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

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…

Vinoteca to open in Paradise

This will be their first site outside London

by Zoe Schoon

Vinoteca has confirmed it has exchanged on a unit at 2 Chamberlain Square, in the Birmingham’s Paradise development. We are proud to have acted on behalf of the landlord on this letting that will add to the company’s existing 5 strong business. Set to open its doors for early Spring…

DoppleGanger, Cambridge

Founder, Alf Fowler

interviewed by Zoe Schoon

You have some excellent reviews. What do you think is the main factor behind your success? I think it’s about creating an environment where people want to work and enjoy themselves. Our staff are genuinely happy and there’s no “macho” kitchen stuff. I also work hard alongside my staff and…

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).

Offering substantial sustainability, they offer organic salad bowls which are made up from leaves grown on their farm.  Because of this they can only offer seasonal leaves, which are local and this is then paired up with protein and grains etc in store.

Wherever possible, all meat is also local and organic, as well as other ingredients like beetroot and eggs, although, as the chap behind the counter told me, they are yet to find an organic avocado grower in Ireland!

But other than this, they are doing a great job.  In keeping with the current “wholesome over clean eating” trend, plus the demands of generation X for authenticity, this is a business that is sure to fly. By the time I left, a lunchtime queue was forming and it was already out of the door.

This is not surprising when you see the delicious menu, comprising of delights such as Paprika or Satay chicken, Tamari spiced Hoisin Mushrooms, baked falafel and Japanese salmon. All gloriously organic and as local as possible.

I wouldn’t be surprised if we see either more organic farmers branching out into restaurant operations, or restaurant operators acquiring farms.  Either way, if Sprout & Co are anything to go by, I think we will be seeing more of this style of operator.

IKEA, Greenwich

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

by Andrew Gibson

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,…

The RealReal, New York

Make Well. Buy Well. Re-Sell.

by Nigel Gillingham

For a fantastic example both social responsibility and sustainability we need look no further than New York’s The RealReal. Situated on Wooster Street in New York’s Soho, CEO Julie Wainwright started the business online from her kitchen table, visiting customers to collect their resale items with a truck. Her website went…

La Maison Plisson, Paris

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

by Tracey Pollard

On my latest trip to Paris, I was lucky enough to come across Maison Plisson, quite simply the most beautiful general food store I’ve ever found; a fresh and unique celebration of food.  Spread over 5,000 sq ft, on 2 floors, it is a fresh market, a wine cellar, a delicatessen…

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 is grown.  They have their own garden where the tea is grown and harvested by hand, using only natural pesticides such as Neem leaf.

The tea-shop itself is calm, bright, characterful and a lovely place to relax and unwind and forget you are in hectic Covent Garden.  We were really impressed by the attention to detail that had gone into the design (best described as a modern, colonial look) and the knowledgeable, friendly staff.  Of the 8 teas available, we tried Jasmine Green and Lemon Grass but there was also a good selection of cocktails, mocktails (all tea-based) and a library stocked with literary offerings from some of the world’s leading creative thinkers – perfect for that half an hour get away from the busy city streets!

And, if you enjoy your tea so much you want to have it at home, Teatulia also sell their fresh-leaf teas in beautiful quirky tins either in store or online, so if you can’t make it into town, you can create your own mini oasis of calm at home.

 

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

FEED, New York

Creating good products that help feed the world

by Rupert Bentley-Smith

Purple Dragon

Founder and CEO, Sharai Meyers

interviewed by Nick Garston

Eating well together, exploring the world’s best playroom and giving time back, Purple Dragon is the world’s best family club. You have sites in Chelsea and Putney.  Do you have any plans to extend elsewhere in London, nationally or even internationally? Yes, absolutely!  We’re working on a project in the…

Backyard Cinema

Founder and Creative Director, Dominic Davies

interviewed by Dominic Tixerant

Backyard Cinema was created to provide somewhere cool, where you can watch your favourite films with great food, drinks and friends. What gave you the idea to first screen a film in your back garden? It was a passion project. The very first time was something I organised with my…

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.…

Emilia’s

Founder and Managing Director, Andrew Macleod
interviewed by Emily Spencer

Founded by Andrew Macleod to fulfil his lifetime dream of opening the best pasta restaurant outside Italy. Emilia’s is an immersive, authentic Italian experience.

Where did the idea behind Emilia’s come from, and what are the key factors that have set it apart from other Italian restaurants in the competitive London restaurant scene?

I grew up on pasta, born of the millennial generation for whom pasta was an everyday item. Family trips to Italy further inspired my interest in this simple yet complex staple. I came to appreciate the level of craft involved in creating this delicious and aesthetically pleasing food. You don’t see potatoes, rice or bread created in the multitude of fun shapes you’ll find pasta. At Emilia’s we are passionate about how pasta is made lovingly by hand.

Emilia’s pasta is made by hand each morning. Do you believe it’s the freshness and handmade element which is has garnered such a loyal following of customers?

Making pasta is a craft. No two pasta makers create exactly the same pasta hence why it is still considered a craft – simple variations in the process make for a completely different flavour profile. We think our balance of ingredients, quality of those ingredients and the care that we put into creating the wonderful shapes is what sets Emilias apart from other pasta restaurants and has led to such a dedicated following.

In recent years, some might think pasta has lost its appeal due to the popularity of clean eating / low carb diets.  Has this been the case and if so how did you overcome it? Were you able to dispel the myth that pasta is unhealthy?

People are getting wiser about food nutrition. Our hand-crafted pasta is made from semolina and water or semolina and eggs – this is a nutritious combination and when joined with the addition of a good protein such as our grass-fed organic pasture certified beef and lamb from a small farm just outside Bristol, you have a healthy satiating meal which, most importantly, is delicious.

What have been the main contributing factors to Emilia’s success?

Hard work, honesty, an obsessive attention to detail. But most important of all is a true love of food but especially the craft side of pasta and Italian cooking.

You have a chef’s table at your restaurant and intend to offer masterclasses. How important do you think it is for customers to fully engage in their food and the experience as well as the consumption?

Fully engaging customers in their food experience is hugely important to me. Firstly, we want to be honest with our guests and the chef’s counter seats allow everyone to see how everything is made. Experiencing this ‘pasta journey’ from start to finish is very important to getting maximum enjoyment from your dish. I believe we eat with all our senses – it’s an immersive experience.

Pasta masterclasses are another way of amplifying the Emilia’s experience. I believe that in this generation of technology and social media we are becoming more and more experience driven, as opposed to materialistically driven and we are trying to be at the forefront of that. We are very excited to be launching our masterclasses at the start of 2019, shortly after the launch of our second restaurant. Our aim is to pass on the craft we’ve learned about pasta making to the next generation of pasta lovers.

The brand is relatively new, with its second anniversary in January 2019, where do you hope Emilia’s will be in 5 years’ time?

I don’t think that far ahead! I take each day and each pasta shape at a time! I really want us to be recognised as the best and most engaging pasta restaurant in operation. We plan to open a second site in 2019 in Aldgate and my focus will simply be to bring our unique crafted pasta to a wider audience.

What have customers told you they’ve most enjoyed about their experience at Emilia’s?

All our guests have different things they love about their experience at Emilia’s. Some like our youthful casualness and positive energy – we enjoy what we do! The dining experience has received many plaudits because we have a lovely balance between flavour, density, freshness and lightness.

If you could start Emilia’s all over again, what would be the one piece of advice you would give yourself?

Never lose sight of your passion and the reason why you’re sacrificing so much personally in order to pursue the dream. Make sure you envelope yourself with a talented and experienced team to help through the difficult times.

What other new restaurant brands are you most excited about and why?

One of my favourite restaurants is Lure Fish Kitchen situated in North London. Their sustainably sourced fresh fish is incredible, and the head chef never leaves the kitchen! They really care about the quality of their produce, where it’s sourced from and the whole journey from the sea to your plate. Would be nice to see them open another restaurant somewhere closer to home as you can eat amazing fresh fish there for under £25 per person.

What are the current trends in the marketplace and do you see this changing anytime soon?

My generation care about the environment and animal welfare. I see vegetarianism and veganism continuing to grow. There is also a disenchantment with restaurant chains which are seen increasingly as bland and dull, so I see more quality specialist independents with keen price points.

www.emiliaspasta.com

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…

Beulah

Head of Sales, Sophie Caulcutt
interviewed by Charlotte Roberts

In addition to being an internationally acclaimed luxury clothing, designed to showcase feminine aesthetics and timeless style, Beulah’s staff, sourcing, manufacturing and charity are focused around positively impacting victims of human trafficking.

At what point did the idea turn from a concept into a reality?

After a trip to India in 2010. This was when the brand was born and where co-founders Natasha and Lavinia witnessed first hand the huge issue of human trafficking, and decided they wanted to use fashion as a vehicle for doing good, providing employment opportunities and impacting change. India is such a hub of manufacturing and Natasha and Lavinia quickly saw the power of empowering vulnerable women by teaching them skills that they could they use to generate an income.

What have been the main contributors to the brands success?

Perseverance and having a great team!!! Also, the four P’s: product, price, place and PR.

Where have you biggest influences come from?

The roots of the brand are in India – this was where the brand was born and where our social impact projects and charities are. India has a huge influence on the brand, imagery, and our latest collection. Also, the heritage of our founders, Natasha’s being Indian and Lavinia’s Chilean.

The product is beautifully designed, how do you ensure consistency as you grow the brand?

This is a constant challenge for us being a luxury brand with a social impact, especially with managing our charity projects. This is something we are always working on and the key is relationships, communication and a great Production Manager!

What are the current trends in the marketplace and do you see this changing anytime soon?

See now – buy now has been a huge trend. Advancement in technology platforms have enabled this – the consumer is now able to look at something on the runway, click and order. Artificial reality and artificial intelligence has become a game changer and brands need to stay ahead in the digital world.

Will there be more shops in the future?

Yes, we hope to open more stores. Next, the US…

Which areas in London do you feel will experience a surge in interesting new retailers?

I think Soho will continue to support emerging brands and we have seen a rise in Marylebone being a key destination for attainable luxury.

What future challenges and developments do you foresee in the retail industry?

I think the wholesale industry has been in a state of flux, and many brands have been choosing to go direct-to-consumer. I will be interested to see how wholesalers begin to support smaller brands.

Your one piece of advice for anyone considering starting a high end fashion brand?

Perseverance- never take no for an answer!

www.beulahlondon.com

Fellpack, Keswick

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

by Rosie Higgins

Holly & Co

Founder, Holly Tucker MBE

interviewed by Emily Spencer

Yolk

Founder, Nick Philpot

interviewed by Katherine Hajiyianni

Established to provide exceptional food, elevating London’s perception of ‘grab and go’. When you first began with the idea of setting up a takeaway food brand, did you initially set out for the concept to be based around the humble egg, if so what was the reason behind this? We…

Gormley and Gamble

Founder, Phoebe Gormley

interviewed by Charlotte Roberts

Established in 2015, to re-define the classics, beautifully, elegantly and simply by women for women, Gormley and Gamble are the first women-only tailors in the history of Savile Row. What have been the main contributors to your brands success? Breaking the mould in a totally male-dominated environment, and, if I…

Luna Mae London

Founder, Claudia Lambeth

interviewed by Charlotte Roberts

A British luxury lingerie brand, with quality craftsmanship and dedicated client service at the core of its philosophy. Established in 2012, Luna Mae London was created from the desire to offer women a high-end alternative to off-the-rack sizing. What have been the main contributors to your brand’s success? I think…

Bad Brownie

Co-founder, Paz Sarmah
interviewed by Thea Rowe

Bad Brownie are the gourmet brownies specialists, sell their fine products across many of London’s markets. Paz Sarmah and Morag Ekanger left their careers in branding to pursue their passion to become chocolate experts.

What do you think are the benefits of having a pop up store for young restaurants/retailers?

Pop up stores allow brands to experiment and try ideas out without a full-on commitment. It creates excitement and a buzz for visitors, as the fact it is temporary means there is a sense of urgency in people visiting and purchasing items, hopefully resulting in relatively high sales given the time period involved. It also offers the flexibility to try several new areas in a short period of time, and allows a much wider audience to experience your product.

At what point did the idea turn from concept into reality?

Very quickly! When we decided to start a brownie business, we started tasting and testing on friends and family to a very positive reception. We then got a very good deal on a short term spot in a local market and said yes without fully realising the work involved. Before we knew it, we were selling to real customers – all within a couple of months!

You came from a branding background, why did you choose to set up a brownie stall?

When Morag and I worked together at one of our branding agencies, we worked on a global chocolate account which was brilliant and made us realise we each loved chocolate as much as the other! We also knew that we would need our branding experience to set ourselves apart from the other, more traditional retailers since our offer was more modern and contemporary.

As a young start-up, what has been the hardest thing to deal with?

Initially, it was the fact no-one knew us and when markets get 50 or even 100 applications a day, they go with concepts or names they immediately understand, often mistakenly lumped us together with traditional cake stalls or traditional bakeries, whereas in fact we are neither, being chocolate specialists. More generally speaking, it has been the constant lack of time and resources. As a start-up the world is your oyster – as you have done so little, there is so much more to be done, so many open doors before you, but the things you lack are money, time and experience, so you can only follow one or two of those paths realistically, whereas you might want to do it all from the start!

Where do you believe the next exciting fashion/food hub will be and why?

London’s food scene is so vibrant now and it seems there is an amazing opening every week. However, traditionally there has been little happening in West or South West London whilst East, Central and South London have hogged the limelight, so perhaps West London is crying out to be the next foodie focus.

You set up with your business partner Morag, what would your advice be to any other entrepreneurs thinking of starting up together?

Doing things with someone else makes things so much easier in many ways, one reason we grew so quickly was because there were two of us, so effectively twice as many resource as any other start-up, and we could divide and conquer right from the start. Since we were both equally vested in Bad Brownie, we knew that we would each be putting in 110% at all times. It’s amazing to have someone to bounce ideas off and to be there – sometimes it can be lonely as an entrepreneur, since you work long, antisocial hours, and sacrifice your friends and family to do so, so having two of us has meant we have managed to stay sane! At the same time Morag and I have learnt just how different we really are – as friends before Bad Brownie we focussed on all our similarities, as friends naturally do. However, as colleagues we suddenly realised just how different our various work approaches are – we are very different people with strong opinions, often at odds with each other, leading to many arguments and disagreements. Nonetheless, ultimately we know that regardless of the path we each want to take on a particular subject, we are both aiming for the same thing, which is the success of the business, and we are both doing what we think is the very best thing to do – so it comes down to the fine art of compromise and understanding, to listen and be listened to.

The product is beautifully designed, how do you ensure consistency as you grow the brand?

The bigger you get, the more difficult it is to maintain consistency of quality. We do not bake anymore (instead having hired people far more skilled and qualified than us!) however, we taste every new recipe, and we are fully involved in all developments in the kitchen, to ensure everything is perfect. Also, we hire people we trust – we have a fantastic team and only through them are we able to maintain standards. From our head chef who prides herself on running the most efficient kitchen with the best product output, to our driver who ensures his deliveries are always on time and in perfect condition; our whole team shares the same values we do and it is that which allows us to trust them to manage their own responsibilities, to the same standard as we would do in their shoes.

Where have you biggest influences come from?

We love anything and everything to do with food – whether it is a high end triple Michelin star restaurant, or a random supermarket product from a South American country. We strongly believe inspiration can come from anywhere, at any time. Whether it’s the latest flavour trends in Asia, or the freshness and scents of a UK Spring, there’s always something around you to inspire and inform.

What are your current plans for the brand/restaurant?

Our focus is the search for our site in Central London, where we have a slightly expanded menu, serving brownies as our core offer, but with added treats and indulgences. With the ability to eat inside away from the cold and rain – so different from where we are now! We’ve worked with great architects (Kennedy Woods) to create an eye-catching and disruptive design for the space, very different from the current norms of stripped wood and filament lighting!

www.badbrownie.co.uk

The Vurger Co.

Co-founder, Rachel Hugh

interviewed by Tracey Pollard

Pampelone

Founder, Holly Anna Scarsella

interviewed by Emily Spencer

Born from a love of people watching the most glamorous women of the Riviera. Pampelone is the epitome of effortless chic beachwear style. As a young startup, what has been the hardest thing to deal with? The fact that it never stops…ever. I sometimes describe the feeling as being on…

Kalimera

Founder, Télémaque Argyriou

interviewed by Alex Mann

Télémaque Argyriou launched Kalimera, a fresh and exciting natural Greek fast-dining concept, in November 2015 with a food truck in East London. What is your background and how did it lead you to starting Kalimera? I worked in Finance for 16 years, five of those in the City. As all…

The Good Life Eatery

Co-founder, Yasmine Larizadeh

interviewed by Thea Rowe

Co-founders, Yasmine Larizadeh & Shirin Kouros met through their fathers to bring something new fresh & healthy to London’s food scene. More than just an eatery, Good Life Eatery encourages us to eat better, healthier and happier with an array of all day options. As an entrepreneur at such an…

Duke & Dexter

Founder, Hugh Wolton
interviewed by Dominic Tixerant

Duke & Dexter is a British born footwear label, specialising in premium loafers. Designed in London and handcrafted in England, the brand launched in 2014.

How important is a combined internet/bricks and mortar approach for your core consumer?

An omni-channel approach is essential to serve the needs of our customers. Selling shoes online is inherently difficult because consumers want to see the quality and ensure they get the correct fit – the D&D flagship store gives our customers the opportunity to experience the brand first hand and choose from our entire collection. Once they know their size, they can return to our website and order again.

Where do you see the brand being in ten years time?

We want to continue to establish D&D as a leading contemporary shoe brand and focus on breaking into new markets across the globe. So much has changed in the past year and that makes it difficult to predict the next decade! Our recent store opening in Seven Dials has been a hugely exciting project and proves Duke & Dexter’s long-term credibility.

Where have your biggest influences come from?

We’re exposed to so many influences on a daily basis which makes it challenging to select one. I’d like to think we take inspiration from others in a business and fashion sense – building Duke & Dexter combines our passion for both elements of retail.

What future challenges and developments do you foresee in the retail industry?

The dominance of Amazon is a worry for all retailers due to the vast amounts of data they collect from customers and their ability to influence online pricing. Social media will become the new marketplace for online shoppers – we’ve already seen this development in action with Facebook Marketplace and Instagram will follow with their own version in 2017.

The product is beautifully designed how do you ensure consistency as you grow the brand?

We relocated our manufacturing to England from Italy in May 2016 because we always wanted to be a totally British brand and associate ourselves with the heritage of British craftsmanship. We have a close working relationship with our craftsmen in Sheffield who fully understand our vision and the direction we want to move in. It’s crucial to maintain consistent communication and creative support in order to ensure the highest levels of quality.

Your one piece of advice for anyone considering starting a high end fashion brand?

Stay relevant to the customer. Retail is a hugely dynamic industry and as a brand grows, so does its audience. It’s crucial to maintain a fine balance between adapting to consumer demands and maintaining the brand’s core values.

dukeanddexter.com

Swingers

Founder, Jeremy Simmonds

interviewed by Alex Mann

SØRENSEN

Founder Wayne Sorensen

interviewed by Emily Dumbell

London Grace

Founder Kristen Hazel

interviewed by Alex Mann

Kricket

Co-founders Rik Campbell and Will Bowlby

interviewed by Alex Mann

Kricket was formed by Rik Campbell and Will Bowlby, a former chef at The Cinnamon Club in Westminster. Now located in Pop Brixton, serving seasonal and stylish British-Indian small plates and cocktails. What is your background and how did it lead you to starting up Kricket? We became friends whilst…

Frame

Co-founder Joan Murphy

interviewed by Alex Mann

When Pip Black and Joan Murphy set out to create Frame they wanted to create a more positive approach to health and fitness. Now known for their feel-good and fun-filled classes, Frame was created to ensure keeping fit and healthy never feels like a chore. What have been the main…

Potage

Founder and CEO, Georgia Cummings

interviewed by Alex Mann

A healthy, food delivery start-up founded by Georgia Cummings in 2012. For the first year Georgia did all the cooking at home. Balanced & nourishing meals delivered to you, recipes are developed by a nutritionist and chef using fresh, local ingredients. What have been the main contributors to your brands…