I recently discovered Williamsburg Denim (est 2010), a brand from across the pond and a small operation doing good. It’s an American brand through and through, playing up to its location. All the styles are named after streets in Williamsburg, imbuing the label with a serious local vibe, and at the same time appealing to an international market drawn to Williamsburg’s ‘cool’. Win win.
I can’t better this, so from the horse’s mouth:
As a 1-man company with about $3,500, the brand launched with only 3 jeans, all imported. Inspired by President Obama’s call to bring more business back to the USA, the brand now has evolved to include jeans MADE IN USA that compete with the world’s top denim brands at nearly half the price. It’s only fitting that the first of the American Made jeans be named “HOPE STREET.“
I love the washes – from this rugged murky denim to the incredibly light denim ‘sky blue’ (they even do coral, pink and lilac if you’re blessed with a small enough frame to pull that kind of thing off!). As a curvy lady I was very excited to fit into a smaller size of skinny jean than I was expecting, and to find that there was no gape at the small of the back as there is with so many high street jeans. Plus, my skinnies have a wicked orange inner seam and I love the ‘W’ buttons and robust feel of the denim (the complete antithesis of my high street skinnies that feel like a notch up from leggings!) They’re onto something if you ask me.
Available at OPENING CEREMONY, 35 King Street Covent Garden and KJ’S LAUNDRY, 74 Marylebone Ln
FORGET SPOCK, HELLO SYLAR.
Last week S. and I had an impromptu dinner at Barrio East. I had previously been to Angel’s Barrio North on Essex Road and am a fan of its dilapidated/reclaimed vibe (picture a vintage caravan in situ in the bar.) But Shoreditch’s outpost – the word ‘Barrio’ literally translates as ‘neighbourhood’ – has a somewhat slicker aesthetic, albeit nonetheless charming.
As the East version of Barrio actually has more room to breathe it makes more sense as a restaurant than Islington’s, which is more convivial and rum-focussed. The booths are really cosy and the menu of tapas, tacos and nachos mean it’s hard not to order loads of platos to share and fight over.
We had ceviche de salmon (fresh cubes of salmon and prawns marinated in passion fruit, lime juice and dark rum, with red onion and coriander), nanchos with salsa and sour cream, moros y cristianos (Vegetarian version of the classic Cuban rice and beans dish), empanadas & chimichurri (beef and tomato crispy pasties with herb sauce) plus my personal fave, chicarrones & platano frito (Latin style crunchy pork belly with fried plantains and apple and chipotle salsa).
OH and of course we ordered ‘Amigo hour’ cocktails – S. had the ‘Face Planter’ – Kraken spiced rum with pineapple and lime juice, I had the ‘Hawaii-N-Dry’ (pictured) – Ketel One Vodka with grapefruit, guava and lemon juice.
Expect live music and full, happy bellies. Go immediately!
141 Shoreditch High Street, London E1 6JE
Every year I’ve been invited to attend the launch of the Queen of Hoxton’s summer rooftop and this year is no different. The rooftop is open to the public from this Saturday 11th May and I thought I’d do a little preview of what to expect..
I used to live in East London and I’ve worked on Brick Lane since Jan 2012 so if I’m not back in my borough of Haringey I’m often in Shoreditch. Queen of Hoxton is a bit of a Jack of all trades as far as venues go – it does lots well. I’m more of a catch up with friends in the early evening kind of girl as opposed to an all-night raver (as anyone who’s met me for more than 10min will attest to) and Queen of Hoxton is perfect for that kind of vibe. The rooftop even more so.
Thank God we have some gorge summer evenings ahead! Cue smiley, happy faces.
As for what’s on – this year QoH are debuting a ‘Hot Tub Tropicana’ – expect loungers, a padding pool, and if you’re really lucky, a hot tub. Am hoping for an appearance of these fellas:
They’ve got new BBQ grub and bevvies on offer, like pulled pork buns with whisky BBQ sauce, roasted red pepper, feta & pesto burgers and pink grapefruit frozen cocktails. For dedicated foodies, there’ll be a National Picnic Week celebration coming up in June (TBA) with vintage stalls and gourmet hampers. But I think I’m most excited about the bespoke rum coke float stall with traditional ice cream (only available at lunchtimes & weekends)!
QoH friend Rooftop Film Club is already in situ following its winter hiatus with a programme of cult movies like Amelie, Jaws, Dumb & Dumber and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. They even give you blankets and headphones, and the bar and barbie stay open for late night treats. For more headphone entertain experiences, there are also headphone disco parties with DJs Norman Jay and Jazzie B – dates TBC.
Best of all, if you’re as sceptical about the weather as I am (the other day I went bare-legged to work, but made sure to pack ‘emergency’ jeans) then you’ll be pleased to know they’ve introduced a semi-permanent cover in case of wet weather. Fingers crossed for sunbathing-worthy sunshine all summer long!