E1 Life Magazine Launch Issue

Page 1


Take me, I’m yours

Lifeon the




Why the East End is booming – big time BUSINESS








P 13 Street feasts: Nice bit o’ grub.

P 18 Fashion fades, style is eternal.

P 24 BDQ (breakfast, dinner, quirky).

P 26 Gunpowder: Hot stuff.

P 30 Made it: Chef James Lowe.

P 36 Get fit fast in your break.

P 56 Business: Who to hire (and how).

P 47 Saluting East End artists.

P 66 Meryl: EastEnder to entrepreneuer.

PUBLISHER: Rosie Coxshaw - EDITOR: Renate Ruge - CREATIVE DIRECTOR: Nicky Acketts - ADVERTISING DIRECTOR: Loretta Williamson - BUSINESS AND PROPERTY: Eric Woollard-White - ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR: Ed Gibbs - FOOD AND DRINK WRITER: Liam Barker - MUSIC WRITER: Nick Atkins - LIFESTYLE WRITERS: Polly Dowson, Lizzie Frainer and Heidi Ruge, Olivia Taylor FEATURES: Lisa Doust - ARTS SCENE: Neil Zackiewicz - FITNESS: Sandra Bickmore - WELLBEING: Russell Dovey - SOCIAL MEDIA: Charlotte Clarke - ADVERTISING ASSISTANT: Chanelle Hall - PHOTOGRAPHY: Adam Trussell - JUNIOR DESIGNER: Ashley Hall. Printed by Polestar - Circulation: RCPromotions - 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. We reserve the right to publish and edit any letters. All rights reserved.

Our corner of the world boasts a deep, rich and diverse history. East London has an earthy buzz and an unstoppable energy, which emanates from its locals, who are united in good times and bad. Bombed in the Blitz; the crucible of the political landscape-changing Suffrage movement and the home to notorious gangster legends. Gritty urbanism meets city slicker; tradition meets hipster. Where else will you find the best jellied eels in town from a family business going back centuries, right next door to a chic bistro? Both offering sustenance to the agency creatives, market and city traders who live and work here. E1 Life – it’s what we’re about. ILLUSTRATION: SOPHIE CASTLE ILLUSTRATION: SOPHIE CASTLE

In your neck of the woods

To us, East is Eden...


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ar ad rr ou on our radar on on on our radar ou r ra da r





on our radar on


1, BUY LOCAL Shop right here, right now. Start setting out on a mission of on-your-doorstep discovery for your loved one. 2, FASHIONABLE FLATS Yup, comfortable shoes are still trending thanks to the flat mule. Slip into a pair to get around London faster. 3, FRINGED BENEFITS Living on the edge? The swingy trim trend is here to stay.


4, THE COLOUR ORANGE Brighten-up peeps, the sunny hue is on the rise on Spring 2016 catwalks and will be hot for homes, too.. Julia Weber Orange cushion, £16.99 from DaWanda.com 3

5, STATEMENT MIRRORS Reflect your best self and make a fancy mirror the star of your show. Shop the markets for vintage finds or get hung up on this porthole mirror, chandeliersandmirrors.co.uk. 6, FEEL AT HOME AT WORK Move out of uninspiring corporate offices and into a creative space. See page 62 for the lowdown on cool places to hot desk and rent.


7, PEARLY KINGS AND QUEENS Even Gucci is adding pearls to their loafers. Course this trend dates back to The Pearlies – the charitable organisation started by Henry Croft (1862-1930) in 1875 with his signature mother of pearl buttons, which 5

decorated the costumes of costermongers, who sold their wares and “rolled out the barrel” from the City of London to Shoreditch, Tower Hamlets, Hoxton and Dalston, thepearlies.co.uk


8, BIG UP BREKKIES ‘Am an’ eggs anyone? Breakfasts in the East are getting bigger and better. Move over quinoa porridge. Make a real meal of it instead at Roast in Borough Market. Try their new dish of gammon and pineapple topped with an egg – sunny side up, of course. Look out for the results of our ‘best breakfasts around’ taste test in our next issue…


9. MORE THAN YOU THINK DISHES Like? Endive with anchovy and hazelnut - a good example of a ‘vegetable is king’ dish we found in London Fields at Ellory, where chef Matthew Young has refreshed this newly opened elegant dining space. Where? Netil House, 1 Westgate Street, London, E8 3RL, ellorylondon.com 10. POP UPS Here to stay. Fitness freaks should race to Old Street station, where Frame has popped up a one-stop health and fitness shop. The brightly-coloured store also offers yoga, dance workouts and out-of-office stretching, moveyourframe.com


Join the conversation! Tell us your stories for a chance to win an East End experience. info@e1ife.co.uk


in your space

“I work at All Saints and live locally. I love Columbia flower market and wouldn’t want to live anywhere else!” Serena

‘Alf a dozen roses, darlin’?

Spring is finally in the air, which means we’ll be spending our Sunday mornings down Columbia Road flower market. Grab a coffee, watch the street musicians perform, and haggle for a bargain from the many vintage furniture shops and flower stalls. Just remember, anything you do buy has to be lugged back home, so choose wisely!

Have you found the next Banksy?

’50s revival

Left to right: Katie, Jo Jo, Kylie, Alice and Charlotte. Shoreditch is a meeting point, as they live all over the country. They like to shop vintage and met through 1950s fashion.

London is one of the world’s best places to see street art, with artists coming from far and wide to paint its walls. If you spot a new work of art on your street corner, share it on social media using #EastendStreetArt and you could be featured in our next issue!

next issue The Great Pie ’n’ Mash Off! Do you make your own at home – or head out to your local for one? Whichever way you take your pie ’n’ mash, we want to know! Send us photos, recipes or your top tips and we’ll be publishing the best!


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Sky-high dining

London’s current love-affair with high-rise dining doesn’t seem to be slowing down. With the Shard, Searcys at the Gherkin, Sky Garden at 20 Fenchurch Street and Duck & Waffle all offering spectacular views, we want to know what your favourite cloudskimming restaurant is. Share your thoughts @E1LifeMag.


Warm up for Valentine’s Day with our ideas for a romantic rendez-vous.



A fine romance RUBY’S The words ‘drinking den’ have never been more apt. Ruby’s is the definition of stripped back. Enjoy clandestine cocktails made from the house-infused spirits served up in 1940s milk bottles and tin cups. Warning: the Blackberry Mojito is sweetly addictive... 76 Stoke Newington Road, Dalston N16 7XB. rubysdalston.com SPEAKEASY 5CC Once inside the Exmouth Arms, head straight past the bar to the far corner and up the staircase. At the top, find an intimate,

low-lit speakeasy, with dark wood, brass tabletops and an apothecary cabinet of aged spirits. Be sure to book, as ending up in the pub may leave a less than desirable impression. 131-132 Shoreditch High St, E1 6JE. 5cc-london.com CEVICHE OLD STREET Roll out the romance with share plates of scallop ceviche followed by Delicado de Chocolate aka chocolate mousse, raspberry gelée, white chocolate velvet and hibiscus-rose petal sauce. Swoon. 2 Baldwin Street, Old Street, EC1V 9NU. ceviche.co.uk

Hearts and flowers THE DRAWING ROOM You’ve just taken in some classic Katharine Hepburn at the BFI Southbank. Pass the crowds, find the decadent Drawing Room behind a random bookcase. Plush leather armchairs, antique luggage chests, classic jazz sets the tone for love. Flutes, martinis, slings and rocks, or twists on classic cocktails using fresh herbs and artisan jams. Fig jam in your Old Fashioned, anyone? BFI Southbank, Waterloo, SE1 8XT. benugo.com

GALVIN HOP Ramp up your advances with a tête-a-tête at this Galvin Pub de Luxe. Champagne, oysters and cured smoked salmon with soda bread, charred beetroot and goats’ curd salad followed by slowcooked beef cheeks in stout and caramelised carrots. Too fancy? Grab a couple of luxe hotdogs to go. 35 Spital Square, E1 6DY. galvinrestaurants.com

Successfully single CTC BRICK LANE Look out for the new bar on Brick Lane where the creative CTC

Smithfield team will be serving bespoke tipples. Impress a prospective date with a smooth, malty and extravagant Hot Buttered Bun or a sublime A Chocolate Flip. Opening soon: The Cocktail Trading Company Brick Lane 68 Bethnal Green Road E1 6GQ. thecocktailtradingco.co.uk JONES FAMILY PROJECT Feeling unloved? Pair up with a pal and sink a cocktail on the sofa over astro turf, then treat your bestie to a superb steak. 78 Great Eastern Street EC2A 3JL. 0207 739 1740 jonesfamilyproject.co.uk

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BE SURE TO BOOK OUR BUSINESS BOOZE & SCHMOOZE EVENT AT VILLAGE UNDERGROUND, SHOREDITCH – APRIL 2016 Call 0203 011 1194 or email events@rcpromo.co.uk for ticket information and sponsorship opportunities rcpromo.co.uk/rcbn X E1IFE


Champagne launch SHOREDITCH,LONDON

The top brass of sparkling Champagne house Krug flew into town, creating a flower-filled secret garden complete with swings and pot plants at the chi-chi Studio One space. The celebration? A special vintage release of Krug 2002. The gathered crowd of local financiers and collectors raised a toast to the fine bubbles. Oysters, slithers of jamon and petit bowls of Parmesan risotto made for perfectly paired canapĂŠ offerings. #krug2002 krug.com shoreditchstudios.com PHOTOGRAPHY BY JON BRADLEY






Market ravers Markets are getting a makeover with an accent on good grub, great grooves and grabbing back abandoned spaces STORY: ERIC WOOLLARD-WHITE

If market trading is synonymous with a particular location in the world, then East London has just as much right as anywhere to lay claim to being its spiritual home. For hundreds of years, merchants and traders have gathered here to peddle their wares, with the River Thames serving as a vital supply chain artery for staple food goods, exotic products and more. There’s even a secret language, or slang, developed by traders over centuries, with its roots firmly in the Cockney lexicon, which has become one of the beloved curious features of our cultural landscape.

And let’s face it, when it comes to making a pitch and a sale, our homegrown market talent really knows how to make you part with your cash. The archetypal image of wide-boy traders that springs to mind for many will be the hapless Del Boy and Rodney from television’s Only Fools and Horses… “This time next year, Rodney, we’ll be millionaires.” That kind of financial ambition does not come easy in the world of market trading, but for some it’s definitely a business area in an exciting transition. Markets, especially those with the focus on bringing together street food vendors, are in the midst of a renaissance and FEB/MAR 2016


regeneration, and the traders and locations on the Shoreditch doorstep are – as usual – leading the way. London Union is one of a number of organisations setting the pace following its acquisition of ‘food rave’ pioneers, Street Feast, with its popular roofed winter venue Dinerama in Great Eastern Street, and a summer location at Dalston Yard, which re-opens from April 2016. These are both bustling gatherings of tantalising street food vendors adjacent to themed bars and spaces to be seen at, with resident and visiting DJs creating the ambience of an all-year holiday. London Union’s mission is to transform the Capital’s food landscape and its signature in these venues is definitely less market and more ecosystem, with the accent firmly on creating an experience. Good food sits side by side with great tunes in areas you can hangout with friends late into the night. It is potentially a whole new model for liberating market trading as we know it, transforming it into a contemporary, fast-evolving proposition for the more sophisticated and demanding customer looking for something different – and now the big corporates and public market traders are beginning to sit up and take notice. For the traders, it’s creating a support system and an environment where they can nurture and develop a business, a brand and – in many cases – a new philosophy around the whole concept of ‘fast’ food. But it’s not just the private sector making positive moves in the world of markets. The borough’s publically controlled trading spaces are are beginning to step up, according to Hackney Council, which manages six public markets with more than 600 pitches and growing. A spokesperson for Hackney Council’s Markets Service Team said: “We are seeing an evolution among our public markets and traders, who beginning to look at the private sector markets and identify the best practices that are making them stand out. Use of social media is growing, and in the past few years some traders are beginning to think as much about branding as they are about product supply and price.” 14 E1IFE

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“For traders, it’s creating an environment where they can nurture a new philosophy around the concept of ‘fast’ food.”


Pop-ups are providing pickme-ups all over the East.

Up Poofp-the Month



“It’s all about the passion – which is pretty much 80 per cent of sales in our world,” says Petra Barran, the Founder of Kerb, which is taking on the lunchtime street food market scene by creating “clusters” of vendors who go the extra mile. The into-the-night street food market scene maybe creating positive ripples in Shoreditch, but for Petra, who started life as a trader herself back in the day, it’s all about offering something different and creating a “food theatre that gives people a stage to showcase what they can do. She founded Kerb three years ago based on her experiences of being part of the food trader community in East London in order to help and nurture new talent within the safety net of a structured organisation. “We offer spaces in the right places that provide a place to be seen, get tasted and make your mark – we are literally looking for people who want to throw themselves into this business and be a part of our culture; it’s all about the community,” she says. Kerb runs a weekly market during the day at Spitalfields, and is now extending its reach to new areas in the vicinity. “People from offices come out and buy their lunch, and then go back to work and tell their bosses that we should be catering for their corporate functions,” she adds.

DINERAMA, 19 Great Eastern St, London EC2A 3EJ This weather-proofed street food arena is home to some of London’s most finger lickin’ dishes. Don’t miss Breddos slinging tacos from their modern day Taqueria. Pick from multitude of craft beers at the German sex dungeon, or there’s Winerama if you’re a wine buff; or just plain like wine! The neon signs at Dinermama are becoming an iconic part of London’s street food culture. Don’t miss out. Every Thur/Fri/Sat streetfeastlondon.com

LONDON UNION’S VIEW: Co-founder Jonathan Downey London Union, the parent company of Street Feast, is backed by some of the biggest names in the food and restaurant business, including Jamie Oliver and Nigella Lawson. Co-founded by Henry Dimbleby (who also Co-founded the Leon chain) and Jonathan Downey (who established the Milk & Honey bars in Soho and Manhattan), it’s an organisation at the vanguard of creating food markets linked to nightlife destinations with pizzazz. Jonathan set out his stall to E1 Life. “We have created a movement, a food force if you like, which is delivering many wins for all involved, but the mission now is to really step that up

and get political power behind us,” he explains. “When you look at what’s happening in New York and Paris, there’s so much more we can do here in London to create better, vibrant food spaces.” He adds: “We have helped startups and young business owners by giving them a platform for their talents, elevating their business from a few customers to many thousands at our locations. We are a community of traders utilising community spaces, with a community of shareholders and who are all part of transformational change around the core concept of giving people great places to eat, drink, meet up and hang-out.”

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SO, YOU WANNA BE A TRADER? If the trader’s life looks like a good business opportunity to you, and you fancy giving it a go, here’s the lowdown on how to take the first step into the street food world. There are rules, regulations, permits and registrations, not to mention food hygiene standards to observe. And you’ll need the vital ingredients for any business, a unique selling point, drive and determination. It’s very hard work. Still interested? As a start-up, finding a home is going to be among the first steps, and the Street Feast organisation offers help for those beginning the journey. There’s a pack full of information you can download at: streetfeastlondon.com It offers some basic guidance as

follows: “To trade with us, you’ve got to be among the best in your field on the street. We’re looking for amazing cooking with character and originality. There will always be loads of great burgers, barbecue, tacos and pizza on the menu at Street Feast – but what’s new? Maybe now’s a good time to start thinking outside the bun. “The most successful street food traders do one thing really well. Street food is about getting the most out of a small number of quality ingredients; your 400th street meal of the night should be as good as the first. If your crew can’t learn your menu in a couple of hours, it’s too complicated.” Left: Rainbo’s Ben Sheinwald and his wife Xochi Balfour have been benefitting from offering a healthy alternative at festivals and events.

THE TRADER’S VIEW Rainbofood.com Ben Sheinwald and his wife Xochi Balfour are co-founders of Shoreditch favourite, Rainbofood. Set up in 2012, with a focus on offering lighter, healthier and more nutritious options among the meatier offerings, the business has gone from strength to strength as part of the Street Feast movement, and is now booking more private functions, events and other festivals. “We’ve been with Street Feast since the beginning and it was just what was needed in the area, not just for us but also for many smaller traders just starting out,” explains Ben. “They offer a nurturing environment that is very supportive and it attracts lots of people. It provided a chance for us to develop something different to what else was on offer, and then start to build a market for the business.” Adds Ben: “An interesting emerging trend in the area is the growing number of companies who are moving away from the traditional corporate caterers with their unremarkable menus, and booking street food vendors for daytime meetings, events and client hospitality, because they want to create an atmosphere and deliver something memorable.” For Xochi, the whole experience of setting up and building Rainbofood with Ben has been so inspiring she has written a book (due out in April), entitled The Naturalista: Nourishing Recipes to Live Well. thenaturalista.co.uk

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Lost in all the market lingo? Ever wondered what the people running market stalls are saying to each other? Market traders are very much part of the rich historical and cultural fabric of East London – with a unique way of talking, that has evolved over hundreds of years. Listen up for some of these while you’re out and about:

boodle – historically, this refers to money from ill-gotten gains. demmer – market trader who demonstrates their product.

five-finger discount – shoplifting or shoplifters

godiva – five pound note. ‘Fiver’ rhymes with Lady Godiva. kipper season – the period of slow trade from January to March each year. monkey – five hundred pounds. From the monkey on the Indian 500 rupee.

plank – an idiot or a fool. pony – 25 pounds. pukka – first rate, or authentic. snide – illegal copies of branded products. toby – the name given to

every market manager; what they say is law.

tyre kicker – a time waster.

Street Style


It’s a


thing Meg, “My son and I live locally and likes to shop at Box Park. I love wandering around and being inspired by eveything that’s going on. There’s such a buzz here.”

Meet the local fashionistas to find out the word on the street on where to shop.

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Alexander “I work in VC. This is a very honest part of London. It’s casual – it’s loose. You don’t have to follow too many formalities. When it comes to clothes, I mainly buy high street stuff, but I like to throw in a nice vintage piece. Later I’ll be going for drinks at the Ace Hotel for sure.”

Charlotte “I work in media near here. I’m helping to launch Tres Nu Wave, a media marketing agency highlighting the music and fashion culture of South Africa. We’re just out for a stroll. We used to live in Shoreditch then went over to South Africa. We are moving back into the area soon. People around here have lots going on and are open to meeting new people. There are lots of young people in the area, bringing lots of new ideas together. We’re friends with the people that launched Barigoldi Nights – a pop up where they make different fresh pastas and everyone gets together and eats together. It’s a really good night out. There are so many companies here too; it’s a real hub for media. You can get lost in a back alley and then bump into a screening on a night out. For coffee, I like Shoreditch Grind, where you can sit and watch all the kooks. Though, I guess we’re kooks too!”

Linde Ockhuizen “I’m from Amsterdam, visiting family and they recommended exploring this area and I love it. I buy a mixture of clothes from everywhere but Maje is my favourite label.”



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Mohammed Zah “I’m with my friend who works at American Apparel. I like to buy clothes from small stores. I am from Nice and in London for the weekend. My friends all said we had to check the area out, so we have been wandering around and I like it. We’re going to Spitalfields Market now.”

John Neate “I’m heading to Spitalfields market to buy food. It’s cool, it’s individual, there’s lots of style and culture here and some great street food. I like to eat at the Hoxton and the Ace hotel is cool for drinks. I buy clothes from lots of independent brands, especially A Cold Wall.” Hat: Christys, jacket: Alpha Industries.”

Ines “I live just around the corner. I love to shop at the local Sunday markets and like to eat and drink locally. I’m recycling today as I borrowed my coat from a friend. The boots were given to me as a present. I like to mix and match.”

Anna-belle Mulder I’m from South Africa and here visiting my friend Alyssa. I love the street art and we’re having fun exploring. Alyssa’s’ taking me to The Owl and the Pussycat for drinks later. 22 E1IFE

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Blood Sweat and Tears, Josha Kane, “I’m the owner of n our Autumn/Winter Brushfield St, E1. We’ve just show show was held at The n. 2016 London men’s collectio e of 1000s. We’re an ienc aud an to lds alfie Christchurch, Spit produce all our own and gn independent company – we desi s. MTV filmed the elve ours set the e clothing. We even mad ” show and it was a real success.





Our hot-right-now guide to suit your social occasion. WORDS BY RENATE RUGE AND POLLY DAWSON

A GOOD START: ANDINA 1 Redchurch St, London E1 6JL. 020 7920 6499. andinalondon.com


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This is the place we first found quinoa porridge and our charming barman... who will juice you a colourful smoothie in moments. Martin Morales’ buzzy Peruvian restaurant is one of our ‘go-to’ places for breakfast. Try their rejuvenating ‘Replenish’ menu for a pre-work or work out pep up and feast on dishes including Pudding de Doña Pepa (chia seeds, coconut milk, hazelnut milk, chancaca syrup, blueberries). Or for a protein-packed start to the day, a big plate of steak, eggs and avocado will help muscle recovery post work out. Created with fitness expert and PT Harry Jameson to give your body the nutrition it needs. andina.co.uk


at M by Montcalm Hotel 17th Floor M by Montcalm, 151-157 City Road, London, EC1V 1JH. 020 3837 3108. urbancoterie.co.uk After being whisked up to the 17th floor perch of Urban Coterie in the M by Montcalm, you might just need a drink to steady yourself before taking in those killer views of Hoxton Tech City and the City. Happily, an intimate cocktail bar tucked in by the front entrance obliges, providing a little haven. Urban Coterie is a collaboration between Searcys and chef Anthony Demetre and is led by clever head chef Martin Zahumensky, formerly of Texture and Hibiscus. British produce rules the menu with delicious dishes such as Brixham crab, apple, and celeriac and pork belly, carrots, grapefruit and liquorice. Our raves: the roast scallop and squidgy ‘dumpling’ starter served with XO sauce and those silky creamy custard tarts...


TALKING TURKEY: STRUT & CLUCK strutandcluck.com

Popping up late last year as a temporary offering in Shoreditch House, Strut and Cluck are opening a permanent restaurant in our hood in spring 2016. We’ve been tipped off to expect a ‘fusion of flavours’ inspired by Amir and Limor Chen’s Mediterranean heritage. Turkey meat is the real hero – marinated for a falling off the bone tenderness, herbed and spiced up and finished in a char grill oven. Only free-range turkeys are used. Not just for Christmas, the food promises to be as flavoursome as the dishes, like the Asian greens with pomegranate and roasted almonds in a sweet and spicy sauce that we gobbled up. Veggie share plates such as whole charred cauliflower with labneh and sumac will also feature on the menu. They will just have to know their pecking order…

SweetSpot With a perfectly prepared East End crepe, anything is possible.

Tucked away behind the East London mosque and overshadowed by the evergrowing queue for everyone’s favourite Indian grill lies a lovely little secret, the Crepe Shop café. The tiny, rustic, chic space is filled with the wonderful smell of freshly made pancakes devoured by in-the-know locals. Created in the trendy open kitchen, the crepes are topped with anything from the classic choc combinations to goats cheese, rocket and sun-dried tomatoes or smoked salmon, spring onions and tartare sauce. The best surprise, though, is the underground gallery that supports emerging local artists and art students by letting the exhibition space out for free. Keep your eyes peeled for new talent. crepeshop.co.uk

“No-one looks back on their life and remembers the nights they got plenty of sleep.” FEB/MAR 2016



no smoke without fire

You can just imagine the bustle and scents of a small café in Kolkata while sitting in this tiny restaurant created by Harneet Baweja and head chef Nirmal Save, tucked down a side road off Commercial Street. Each dish tells a story from their homeland and that’s perhaps why for the locals near Liverpool Street, Gunpowder is already a firm favourite. INTERVIEW BY RENATE RUGE

Harneet Baweja’s East London: “We’ve developed a great group of friends and loyal regulars. There’s one couple, Matt and Mark, who’ve lived in the area for 21 years and they’re a great support, trying new dishes and spreading the word.” Of course, the East End is known for a plethora of great curry houses, so what was the Gunpowder plot to make this place stand out from the crowd? “As a home-style kitchen, we’re honest to flavours and respectful of our produce. As most of our dishes stem from family recipes, we have the added pressure to do them justice! The team here is a family, everyone is involved in tasting new dishes,” says Harneet. “I’m really fortunate that my wife, Devina, is my partner at home and at work. We’re a great team and that harmony brings the best out of Gunpowder. We celebrate achievements together.” So, what’s next on the menu? “We’re updating the menu to keep it seasonal too, so watch this space,” he says, with a smile.

Head chef Nirmal Save has just returned from India, travelling around on a food tour, gaining inspiration and picking up new ideas for the new restaurant. “Our new rabbit dish came from his family’s farm. Aunty Sulu’s recipe poaches the meat before marinating it in spices with turmeric, chilli and garlic, then slow cooking it and serving on the bone, to keep it moist and flavoursome.” Since the launch, it’s been a real journey for the family team and according to co-owner Harneet Baweja, one that gets better each day. “It’s been quite the learning curve but a humbling one as we get to know the community, develop our flavours and learn what people like. The reception that some of our dishes have received is wonderful and means so much to us and our families. The venison and vermicelli doughnut and the Sigree grilled mustard broccoli catch most people’s attention, and my ma is delighted her Kashmiri lamb chops have gone down so well!” The local community has welcomed the addition of a more upscale Indian offering with its small share plates, top cocktails and decent wines. Harneet says:

Upscale Indian offerings that appeal to the whole family are all what Gunpowder is all about.

After work hangouts we keep returning to: Things are changing so quickly and we’re always rooting out new openings. The Culpeper and Blessings are great places to grab a drink and catch-up with friends and No. 14 is brilliant on a weekend for live music. Devina and I are big fans of Franze & Evans for breakfast. The East End is London at its best. It’s an eclectic mix of longstanding residents, the younger scene moving in, and exciting new developments that stand alongside age-old local establishments. I hope this continues, as it’s a great snapshot of London’s diverse character. We live in the heart of Shoreditch, the streets keep changing with independent boutiques and design studios popping up. It’s a very exciting place to be! My perfect day off… Means waking up late. Then it’s to Nude for fresh coffee before strolling around the food market just off Brick Lane and grabbing a steamed pork bun. Afternoons are spent catching a movie or lounging about at Rich Mix before heading out for a bite to eat. We always like to try new restaurants, especially those close to home. Two recent favourites we discovered were Chick ’n’ Sours and Berber & Q in Haggerston – they’re doing great things with some really interesting flavours.

Rustic Indian plates inspired by family recipes from the subcontinent, served against a backdrop of exposed brick and simple Scandi-style furniture with design quirks, like the lights made from clusters of chutney pots. The teaser of a spicy venison and vermicelli doughnut is delish. More delightful are ‘Ma’s Kashmiri lamb chops.’The sweet spot is the pork belly dish, where caramelised meat is scattered with crunchy kachumber salad. Last but not least, molten spice chocolate cake with masala chai custard inspired by a chai-selling guy in Mumbai. The cocktails are a good place to start and finish, from the glass of fizz featuring a slither of red chilli that gets hotter, the slower you drink, to the whisky muddled tea concotion and a tamarind twist on a margarita. FEB/MAR 2016




1. FANCY A RUBY? DARBAAR Here’s one posh Indian that makes for a very acceptable date option. To get you in the mood for Valentine’s, there’s a tasting menu with rose passion cocktails and canapés. The dining experience at Darbaar is inspired by banquets of the Indian Royal Court. There is a palatial feel to this high-ceilinged, minimalist space with its gold chandeliers and silver elephants heads. Owner and exec chef Abdul Yasseen (ex Cinnamon Kitchen) presides over a huge open kitchen with tandoor clay ovens and robata grill cooking street tapas, spit roasts and biryani. Go on a double date and order the signature sharing dishes, like Nawabi slow-roasted leg of lamb, Keralan shrimp cocktail and kid goat biryani. ‘Royal pot’ cooked rabbit, baked on the bone with fiery corn-kernel sauce, is prepped in the hyderabadi style and cooked slowly in a clay pot. Our tip: The front bar of this City Indian is a nice spot to warm up to dinner especially with the regal touches like plush comfy stools. The loo seats are pre-heated too… All the Raj. WHERE: 1 Snowden Street, London, EC2A 2DQ darbaarrestaurants.com

2. DEEP SOUTH SMOKEHOUSE HOT BOX Yep we all know down in the Deep South (not south London), they know how to barbecue. But it seems we have a different idea to the Americans when it comes to a Hotbox. Starting out on the street food scene, Hotbox permanently parked up their oak fuelled rotisserie smoker in Spitalfields last year. Establishing themselves as a firm favourite on the burgeoning barbecue scene. Their bottomless liquid brunch is a boisterous and boozy affair, perfect for grown up get-togethers. £25 quid gets you

CHEAP DATE ON THE BAB Make a trip to K Town to sample delicious Korean food served up Anju style. Anju is the traditional method of pairing of bite-sized snacks with drinks. Perfect for date night nibbles. Between two of you, one dish from each of the sections on the menu should take you on a delightful journey of Korean cooking. Order like a pro: Try the yangyum fried chicken and the traditional bibimbap. The drinks menu is centred around Soju – a bit like the Korean version of Sake, sip it on the rocks. WHERE: 305 Old Street, EC1V 9LA onthebab.co.uk

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unlimited bloody marys or prosecco. Order a skillet of smoked meat hash to get into it. Eight hour, slow smoked beef short ribs are served up at dinner, and the smoking doesn’t stop at meat. Grab a side of smoked mac and cheese along with a charred green salad. Yep, that’s right ‘salad’… They don’t discriminate here! Our tip: In the basement is cocktail bar 46 & Mercy. Perfect for after dinner drinks… WHERE:: 46-48 Commercial St, E1 6LT hotboxlondon.com 3. OLD FAITHFUL: TAYYABS Don’t mistake the neon lights outside Tayyabs for a nightclub. Yes, there’s a queue to get in, but it turns out for good reason. This place serves up some of London’s finest curry. Not your run of the mill curry house, inside, dinner service is a frenetic affair. Sizzling portions of Karahi Lamb chops leave the kitchen as often as London buses, leaving an aroma trail of freshly toasted spices in their wake. Classics like tikka masala and biryani are made from recipes passed down through generations. They’ve been serving up Punjabi cuisine since 1974 and long may it continue. Our tip: Don’t forget its BYOB… Cha-ching! WHERE: 83-89 Fieldgate St, E1 1JU tayyabs.co.uk

Written by Rosie Birkett and photographed by Helen Cathcart. Foreword by Nuno Mendes. Published April 2016 by Hoxton Mini Press. £26 hardback


book end

EAST LONDON FOOD More than any other part of London, our East End has always had its own very distinctive culinary identity. A history of industry, resourcefulness and immigration has generated a creativity that makes it a go-to food destination, which is why you should grab a copy of East London Food, which captures a snapshot of the area’s food cultures and depicts the eastward shift in culinary excitement. Get the full story and some tasty recipes. Read about classic cafés, long-standing bagel shops, Michelin-starred eateries, chefs, producers and characters of the East End who together share a spirit to cook up exciting food experiences. Isaac McHale of the the Clove Club and Nuno Mendes rub shoulders with the Pellicci family of the infamous Bethnal Green ‘caff’, legendary foraging figure John the Poacher and urban beekeepers, Barnes & Webb.

“Big cities have big pockets of energy, and for me, East London is ours here in London. I’ve been coming to London since the ’80s and I’ve always enjoyed visiting, but I never really felt the urge to move here until I came to East London.” — NUNO MENDES FEBRUARY 2016



The only way is East In a part of the city awash with foamy foods and gourmet burgers, in a place where taste trends breeze in and out of food fashion, sits understated and talented chef and restaurant owner, James Lowe. Lyle’s opened two years ago in the Tea Building in Shoreditch and like its elegant home, is here to stay, thanks in part to the recent accolade of a Michelin star INTERVIEW BY RENATE RUGE



I feel confident about this area, I always have. People prospect you, fishing for where else you might open a restaurant, with things like, ‘I heard Camberwell is on the up…’ Makes no difference to me. East London is where I felt it would work. It’s a natural choice as I had already cooked at supper clubs and pop-ups here, and the locals are really open and receptive. It took us two years to find this venue. The Michelin star is not something we ever set out to achieve. It was never our aim. I’ve worked in kitchens where trying to get one is a hot topic and you’re very aware of it. There’s a “this is a one-star kitchen” attitude. It was never part of our daily conversation here. We were oddly positioned to make the criteria and Michelin Guide’s usual expectations. What’s great is that if we were chosen on the merits of great produce and the quality of

our food, and that’s what we were judged on, I’m really happy. It’s great for the team to be recognised. From the direction of 2016 awards, the emphasis seems to celebrate good food. I was worried at first that we might attract a different kind of person, who might not get it, or that we might get more complaints, as people judge a restaurant experience differently when you have a star. Hype builds expectation and not necessarily in a good way. We just keep on doing what we are doing and innovating. We’re still quite under the radar and not so mainstream. People say we had the perfect start to the restaurant. For me, it’s what you do with the space, how you apply your philosophy and develop your style and the rest follows. We actually lost money in our first year...

“Hype builds expectation and not necessarily in a good way. We just keep on doing what we are doing and innovating. We’re still quite under the radar and not so mainstream.”

FEB/MAR 2016



pie and mash on, either, but we do have meat-filled puff pastry snacks… Produce from East London might be from Spitalfields or foraging in parks in summer for finds like wild garlic, pea, watercress, small crab apples, blackberries, elderberries and elderflower. You can find cobnuts at Canary Wharf. There’s also a local community-led green project who recently had a whole greenhouse full of chard going spare. We pretty much bought the lot. Fin and Flounder in Broadway market has quality fish and, on that note, I’m off to prep 10 kilos of mackerel…

We’re not a ‘storytelling’ kind of restaurant - you know, that whole, ‘on a bed of something’. My dish of the day would more likely be simply named, ‘Galloway beef’. There’s a casual air here, and our menu echoes our love for entertaining. The focus is on good British ingredients and dishes. That’s what makes this place special. The strange thing about our home, the Tea Building, is that it’s the biggest building on the street yet throughout the war, it was the only one on the block that didn’t get bombed in The Blitz. It’s built to last and I like that idea because that’s what we’re all about. There are many mid-century British references. The space is clean, bright and airy, as it used to be an art gallery and the windows are made by the original manufacturer. Our Lyle’s font is inspired by the original London Underground font. When lunch service finishes, people from the neighbouring companies here pop in for coffee. There’s music and easy interaction thanks to our open kitchen. In terms of “trad” East End dishes, we might not have jellied eels on the menu, but we’ve had two successful events with Koya, serving British eel. We’re careful to use sustainable eel to keep the culture alive. I have no

CHEF RECOMMENDS... COCKTAIL: At Happiness Forgets. Something refreshing like a Tokyo Collins, sort of like a Tom Collins in a tall glass with lots of ice, yuzu and lime. PINT: Mine’s a pint of Harvey’s Best Bitter. COFFEE: The coffee stall

on the corner of Calvert Avenue and Shoreditch High Street, which has a lovely story. When the new road came in, they built the pavement

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around it and you’ll see, there are cobblestones underneath the stall itself. The council wanted to preserve this historical landmark as it’s been there for decades. The owner, Syd, had three sons. Two were killed in the war, so the British Army brought back Syd Junior to carry on the tradition through the next generations.


Rochelle Canteen. Converted from the old-school bike shed, this place has fantastic food and is only open during the day, so if you don’t live or work in the area, you don’t get to go there.


Ellory. The best recent opening. I had a beautiful dish with raw scallop, citrus and raw artichoke. The chef is an intelligent cook.

Don’t miss

The Guest Series of dinners sees international chefs like Daniel Berlin, and Jeremy Charles cook at Lyle’s. “I believe a restaurant should never stand still. It gives our diners a chance to see what’s going on elsewhere – bringing the opportunity to experience some of the world’s best restaurants, without the plane fare.” Book in to taste the NYC flavours of Pam Yung and José Ramírez-Ruiz from Semilla, Brooklyn in March. Tickets: £59

for a set menu. #TheGuestSeries theguestseries.com Lyle’s, Tea Building, 56 Shoreditch High Street, London E1 6JJ.


I would say The Clove Club... every time.


Maltby Street – Stevie’s food is untarnished by trends. There’s new wines available by the glass. Also P. Franco, a wine shop in Clapton Road, where you grab a good bottle off the shelf. The chef only does five or six dishes but it’s awesome.

BY NICK ATKINS Originally a 1930s bacon factory, Shoreditch landmark the Tea Building is home to haute-hipster haven, Lyle’s. Head chef James Lowe was one of the masterminds behind the Young Turks chefs collective. They staged legendary pop-up food events in incongruous locations throughout London, plying their trade in disused office buildings and on rooftop car parks, so it’s no surprise that for Lowe, setting is key. Lyle’s serves seasonal British fare to Shoreditch’s great and good, prepared with surgical precision with a bright and crisp industrial backdrop. The focus of Lowe’s latest project is simple – bold food – made with the very best ingredients. The virtuous, spare dishes showcase high quality produce such as smoked eel, cauliflower and buckwheat, with an emphasis on healthy greens like spinach sorrel, celeriac and fennel. Carefully selected wines are available by the glass or carafe. Lyle’s is paired-back, stylish and so, so Shoreditch.

“Lyle’s serves seasonal British fare to Shoreditch’s great and good, prepared with surgical precision with a light, bright and crisp industrial backdrop.” FEB/MAR 2016



that vital ingredient:

having a passion

The boom in the East End is catching the eye of foodies all over town – including this entreprenuer who’s long called London home BY ERIC WOOLLARD-WHITE

Running a great restaurant business is more than just offering good food. It’s about the experience as much as the menu, the heart and soul as much as the quality of the dishes. Above all, you need a real passion – and Turkish entrepreneur Mehmet Kocakerim has plenty of that. We are sitting on a sofa in his tiny office, several desks squeezed in and surrounded by stuff – odd exotic ornaments, bottles of alluring alcohol, files, paperwork, a lifetime of collected business-related ephemera and who knows what else. It’s the unlikely nerve centre of a growing empire responsible for one of North London’s most popular, long-established and award-winning restaurant businesses. And Shoreditch could be the next step in the growth of the empire; for a restaurateur with an experienced eye on the upcoming areas of London, the fast-pace and opportunities afforded by the capital of East London’s economic boom is very much on the cards. Says Mehmet: “I see what’s going on there, and I want to find the right location to be a part of something very exciting. I see a window of opportunity, and I want to seize it.” Mehmet talks rapidly and enthusiastically about his varied business interests, but it doesn’t take long to realise where his heart is really at. “I love this place, my first restaurant. It means so much to me and no matter what else I have to do, I make sure I am here every day,” he says. He is talking fondly about “Mem & Laz” the first of his three restaurants and also a fourth outlet, a pattiserie, on the same street, a stone’s throw from Angel tube station, all located adjacent to each other on Theberton Street, Islington, N1. The restaurant itself is cosy, warmly lit and welcoming and, sitting there earlier waiting to meet Mehmet, you get a great sense that so many good times have taken place here. It feels like a scene from a Richard Curtis film (the writer of ‘Love Actually’, ‘Notting Hill’ and ‘Four Weddings and a Funeral’); you can almost hear a stuttering Hugh Grant character making a clumsy,

“I see a window of opportunity and I want to seize it.” 34 E1IFE

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candle-lit marriage proposal in the corner, while a group of Friday-night revellers celebrate a birthday at the next table. “I wanted to create something that was the heart of the community,” Mehmet explains. “When we opened, we wondered what to do, but we knew it had to be welcoming, reflect the local area and deliver a great, relaxed experience.” Mehmet is a polished host, a talent he looks for in those who work for and with him in his restaurants, which offer Mediterranean, Italian and Turkish cuisine. But the journey to successful entrepreneur and restaurateur – he has hosted celebrities, diplomats and politicians from all over the world – was not always easy. Born in Kilis, Turkey, in 1971, Mehmet moved to İstanbul with his parents at the age of nine. His father died when he was young and his elder brother took care of him. He was destined to take up a role in the family printing business, but Mehmet had other ideas. Initially, his dream was to be a pilot, but that soon turned into entrepreneurial aspirations to be his own boss. “I came to the UK to continue my education eventually, which my family didn’t like, but it was what I wanted and reluctantly they let me see this through; I knew I had to branch out and make my own journey in life,” says Mehmet. While studying, Mehmet worked his way through various jobs, which included making hamburgers and also working in a Turkish restaurant as a busboy – this latter role ultimately turning into a life-defining moment, thanks to his natural talent for engaging with customers and his realisation that hosting and the front-ofhouse role in a restaurant could turn a good restaurant into an outstanding one. These days, Mehmet’s business interests have grown way beyond his restaurants, and he has recently joined forces with the Acil Group – a furniture and interiors company which brings trusted brands from Turkey to UK customers via five London showrooms and a busy online store. On top of that, Mehmet is also a partner in a number of other London restaurants, some of which are co-owned with him by former members of his restaurant staff. “When I spot talent, I want to support it, and I reward long-term loyalty among my staff with help to set them up in their own restaurant ventures. This is something I have done many times, and when they become successful, I let them buy me out if they wish and take over the business one hundred per cent,” he says.

Eat, drink & just be

Mem & Laz Brasserie

Fine Mediterranean cuisine MOTHER’S DAY MENU ANY 2 COURSE £17.95 & 3 COURSE £22.95 EXTENSIVE BRUNCH MENU PARTY MENU Available for all occasions, starting from £12.95 per person SET LUNCH Available 7 days per week ANY 2 COURSE £8.95 & 3 COURSE £10.95 (Additional £1 charge at weekends)

Please ask for the daily specials menu. We cater for private parties. Party menus can be arranged on request. 8 Theberton Street Islington, London N1 0QX To book call: 0207 704 90 89 or 0207 226 22 11 ALL LAMB & CHICKEN DISHES ARE HALAL.




R E W O P Lunch hour now & zen

e your v a e l , t u o Break t active. e g d n a k s e d to do in t a h w s ’ e r e H less 60 mins or CKMORE BY SANDRA BI

midday n for a spot of ar ye u k yo d an ly” . Stop the cloc is “slowly slow ething gentle m so r fo m s If your speed fro ar e ge Life fre ift down a few tion session. RnR, then sh ld in a medita or ur at least… w ho ad m an r e fo th ell maybe w and zone out k, O d that n? tio in es of m d an y and irrita otions are stat stress, anxiet em e pain. l th fu in se pa ea l n that al ds, we ca in m r ou Buddha says ng yi omises to help lling and purif t art, which pr en ci s of through contro an an in ysical symptom tal chatter soothe the ph d Quiet the men an k or w of essures relieve the pr are welcome. e stress free tion newbies ita gh time to arriv ed ou M en e you go. av stress. le s, ep breath ssions’ before de se e t m ou ll so hi ke ‘c Ta to TIP: e office e playlist in th tre and switch th editation Cen M , et, pa a Kadam rt, Banner Stre ou C r ke ua Where: Heruk Q e, us ho g tin mee Bunhill Fields 8QQ 1Y EC on Lond


take a hike

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barre fly

fun energetic nd? ‘Barre’. A ou ar nd ga tre ut orko ilates, and yo The hottest w from dance P es dqu ad ni t ch ou te ith s body w class that fuse d sculpt your get an u e yo fin as de s to rie that will help rn mega calo bu so al ll es in u’ rout pily yo easy-to-follow ing bulk. Hap tructured with music. S . at ve be oo up gr to e t into th , it’s all se ay w e th required. g is on e al perienc to guide you – no dance ex s oe d upper et an kl in up Tw Worry not, namic warm dy a of ts is s cons rre’, with A typical clas utes ‘at the ba ed by 30 min w llo fo k . or up w body heart rate to keep your cardio blasts out. k or w out prees, TIP: Stretch it s Barre Class es tn Fi & lth ea H n F Te : 7J WHERE ndon E1 esex Street, Lo 119-121 Middl eig offers ziska Rosenzw an Fr ’, ts ul ad her let for Gyrotonic® at As well as ‘Bal in Pilates and ound of ns io pr a ss s se ha al a individu -pro ballerin ex ising e Th pa o. di tu ; while em th Shoreditch S e body moves lds th ho w he ho S . of ce g e people fa m understandin so ns e tio as ric ical rest you rele class, where with the phys & Meditation h tc tre S ly th a mon ur mind. ion calming yo ions. Stretch muscular tens ock of 10 sess bl 50 £6 0/ £7 : ns io Private sess .uk Class: £25 itchstudio.co & Meditation nziska@shored fra l ai Em : E WHER .uk itchstudio.co or visit shored

on a high

inter‘high intensity ‘ONE HIIT’ or techa new training val training’ is give u yo ea is simple: e. nique. The id tim of e ac short sp it your all in a ts rs bu e ns e-inte Here 30 minut ort followed by sh e ar se ci er of ex g it in ak m , ry periods active, recove eak. br h nc lu for your a great option rn sa ie, offing down a Instead of sc while lories and fat, you’ll burn ca 0 per 10 ng you’re givi toning up. As ovm by s as in the cl cent of effort to se m one exerci ing quickly fro es and ov m re co g in the next, mak lories , you burn ca power moves ished. fin is ut worko long after the sed to feel energi A sure fire way ith w to carry on and motivated your day. time, some shower TIP: Build in up k or w ly finite as you will de t. ea a sw First k it at Fitness WHERE: Wor on nd Lo y, lle Pan A HIIT, 7 Frying E1 7HS.




snack to it

Got a healthy snack you’re obsessed with? Tweet us @E1LifeMag and share.

Pre- and post-workout and inbetween sneck-lifting ideas to satisfy hunger, fuel workouts and aid recovery. BY RUSSELL DOVEY


We’re nearing the end of our native oyster season, so make sure you get shucking to enjoy them at their best. Our vote goes to Colchester oysters, which have a herby, sap-like taste. If you’re not a fan of slurping them down raw, Decatur London serves them grilled in the shell at Druid Street Market on a Saturday morning.

to drink SWEET AS Maple water

Fancy a new drink to revitalise you after the gym? Maple water is the latest health trend for 2016. Low in calories, gluten-free, dairyfree and nonGMO, it contains 46 natural nutrients. With half the sugar of coconut water and more manganese than a cup of kale, its subtle maple flavour is simply delicious. THAT’S THE SPIRIT Seedlip

Want to solve the ‘what-todrink-when-youare-not-drinking’ conundrum? Seedlip is the world’s first

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distilled non-alcoholic spirit. Made with just two barks, two spices and two citrus peels, it’s a great healthy replacement for gin. You’ll never know the difference! SMOOTH OPERATOR Savse smoothies

This month Savse and Madeleine Shaw have partnered up to create the UK’s first protein drink preserved using HPP. The smoothie is blended with a combination of exotic ingredients including coconut water, pineapple, lime and vanilla-making a protein hit tasty to drink. Sort of like a piña colada, without the rum…


Tired of protein shakes but need a hit straight after the gym? Muscley types swear by BEEFit, air-dried beef biltong designed to feed and rebuild muscles after workout. Made from grassfed British beef, this tasty treat’s high protein content helps grow and maintain muscle mass, letting you come back harder and faster than before. TALKING JAPANESE SUSHI SNACKS

Full of omega-3 fatty acids, which protect the heart and improve circulation, sushi

makes for a healthy meal. New kids on the block Sushi Shop offers home delivery, putting fresh sushi, sashimi and maki on your order-in dinner menu. Their tuna and truffle rolls are addictive – so consider yourself warned. Need one closer to home? Get your chop sticks at the ready for some inventive toppings from Sushi Surprise in Shoreditch, sushisurprise.co.uk Russell Dovey is a fitness professional and nutrition for exercise expert







Where to hang out, dance and drink until late? Be a rock star and channel your inner Bowie with our pick of where to jam. BY NICK ATKINS

93 Feet East

Occupying part of Brick Lane’s Old Truman Brewery building, this club and famous courtyard are E1’s home of experimental electronic and live music. The eclectic, African-influenced Farai and the Forest Dawn headlines on Friday February 19, supported by the gypsy jazz stylings of the Imaginary Hat, soulful solo singer Leonie Mcknee, electro pop trio Disappointed Lobster and hip-hop from Brighton’s Brunt Poetry. 93feeteast.co.uk


In the basement of the Tea Building, this sparse industrial bunker filled with hip-hop, RnB and pop sounds on a nightly basis. Saturday February 27 is Block Party night, with DJs Swallow, Cooks and Ray Juss spinning ’80s boogie, ’90s RnB, hip hop, dancehall and garage from 9pm til 2am.


Rough Trade East

The London branch is a vast indie record store, which hosts the most intimate in-store gigs this side of the pond.

ere, h m o fr g in o g m I’ re e h w ‘I don’t know boring.’ e b ’t n o w it u o y e is m ro p but I DAVID BOWIE

On 15 February, Wendy James will be live in store, celebrating the launch of her new album The Price of the Ticket, with a live set and signing at 7pm. roughtrade.com

Big Chill Bar

Big Chill’s East London stronghold dedicates Wednesday nights to cheap beer and good tunes. £3.50 pints and party anthems spun by resident DJs run deep into the wee hours. Tell the boss you’ll be a bit late on Thursday. wearebigchill.com/bar

Apples and Pears

Brick Lane’s foremost blues-busking jam takes place here every Tuesday. For fans of Simon and Garfunkel, John Martyn, Fleet Foxes and Nick Drake, open mic and featured artists keep the jam alive until late. Free entry and every open mic performer earns themself a free drink for a touch of Dutch courage. applesandpearsbar.com

Barrio East

This cocktail cantina and club, hosts the Funk and Soul Social on Saturday 20 February. A party in association with Craig Charles and BBC6 Music. The Funk and Soul Club bring their unique sound, DJ roster and crowd Showcasing fine funk, soul, jazz and hip hop, it’s bound to be a corker. barrioeast.com FEB/MAR 2016



blonde ambition DJ Deanne Oliver-Evans loves mixing business with pleasure. BY ED GIBBS

big city. I love the parks, the neverending array of coffee shops and the quirky stuff. I work pretty much everywhere and I’m happy with the diversity that brings. If I moved abroad, I’d like to live in California, maybe – playing tunes and surfing in the sunshine would be nice. Ibiza would be pretty sweet, too, although I’ll be spending a lot of this summer there anyway. I’m looking forward to the rest of this year. I’ve got a new monthly radio show on Meat Transmission Radio. Playing gigs in Ibiza, Paris, Copenhagen and Cannes so far… Summer festival madness and putting some of my own tunes out there that I’ve been working on. I’m also hosting and curating an event for females with Speak Easy and my pals at The Boogie for International Women’s Day at Soho Farmhouse on 12 March.

I’m just a girl living in East London with my boyfriend and my dog. I play hard and work harder – DJing under the name of Blonde Ambition; playing funk, disco and house music at events, parties and festivals all over the world. I have a brand called Speak Easy in which I host Q&As with interesting, successful females. I’m also an event planner; working on parties, launches and an annual event to mark the start of the campaign for Fashion Targets Breast Cancer, of which I’m an ambassador for the charity. As well as events for House of Voga. I also host a monthly radio show on Meat Transmission Radio. I love living East and have been here for about 10 years. It’s changed a lot even since I’ve been here, some parts for the great and some not so. I like the diversity, the creativity and the community – it’s like being in a small town of its own inside the

Little Black Book FAVOURITE HAUNTS: Night Tales is good fun and I like Ruby’s for cocktails. Shoreditch House for pool parties and one-off DJ sets.

ALL-DAY DINING: For breakfast, it’s avocado on toast at Violet Café on Wilton Way, or a breakfast bun at the E5 Bakehouse. At lunch I like to pop into Wright Brothers in Spitalfields for happy hour and oysters with my boyfriend – we’re oyster freaks. Then, dinner: you can’t beat a pizza at Lardo.

FAVOURITE PUB AND CHOICE OF BEVERAGE? I like the Spurstowe, mainly because it’s my local. The Owl & the Pussycat is good fun after ‘work’ (generally before my work) and The Gun is a hidden gem. Mine’s a Hendricks Gin and tonic with cucumber.

DESERT ISLAND DISC? David Bowie’s Space Oddity, although I’m infatuated with Blackstar as well.

FEB/MAR 2016



Architectural expertise The East is leading the way in architecture and design, with two UEL lecturers picking up the Turner Prize for their inspired work with the Assemble collective. BY ERIC WOOLLARD-WHITE After quietly getting on with the job of inspiring students, the spotlight is now shining on two architecture lecturers at the University of East London (UEL). As well as being part of a Stratfordbased architecture and design practice, Adam Willis and Lewis Jones are members of a collective that picked up the 2015 Turner Prize – Europe’s most prestigious contemporary visual art award. Know as Assemble, the collective “works across the fields of art, design and architecture to create projects in tandem with the communities who use and inhabit them”. Former UEL lecturers Paloma Strelitz and James Binning are also members of the 18-strong collective, who apply their shared passion for redefining the role architecture can play in revitalising communities. Granby Four Streets Project, in Liverpool, is the urban regeneration project that captured the attention of the Turner Prize committee. After assessing the cluster of workingclass terraced houses in question and reviewing the hard work Toxteth residents put in to save them from demolition, Assemble presented

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a sustainable and incremental vision for the area that takes the refurbishment of housing, public space, new work and enterprise opportunities into account. It’s the first time architects have been shortlisted for the award. “It’s great that the value of the creative process that’s happened in Granby can be recognised at this level,” says Lewis. “I hope this

Assembled for a deserving win: the Assemble collective react to scoring the Turner Prize.

award helps give recognition and value to different ways of creating places in our cities and our homes.” Professor Hassan Abdalla, Dean of UEL’s School of Architecture, Computing and Engineering, says the award is testimony to the enormous talents and dedication of the department’s staff. “They have brought a special combination of technical skill and real-life concern for improving lives to UEL and our students,” he explains. “Our students have benefited from being involved in preliminary research around housing estates. This is one example of why we’re ranked Number One in London for student satisfaction.” On the back of its impressive win, Assemble launched Granby Workshop in Liverpool. This social enterprise is designed to impart artisan skills to locals, allowing them to manufacture handmade products for the home (granbyworkshop. co.uk). Open Day takes place on Saturday 5 March, from 10am till 3pm (for campus details visit uel.ac.uk/Events).

We are pleased to announce

THE OPENING OF YEAR 4 ADMISSIONS for entry in September 2016

Co-educational Prep ∙ Senior ∙ Sixth Form

Admissions are also currently open for limited places in Years 5 to12

0207 307 8700 admin@portland-place.co.uk www.portland-place.co.uk


picture this

Local artist Neil Zakiewicz paints a picture of the best emerging artists in the East and life in and around his Stratford studio.

Above: Long Division (2015). Right: Studio Coat (2013), installed at Hotel Bloom in Brussels.

I’ve lived in Forest Gate for 14 years and Bow before that. My studio is in an original Art Deco building, formerly offices of the perfumer Yardley. It’s one of the nicest buildings in Stratford, which was saved from demolition apparently because it has an important mural of a lavender girl on its side. My previous studio was small and always full of stuff, so when I relocated I swore I’d keep things more ship-shape. To do this, I have to be a fairly ruthless destroyer of my work as well as maker – I’m always

filling up the bins! Of all the things to do in Stratford, the Queen Elizabeth Park is tops – and I recently discovered the Print House restaurant, which serves decent beer and is handy for the studio. Someone I know compares Stratford to Dubai. I think it was meant half as a joke, but it’s true that the new architecture certainly seem to have been dropped from another place. East London is very mixed up and feels more like real London to me than the more touristy destinations. To be honest,

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I sometimes take my neighbourhood for granted until I go away and then I realise how much it’s part of me. I must be quite a grimy, mixed-up person. I always enjoyed making art since I was a schoolboy drawing all over my exercise books. I had periods where I have had to do other jobs, including building work and carpentry, but these skills I find transfer well to the studio. I studied Fine Art at Goldsmiths College, London, which was an excellent grounding. My career has taken different directions and I occasionally contribute to art magazines and curate exhibitions. As I have always admired painters, I recently decided to become one. This might sound strange coming from an artist, but I had found it very difficult to get started with painting as it has such a rich history. I don’t know if I’m a good painter, but it seems an achievement to have gotten over my anxiety to start painting. A new piece of mine I describe as a light box without any light has a red tinted acrylic sheet,

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which partially covers a painted MDF panel. It changes depending on the light from the window and the time of day. I’d say it’s a painting too, even if someone else might say it’s furniture. My influences could be Warhol or Nauman or more mundane things like a toilet brush design or flicking through the Screwfix catalogue. Art would get stuck if it didn’t find inspiration from other sources. In fact, I find a less inspiring place is an art materials shop. There are so many emerging artists to look out for in this part of the city, it’s almost impossible to keep track. One painter I met recently is Clive Hodgson, who signs his name in big letters on his canvases. I’m a fan. There’s also Caroline Achaintre, a Hackney artist who famously tufts rugs or sews together fabrics, with colours based on small watercolours that she paints. One to watch is Alain Urrutia, a local artist originally from the Basque country, who paints black moody paintings and he wears black clothes – but he’s not a goth!

art fix

Above: Close on Carnival End (2014). Left: Stub (2000).

If you’re in the mood for an art fix, there’s a cluster of commercial galleries on Herald Street in Bethnal Green, which almost always show good work. The most established of these is Maureen Paley maureenpaley.com, a stalwart of east London who shows many important international artists. Head to Finsbury Square where you’ll find Bloomberg Space, the gallery of the financial media company, who support artists to produce ambitious exhibitions bloombergspace.com. I also recommend Kate Macgarry Gallery katemacgarry.com, who’s been in Shoreditch long before it became ‘discovered’ and if you go right now, you can see the work of 1960s British pop artist Jeff Keen.

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Baltimore Tower epitomises sleek and stylish modern living, with panoramic views to match.

Baltimore Tower: Your new address in London’s skyline Canary Wharf’s postcode has never felt more vital, with E14’s property index set to soar with this bespoke residential complex that leaves nothing to chance. BY ERIC WOOLLARD-WHITE If you’re dreaming of a modern chic home – with designer shopping, fabulous cuisine, entertainment and the world’s leading financial centre right on your doorstep – then Baltimore Tower in E14 ticks all the boxes. The distinctive ‘twisted’ design is a magnificent architectural statement rising up 45 storeys into the mesmerising London skyline. And now, Galliard Homes has announced the release of six apartments in the iconic tower, ranging in size from studio to duplex penthouses, at what is Canary Wharf’s most prestigious residential address. Prices for the new phase of apartments begin at £600,000 for the studio, with a one-bedroom

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apartment at £775,000, a twobedroom apartment at £975,000 and a three-bedroom apartment at £1.7 million. The penthouses, located on the uppermost floors of the tower, are £3.5 million. David Galman, Sales Director at Galliard Homes said: “Baltimore Tower is the tallest building we have constructed to date, offering some of the best views in London. The previous phases have been wildly popular and sold out very fast, so anyone looking for the ultimate London skyline home should move swiftly to make their dream a reality.” Baltimore Tower provides an

unmatched luxury living experience and even has its own private cinema. The on-site health club features a 25-metre swimming pool, gymnasium, basketball court and boxing arena. There’s a restaurant, multiple cafes and a split-level bistro and cocktail bar on the 43rd floor. The finishing touches include a private club-lounge for residents and concierge service. Baltimore Tower is a joint venture between Galliard Homes, Frogmore, LBS and O’Shea, and was designed by master architects Skidmore Owings & Merrill (SOM), the sky scraper specialists behind the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest tower.


Amsterdam offers a rich cultural experience for the curious and adventurous.

Always a place to jet to for really good times, this boundary pushing metropolis is a flower-filled hot house of edgy art, hidden bars and foodie secrets. A place where tradition and innovation collide head on.

WORDS: Renate Ruge.

by day

Pop in to Foam Photography for an offbeat art offering – they have fantastic exhibitions and a cool café, (foam.org). Or for a more serious culture hit, visit to the newly refurbished Rijksmuseum (rijksmuseum.nl) to marvel at the Rembrandts, or do a little drawing of your own in an art class. A gentle stroll in the oasis of Vondelpark makes for a relaxing start but to see this port city like a local, go on two wheels. Take care though, as local authorities fish 12,000 bicycles from the canals each year! Leidseplein is a good stop for a spot of shopping, then leave the crowds for the serenity of the Bloemenmarkt (flower market), where buckets of blooms are displayed on floating barges. As there are more canals here

than in Venice, chugging around on a boat, affords the best view of the city.

by night

Visiting DJs fly in to play at centre Melkweg (melkweg.nl). Be sure to ask a local about the edgy warehouse clubs springing up around the fringes of town all the time.


Huge silver lampshades shimmer in the moodily lit, long theatrical dining room at Envy (envy.nl) found on the hip Prinsengracht canal. The delicatessen style restaurant serves tapas-style share plates with charcuterie and local cheeses. Found down a tiny cobbled street in the old town is Blauuw An De Wal (blauwaandewal. com). The historic building has thick beams, exposed brick and wooden floors, hinting at its 1625 origins

as a spice store.


Tucked away near Dam Square, is tiny Wynand Fokink (wynand-fockink. nl) a traditional tasting house with a distillery, bar and shop that’s been serving genever shots, liqueurs and brandies as well as a whole lot of boozy history since 1679.


Eat your way around Boerenmarkt (Noordermarkt) farmer’s market. On Saturdays, you can taste Dutchy delicacies like herring with onions or crispy croquettes known as kroketten or bitterballen as well as savoury pannenkoeken (pancakes) and small sweet poffertjes (waffles dusted with icing sugar).


For a luxe stay, check into

the Conservatorium, found on the former site of the Sweelinck Conservatory of Music. Recently renovated by Italian designer Piero Lissoni who restored the west facade and enclosed it in an enormous glass box, to create a soaring light-filled atrium. It has a much talked-about restaurant overseen by top chef Schilo van Coevorden and its Akasha Spa, (the largest in the city) and sprawling dreamy indoor pool make it the coolest place to stay, (conservatoriumhotel. com). Canal-side, open fires and Fendi sofas provide a welcoming entrance to

the refurbed Dylan (dylanamsterdam. com) in de 9 Straatjes and its private cobbled courtyard is a peaceful spot.

get there

KLM (klm.com) flies from London City Airport to Amsterdam daily. BA has flights from Heathrow (ba.com), while Eurostar (eurostar.com) runs a train service from London St Pancras International to Amsterdam via Brussels. On the ground, a 24-, 48or 72-hour City Card will cover public transport.

check out

Holland (holland.com) or I Amsterdam (iamsterdam. com) for what’s on.


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Staycation big spender THE HOXTON Feeling foxy, we check into the Hox – the hippest hotel in Shoreditch. Spend one night here, and you’ll see you really can have your cake and eat it, too. Sleep, eat, work and play at this trendy retreat, moments from Old Street station and at the heart of the East End’s weekend scene. Its 210 bedrooms offer sleek design with pops of colour. Expect black walls, oversized oval mirrors, retro Roberts radios, leather armchairs, and pop-art cushions that vary from room to room (think Pac-Man, cassette players and cartoons). ‘The Shoebox’ is just that, a small room for a

small price, while ‘Cosy Doubles’ are compact but offer everything you need. Top tip: call ahead to request to be on the sixth floor for a chance to stay in one of the ‘concept rooms’ which are individually designed but don’t cost a penny more. We chose the aptly named ‘Salt Beef and Mustard’, with its mustard-coloured phone and headboard – a nod to nearby and hallowed institution, Brick Lane’s Beigel Bake. Or indulge in a ‘Roomy’ to buy a bit of extra space. Morning delivers a brown paper bag complete with fresh fruit, OJ and a granola pot so you can stay in bed or eat brekkie on the go. You’ll also find fresh milk and water in the fridge. Local creatives work as they play and play as they work, so your room has a desk and importantly a corkscrew, and the lobby boasts shiny Apple Macs and standout cocktails. Free wi-fi and an hour of

Check into one of these smart hotels for an overnighter or weekend break in your own city. This issue, it’s a sleepover at the Hox and the Z Hotel.

calls worldwide come as a standard inclusion. You can even rent meeting rooms in ‘The Apartment’. Downstairs, you’ll find an American grill where you can feast on baby back ribs, sirloin steaks and towering gourmet burgers, with a bar open till 2am. IN THE KNOW: Doubles from £69. The Hoxton, 81 Great Eastern St, London EC2A 3HU. 0207 550 1000. thehoxton.com

Play as you work and work as you play at the Hox (pictured, above). Then squeeze in a spot of compact luxury at the Z Hotel (pictured, below and left). The breakfast hits the spot.


Get your head down for a good value sleepover.

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THE Z HOTEL SHOREDITCH Get some zzzs and check into affordable compact luxury in a historic designer conversion. Arrive to a warming cup of spiced apple punch. Apart from the decent room rate, the attention to detail will bring you back for more. Rooms are sparklingly clean (the sign on the door points to cleanliness being next to godliness). A glass door walls off a cosy bathroom; the bed is ensconced in a corner. A huge 40” LED HD screen with Sky TV perches at its base. Bedside, there’s a tea and coffee-making kit. Extra touches like free bottled water and toiletries make you smile. Get here between 5pm and 8pm for complimentary cheese and wine. Bev King, director of Z says, “We are thrilled to have moved east. Shoreditch is one of London’s coolest areas.” Starting rates from £65 per night single or £80 based on two sharing a double room. IN THE KNOW: 136-144 City Road, London EC1V 2RL. 020 3551 3702. thezhotels.com

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Hawaiian Tropic Leaves modern pendant will light up your scene, £425.00, alexanderandpearl.co.uk


TOTALLY TROPICAL TASTE Dreaming of cobalt seas and bleached white beaches? Open your home to a fresh sea breeze and create a jungle retreat, with little pieces of paradise that promise to bring a slice of Hawaiian heaven home. Geo Brights Green frame, £16.00. oliverbonas. com

Bold floral vintage hemp fabric Betsy cushion with duck feather pad, £75.00. in-spaces.com

PIña colada? Find these hot pineapple lamps in Shoreditch. £70, The Giftbox. boxpark.co.uk Tropical display dome featuring a flamingo under a palm tree. Kooky? Sure, £8.50. acornandwill.co.uk

Cheeky Chappie Parrot, need we say more? ecochic.com.au

Settle into a comfy rattan chair cocktail in hand, available in bright gelato custom colours. ecochic.com.au Escape from the concrete jungle and see the light through the leaves. Painted leaf watercolour £40.00. quinceliving.co.uk

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City living with Urban Interior Located in the heart of London, luxury interiors showroom Urban Interior provides complete product and design solutions for the home and kitchen. Understanding that not one customer is the same, this exclusive design team offer a tailored service that guarantees the most individual interiors. Nestled in the trendy E1 district, Urban Interior is an expert in the design and creation of cutting-edge interiors, taking a blanket space and acutely fusing more than one style and function to create a stylised haven just for you. From concealment of appliances and storage, through to dedicated cooking and living zones, every aspect of the home is designed to create a uniformed aesthetic that does not complicate liveability or design. With that, Urban Interior has sought partnership with manufacturers that only produce luxury collections, with SieMatic, first on the list. Urban Interior reveals the latest designs from this leading German manufacturer, with a presentation that showcases the wonders of each collection. Proving a complete interior solution for the trend-setting urbanite Urban Interior taps in to the latest new materials, such as stone, to create an eclectic yet structured interior style that’s right for you. By taking a new approach to interior design, Urban Interior provides far greater alternatives to achieve that oneoff, unique design scheme you’ve always been looking for. The use of colour is also of importance to Urban Interior, exploring how different tones and texture will depict certain finishes, accessories or soft furnishings throughout your space. White, taupe or warm grey, teamed with a rich wood veneer or modern matt lacquer will continue to dominate trends in 2016. For instance, matt white handle-less 56 E1IFE

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cabinets work extremely well when partnered with rich wood veneers, glossy cabinets and slim stone worktops: it’s not a flashy look, but elegant, simple, and understated. Team this with a choice of polished chrome or brushed steel accessories, and you will create a visual interior that adds texture and appeal. The Urban collection by SieMatic supports this tone-ontone look with a hint of edginess with the contrasting sand oak, a design concept that Urban Interior, value highly for its customers. The handle-less cabinetry is finished in a Matt Graphite Grey,

complementing the countertops which feature a Silver Moon textured StoneDesign. The opentop drawers are finished in a light Sand Oak, creating a direct contrast between light and dark, and also texture with its slight grained finish. The freedom of this collection is a unique design tool for those of us living in the city. Where gardens are rare, it is now the home that needs to cater for the much loved herb garden. Bringing nature back into the home, Urban by SieMatic has introduced an element called ”herb garden“: perfect for metropolis environments and the revival for “urban and rooftop gardening”. The “herb garden” is an add-on element and is available in eight StoneDesign materials (including

precious marble or slate) as well as matt and gloss laminate. Dieter Berends, Senior Designer at Urban Interior says: ‘As design possibilities open up, so do the choice of materials and the freedom of expression to use them. Pure and Urban are collections that promote confidence in the service we provide, allowing us to deliver a high level of design and quality.” The SieMatic Pure style collection creates kitchens with an atmosphere of soothing balance, where the kitchen integrates with the architecture. Creating a picture perfect design, each element cohesively works in harmony for a sleek and understated kitchen design. The minimalist simplicity places the focus on the exquisite materials and craftsmanship,

which SieMatic are renowned for. Sensitively selected colours are combined with clear lines, handleless cabinetry and generous surface space for functionality and of course, premium style. In contrast, the Classic style collection by SieMatic combines sensitive design with extravagant elements to create a feeling of timeless elegance. Uniting old values with modern day features, Classic utilises seemingly contradictory design elements to create harmonious kitchens that are original, versatile and individual. Clever colour co-ordination and the repetition of style elements across this range promises balance and harmony. Its glass and gloss provide lightness and transparency, while its moulded front panels add classic aesthetics. With a unique insight into your lifestyle, Urban Interiors award-winning design team will work with you to create your very own dream interior. You will be involved at every stage of design. Urban Interior (London) Ltd. 27-33 Bethnal Green Road, London E1 6LA t: 020 7739 4644 e: info@urbaninterior.co.uk w: www.urbaninterior.co.uk

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CHARACTER Outstanding employees are typically trustworthy, emotionally intelligent, have accrued some life experience, have the ability to make sound decisions, treat colleagues with respect at all times and aren’t rattled when given instruction. A good sense of humour can also prove an invaluable asset, especially during deadline time. What you want here is some solid evidence, and this is where referees come in. You ideally want a referee to be 100 per cent confident in recommending a potential employee, so have a list of questions prepared and ask for examples that clearly demonstrate good character.

C A PA B L E Knowledge doesn’t necessarily ensure competence. While education, experience and ambition obviously come into play, you want to know the people you employ have a broad range of tangible skills, are willing to embrace new challenges, pay excellent attention to detail and take pride in their work. Remember, anyone can learn the particulars of the products and services you offer and talk the talk, but integrity, a great work ethic and good common sense can’t be taught.

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CONFIDENT It’s a fact that confidence produces results, and strong communicators typically exude confidence and positivity without appearing arrogant. Start by looking for the obvious – well presented, good eye contact, sitting up straight, great listening skills, self-assured responses to questions, not shy about asking questions. Make a note of your first impressions and consider whether you see this individual being a significant part of your company and taking on a leadership role in the future?

C O M PAT I B L E Teams need strong team members to perform well, so the key question to ask here is: are you a true team player and how can you prove it? The candidate should be able to demonstrate reliability, communicate constructively, be an active participant, share information, be open to suggestions, be supportive of fellow team members and show commitment to the team by giving 100 per cent. COMMITTED As well as wanting employees who are highly motivated, strive to complete all tasks on time and are

Business growing? Adding to your team? If you want dynamic employees guaranteed to excel under your leadership, be sure to tick off these key competencies during the first interview round.

results-oriented, you want to be working with people who are in for the long haul. The important question to ask each candidate is what they want to get out of the role and what their one-, two- and five-year career goals entail. C U LT U R E D This is about being a good cultural fit for your company and the people who work there. Consider whether you and your team are going to enjoy working with this individual on a daily basis and if he or she is cooperative, enjoys working hard and has the ability to represent your company in the way you want it to be represented. C R E AT I V E Whether the job is actually a creative role or not, you want someone who approaches tasks with a degree of flair and has the ability to think outside the square. A little bit of risk-taking and innovation can go a long way, so ask for concrete examples of when and how the candidate applied creativity and originality to their job.

A good sense of humour can also prove an invaluable asset, especially during deadline time.

FEB/MAR 2016


How small businesses in Hackney can stay competitive in 2016 – without the costs. Small businesses often find it difficult to remain competitive in the job market, as they might not be able to pay the high salaries that larger firms often use to attract talent. However, there are other ways to get an edge over larger firms, and having an effective company well-being programme in place is one. Supporting employee well-being is often associated with expensive benefit programmes or health-related initiatives and seen as a ‘privilege’ of larger employers. But effective employee well-being ultimately rests on the way people are managed, the way work is designed and the culture of the company, and therefore doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. Although the obvious benefactors are employees themselves, there is a research evidence base for significant business benefits. These include improved retention, attracting talented people through being a great place to work that cares about its workers, and higher engagement to achieve business success.

And the price of not having an effective wellbeing programme in place can be high. Estimates suggest that 140 million working days are lost to sickness absence each year, costing employers £9 billion in sick pay and associated costs, a figure which doesn’t include the indirect costs of managing business while people are off sick. Absence can be more noticeable and impactful in a small organisation, especially when there is only one person fulfilling a certain function. So, where should you begin? There are three main components of a healthy workplace: a culture, leadership and people-management approach which all support employee well-being. You must think about the extent to which your company has a good working environment, flexible working provision, positive relationships, opportunities for career development and a healthy management style. If you don’t have these in place, it might be time to make a change. Providing you can think flexibly and be creative, well-being activity won’t cost the earth and can make you more attractive to

job-seekers. There are also many advantages to being small, such as not having to implement policies across a huge, multi-site environment and being able to tailor well-being to your employees’ needs. For example, although you may not be able to offer the same opportunities for upwards progression as larger organisations, thinking about sideways moves where people can develop their skills is crucial. Likewise, although offering flexible working can be a challenge if you’re trying to launch a new product or service, it’s a proven way of supporting an evolving workforce with increasing caring responsibilities, and will also make employees feel more valued and engaged as a result. Take advantage of the free stuff, including the ‘Fit for Work’ service that provides an occupational health assessment and guidance to employees, employers and GPs. CIPD and JP Morgan are offering a free HR health check and consultancy support for small businesses in Hackney. Find out more at www.peopleskills.org.uk or call 020 8612 6387

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Opening in April, the new Huckltree Shoreditch site provides cycle-friendly co-working space in the landmark Alphabeta building.


POP IN OFFICE Working in one of the coolest office spaces in London seems like a dream for most young businesses but awesome office spaces in the capital’s East End are easier to come by as businesses change the way they think about what a traditional office should look like STORY:HEIDI RUGE FEB/MAR 2016



In the past, stand-up desks, funky breakout areas with bean bags and coffee bars have exclusively belonged to large enterprises with cash to spare. However, in an increasingly changing business landscape, this is no longer the case. Spurred on by a growing army of creative entrepreneurs, the kind of light, attractive office spaces that were previously only within reach of multinational companies are now becoming a more affordable option for startups, solopreneurs and freelancers. Responding to rocketing demand for modern and functional office space, London is leading the way when it comes to giving businesses the space they need to innovate and explore new ideas. In turn, small firms, startups and solo entrepreneurs have more and more workspace options in the city than ever before – without the need for sky-high deposits or long-term lease commitments. Time you got the thinking space you need to take your business forward? Here are some of the area’s coolest creative offices...

EC1, HUCKLETREE CLERKENWELL, 87 Charterhouse Street and EC2, Huckletree Shoreditch, Triton Court, Finsbury Square Who works there? Surrounded by great coffee shops, restaurants and markets, Huckletree’s proximity to Old Street’s Tech Roundabout makes it a popular choice for a diverse community of digital and media businesses. Why is it cool? Exposed brick and white walls and double-height windows overlook busy streets, creating a light and pleasant working space at the Clerkenwell office. Eco-aware management use waste and energy-reducing practices including with paperless billing, recycling and a total energy shutdown each night. Look out for: Launching on 4 April, Huckletree Shoreditch is a brand new 17,000 sq ft co-working space in the landmark Alphabeta building off Finsbury Square. Desks and offices will be kitted out with the latest smart features. The building features chill-out zones, roof-top bars, cityscape-style glass walls,

Above and right: Situated in a grade-one listed former warehouse space, The Dock on Tobacco Quay combines stone vaults with funky yellow phone boxes and chill-out spaces for creative startups. Left: Bright, airy Huckletree Clerkenwell has a focus on energy and waste-saving eco-practices. Opening in April, its new Shoreditch site provides cyclefriendly co-working space in the landmark Alphabeta building.

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E1 THE DOCK, Tobacco Quay, Wapping Lane

lofty atriums and an indoor cycle ramp leading to secure storage and changing facilities. They say: Huckletree Clerkenwell’s light, airy offices “encourage creativity, collaboration and productivity and the feeling of community we all crave”. Situated at the intersection of Silicon Roundabout, Shoreditch and the City, the shiny new Huckletree Shoreditch offices are “ideal for ambitious startups and freelancers” – especially those looking to impress clients and investors. What will it cost me? From £200 per month at Clerkenwell, £250 at Shoreditch Online: huckletree.com

Who works there? Caterers, live events companies, brand consultants and business advisors sit alongside startups and early-stage entrepreneurs. Why is it cool? Ideal for freelancers and international businesses looking for a UK hub, The Dock is a complex of meeting space, workspace and desk space. Close to Tower Bridge and within easy reach of Shoreditch and the City, its grade-one listed stone vaults feature vibrant yellow furnishings including funky British phone boxes, as well as kitchens, showers, chill-out spaces and an outdoor terrace to soak up winter sun and the waterside views. What will it cost me? From £250 per month Online: thedocklondon.com FEB/MAR 2016



Above and left: Techspace is ideal for scale-up technology firms. Below: Bathtub to Boardroom provides support and space for startups with the aim of creating jobs.

EC2, TECHSPACE SHOREDITCH, Great Eastern Street Who works there? Scale-up companies including tech startups, solo entrepreneurs, techrelated service and consultancy businesses through to mid-size companies and enterprises in self-contained offices. Why is it cool? Stylish desk and office space in close proximity to Tech City make Techspace Shoreditch ideal for growing tech firms. Set over two floors (3,600+ sq. ft), members get free boutique coffee, access to dedicated quiet spaces and app-bookable conference rooms. Look out for: Networking opportunities with like-minded tech firms, a dedicated community manager, flexible desk and office leasing options. Other sites include: E1 Aldgate East (Commercial Road); EC1 Old Street (Bath Street) and N1 Old Street (Underwood Street). They say: “Successful businesses might start with a few desks then suddenly require a lot more after a good billing period or second round of funding. We can provide them with that extra flexibility to scale-up.” What will it cost me? From £315 per month Online: techspace.co

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E2 BATHTUB TO BOARDROOM, East Tub, Wadeson Street Who works there? Bathtub to Boardroom is run by a charity that takes over commercial spaces with the aim of encouraging job creation. Current startups and entrepreneurs using the site include architects, food businesses, fashion, PR, graphic design and other small creative firms. Why is it cool? A great springboard for businesses with big ambitions, Bathtub to Boardroom has two sites – the East Bathtub and City Bathtub (Fredericks Place, EC2) with more in the pipeline. The East Bathtub is a

light, open-plan space located in a former Methodist chapel and recording studio, with towering ceilings, meeting rooms, chill out areas (including an elevated bean bag zone) and a fully-equipped kitchen. They say: “We provide heavily subsidised desk space alongside endless learning and support opportunities, including free legal and accounting advice and an awesome pool of entrepreneur mentors.” What will it cost me? From £50 per month for four days/ £200 full time Online: bathtub2boardroom.com

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East ender

You may know Meryl Fernandes as Afia Masood on EastEnders. She’s also presented the mini-series Crazy Sexy Cool for Channel Four, and owns a cool lifestyle store in Hackney and a restaurant with her fiancé Tom Oldroyd

Little Black Book Hungry? The Clove Club.

Java fix? A Monmouth coffee at Long White Cloud. Shop? Hexagone Boutique.

Pint? The Spurstowe Arms.

Cocktail? 69 Colebrooke Row. Party? Club night Work It for the RnB and Hip Hop.

Visit? Design Museum. 66 E1LIFE


“I had a vintage shop in this space on Hackney Road, but after a year’s break I’ve just reopened a lifestyle store, Thethestore. I think there’s a huge market for this sort of shop now as so many people live in rented accommodation around here. I rent a place and I can’t paint the walls, but I still want to make it home, make it beautiful. So, I curate the shop based on what I love. You’ll find lots of minimalistic and pretty things. I guess if there was a concept it would be ‘my taste’. I would wear every single piece made by Otho. I stock plants from Concrete Jungles, where the dad of the father-daughter business is known as the Cacti King. There’s a story behind most of my products, and I completely buy into that, especially when I get to share them with my customers. I found Zuza Mengham’s resin sculptures on Instagram and just loved them, so got a few in store. Now she’s making a series just for me. I asked her to make smaller ones with a lower price point. It really feels like a collaboration. Most of the brands are local and I have great relationships with them. I’m originally from East London and my family still lives here. I bought the shop eight years ago because it was in East London. I wouldn’t have bought anywhere else, I know everyone on this road. I even got my fiancé Tom to move here, and he’s from the other side. It’s probably my biggest achievement. I used to eat in Spuntino every week. Tom helped to open it while working at Polpo. All the staff knew me. Tom actually tweeted me saying that

we’ve never met but he knew I ate there all the time. I was too shy to respond, but happily we ended up meeting at a mutual friend’s birthday and eight months later, we were engaged. Now we run the store and our first restaurant Oldroyd together. I did the interiors, and Tom completely trusted me. We don’t have any investors, it’s all our own money, so it really feels like a family place. Tom’s dad did the kitchen, my mum did the curtains and now they enjoy their meals on the house! I have lots of jobs. I was an actor on EastEnders, I presented a Channel Four fashion show. I sometimes wake up thinking, What day is it? I’m confused by all my jobs. I believe we need to shop locally or we’ll lose all the small brands and the sense of community. How can designers start up without independent shops? I keep flexible terms, and if a designer needs to borrow an item for a photo shoot, that’s fine. You’re buying into a brand and a story, not just something coming off a conveyor belt. I even received a handwritten note the other day from a designer, thanking me for stocking their line. That felt great. I love Scandinavian brands for their minimalism. Acne is my absolute favourite. I also shop at & Other Stories and Labour and Wait. My dream is to see more independent businesses open up. Every time I see a Pret or a Tesco, I feel a little sad. And I want the mix of people to stay as it is now – really multicultural and creative. I don’t want people who were born here to have to move away.”





Band-oulfsen, Islington

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