White Bay Power Station: An alternative vision for historic buildings

Tracey Pollard

On a recent trip to Sydney, I had the pleasure of paying a visit to the newly opened White Bay Power Station. In terms of history and design, White Bay has many similarities to our own Battersea Power Station – and holds a similar iconic status within the local community – but has taken a very different approach to commercial use.

Rather than a retail and F&B hub, extensive remediation and conservation works have repurposed the site as an arts, cultural and community space. Currently used as a gallery, I was fascinated to note that much of the original machinery remains in situ, offering a unique backdrop to the exhibition – the only Australian power station to retain equipment from pre 1950s. For me, that brought a different dynamic to the experience which could never have been found in a purpose-built space.

As a public building, the need for a return on investment will be measured in more than just financial terms; allowing for a long-term view, which is not always possible in the commercial world.  However, large mixed-use developers or Estate may benefit from the approach adopted at White Bay – using culture to drive footfall and adopting a ‘less is more’ approach to redevelopment. By allowing the building’s history to be celebrated in a sympathetic and cost-effective way, a unique atmosphere has been curated that will live long in the memory for its visitors.

Karavan, Budapest

Simple food court concept with international cuisine in the Hungarian capital

by Harry Atcherley-Symes

The Hut at Colwell Bay, Isle of Wight

A simple beach restaurant with fresh seafood and views across the bay

by Tracey Pollard

High quality, British seafront restaurants are growing in popularity and notoriety and over the last few years we have written about Harry’s Shack in Portstewart and South Milton Sands in Devon. It is easy to see the appeal: these are simple, beach venues serving fresh and seasonal ingredients with views…

The Orange Bakery, Watlington

A great example of a powerful little footfall driver

by Tracey Pollard

We often travel across the world looking for retail inspiration and ways to help our clients drive footfall. However, sometimes we find it right on our doorstep. Just 3 miles from my home, in the tiny Oxfordshire village of Watlington is The Orange Bakery. Opened 2 months ago by a father…

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 to offer, then this is the place to come – just make sure you don’t eat first!

Comprising more than 20 different stands the attention to detail and commitment to really fine, high quality food is exceptional.  From the finest Iberian ham and freshest fish and shellfish brought in daily from Galicia, to Mediterranean rice dishes and the most exquisite cheeses from Castile, Asturias and the Basque Country, the whole of Spain is right here, just waiting to be tasted.

The market is open every day until midnight and until 1am at weekends – perfect for a proper dose of Spain’s night culture and they also have a brilliant array of activities to choose from;  from masterclasses in specific types of food, to talks on nutrition, cheese and wine tasting and cocktail making – it really is a fantastic destination for a delicious night out.

Stack, Newcastle

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

by Victoria Broadhead

Panzer’s Delicatessen, London

A local anchor breathing new life into the community

by Emily Dumbell

Panzer’s Deli underwent a refurbishment at the end of 2017 and the result is the transformation of a local institution which is once again at the beating heart of St Johns Wood life.  Originally established in 1943, the ailing store was bought by local man David Josephs 3 years ago, and is now firmly…

Sprout & Co., Dublin

Eat as nature intended in the Irish capital

by Victoria Broadhead

On a recent visit to Dublin, I came across this little gem of restaurant and was totally blown away.  Set up by the Kirwin brothers, who are behind the Sprout juice business, they now have 6 restaurants across Dublin and Meath and a farm in Rathcoffey, Co. Kildare (about 30 km away).…

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.  The south-stand, which is the largest single tier stand in the UK features acoustics similar to a concert hall, the result?  A breathtaking wall of sound that is nothing short of moving.  The hospitality is so luxurious that corporate guests could be forgiven for thinking they were dining in Mayfair, with two Sky Lounges on the top floor offering Michelin star dining and a world first ‘Tunnel Club’ that allows its members to observe the players as they walk from the dressing room to the pitch through a glass-walled tunnel.

For those less pampered fans (such as myself), the offering is equally impressive and yet still more affordable than other clubs.  The food offering is spectacular;  some 60 outlets put together in one glorious foodhall – a great nod to London’s buzzing street-food scene.  The stadium boasts the longest bar in Europe, solving the dreaded half time queues.  Here draft beers are poured from the bottom up (fast pour technology) increasing the speed and reducing bubbles.  Beavertown Micro Brewery is in situ, brewing beers on site and The Tottenham Experience is a whole fleet of shops which together make up the largest retail space of any European club.

The whole stadium is cashless and features state of the art Wi-Fi and beacons which send special offers and news to those who have the Spurs app.  Oh, and let’s not forget the environment.  Everything is recyclable here – all cutlery is wood, bags are string (and you’re charged for them) and drinking vessels are recycled by a facility in nearby Edmonton.

This amazing development has elevated the area as well as the club, setting a new standard for sports stadia worldwide and most importantly it has cemented the fact that North London definitely belongs to Spurs.

IKEA, Greenwich

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

by Andrew Gibson

La Maison Plisson, Paris

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

by Tracey Pollard

Teatulia, Covent Garden

As oasis of calm in the heart of Covent Garden

by Amy Finlayson

Dry January is never fun, but this year the gloom was brightened with a visit to Teatulia, Covent Garden’s striking new tea-shop, recently opened on Neal Street. Offering a good selection of 100% organic, single-origin tea, Teatulia takes its name from Tetulia, the region of north Bangladesh where the tea…

allbirds, Covent Garden

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

by Zoe Schoon

October 2018 saw the perfectly timed opening of allbirds in London’s Covent Garden.  At a time when the fashion industry is addressing its carbon footprint, this San-Francisco based shoe manufacturer is a pioneer in the world of sustainable fashion. Started by New Zealander Tim Brown, (an ex-professional football player) and…

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 windows that flood the space with natural light. The elegant, art deco design, created by Martin Brudnizki will make you feel like an extra in an Agatha Christie film, evoking all the glamour and sophistication of the Orient Express.  The central bar is well-placed for sipping cocktails or afternoon tea (which arrives amongst a trail of smoke!) True theatre!

Headed up by chef Emanuel Machado (formerly of Covent Garden’s Balthazar), the menu offers British classics and internationally-inspired dishes.  His signature dish is Spaghetti with lobster but we also highly recommend the Pegasus Pie served with a yuzu coconut cloud for dessert.  The cocktails are equally as eclectic and specially created for the restaurant.  The Queen of Time (an all-English interpretation of a Kir Royale, which takes its name from sculpture that sits over the main entrance) and Est. 1909 (a gin and prosecco cocktail inspired by Selfridges 109th anniversary) were particularly palatable.

However, for the real wow factor, you need to look to the vast double height space in the centre of the restaurant.  Here, in true Selfridges’ style, Damien Hirst’s glorious, 24 ft. crystal encrusted Pegasus soars above your head, with hooves lifted, chasing the stars across the sky.  Every aspect of the restaurant is enjoyable, and once you’ve finished staring at the ceiling and need to focus on the more mundane, the washrooms are equally as impressive!  Perhaps inspired by the 1970s Bond movies, they are  riot of baby pink with marble trimmings galore.  Love them or loathe them they are bound to be an Instagram sensation before the party season is out!

FEED, New York

Creating good products that help feed the world

by Rupert Bentley-Smith

Alo Yoga, New York

New York's one stop shop for yogis

by Charlotte Roberts

I’m no yogi, but like everybody else, could always do with a bit of peace and quiet.  So on a recent trip to New York, I found myself in Alo Yoga (on the pretext of checking out the clothes, you understand!) This 15,000 sq ft corner of solace and mindfulness…

Matches Fashion, Mayfair

A pioneering response to the changing retail landscape

by Charlotte Roberts

With the High Street under threat and online companies such as Amazon doing so incredibly well, it’ll come as no surprise to hear that retailers are having to be imaginative (to say the least!) in order to reach their consumers. Matchesfashion.com has pioneered this change by becoming so much more than simply…

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 oldest cities in the world, predating London, Paris and Rome.

One of the oldest cosmetics stores in Lisbon; Benamôr, was founded in 1925 earning the reputation of being one of Portugal’s most beloved beauty brands, yet is still relatively unknown to the UK.

The store itself is unassuming from outside. Its solid stone frontage and large window are beautiful, but it isn’t until you take a look inside where you appreciate its modern, monochrome interior, rustic wooden pillars and historic arches, reflecting the simple yet warm feeling of Lisbon.  The black and white patterned tiles, work in harmony with the white wooden cupboards, white marble worktops and pendant lighting. The store is full of colour but it is the products that create this, cleverly using the monochrome interior to showcase and enhance its products.

Since adopting its art deco branding from conception, its iconic style, bright colours and patterns which adorn its packaging have remained the same. Commonly, brands try to evolve their cosmetics to fit with the ever-demanding consumer, but Benamôr have always had belief in what they offer and many of their products remain the same as when they were first created. The brand offers a refreshing contrast to ever-changing clinical brands we know too well in London.

LX Factory, Lisbon

An authentic regeneration of a post-industrial area

by Tracey Pollard

Fellpack, Keswick

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

by Rosie Higgins

Spazio Armani, Milan

The italian super-brand's hometown flagship

by Thea Rowe

Having spent a few hours wandering the streets around the Duomo amongst the pigeons and tourists, it was a complete delight to wonder down the leafy streets of Via Montenapoleone, the most famous street of the fashion district. Large multi level stores line the avenue from Valentino and Celine to…

Finisterre, Covent Garden

Surf brand with a commitment to sustainability

by Charlotte Roberts

A British clothing brand that offers so much more than just surf related merchandise have opened a beautiful store in Seven Dials. Think framed coastal pictures, storm lights and a relaxed, surf shack vibe. Despite the brands apparent lack of interest in being ‘in fashion’, their plain, subtly branded clothes…

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 of a fine and authentic tapas bar on camberwell’s “prime pitch”. Angels and Gypsies was a revelation when it opened its very Spanish doors. Success has been deserved and extensive; booking is essential, which is not something many imagined would happen amongst the usual dining establishments of Camberwell Church Street, which tend to cater to the walk in (from a bus) and walk out (to a bus) crowd.

Set in the shadow of Gilbert Scott’s monumental church (way too big even then for the deeply unreligious congregation surely) its decoration is sparse but ecclesiastically fitting with hams hanging in the window against the stained glass murals. The food is never short of excellent, familiar enough to tapas lovers but individual enough to be special (they don’t do patatas bravas, preferring their own unique version). Since it opened, along with the boutique hotel above (more words rarely relevant to Camberwell) it has fostered the u turn that was so desperately needed to meet the needs of the metropolitan mix-up of local dwellers. The south london gallery, a few hundred yards towards Peckham has been a favourite ever since we met Michael Landy there with his “art bin” – although we had no idea we were talking to the artist himself until a rather loud American interrupted our conversation (“oh my god! Michael! I can’t believe you’re actually here!).

They have recently reimagined their spaces with 6a architects, to create among other things a rather on-message london cafe/bar/restaurant. This perhaps doesn’t quite appeal to the art college students next door, but it is always full even though there are now 2 other quirky independent coffee bars on the street (beards, rolled up tight jeans and a fixie being the minimum entry code). The areas restoration must now be coming someway towards its peak, with the recent opening of the Camberwell Arms, a sister (or brother?) to the excellent Anchor and Hope in Waterloo, and with the same excellent quality food and ingredients and indeed the buzzy convivial atmosphere. Oh, and we’ve also now got a Costa, whoopee.

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

Having seen them in Copenhagen on a client trip in 2014, I am delighted that this fantastic home retailer has opened in my home town in Bath, as their Flagship UK store. Located inside a former bank on Milsom Street, the shop opened its ground floor initially and then slowly…

Vintage Village, Paris

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

by Ed Corrigan

On the northern fringes of the 18th arrondissement  is the famous Marche aux Puces de Saint Ouen. “Les Puces” has evolved (and is still evolving) from flea market to tourist hotspot to antique and art dealer collective. Off one of the side streets is a walled enclave called Vintage Village.…

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 and energy must be motivated by its Israeli born owners who previously ran a night club.

The restaurant is tiny with just 16 seats around the kitchen arranged at the front of the restaurant, a tiny holding bar/corridor and a dining room which seats just 40 at the rear. It’s cramped, its hot and the kitchen is compromised operationally but boy is it good. The tiny open plan kitchen serves some of the most exciting combination of flavours I have ever had, all beautifully presented. The menu is focused on sharing plates encouraging dialogue and wonderment at what combination of ingredients are contain in each dish. Whether the food comes from the Raw bar, Stove, Jasper or Plancha, it is all faultless.

Often a restaurant will win on its food but it is let down on its service but Palomar wins on both fronts, its staff can only be applauded. They look like they are truly having a ball, with quirky hats and a detailed  knowledge of each dish, it is all backed up by the biggest of smiles and lots of laughter. I’ve not experienced Tel Aviv’s party scene but if Palomar is an example of what its like, I’m booking my flight now.

Circus, Covent Garden

A Christmas party venue with a kick

by Leanne Bradley

It’s that time of year. Christmas feels like a life time away but it’s actually round the corner, the diary is filling up (if not full) and we are tasked with organising festive ‘catch-ups’ with people we hardly ever see or see every single day. Then there is the office…

The Ginger Pig

The Ginger Pig has Christmas covered

by Woody Bruce

Now with seven stores across London and their ‘head office’ in the heart of Yorkshire, The Ginger Pig has fast become one of the most popular butchers in London. Ginger Pig is your old school, quintessential butchers. They give excellent advice, are happy to chat about what to do with…

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,…

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