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!
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!
Tonight is the PV for SHOP magazine’s exhibition at Kemistry of magazine cover illustrations from the past year. Designed in collaboration between Studio8 Design and the commissioned illustrators, these 77 covers each represent a European city and its fashion identity. The prints are available to buy with proceeds going to Kids Company, the London-based charity run by Camila Batmanghelidjh. The charity supports vulnerable inner-city children in London. The exhibition is on until 26th November. Get down there.
After a hugely successful Pfeffer PR press day getting tipsy on a specially-made cocktail [I had the Body Editions cocktail I seem to recall - an Hourglass: Vodka + pear juice with a hint of fragrant rosemary and a twist of lime! Delish] I got chatting to PR Emma, Andrea Pfeffer’s right-hand girl. We got talking about fitness and I mentioned how great it’s been working with Dean Callis. Well, one thing lead to another and before I knew it Emma was booking me in for a trial session at Frame in Shoreditch. If you haven’t heard of it yet, you soon will – of all the gyms and fitness studios in London this has got to be the hippest one.
Alongside dance, yoga, pilates and Bend It Like Barbie classes (love the sound of that one!) they have developed the Frame signature classes. I had a go at Frame Method, the latest of the three signature classes. Combining the best bits from cult classes in NY and LA like Physique 57, Core Fusion and Bar Method, this class encompasses pilates, yoga and general fitness. It’s a non-impact workout with an upbeat soundtrack; this was more about strengthening muscle groups through squeezes, lunges and lifts than getting out of breath. The worst/best was holding the pilates ball between upper thighs and then, using the barre for support, squatting on tiptoes. Ouch! I definitely felt that for the next couple of days.
This is a fast-paced, upbeat class – the hour whizzes by because of the variety of exercises. Although some of the moves are tricky, no one said that looking good was going to be easy.
Contrary to *all* other people my age, I’m not a fan of festivals. Except, perhaps ATP – All Tomorrow’s Parties – which I would quite like to go to. ATP is a cult festival, each time curated by an artist/band, taking place at venues like Pontin’s. It’s supposedly more intimate, more fan-friendly and less corporate than some other festivals which I won’t mention..
In any case, forget the festival (curated by Mogwai, Jeff Mangum of Neutral Milk Hotel, etc.), from tomorrow until Saturday ATP are hosting a pop-up shop at kooky Shoreditch boutique Maiden.
Open from 11am-7.30pm on Thursday 17th and Friday 18th November, and from 11am-6.30pm on Saturday 19th November. All sales must be made with cash (there is a cash point nearby).
You can get your hands on:
Tickets for Upcoming ATP shows without booking fee – These will include our Battles, Gang Gang Dance, Magic Band, Superchunk, Panda Bear, Thurston Moore, Mister Heavenly, Wolf People, Explosions In The Sky and Olivia Tremor Control London shows & I’ll Be Your Mirror London 2012.
CD & Vinyl – Albums & Singles by Sleepy Sun, Fuck Buttons, Deerhoof, Autolux, Magic Band, Alex Tucker & more. We’ll be selling our Spiritualized Pill Box Sets – 12 CD box sets featuring the ‘Ladies and Gentlemen’ album + Loads of extras and our Custom Made 2×7″‘s.
ATP DVD – The feature length ATP Film on PAL DVD.
Tote Bags – From the Animal Collective & IBYM UK Curated by Portishead events.
T-shirts & Hoodies – At least one design for nearly every each festival we’ve run, featuring designs by Michael Motorcycle, Tim Biskup, Tara McPherson, Kii Arens, James King, Pete Fowler, Matt Groening and more + Baby Grows – The last stock of our special ATP baby grows.
Posters – Various prints ranging from screen print through to Giclee quality. Designers include: Amos, Michael Motorcycle, Kii Arens, Tim Biskup, Matt Groening, Tara McPherson, Kathie Olivas, Will Schaff.
Previous ATP Programmes – A variety of previous ATP programmes will be sold at a low price, these are all unique and commemorative of each festival. This will be the first time they’ve been available after the events. Designers for this include: James King, Kii Arens, Tim Biskup, Tara McPherson, Will Scheff, Michael Motorcycle, Matt Groening.
Dolbees – Our limited edition vinyl toys that we released at each festival over a period, the initial toy design was by MAD and further designers were invited to put their own artwork on subsequent ones. These designers include: Kathie Olivas, Michael Motorcycle, Kii Arens, Sket-One, Melvins, Brandt Peters, Pete Fowler, Tara McPherson, Eric White and Tim Biskup.
Two new websites are providing me with plenty’o chuckles of late.
Choose a random thing or find mundane quotidian things like loo roll, milk and a screwdriver – in Shoreditch. The photography and design is what makes this website. Cult status already confirmed.
Started by Romain and Lolita, friends of girls about town Margot Bowman and Bip Ling, this website/project has the same kind of so-mundane-it’s-hot draw that Normal in Shoreditch has. Just add a dash of collaboration, a shot of self-portraiture and a hint of competitive energy to see who can come up with the most original image..
My faves include the Percy Pig, the bum/rollercoaster and the eyes drawn onto the finger.
(As per usual, click the images to go to the websites.)
I just discovered this video for R.E.M.’s song ‘Uberlin’ by Sam Taylor-Wood on my friend’s superb blog entitled Überlin. It’s so funny seeing my neighbourhood in a music video. In fact, that is the exact road I walk down from Liverpool Street/Shoreditch High Street to get home.
Go check out James and Zoe’s blog to discover what their lives are like in *beautiful* Berlin.