour Garden then you’re in for a real treat. This unique all-day organic eatery for casual dining and drinking offers superb hot and cold dishes from early morning to late evening. Choose your feast from the self-service check out for speed at lunch. Become a club holder and there’s a selfserve organic wine dispenser and evening drink ordering screens where the staff will bring drinks to your table. Whether dining on your own, with friends or colleagues over a spreedsheet this is a truly relaxing urban escape from the hustle and bustle. WHERE: 4-6 New London Street, Off Hart Street, EC3R 7NA 30


flavourgarden.co.uk NOV/DEC 2016

Passione Vino

Simply 101% Made in Italy 300 plus labels and more than 65 different artisan producers from every corner of Italy, directly imported by us Wine tastings Dinner wine tastings Wine pairing Blind tastings Dinner experience with wine makers Organic and Natural wines Olive Oils

Just tell us your mood and we will match the wine perfectly. COME TO VISIT US SOON 0203 487 0600 85 Leonard street, EC2 A4QS Follow us @passionevino



Cooking up a storm this Christmas? Tweet us @E1LifeMag to share your festive feasts


snack to it

̓T is the season of over-indulgence, so here’s how to tuck in without pigging out WORDS BY KELLY BESWICK

POP THE CORKS We’ll raise our glass to Thomson & Scott’s Skinny Champagne Cru, a no-sugar fizz available as a brut or a rosé, and we also toast the company’s more affordable Skinny Prosecco, which has half the sugar content usually added. If that’s got you thirsty, you’ll be pleased to hear that both are now available in magnums, as well the usual 75cl. From £54.95 for the Champagne, £17.95 for the prosecco, 31dover.com FRYING TONIGHT Chips, fried chicken, battered fish… hardly the healthiest of foods, or are they? Now, thanks to British brand Swan, you can cook all manner of fried goodies using a whopping 80% less oil. Called an Air Fryer, it operates using rapid air circulation to create a quick and even cook at temperatures of up to 200°C, using little to no oil. £64.99, swan-brand.co.uk

WE ALL SCREAM FOR… Ice cream that’s 35 per cent lower in fat has arrived, courtesy of Remeo Gelato (it’s healthier as a result of a slow churning process called mantecazione verticale, apparently) and even better it comes in four mouth-watering flavours: Caffé Espresso, Madagascan Bourbon Vanilla, Dark Chocolate 72% Cocoa and Pistachio Siciliano. Contained in an attractive jar, it will make a welcome addition to any Christmas table. £5.49, ocado.com JUICE, JUICE BABY MOJU, the East Londonbased cold-pressed juice brand, has just launched a Ginger Booster shot (backed by a Ginger & Proud marketing campaign), providing a super-fast pick-me-up either before a big day, or after a big night, which, let’s face it, there’s bound to be quite a few of in the coming weeks. £1.95, mojudrinks PROCEED WITH CAUTION You wouldn’t sit down and eat 68 slices of toast, but that’s the calorific equivalent of what the average adult consumes on Christmas Day – a massive 6,000 calories. Now far be it for

Parsnips With a myriad of health benefits, including the ability to lower the chances of developing diabetes and reducing cholesterol levels, pastinaca sativa (aka the parsnip) also tastes divine, and never more so than when roasted as an accompaniment to Christmas dinner. Or for a seasonal soup, simply boil, then blitz with some coconut milk and water or stock, adding mild curry powder and fresh coriander to taste. us to be party poopers, and feasting is what’s expected this time of year, but smart strategies like piling your plate with lots of veg and snacking on fruit and nuts instead of chocolates can make all the difference. If, however, you do decide to blow out, just remember that to burn it off the next day you’d need to run for around 10 hours!

isn’t surprising considering the husband-and-wife team behind them are Jonathan and Natalia Conroy, former chefs at the Michelin-starred River Café. The range includes Goan prawn curry, braised beef with porcini and Chianti and venison stew with celeriac and prunes. Yum, yum! From £10.50, kitchenorchard.co.uk

CONVENIENTLY HEALTHY Forget ready meals full of fat, sugar and salt and turn instead to Kitchen Orchard, a new range of delicious convenience suppers made from the finest of ingredients. They really do taste restaurant quality, which NOV/DEC



Street Style


CHIC & UNIQUE Characterful and stylish, no wonder it’s the Old Spitalfields set leading the london fashion pack PHOTOGRAPHY: MAISIE WHITE

1. LOTTE As London representative for distinctive Dutch lingerie label, Love Stories, Lotte embues the brand’s individualistic style. Currently organising a pop up at the Truman Brewery, when she’s not toiling over bold bralettes and brazen briefs, Lotte loves browsing around Old Spitalfields Market, especially on Thursdays. Not immune to fashion or antique bargains, she recently went totally off piste, however, buying herself an ox head. Wearing: Shirt, Love Stories; dress and polo neck, Zara; Chelsea boots, Office.



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2. PIERRE If Pierre’s outfit doesn’t scream hip, Gallic charm, then we don’t know what does. Okay, so the Frenchman has an unusual take on suited and booted, but then he is on his way to his office on Brick Lane Wearing: Hat, Kevin and Howlin; suit, Anthony Garcon; scarf, Celia.

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3. NATALIA About to meet a friend and chow down at one of the food stalls, Natalie admitted to being famished, but still managed to totally rock that turban. Wearing: Dress, YouMeWe; earrings from an African fair.

4. ALICE Hackney resident Alice works with Amin at the market, but prefers to do her own shopping on Brick Lane. Wearing: Jeans, Topshop; gilet, ASOS; jumper, boyfriend’s. 36



4. AMIN With his head in a good read (quite literally), Love and Be Loved designer Amin sells his clothes at Old Spitafields and if his own look is anything to go by, we’re in! Wearing: Coat, own design; trousers, TK Maxx; boots, Balenciaga.

5. CLAIRE Her home is in E17, but Claire admits to being irresistibly drawn to the Spitafields area. Wearing: Coat, Urbancode from Asos; T-shirt, Topshop; bag, vintage.

6. ROWENA Here’s a woman who likes to keep it local. Rowena lives on Club Row, works in Redchurch Street and picks up her designer togs at E1 boutiques. Wearing: Jacket, Cos; top, Les Copains; boots, Stuart Weismann, jeans, Paige; bag, Smythson.

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Beauty notes

The festive season is upon us, and with it comes the customary moving from work to party to recovery mode. As fun as it is, it can also be tiring and stressful, so here are a couple of tips and tricks to help you get ready in a flash and mask the after-effects the following morning WORDS BY LILY EARLE

Avoid the excess

We all know that a balanced approach to life is the best way forward, so here are a few local favorites to boost your vitality

ILLUSTRATION: Sarah Daniel, sarahdanieldesign@btinternet.com


Seedlip Drinks have solved the dilemma of what to quaff when you’re not drinking, without having to resort to the trusty-but-boring lime and soda. Its award-winning non-alcoholic spirits are distilled in traditional copper stills with botanicals. The brand’s Spice 94 blend contains allspice, cardamom and oak, to create a clear, gin-like spirit. Enjoy with tonic and a red grapefruit twist over ice for a clear-headed G&T alternative. Priced £27.99.


Sweet treat

The Kahaila café in Brick Lane is a coffee shop with a conscience, creating products that are all ethically and, where possible, locally, sourced with any profits going to support local community projects. Plus its salted caramel chocolate brownies are delicious – order with a cup of tea for the perfect comfort food combo to hole away with on a cold, grey day.




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All that glitters Use Urban Decay’s 24/7 Glide-On eye pencil in either Goldmine (gold) or Cuff (silver) to add some festive sparkle to your upper lash line. Alternatively, use it to add a hint of shimmer to your cupid’s bow, as this will contrast against a bold lip, making the colour pop while emphasising the natural shape of your mouth. Priced £15.50. urbandecay.co.uk

Berry good show

The red lip is a Christmas classic, but why not switch up this bold look with deep berry and plum lip colours? It’s a beauty trend that’s available in many different shades, so there’s something for everyone. Just one quickly slicked-on layer of NYX’s highly pigmented, matte lipstick in Goal Digger will take any look from SFW to instant, knock-out glamour. Priced £5.50.

Smooth operator From a small kitchen connected to Ace Hotel London Shoreditch, the East London Juice Co sources seasonal, farmfresh ingredients from all over the British Isles to make nourishing juices and smoothies. Try the ruby juice: sweet, but packed full of beetroot, which is said to boost stamina. acehotel.com/london


Flower power BRUSH AWAY

One of the best ways to keep your skin looking fresh and radiant throughout the winter months is by exfoliating the dingy, grey skin cells away. Here’s how to make a simple body scrub (it’s a recipe that’s been passed down through the generations): use one part (light) olive or rapeseed oil and one part granulated sugar, rub the mixture in circular motions across the body, focusing on any dry areas, before showering off with warm water.

The Le Labo store on Redchurch Street has the atmosphere that you’d expect to find in a secret underground laboratory, and rightly so, as its products are made by a worldwide community of master crafters. During this hectic season the bathroom remains most people’s private haven of relaxation, and its Jasmine 17 body wash is a great accompaniment. Jasmine essential oil is known for its soothing effect on dry or sensitive skin, as well as its calming fragrance: the perfect pick-me-up if you’ve been burning the candles at both ends. Priced £32. 61.


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Exercise expert – and mince pie fiend – Catherine Hudson, gives us her advice and top tips on how to keep fit, feel good and avoid overindulging this winter

5 ways to beat the bloat

The key is making an effort to fit exercise that you enjoy around all those extra social engagements this festive season

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Feelgood endorphins are released by exercising: so keeping up a regular physical routine should help to wave goodbye to those pesky winter blues. We all know you shouldn’t use exercise as just an excuse to eat another piece of cake. However, at Christmas, ’tis the season, so offsetting excess with an extra class, or a run, will do more good than harm. Yes, your bed will always be more comfortable than doing sets of burpees, especially when it’s dark outside, but getting yourself up to run or go to morning workouts will release energy-inducing adrenalin. If you really can’t stand going out in the cold, setting More British women bought trainers yourself a comprehensive ‘at home’ workout of 30 than high-heeled shoes in the past minutes of toning exercises can be easier to commit to year, apparently, and trainers are now than a class: and also means you can snooze for longer. considered a wardrobe staple: the If you’re in training for a springtime marathon perfect excuse to combine your workout (congratulations!), you should download timetables with a flash of funky footwear, (as if we and start now. Training with a friend is good because there’ll be a time you can’t face another solitary run needed an excuse…). Nike Free TR 6 in the dark. Mix running with fun indoor classes, too. Spectrum trainers, £95, jdsports.co.uk

Fit and fashionable


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The great outdoors

If you like your fitness with a bit of grit, BaseFit at BoxPark is the venue for you. The outdoor fitness centre in Shoreditch, located next to Shoreditch High Street Overground station, hosts more than 30 regular strength and fitness classes that are updated every three months to suit the season and make room for any new innovations. This winter, there will be a marquee erected to protect class-goers from inclement weather, plus the introduction of 30-minute HIIT classes, bootcamps, lifting technique classes and Core Construct – a 30-minute cardio, core and abs class that’ll go some way to fighting back against that mince pie-induced muffin top before it has chance to settle. base-fit.uk 40


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Clear your mind Fresh air fun

Heading out for a jog when the winter nights are drawing in can be a little daunting, for even the hardiest of outdoor athletes. But pounding away at the treadmill can seem like a poor alternative – so why not join a free London park running group? Parkrun is a series of adult and junior 5km running events held all over the city (the UK, and worldwide), and is open to all ages and abilities. Just sign up online to the weekly free event you want to join (which include great East End locations such as Mile End and Hackney Marshes), and the organisers will give you a time when you finish. It’s a great way to get your weekend off to a healthy start, plus, if you’re training for a marathon, these events will really help to get you up and at ’em. parkrun.org.uk

If you like your keep fit with a side of zen, then The Refinery in Hackney is a quirky, cosy, and friendly place to hole up, exercise and… meditate. Because alongside a timetable bursting with the latest crazes in music-inspired cardio classes, such as ‘disco barre’, ‘retro-cise’ and ‘pump up the flow’, there are numerous holistic yoga and Pilates classes that promise to help you ‘destress, detox and declutter’, as well as enable you to increase your stamina, flexibility and all-round physical and mental health. Plus, there’s a treatment room that offers massages and beauty therapies. You could also pencil in a healing ‘gong bath’ (where you’re bathed in the sound waves of a gong, rather than water, which is very relaxing by all accounts) before attempting to discuss relative-visiting holiday logistics. Book individual classes or in bundles. therefinerye9.com NOV/DEC 2016



League of nations The year Simon Di Principe spent photographing the footballers on Hackney Marshes proved to him that the beautiful game still exists

It was an ankle, badly broken while playing football (oh, the irony), that started local photographer Simon Di Principe off on a project that would span a full football season, taking him hobbling every Sunday to Hackney Marshes, to capture the incredible passion and equally incredible diversity of the players there. It was a venture, something to keep him occupied while he recuperated from the injury, that gradually revealed itself to be far greater than the sum of its parts. On a personal level it brought Simon closer to his father, an Italian immigrant who left Italy in the early 60s. “He found himself in the East End, barely able to speak the language and knowing very few people,” reveals Simon. “I didn’t know this until quite recently, but he then met some fellow countrymen who introduced him to Sunday league and he ended up playing for an Italian team on Hackney Marshes.” Indeed, it was only when Simon was assembling a book of his portraits, aptly titled Grass Roots (£35, palmstudios.co.uk), that he discovered he had actually been to watch his father play on Hackney Marshes as a boy. “It was my mum who told me, I was probably only five or six at the time and had no real recollection. But it was a nice thing to discover. It was like coming full circle.” In many respects, little has changed since Di Principe Sr first donned his studs for a kickabout in a windswept corner of Hackney. Today, the Sunday league still attracts young men from many different countries and cultures, looking for friendship, a sense of community and also, of course, a chance to show off their footballing prowess. “The amazing diversity of the players was something that only slowly dawned on me,” recalls Simon, who would shoot between ➦



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The collection of players’ portraits is something akin to a Panini sticker album

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five to ten footballers at a time, come rain or shine, as the varied skylines (sometimes dotted with high rises, all too frequently leaden) and different, natural, lighting of the images bear testament. “I became conscious of just what a phenomenal melting pot of cultures and backgrounds there was, and I realised it wasn’t just the footballers I was documenting, but also the fact that this area is home to such diversity and it’s what makes the place so vibrant and special. “In the book, there’s an index at the back where I have head shots of all the players, their names and where they’ve come from. There are Germans, Nigerians, Ukrainians, Ethiopians, Jamaicans, Poles – the list goes on. I think it’s a amazing thing.” Another facet of the project that Simon found equally as fascinating was the contrast between these Sunday-league players and those of the Premiership. “That was a massive point for me,” he confirms. “These guys get up every Sunday morning for the genuine love and passion for the game. They don’t need 300-odd grand a week to motivate them. This is grassroots football,



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In an unfamiliar land, young men find the football culture of the Marshes is a way to adjust

pure and simple, and it’s as important to the future survival of the sport as the Premier League.” And speaking of survival, Simon is keen to point out that Hackney Marshes themselves could also be under threat unless we remain vigilant. Originally created just after the Second World War as a dumping ground for the rubble created by the Blitz, and quickly appropriated as football pitches, the Marshes in their post-war heyday could host up to 120 matches. Today that figure is down to 80, with sections of land sold off over the years to developers, and most recently the Olympic Park. “It’s such a unique and special place, it really should be protected,” says Simon, whose book will hopefully go some way to doing just that.

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No night’s a school night when it’s nearly Christmas WORDS BY LIAM BARKER

Ninth Ward 99-101 Farringdon Road, EC1R 3BN Visit Clerkenwell’s version of the Deep South for a proper mint julep and some New Orleansstyle jazz vibes. The stained wood floors and shutters, stained glass windows and gleaming brass trinkets make for a setting that transports you away from London for an evening to celebrate all things Louisiana. Perfect for a lads or ladies night (or basically anyone who loves cocktail and burgers.)


5cc Exmouth 23 Exmouth Market, EC1R 4QL Head over to the Exmouth Arms. Once inside, head straight past the bar and in the far corner you’ll find a non-descript staircase. Ascend the stairs and along the corridor and you’ll find 5CC. An intimate, low-lit speakeasy, with dark wood, brass 5cc tabletops and an



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apothecary cabinet full of aged spirits. Make sure you book, especially on weekends – ending up spending the evening in the Exmouth Arms may leave slightly less of an impression.


The Nest 36 Stoke Newington Road, N16 7XJ In a time when London is losing night-time meccas such as Fabric, it’s important to support the ones we have left. The Nest is not quite on the same scale as Fabric, but its intimate basement is a raw brick-clad space where you can celebrate everything from house to disco to techno The Nest to drum & bass to hip hop. It’s got a kick ass sound system, so as you can imagine this place gets pretty

packed. Be sure to arrive early to avoid disappointment.


Satan’s Whiskers 343 Cambridge Heath Road, E2 9RA This is how you do Satan’s Whiskers. Tell your date to meet you outside Paradise Garage (great restaurant btw). Then walk them 100m down the road to the spot with red neon lights and blacked-out windows that looks like a well dodgy strip club and say tah-dah! Then watch the surprise when you step inside this candlelit speakeasy decorated with taxidermy and vintage liquor posters. Take a seat and enjoy the delights of Satan’s the daily changing Whiskers cocktail menu.

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Lord Tredegar Lichfield Road, Bow, E3 5AT Bow locals are gonna kill me for this – if I was them, I’d want to keep this place a secret too. It has it all; a snug bar with roaring fire, an open kitchen that turns out a killer Sunday roast, a covered garden space and a proper East London atmosphere. Oh, and of course plenty of lovely real ales.

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Shacklewell Arms 71 Shacklewell Lane, E8 2EB The Shacklewell Arms is one of East London’s most cosy and atmospheric live music venues. Some might say drinking den, some may say dive bar, but whatever you call it, it’s the spot for a gig and for watching sports too. Start here and gather the squad together for a cheapish drink before hitting town.



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of Christmas

There’s plenty of essential sounds to be found in the East this festive season WORDS BY ED GIBBS



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WHETHER it’s a Yuletide singalong in your local or an end-of-year hurrah in a packed, sweaty theatre, at this time of year the music community comes together like it does at no other. With dozens of live shows planned across the East End, there’ll be no shortage of sounds on offer, catering to every need and whim. Here, then, are the best and brightest to keep you moving and grooving this Christmastime... 1. CORTES

November 8 A welcome headline show from the happening London trio (they’re busily supporting Sunset Sons on their UK tour). Expect melodic musings on life and love with a guitar-bass-drums grunt that’ll get the Sebright Arms a moving and a shaking. WHERE: Sebright Arms, 31-35 Coate Street, E2 9AG 020 7729 0937 sebrightarms.co.uk


Amusing and mesmerising, Camille O’Sullivan transforms each song she performs into a grippingly theatrical experience

November 15 and 16 The original 2Tone pioneers head out on their first UK jaunt in two years, with a pair of much-anticipated stops at the Troxy, as they pay tribute to their legendary drummer John Bradbury, with The Libertines’ Gary Powell behind the kit. From Nite Klub to Ghost Town and everything in between, expect to hear ska classics galore from Coventry’s finest in this deliciously intimate and atmospheric setting. WHERE: Troxy, 490 Commercial Road, E1 0HX 020 7790 9000 troxy.co.uk


November 16 The Bulgarian-born, Berlin-based songstress hits

Dalston’s super-hip gigspot Birthdays for a night of hypnotic pop tunes fresh from her debut EP. Check out the ace Trust on her Soundcloud page to get you in the mood, then dive in and experience it as nature intended: live. WHERE: Birthdays, 33-35 Stoke Newington Road, N16 8BJ 020 7923 1680 birthdaysdalston.com


November 22 to 26 The award-winning songstress brings her tantalising show of Jacques Brel classics to the wonderfully restored Wilton’s Music Hall for a week-long residency. Jools Holland and Marc Almond are among her many illustrious fans. You have been told, now go see. WHERE: Wilton’s, 1 Graces Alley, London E1 8JB 020 7702 2789 wiltons.org.uk


November 26 A short skip and a jump away, Highbury’s Garage plays host to reggae legends Misty in Roots, with famed producer Dennis Bovell lending support on the decks to get the party started. Expect a nifty blend of favourites and deep cuts

from the godfathers of British reggae. Not to be missed. WHERE: The Garage, 20-22 Highbury Corner, N5 1RD. 0844 847 1678 thegaragehighbury.com

6. THE SLOW READERS CLUB November 26 Hitting the East on a busy night of the pre-festive gig season, Manchester’s sons play the Oslo with a night of jangly wonders, in support of their impressive LP, Cavalcade. Get acquainted: hear them in the flesh. WHERE: Oslo, 1a Amhurst Road, Hackney, E8 1LL 020 3553 4831 oslohackney.com


November 29 She’s been compared to Kate Bush and Tracy Chapman, and if you’ve heard her delightful single Lizard Lady, you’ll soon know precisely why. Sweet, soaring vocals blended with intricate lyrics and delicate melodies abound. No wonder she’s such a BBC Radio 1 favourite. Find out what all the fuss is about at this top Stokie nightspot. WHERE: The Waiting Room, 175 Stoke Newington High Street, N16 0LH 020 7241 5511 ➦ waitingroomn16.com

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December 1 They’re uber-cool, they’re from Berlin (where else?) and they play deliriously addictive New Wave garage pop. These two ladies are set to take the roof off the Old Blue Last in time for the annual advent calendar countdown. What’s not to love? Time to get involved. WHERE: The Old Blue Last, 38 Great Eastern Street, EC2A 3ES 020 7739 7033 theoldbluelast.com


December 6 The nu-folk favourite wraps her latest UK tour at the Village Underground with this welcome pre-festive show. Expect a few surprises as Ms Moss treats Shoreditch believers to a spread of both familiar and not-so familiar tunes. WHERE: Village Underground, 54 Holywell Lane, Shoreditch, EC2A 3PQ 020 7422 7505 villageunderground.co.uk

9 Singing and songwriting supremo, Emma-Lee Moss, aka Emmy the Great, will be giving it her indie folk all



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December 7 The Brooklyn native makes a welcome return to our borders with a rare solo show of hiphop beats and spoken-word wonder. He’s renowned for his collaborations (Kayne, Kendrick Lamar and Mos Def, among others), not to mention his social activism, which is now more relevant than ever. Prepare to be entranced by the man’s talents. WHERE: Islington Assembly Hall, Upper Street, N1 2UD 020 7527 8900 islingtonassemblyhall.co.uk


December 8 Fresh from their US tour, the Aussie duo unleash their own unique brand of infectious punk on our shores after a well-deserved break. Expect the Shacklewell Arms to be heaving when showtime comes around. WHERE: The Shacklewell Arms, 71 Shacklewell Lane, Dalston, E8 2EB 020 7249 0810 shacklewellarms.com

10 Mega-talented hip hop artist, Talib Kweli, showcases his new album, the brilliantly titled Awful People Are Great At Parties


For the gift of great gigs to suit all tastes simply look eastwards this Christmas. Whether pop, punk, hip hop or indie folk, there’s no shortage of sounds to tempt you...


Aussie duo, The Gooch Palms bring their self-proclaimed ‘shit pop’ (trust us, it’s not) to The Shacklewell Arms for what promises to be a riotous night of entertainment



December 14 The returning vintage heroes, who’ve recently completed a fab festival tour, promise to light the room up with their fuzz-fuelled sounds, with this special pre-Santa show at Hackney Central’s favourite room. It seems too long since we last saw them up close and personal. Behold the Barrie. WHERE: Oslo, 1a Amhurst Road, Hackney, E8 1LL 020 3553 4831 oslohackney.com

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Transforming a Victorian button factory into a shop and home was something Deborah Baker took in her stride – but then again, she is a top shoe designer with a magpie’s eye for fabulous and quirky finds WORDS BY KELLY BESWICK Cool, fun and funky, Deborah Baker is the sort of woman you immediately want to be your new BFF. With her London accent, throaty laugh and quick wit, you just know you’d have a brilliant night on the town with her. What’s more, she has a lifestyle most of us could only dream of, flitting between Bologna and London, with regular stop overs in LA and NYC, overseeing her small but perfectly formed shoe empire fiorentini + baker. When in the capital, Baker’s abode is a light and airy apartment that sits above her Shoreditch shop on the corner of Rivington Street. Once a Victorian button factory and a rumoured strip club (“Well that’s what this very old man in ➦

Shoe designer Deborah Baker loves the light, space and exposed brickwork of her shop and home

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‘I’m an impulse junk buyer who shoves it in and hopes for the best. It just seems to come together’ the pub told me.”), Baker also discovered that back in the Sixties the property was home to The Antiuniversity of London, a short-lived social experiment into selforganised education and communal living. Evidently Yoko Ono no less attended lectures there! Moving to the area in 2012 was a coming home of sorts for Baker, who in the 1980s attended the Cordwainers College (now part of the London College of Fashion) where her contemporaries were fellow shoe designers Emma Hope (still a close friend) and Patrick Cox. “Back then Shoreditch wasn’t really cool and it certainly wasn’t a place to go out in,” recalls Baker. “It was kind of abandoned and forlorn, really. But I could see the potential even then. Despite the dilapidation, the houses and parks were just beautiful.” It was love at first sight with the Rivington Street property, with Baker immediately putting in an offer just shy of a million, which was accepted. “I was surprised, to be honest,” she recalls. “It was just so quick and simple, when I’d been anticipating this long, drawn-out, complicated process.” A similar thing happened with the renovations she undertook.“When I moved in there was an office downstairs and a kitchen in the basement, which I really didn’t like, so I moved it upstairs,” says Baker. “Other than that and fixing the basement up a bit, I didn’t really need to do much work at all. Basically it’s just a big room on every floor with these amazing windows and beautiful bare brick walls, so it looks nice with nothing in it and equally as nice when full up. It’s kind of easy to make it look okay.” Here Baker is being a tad disingenuous – the place looks a darn sight more than okay, with the shop, a mash-up of vintage lamps, retro furniture and unusual display stands showcasing her signature androgynous boots, leather wedges and heels. Walk up the stairs and the first floor is an open-plan kitchen and living room, which also doubles as an office and meeting space. And at the top is Baker’s private quarters, with her bedroom and semi open-plan en suite housed under the original, exposed, gabled timber roof which Baker says reminds her of “a beautiful old ship”. Everywhere you look there are interesting and unusual adornments, such as a striking star-shaped light from a fairground, a life-size fibreglass mannequin,



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affectionately known as Lola, and a dining table filled with photos and art from friends and her travels around the world. The overall feel is relaxed, unassuming but undeniably chic, a bit like the owner herself in fact. “I just think I’m an impulse junk buyer, who shoves it all in and hopes for the best,” says Baker in typical self-deprecating mode. “I don’t get interior designers in because I prefer to do it myself. But I never really have a plan. It just seems to come together.” Baker admits that the one thing she has consciously avoided in Rivington Street is strong colours. “I’m not a big fan of them, and this place is all about the bricks and windows, so even if I did want to introduce more colour, it would be hard to figure out where,” she says. She has been toying with the idea of adding an extra storey to the property, but is in two minds about it because of that beautiful old wooden roof. Besides, she’s a bit too busy at the moment designing her latest collection, dividing her time between here and Italy, overseeing the business Stateside and generally having too good a time to project-manage major renovation works. Who wouldn’t want her life?!

The large windows of Baker’s shop are the ideal place to showcase her wares

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The after life

Taxidermy is firmly back in fashion, but in its modern guise it’s about ethically sourced animals and artistic pieces – and no one better exemplifies the practitioners of today than East London-based artist Harriet Horton, whose colourful, neon-detailed creations are springing up all over town WORDS BY SAM MONTAGUE

Not since the Victorian era has stuffing dead animals been so bang on trend, with art made from corpses gracing some of the area’s most fashionable bars, pubs and abodes. These days, however, it’s less about creating as life-like a replica of the deceased creature as possible and more about pushing boundaries and altering perceptions – but with respectfulness and ethicality at modern taxidermy’s core. And at the vanguard of this movement is Harriet Horton, a well-spoken 29-year-old, whose work lends the ancient art a surreal and playful pop twist, bringing neon lighting and vibrant colour to the ever-growing party. Harriet, who lives near Aldgate East and has a studio in Dalston, is used to people balking at the medium in which she works, despite the likes of Damien Hirst and Polly Morgan having led the way. “Taxidermy is still seen as being a bit creepy and macabre,” she says. “There’s this really common ➦

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misconception that to practice it you must somehow hate animals when the complete opposite is true. Every taxidermist I’ve met is a fervent animal lover, which is usually why they got into it in the first place. You get to see the animals so close up it gives you a real sense of what they are like. It was this curiosity of seeing something in such incredible detail that the Victorians loved.” Not that Harriet is a fan of traditional taxidermy. “I find a lot of the old stuff awful and vile,” she says. “I particularly hate trophy heads. I remember visiting antique shops with my mum as a child and seeing these horrible glassy-eyed animals staring down at me and being repulsed by them. I’ve never liked that gothic quality and it’s something I’ve desperately tried to avoid.” Largely self-taught, apart from a short course with renowned Edinburgh-based taxidermist George Jamieson, tutor to the aforementioned Polly Morgan, Harriet honed her stuffing skills through practising at home of an evening and at weekends, while holding down a means-to-an-end job. “At first I didn’t really know where I was going with it,” she admits. “And after a while I started to get bored with what I was producing. That’s when I began making the positions slightly less authentic and introducing a bit of colour. “My first piece using neon was a canary under a beautiful vintage glass dome with the word canary written in yellow neon light. That was it for me – I’d found what I was looking for. Neon is just the best thing, adding temperature and changing the mood. It’s such a powerful material that does a lot of my work for me. Through using it I discovered the aesthetic I’d been trying to achieve all along.” Harriet is happy to fashion her pieces from a variety of animals – birds, rats, squirrels, foxes and stoats have all featured – but with the one proviso, that they are ethically sourced. “Most of the animals I use have died naturally, such as road casualties or birds flying into windows,” she says. “Also, the more my name gets out, the more people know to send me stuff. Just the other day I got a text from a friend asking if I was around because a guy had found a dead fox in his garden and wanted to give it to a taxidermist.” Being the go-to girl to give dead animals



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to might not be to most people’s taste, but as Harriet explains, “It’s one of the best ways of actually knowing the provenance of the creature. Otherwise you’re relying on what people are telling you, which, as we know with food, can never be completely failsafe. That said, in my early days of taxidermy, when I was practising, I did buy raw carcasses without knowing for sure where they came from. Now however, I am so much more consciously aware. I think that comes from having these animals tangibly in your hands – that really makes you question the ethics.” So much so in fact that Harriet admits to having gone from being a big meat eater to first a pescatarian, then a vegetarian and now a ‘struggling’ vegan as a direct result of the taxidermy. “I love what I do so much, but it is f****** horrible, it’s really gross,” Harriet admits. “Sometimes, especially when I’m hungover, I just wish I’d done illustration instead.” Not that she’s likely to give up the taxidermy any time soon, with her work now attracting the attention of many buyers (prices start at £1,000 for an original, £50 for a print) and galleries alike. Indeed, she’s just about to carefully pack up her latest endeavours and send them off to Paris for a major exhibition, her second in less than a year. Called Camouflage, the show sees Harriet rethinking animals’ colouring. “As I’ve said, I never wanted to be traditional and create natural history specimens,” she explains. “And the concept of this show is an extension of that. Taking an animal from its natural habitat immediately makes its camouflage redundant, especially when it’s deceased. I’ve decided to play with that, reimagining and creating my own camouflage to create contemporary, smart pieces that look fantastic in a modern setting.”

Birds in flight often feature in Harriet’s neon pieces, such as Lovers, above, and An Aborted Beginning, below left



S I LV E R J E A N S . C O . U K



push the boat out

Life on the ocean waves? Not quite, but special nevertheless

SUNBORN YACHT HOTEL The ideal way to arrive at a super yacht would be by helicopter, but unfortunately ours was in for its MOT. Instead, we had to make do with the DLR, however we managed to retain the aquatic theme by using our Oyster cards. With the chance to experience a little of the luxury, glamour and charm usually reserved for Philip Green, oligarchs and their guests, we made the short walk from the DLR at Custom House down to Royal Victoria dock, where the Sunborn super yacht hotel is permanently moored. Its towering presence within the dock at 394ft (120 metres) in length, with 138 bedrooms over five floors, is an awesome sight and we were excited to be staying on board. The entrance is a smart elevator that conveyed us quickly up to

reception, where two opulent sweeping staircases took centre stage. Greeted and checked in enthusiastically by the friendly staff, we made our way down the cruise ship-type corridor to our executive cabin. Decked out with nautical wooden panelling, the room was inviting and warm, with a seating area and secluded balcony overlooking the water. The room had all the comforts you’d need – bathrobes, slippers, a comfortable bed, coffee machine and TV. Keen to take in the magnificent view of the city skyline from the bar, we anchored ourselves outside on deck with white wine spritzers. With London City Airport located


Pretend you’re an oligarch and spend the night on a Docklands-moored super yacht or check into a stunning Spitalfields’ pub that now has rooms

CULPEPER Occupying a corner of Commercial Street, opposite Petticoat Lane, the Culpeper is a fourstorey monster of a public house (incidentally named after a 17th-century local herbalist, who was by all accounts a bit of a maverick) that recently completed the final phase of renovation work – like a pub, restaurant, rooftop, greenhouse and garden wasn’t enough – and now has five en-suite rooms. And jolly lovely they are too. Our room for the night couldn’t have been more warm and welcoming, with throws, cushion and pillows in different hues and prints creating a boho vibe, while the bed itself was huge and sumptuous. We later discovered all the rooms have been furnished using products from local

nearby, it’s a fantastic spot to witness the occasional plane spectacularly ascend from the ground, into the sky and beyond. Lucky to have such a beautiful day to explore the local area, we made our way for a flight on board the Emirates Air Line cable car and took in some of the breathtaking views of our fantastic city. It’s also a must to book Sunborn’s new Under the Sea afternoon tea, in partnership with Hummingbird Bakery. We spoilt ourselves with crab and lobster sandwiches and beautiful cakes, along with a glass or two of bubbly. Dinner didn’t disappoint, either. The service was excellent and every

fine dish cooked with pride, while we watched the sparkling city lights across the Thames. The yacht’s proximity to Excel, the O2, Canary Wharf and the aforementioned Air Line make it a perfect spot for those visiting the city for business or pleasure; and we decided it’s a great place for family occasions, murder mystery parties, casino nights... the possibilities are endless. Sir Philip would be green with envy! IN THE KNOW: Nightly rates start from £160. Under the Sea afternoon tea starts from £26 per person. Address: Royal Victoria Dock, London E16 1XL. sunbornlondon.com

craftspeople, so no wonder they look so vibrant and chic! Nice touches include a digital radio, Nespresso machine, a map of the local area (not that we needed it!) as well as books chosen by local literary bastion, The Gentle Author. A night spent boozing happily downstairs (as guests you get 10% discount on all food and drinks) set us up for breakfast the next day, served in the rooftop greenhouse with stunning views. A full English helped soothe our heads, with bacon and sausages courtesy of the Ginger Pig being of particular note. A real gem in the heart of Shoreditch, the Culpeper deserves to do very well indeed. IN THE KNOW: Rooms £120 a night, including breakfast. Address: 40 Commercial Street, E1 6LP. theculpeper.com 63


Enjoy a cocktail or two at La Terraza rooftop bar

The Andalusian capital, Seville, has it all going on – brilliant architecture, both ancient and new, delicious food, world class shopping and a 24hour party atmosphere. What’s stopping you? While much of southern Spain is rugged and uncompromising, Seville, the region’s metropolis, is a stark contrast, being elegant and cultivated, a true city of the world. A wander through its labyrinthine streets is like travelling back in time, yet turn any corner and you come face to face with Seville’s modernity, be it through the recent spate of contemporary building or the presence of all the big-name brands on its busy shopping streets. Its people too are very much of the 21st century, being stylish and outward-looking, and utterly charming to their visitors.


One of Seville’s oldest and finest hotels, Hotel Inglaterra, a member of the Preferred Hotels & Resorts Lifestyle Collection (preferredhotels.com), is situated in the Plaza Nueva, the main square in the old town. It’s just a 64


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stroll from all the attractions, including the spectacular Catedral de Santa María de la Sede – the largest Gothic cathedral in the world. With more than 150 years of history, the hotel has seen many of Europe’s great and good pass through, including Edward, Prince of Wales, Hans Christian Andersen and composer Giuseppe Verdi. Enter its gold-paned glass doors into the white marble lobby and you feel as if you’ve entered a bygone era. Festooned with ornate floral arrangements, antique tile murals, glass cases full of ancient sepia photos and assorted souvenirs, the hotel

oozes old-school charm. Opt for a room on one of the higher floors, where the views over the plaza are beyond stunning, giving a tantalising glimpse of the city. The rooms themselves are palatial, with ornate décor and Englishstyle soft furnishings in duck egg blue and royal yellow. The marble bathroom is large enough to get lost in (well almost).

out & about

Go for an open-top bus tour, wending past the Torre del Oro (Tower of Gold) across the Puente de San Telmo (bridge of San Telmo) taking in the University of Seville and Exposicion Universal (Expo 92). Hop off at one of the pretty roadside cafés with welcome cool mist sprinklers for homemade ice cream or ice-cold beer. Take a brief siesta back at the hotel (well, when in Spain and all that) before wandering back out to find the Metropol Parasol, which shouldn’t be difficult to locate as it’s the largest wooden structure in the world. An amazing architectural folly that consists of six parasols in the form of giant mushrooms, it will instantly seduce you. For just a few euros, take the elevator to the walkway where you’ll marvel at the incredible views and then enjoy a free drink at the bar.

Afterwards, tuck in to delicious tapas sitting outside in the balmy night air followed by a nightcap or two in one of the many plazas. The next day head for the cathedral, where you’ll join a long queue. The half-hour wait is worth it, though, as it is one of the most majestic buildings you’ll ever enter. Climb the 343ft ramp up to the top of the bell tower, where you’ll again be bowled over by the views. Eat at one the pavement restaurants opposite where huge plates of croquettes and great local jambon is served.

eat & drink

Fine dining is not in short supply, but a real standout is the Abades Triana (abadestriana.com), a modern space with a glass façade overlooking the Guadalquivir River and opposite the Tower of Gold. Book a table on the Mirador Terrace to soak up the sun while indulging in superb Andalusian cuisine. If you’re feeling flush, opt for the gourmet tasting menu consisting of eight sublime dishes especially chosen by the head chef. Then for drinks, just go back to the hotel and take the lift up to the luxurious rooftop bar, La Terraza, and take in the 360-degree views of the city.

getting there

Ryan Air flies from Stansted or Gatwick to Seville for as

WORDS: Renate Ruge. PHOTOGRAPHY: visitbrighton.com

The views from the hotel are beyond stunning,giving us a tantalising glimpse of the city

Designing emojis for Twitter has to be the perfect career for a millennial, so no wonder Emma Hopkins absolutely adores her job. Channing Tatum, The X Factor judges and even the Pope have undergone her signature treatment. For such a bang on-trend girl it’s only natural that she’s gravitated East

Emma’s Little Black Book RESTAURANT: Okay, so strictly speaking it’s N1, but Sweet Thursdays is well worth a visit for great brunches and fabulous pizza. COFFEE SHOP: For someone who loves their coffee, Palm Vaults ticks all the boxes. SHOP: Choosing Keeping, a beautiful, small store selling the most gorgeous stationery items on Columbia Road. BAR: I love the laid-back atmosphere at the Netil360 rooftop bar at Netil House, near London Fields.

MARKET: I know everyone must say it, but you can’t beat Columbia Road flower market. PLACE TO BAG A BARGAIN: The stuff at Spitalfields Market is always a bit different and often inexpensive. PLACE TO HANG OUT: Being a keen cyclist, it has to be Look Mum No Hands! on Old Street – a café, bar and bicycle workshop all in one. PLACE TO WANDER: The Regent’s Canal has it all going on.

I live just off the Kingsland Road, where me and my mate rent a house. The fact that it’s just a five-minute cycle ride to some of the most vibrant and exciting parts of London really is the best feeling. Since living here we’ve stopped making coffee in the house. What’s the point when you’ve got such excellent cafés and top baristas right on the doorstep? But with Twitter HQ being in Soho, I only get to live and play in the East. The good news though is that my bike ride to work provides me with a great work-out, although the first thing I do when I arrive is to replenish my caffeine levels. As you may have guessed, coffee features quite heavily in my life! Working for Twitter is, without doubt, awesome. I feel so fortunate to have landed such a dream job. Every day I get to innovate, experiment and evolve. To be doing something that I feel so inspired and passionate about is a real blessing. When creating emojis of people I like to ensure that I capture some of their personality. It’s not always easy though, given the size I’m working with. With such a small canvas the trick is to identify the details that the users will be most familiar with – so if a certain celebrity is always being papped wearing sunglasses, then I’ll probably create a version of them wearing shades. I have to repeatedly check that the emoji is working at 16x16 pixels, not to mention excessively asking those around me ‘does this look alright?’. If they’re not getting what it is straight away then I know I need to make changes and adapt the design. Deciding which emojis get created is often dependent on a particular event or personality who’s gaining momentum. We look at what our users are finding interesting and whether an emoji would add value to their experience on the platform. They can work in a similar way to the hashtag, which connects tweets about

a specific topic, but the emoji offers a more visual and creative way of doing this. Also, an emoji can help to articulate what a user is feeling, that’s why the smiley and confused faces are such old favourites. In terms of fame and impact, the biggest emoji I’ve created is probably the Pope. He’s very much a global figure and when he made a historic visit to the US last year we wanted to create something special for the occasion. After much experimentation – alternate hats, quirky glasses, crazy bandanas – I came up with one featuring his smiling face with the US flag behind him. This neatly helped convey the regional pride that his visit represented. This was echoed by emojis representing New York, Washington DC and Philadelphia, which were all stops on his tour. Another memorable emoji was the one I created of Hollywood actor Channing Tatum because I actually got to meet him in person. For the Cannes Festival of Creativity I’d set up an Emojibooth, where Twitter’s VIPs were invited to come to have themselves turned into an emoji by me drawing them in person. Channing Tatum was my very first client. The Emojibooth has a couple more events lined up for later this year, which I am really excited about. I didn’t come from a particularly creative family, but my parents decided it would be okay to let their little girl pursue a seemingly impractical career. As a child I’d spend hours doodling on pavements with chalk, which continued into drawing all over my schoolbooks. This eventually turned into designing free artwork for aspiring MySpaceera brands, which led me to a design course at university I’m originally from the West Country, a little village in Somerset in fact. As you can imagine, the buzz and business of East London is in stark contrast, but I can’t think of anywhere else I’d rather be right now.

From Slimer to Her Majesty, Emma’s emojis cover all trending topics 66


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