Karavan, Budapest

Simple food court concept with international cuisine in the Hungarian capital
by Harry Atcherley-Symes

I had a great first trip to Budapest in Hungary this summer and the city really surpassed my expectations. Whilst renown as a historical city and stunning old architecture to boot, the city also has its fair share of fun, vibrant youth culture and nowhere better illustrates this than outdoor food court ‘Karavan’.

Karavan is located on Kazinczy Street next to the famous Szimpla and is a small food court offering a wide range of International street food options. From local delicacies offering a taste of the Hungarian countryside, to an authentic Pad Thai giving a taste of Thailand you’re left questioning where you are as each separate trailer offers different international traditional dishes.

Not only attracting tourists and passersby, the Hungarian locals also love the food and the lively vibe. With outdoor seating, lantern lights and colourful campervans, the atmosphere fits perfectly to the already buzzing neighbourhood. The secluded collection of food trucks gets very busy during lunch hours due to both tourists and workers coming to experience various tastes and flavours. Although affordable, I would not just recommend to those travelling on a budget as really this is an essential local experience as much as a place to grab a bite!

Amazónico, Madrid

Excellent Jazz and Hangout for Madrid's Glitterati

by Nigel Gillingham

Having learned that these guys are soon to open in London, I felt it necessary to pay them a visit on a recent trip to Madrid – all in the name or research you understand! Part of the Dogus group, Amazónico opened its doors in the summer of 2016, and has quickly become…

Mercado de San Miguel, Madrid

One of the world's leading gastronomic markets

by Nigel Gillingham

When Mercado de San Miguel first opened its doors 100 years ago, it was as a wholesale food market.  Today, this beautiful old building has become one of the world’s main gastronomic markets and one of Madrid’s treasures.  If you want to get a flavour of every type of food Spain has…

Cargo, Wapping Wharf, Bristol

A container park and hub for small businesses in Bristol

by Victoria Broadhead

Cargo is part of Bristol’s glamorous new Wapping Wharf development.  Whenever I visit my friend in Bristol, it is our go-to destination for lunch and a bit of shopping and is a great example of placemaking. Cargo is a relatively large container park with approximately 35 local businesses operating out…

Chin Chin, Melbourne

The most successful restaurant Melbourne has ever seen
by Sophie Moorcroft

The next stop on our Australian adventure took us to Melbourne and we were lucky enough to be recommended Chin Chin, a true Asian inspired restaurant located on the iconic Flinders Lane in the heart of the city.  Since it opened in mid 2011 it has been named the most successful restaurant Melbourne has ever seen, and the buzz since the opening has only intensified to make it a local staple as well as a tourist hot spot.

The executive chef Ben Cooper has been part of the Lucas Group for the last seven years, and has worked in London’s Nobu, Nahm, Bluebird and Pharmacy before moving to Melbourne.

The menu range is testament to Ben’s knowledge of Asian flavours and the exquisite menu showcases this, from the pad seuw of braised wagyu beef to sticky tamarind chilli duck salad there is something for everyone.

But the food is not the only reason you visit. The atmosphere as a whole is immersive. One of Australia’s most respected DJs has created playlists and the walls are covered with art from both established and emerging artists.

It is a walk in only policy unless you are lucky enough to have 10 friends. We had a two hour wait which we were told is standard even for a seemingly ‘quiet’ Tuesday night!  I would suggest you put your name down and pass the time with a trip to GOGO’s bar that sits directly underneath. Refined yet edgy, the cocktail menu highlights South East Asian ingredients.

My advice? Get there early and be prepared to wait…and wait, as it really is a Melbourne must try!

Stack, Newcastle

The North East's freshest and up-coming independent eateries, businesses and bars all in one place

by Victoria Broadhead

Gallow Green, New York

Charming rooftop bar and restaurant in Chelsea

by Natasha Troiano

This urban horticultural paradise nestled in the heart of Chelsea on W27th Street above the McKittrick hotel is a hidden gem. Once inside, a mysterious elevator ride took us to the top floor where we were led down a dark hallway before reaching a clearing. The secret garden on the…

The Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, London

The new Tottenham Hotspur stadium is finally open, and it is certainly worth the wait

by Dominic Tixerant

With a capacity of 62,062 it is the largest Premier League stadium in London,  but what really makes it stand out is the attention to detail.  Every element of the stadium has been designed to the most intricate level, with an aim of creating the highest level of fan entertainment.…

IKEA, Greenwich

The global brand's latest UK opening sets a new sustainable standard for retail

by Andrew Gibson

“You are 24 years old and you have never been to IKEA?!”, exclaimed my co-workers in disbelief as I pondered over visiting the new Greenwich store.  The embarrassment was reason enough to explore the latest outpost from the Scandinavian homeware stalwart, so it was a bonus to discover the incredibly…

Nike flagship, New York

A digital house of innovation
by Nick Garston

Streetwear has grown at a phenomenal rate. Fuelled by publications like Hypebeast, blogs like Sole Supplier and more recently by high profile brand collaborations, what started with streetwear and music has now gone full fashion, from Kanye to Virgil Abloh, the current Louis Vuitton artistic director. Supreme, the skateboard brand, perhaps epitomise this more than anyone. They disregarded the rules and bootlegged everyone; and in doing so became the most hyped brand on the planet, with queues outside every store on “drop” days and almost every brand from Louis Vuitton to cough pastilles in a rush to collaborate. Nike has seen this probably more acutely that most. For decades across the globe they held the position of the number one streetwear brand on the planet but by refusing to collaborate with Kanye West, they lost their asset and Adidas snapped him up. In doing so Adidas ate away at Nike’s dominant position and became the most relevant mainstream brand around.

Nike’s response to all these conundrums started with their fightback against Adidas. They signed up Virgil Abloh who created his reimagined workings of 10 classic Nike shoes and the comeback was on. Their next step was to open a second store in New York. In line with modern retail, just opening a store with a rack of clothes and a few shoes doesn’t cut the mustard. It’s about the journey, it’s about the experience, it’s about capturing the mood and drawing you in. Nike’s new store locates itself away from streetwear, away from the cool but still manages to command queues and fascination. A fantastic example of a concept store, it’s become known as “Nike’s store of innovation”. Comprising 68,000 sq ft over six floors, it has the largest selection of sneakers for sale in any store, with “grab and go” buying and links back to the Nike “app” for instant purchases. The store layout can be changed; walls can be shifted and showrooms made smaller or larger.

But by far the biggest winner for me (and many other customers) is a personalised customisation station for shoes. Choose a style of shoe and you have thousands of options to create your very own style. The staff wear lab coats and treat the shoes like a science experiment. When I visited the store there were queues a-plenty as tourists and locals alike waited patiently to create their one of a kind Jordan. The store itself was loud; music booming through an art piece of speakers that ran through the central core. In a tough retail world, Nike aren’t scared to do something different, to try and drive traffic to a digital solution; they are comfortable for this to be the ultimate shop window.

Did I like the store? Yes! Would I go back? Yes! Did I buy anything? No. Did I download the app to buy in the future? Yes. The magic worked on me and I’m certain I’m not the only one.

La Maison Plisson, Paris

A concept store in the French capital, entirely dedicated to the pleasure of eating

by Tracey Pollard

allbirds, Covent Garden

London store for the brand making beautifully crafted, natural shoes that will last

by Zoe Schoon

The Coal Office, Kings Cross

Each guest at the Coal Office is witness to an entirely different, engaging experience beyond just eating.

By Dominic Tixerant

Less than a generation ago, Kings Cross was typified by post-industrial degradation, notoriously unsavoury behaviour and its one redeeming feature; the historic St Pancras station. Now, following Argent’s extensive regeneration, the transport hub is fast becoming the most relevant shopping and leisure destination in the capital.  At the heart of…

The Brasserie of Light, London

A destination restaurant within a department store

by Tracey Pollard

Just in time for the dark days of December, Richard Caring’s sparkling Brassiere of light is a sumptuous combination of Selfridges and Damien Hirst. What’s not to like? Located on Selfridges’ first floor, opposite St Christopher’s Place, Caring’s latest venture is the epitome of its name with floor to ceiling…

FEED, New York

Creating good products that help feed the world

by Rupert Bentley-Smith

Tucked away in Brooklyn’s DUMBO district (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass in case you’re not a New Yorker) is FEED, a café and shop on a bit of a mission to make more than a dent on world hunger.  Founded by Lauren Bush in 2007, this is the foundation’s…

Impossible Meat, Los Angeles

Is this the future for sustainable meat?
by Nick Garston

It’s hard to ignore the meat free movement and it’s no surprise that LA, the land of the smoothie and yoga leggings, is leading the way.  Impossible “meat” has been not so quietly conquering the US food industry and is now waging a full blown war on all things meaty.  The “meat” itself is a high tech amalgam of plant-based substitutes which mimic meat in almost every way possible. It bleeds like meat, griddles like meat and can be cooked to your preference, rare, medium or well done. High profile backers include Bill Gates and Google and all across the world other tech companies are looking at creating their own derivatives as Impossible struggle to meet the demand.

On a recent trip to LA it was always my intention to seek out this solution solving patty, but I didn’t have to search very far.  Impossible meat has definitely conquered the US.  From Umami Burger to White Castle, Soho House to Momofuku its everywhere and growing.  It’s even popping up in Michelin starred restaurants like Public in Manhattan.  So after reading all the hype over the last couple of years, I was intrigued to see if it really was as good as they say it is.

Impossible meat is very good. It really does taste of beef.  It looks like beef, and if I’m really honest I preferred it to real beef! It seems like I’m not alone as the waitress told me they are now outselling beef patties 3:1 in that particular restaurant. The times, they are a changing!

Impossible meat has a wide range of positive ramifications.  Every Impossible burger that is consumed saves the equivalent of 75 sq ft of land not farmed, or half a tub full of bathwater or 18 miles of emissions in a car. In a society conscious world you can eat healthier and make a significant difference.

At this stage I think it’s worth mentioning that not all meat free eaters have a desire for a meat substitute and Vegan or vegetarian patties have also significantly improved over the years.  The lazy Portobello mushroom burger is becoming less relevant and chefs across the world are embracing the meat free movement.

Whilst in New York I was lucky enough to be taken to “Superiority Burger” which is a vegetarian restaurant run by Brooks Headley, a former drummer in a punk band.  The patty is indescribable and rightly heralded as probably the best vegetarian burger in the world.  If you know me you’ll know I love meat and burgers.  Imagine my surprise when after eating this burger, twice, I woke up the following mornings on both days craving another one!  I have no idea what is in the burger, frankly I don’t care, but what I and many lucky New Yorkers know is that it is unquestionably a great burger and one which stands up against any burger in the world.

The days of the “freak” meat fear have long gone, the future is in the US, it’ll be here before long.

Stella McCartney, Bond Street

Stella brings a breath of fresh air and personality to Bond Street

by Zoe Schoon

I’ve always been a great admirer of Stella McCartney (mainly for her ethical values and compassion for animals) so when she opened her new flagship store in Bond Street, which is meant to be reflection of these things and more, I was keen to take look. Armed with my 5 year old…

Benamôr, Lisbon

One of Portugal's oldest and most beloved beauty brands

by Millie Edwards

As a company we are forever seeking out the latest trends, innovation and unique concepts which we can take inspiration from, this we partly achieve through regularly visiting other cities and countries around the world.  Most recently, our travels took us to Lisbon; Portugal’s coastal capital and one of the…

LX Factory, Lisbon

An authentic regeneration of a post-industrial area

by Tracey Pollard

Bruce Gillingham Pollard recently took a break from the office to explore Lisbon, Portugal’s ‘City of light’.  In the wake of Portugal’s economic recession, Lisbon has emerged an avant-garde, cultural hub of restless creativity, its ancient foundations reinvigorated with a vibrant, youthful energy.  Nowhere does this new Lisbon synchronize so…

Fellpack, Keswick

Hearty, modern fare for fell-walkers in the heart of the Lake District
by Rosie Higgins

Grace Dent, the cumbrian native and once Evening Standard, now Guardian, restaurant critic is an understandably vocal proponent of her home-county. All the better for my family who spend a lot of time there, as the place my mother is also from. But whilst it is not unusual for Grace to shine a light on Cumbria’s burgeoning foodie scene, to see her recommend Fellpack twice in her column last year, made a visit over Christmas almost requisite.

Apparently fully booked every night, we wisely booked an early evening table to follow a windy walk up the Cat Bells mountains that day. And whilst it is true that almost anything would have tasted good after a long walk, Fellpack exceeded expectations. This is hearty, but modern food. Their main dishes are aptly named ‘Fellpots’ and updated seasonly and on our visit included braised pulled beef chilli, lamb meatballs with pecorino polenta, sweet potato and chick pea curry and roast chicken nduja as well as a full, considered selection of vegan and vegetarian options, fairly unusual outside of major cities.

But whilst the warming food and bottle of red wine went down a treat, what I found most captivating was the wider Fellpack brand. This is more than a restaurant for tourists – it is a local community. The servers are all young, friendly and united through their love of fell-running and the outdoors. So much so, the menu includes bios of all of the staff which includes their favourite fell-run routes, encouraging you to get to know the staff and enrich your Lake District experience. The walls are adorned with photos of fell views and runners and there is even a projector showing unbelievable footage of the terrain and conditions faced by these incredibly nimble runners as they amble across the mountains.

There has been a lot of talk nationally about whether the Lake District National Park needs to improve its diversity – and they may have a point! On a typical walk in the cumbrian fells, the area feels largely white, middle-aged and middle-class. So to visit somewhere like Fellpack which feels so young and passionate is really inspiring. The Fellpack has been such a huge success for the team that they have opened another Keswick venue ‘The Round’ which is definitely next on mine, and likely Grace Dent’s list too.

Peter’s Yard, Edinburgh

Swedish inspired cafe and bakery next to the University of Edinburgh

by Helen Smith

Peter’s Yard is a Swedish inspired café and bakery within the Foster and Partners Quartemile development of Edinburgh’s Old Infirmary site next to the Meadows park. It is popular with residents from the tenements of Marchmont, students in the nearby conglomeration of Edinburgh University buildings and tourists. Scandi chic in…

Angels and Gypsies, Camberwell

Modern tapas restaurant signifying Camberwell's gentrification

by Harry Badham

Ask a lot of people what they think of Camberwell and the only answer usually involves Danny’s famous Camberwell carrot (because it was invented in Camberwell and it looks like a carrot……duh). But change is definitely afoot, at least to the non-Withnail generation. Perhaps it started with the brave opening…

Devi Garh, India

Heritage hotel and resort in Udaipur

by Ivor Peters

After an hour of sucking in our breath, dodging overladen lorries carrying marble on the national highway to Delhi, we arrived at the kilometre long driveway leading to our hotel, with its stark silver on black signage. The imposing sight of Devi Garh, the 17th Century fort cum palace occupies…

Black Barn Winery, New Zealand

A boutique vineyard and destination in its own right
by Joanne Wilkes

I first stumbled across Black Barn Winery in New Zealand’s Hawkes Bay in 2011. It was a chance encounter but it was one of those perfect moments. Most wineries in Hawkes Bay keep it simple with a cellar door where you sample some of the best wines that New Zealand has to offer, buy a bottle or two and maybe a box of artisan cheese wafers and a jar of dukka. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with this approach but we discovered that Black Barn has taken things to the next level and provides the perfect setting for a brasserie where you can lunch beneath a huge pergola laden with vines or sit in the airy dining room looking out over the top of the pergola and to the wine country and Te Mata Peak beyond.

Despite its semi-rural location, the kitchen turns out food which would grace the table of most restaurants that I have had the pleasure to enjoy in London – using the freshest of local Hawkes Bay produce but with a distinctive kiwi twist. We enjoyed every delicious mouthful and the combination of the food, a chilled bottle of aromatic riesling and the most amazing setting left us with memories to cherish.

On our return in 2015 I was worried that we might be disappointed, that our second visit might not live up to the memory of the first. I needn’t have worried. Our lunch in the brasserie was wonderful and furthermore the recently opened Black Barn Kitchen, which sells all sorts of local produce and kitchen and home-wares, provided lots of ideas for gifts for family and friends and even something for ourselves!

During the summer months Black Barn also holds a local growers and producers market every Saturday morning and also has an outdoor amphitheatre, set into the hillside, which hosts evening cinema and concerts. Black Barn still produces some great wine but has built a destination and is a great example of “place-making” at its best.

Space Ninety8, Brooklyn

Amongst the modish cafes, bars and industrial space of Williamsburg, New York, lives Space Ninety 8

by Rupert Bentley-Smith

Hay Design, Bath

Bath flagship for this iconic Danish homeware brand

by Nigel Gillingham

Vintage Village, Paris

A concept store based around genuine vintage and antique pieces from Habitat

by Ed Corrigan

Valvona Crolla, Edinburgh

Scotland's oldest delicatessen and wine merchants

by Tracey Pollard

Scotland’s oldest delicatessen and wine merchants celebrated their 80th anniversary this year. Valvona and Crolla were founded as a market store in 1934 by an Italian immigrant and now serves a vast breadth of wine, food and a range of kitchenware from all around the world, as well as their…

Palomar, London

A modern Jerusalem menu and creative, crazy environment

by Nigel Gillingham

Chefs from Jerusalem’s coolest restaurant Machneyrda have not disappointed with The Palomar at 34 Rupert Street, London. Following its opening in May 2014, this restaurant seems to have received nothing but positive praise. The modern Jerusalem menu and the creative, crazy environment is inspiring and the non stop showmanship, theatre…

Mercado da Ribeira, Lisbon

A modern take on a food court

by Tracey Pollard

There has been a market in this building since 1882 and it was once the most famous fish market in Europe but in May 2014, part of the market hall reopened as the “Time Out” Food Hall,  housing 35 of Lisbon’s top chefs and restaurants. Set within a beautiful building…

Rapha worldwide retreats

An international cycling retreat
by Rupert Bentley-Smith

UK Cycling is now reportedly worth a massive £2.9bn, and is a huge factor in the lifestyles of many. Bruce Gillingham Pollard has experienced first hand the growth of cycling, witnessing the emergence of a number of concept stores, and in addition, new more targeted bike shops such as Look Mum No Hands and Bespoke, as well as the expansion of spin concepts such as Bespoke and Boom. However, Rapha have now gone one step further. Not content with wearing their clothes on or off your bike, or hanging out in their coffee shop, the serious cyclist can now join them on holiday. So for those who really want to get fit this year, or are going through a mid life crisis, why not join Rapha on one of their international retreats.

For the first time in 2015, you can book one of just 12 places, for the Rapha Retreat Down Under, which coincides with the 17th edition of the highest ranking UCI Pro Tour race outside of Europe. Starting in Adelaide, you will stay in 5 star boutique hotel The Playford, Adelaide’s first ‘art hotel’. Guests get the chance to watch 5 stages of the race, as well as enjoy guided rides on a variety of terrain, with experience mechanics and Soigneur support on hand to look after you and your bike.

If Australia is too far afield, you could consider joining Rapha for one of the legs of the Cent Cols Challenge 2015 a ten stage event, climbing 4,500 metre with an average daily cycle of 200k. You can expect to be on your bike for 8-10 hours a day, so this is not for the faint hearted. With a support caravan, accommodation, meals and back up, you too can feel like a professional cyclist in either, Corisca, Southern Alps, Pyrenees, Cantabrico or Cevennes. If the preparation for this during the next 6 months doesn’t get you fit, then nothing will!

Lime Wood, New Forest

Quintessential 'boutique hotel' in the heart of the New Forest

by Tracey Pollard

The first boutique hotel was believed to have been invented in the early 80s with The Blake Hotel in South Kensington and The Bedford in Union Square, San Francisco which both opened for trade in 1981. Classic design qualities for the Boutique Hotel require it to be small and intimate,…

Uniqlo, Le Marais, Paris

Old meets new in Uniqlo's new flagship store

by Woody Bruce

The Marais is almost as old as some of the first inhabited parts of Paris and still maintains some of that old world charm, it is the only area in Paris that has preserved the narrow streets and architectural styles of the Medieval and Renaissance-era. In stark contrast to the old…

My Cup of Tea, Rome

A former cave, turned secret studio packed full with design wonders

by Rupert Bentley-Smith

This Roman cave, located in Via Gregoriana, is a secret studio packed full with design wonders. My Cup Of Tea was originally an events trend spotting company, which more latterly opened a retail arm, portrayed as less of a shop, and more of a “creative space”; operating a carousel of…

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