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.

Emilia’s

Founder and Managing Director, Andrew Macleod

interviewed by Emily Spencer

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…

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 eloquently with its historic bedrock than within the gates of LX Factory.

This strip of delapidated fabric factories, now decked out with vibrant street art, has reinvented itself as a hub of cafés, bars, independent art spaces, vintage shops, restaurants, concept stores, yoga studios and music venues. Of all LX Factory’s enticing qualities, we found ourselves most impressed by its integrity.

Beulah

Head of Sales, Sophie Caulcutt

interviewed by Charlotte Roberts

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

Holly & Co is an online and offline community which supports, advises and champions the small businesses of the world. As the founder of the hugely successful ‘Not on the High Street’ online store, what made you decide to set up Holly & Co? After building and growing NOTHS for…

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 it’s been a number of things – a lot of hard work, determination, sheer ambition and drive. I’ve also always been an incredible believer in positive thinking. It is sometimes easy to become overburdened and sometimes negative about the challenges that might lie ahead in building a successful brand, but I have never allowed that thinking to override the dream I am pursuing. No matter how challenging the task might be, I think positively and believe that somehow, I will be able to make it work.

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

I do think the increase in a lot of fast-fashion brands have made traditional bricks-and-mortar selling more of a challenge. Social media and advances in technology has generated a need for everything to be accessible and available at the touch of a button.

Luna Mae London as a brand is challenging this notion because everything we do is based on building strong relationships with all of our clients by offering such a personal and unique experience. Dedicated client service is at the forefront of everything we do. How will this make our clients feel? How can we encourage them to feel the best versions of themselves? I believe (and I hope) that people will grow tired of the overload of information they are faced with every time they pick up their phone and choose to value timeless experiences when shopping which you can nurture in a bricks-and-mortar retail environment, over an impersonal online transaction.

What are your current plans for your brand?

The launch of our flagship store is a very exciting step for the brand. We will continue to fit our VIPs in their own residences or hotel suites, but the space will allow us to have the whole brand under one roof. Beneath the store is home to our head office and Atelier where our incredible craftspeople are working on bespoke commissions. Clients can actually watch their creations coming to life. We are also about to launch a tightly curated selection of sumptuous ready-to-wear, all manufactured in London. Next on the cards for us is bespoke swimwear which is coming from a demand from our existing bespoke clients.

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

I want to grow Luna Mae London in the right way – we have an incredible collection of loyal and dedicated clients who love what we do because not only are we exclusive, but everything we offer is one-of-a-kind and unique. This is what makes the brand so special. I have dreams of growing the brand by opening ready-to-wear stores in key cities around the world but I would love to keep our bespoke lingerie just as British, and just as personal. It is my absolute priority to ensure that our quality or our client service is never compromised.

Where have your biggest influences come from?

I have a very large appetite for visual stimulation and find myself inspired by nearly everything around me. The back of a dress on a woman walking down the street; the cornice of a beautiful old building; a shade of colour found in a street market of a foreign city. I love to experiment with symmetry and clean lines which sculpt, support and enhance a woman’s silhouette.

I am also greatly inspired by works of Helmut Newton and Sam Haskins. I like to design for the women in their photographs. Women who are elegant and empowered.

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

I’ll never forget the day I held Luna Mae London’s first ever bra in my hands. It was something I had always dreamed of creating. I was studying for a Law degree at the time and for me it was the reality that even coming from the opposite of a traditional fashion background, I was still able to achieve something I had only ever wished for. The first bespoke sale I had ever made was proof that the concept I had explored had commercial potential too.

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

Become an expert in your field and don’t ever lose sight of why you want to start the brand in the first place. Your mission will become your driving force.

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

I offer suggestions and designs to suit our clients’ body shapes and shades of silks which will complement their skin tones, but really in a bespoke world, the client becomes the designer.

www.lunamaelondon.com

Bad Brownie

Co-founder, Paz Sarmah

interviewed by Thea Rowe

The Vurger Co.

Co-founder, Rachel Hugh

interviewed by Tracey Pollard

Randy’s Wing Bar

Co-founder, Richard Thacker

interviewed by Dominic Tixerant

Inspired by North America and created in London, Randy’s Wing Bar launched in 2013. At what point did the idea turn from a concept into a reality? The idea turned into reality on our launch night when 200 people came through the doors of the pub where we did our…

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 early age, will you ever be able to work for anyone else?

One of the main reasons I started my own business is because I’ve always had a mild issue with authority, and to be honest I definitely think that was a large push towards me starting my own business. I do think that if it were a case to improve my skill set, I would be more than willing to take direction from someone with more experience. For example, right now we have an investor that is mentoring us through the growth and expansion of our business and I actually have to say working with her has been one of the most inspiring and enlightening learning experiences I’ve been lucky enough to be a part of.

Where have your biggest influences come from?

Our mothers, our Iranian heritage and our general obsession with food.

What have been the main contributors to your brands success?

Hard work and drive, social media and a wonderful team.

How have the mix of operators and the local residents had an effect on your business?

I really enjoy the surrounding local neighbourhoods that we are currently based in, operators and residents included! I think the harmony between our brand and these locals hubs, have only had a positive effect in regards to our trade and I truly feel like The Good Life Eatery is slowly embedding itself into local communities across London.

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

Having visited Berlin (one of my fave cities) again this summer, I’ve definitely seen quite a significant amount of growth in relation to the food scene there, from the previous time I had visited. There has been a really large boom with consumers exploring not just the german culinary offerings, but also a larger visibility of foreign cuisine in and around the city. It might be due to the influence of the refugee crisis on the general culture of the city itself, but I also think it has a lot to do with growth in other industries which have facilitated higher disposable income and therefore an increase in cultural curiosity.

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

The market is definitely shifting towards a healthier climate. I believe that people are becoming a lot more aware and educated about the positive and negative effects of the way we eat in the developed world. I also think as technology progresses, the choices we make in reference to our lifestyles will only be amplified with all the readily available information that surrounds us, resulting in people searching for a more efficient and more sustainable life. Not only to benefit themselves but to create a positive environment for the future generations to come.

www.goodlifeeatery.com

Duke & Dexter

Founder, Hugh Wolton

interviewed by Dominic Tixerant

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

Pergola on the Roof

Founder Charlie Gardiner

interviewed by Alex Mann

Designed as a vision of the Mediterranean, Pergola on the Roof is a piece of sunny European escapism. Pergola on the Roof was inspired by founder, Charlie Gardiner’s love of European al fresco dining. Where have your biggest influences come from? My biggest influences in terms of Pergola on the…

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 success?

Working hard, having a great team and really supportive family and friends. Potage started in my mum’s kitchen in Notting Hill in 2012. Today we’re a team of 8 working from our own kitchen in Battersea. Other big factors have been staying focused on our goal, to make eating well easy by delivering nourishing meals, and growing slowly. I spent the first year doing everything; I built the website, cooked all the food, took the orders and delivered on a bicycle, only hiring a team as I could afford it. We’ve continued to grown this way and as a result have an incredibly loyal customer base whose feedback and support have been instrumental in our success.

Where have your biggest influences come from?

Mostly my family and friends, they all influence me in their own way. My mum started her own business (nurole.com) and I’ve always admired how much she’s achieved and the way she balanced it with bringing up a family. I also often think about my dad talking about summers as a child living with his French grandparents who lived a long and incredibly happy life on a farm in Castelmoron and were totally self-sufficient.

How important has your young age and optimism been in setting up Potage?

I don’t think age is important. After all you’re only as old as you feel and I certainly feel a lot more energetic and positive when I have a good balance of eating well, exercising and sleeping. I find I recharge off certain people so it’s also really important for me to set aside time each week to spend with family and friends. Starting a business can be very lonely, I suspect I spent 95% of my time alone in the first year so optimism is important to keep you motivated.

Where do you see the healthy food market going?

There are all sorts of trends in food that go in and out of fashion. Our healthy eating philosophy is to keep things simple and we work with a qualified Dietician, Rosie Norman, to make sure what we say is based on scientific research rather than misleading trends.

Scientists and health professionals are beginning to understand that the old fashioned criticism of single nutrients as the root of all evil is not the most helpful approach to healthy eating. We don’t tend to eat sugar, salt or fat on its own. We eat a complex diet composed of many different foods, often combined together to make meals. This means instead of arguing over whether we should eat more butter or less sugar, it’s more important to look at our diet as whole, thinking about how that food fits into your overall diet. Not just today, but also over weeks and months.

Healthy eating is therefore a balance of quality, quantity and frequency, and each person’s diet varies depending on their own activity level, nutritional needs and goals.

Do you believe that people will always look for quick and easy ways to eat healthily?

Yes because we don’t all always have the luxury of time to make our own meals, even if we’d like to – but I don’t believe quick and easy any longer has to mean unhealthy. When I had the idea for Potage I used to describe it to people as a friend around the corner who delivered an extra portion of whatever they were cooking, it’s delicious, handmade, fresh food delivered.

Are there any other areas that Potage will look to explore in the future?

Definitely! There are lots of things I’d like to do in the future; a cookery book, Potage branded homeware, work on educating kids on food education and nutrition.

www.potage.co.uk/

BLOK

Founder and CEO, Ed Stanbury

interviewed by Alex Mann

Noble Rot

Co-founders Mark Andrew and Dan Keeling

interviewed by Alex Mann

Skinny Dip

Co-founder, James Gold

interviewed by Tracey Pollard

L’Olfattoria Bar a Perfums, Florence

A unique fragrance bar

by Charlotte Roberts

At L’Olfattoria, Bar a Perfums the sole objective is to help visitors discover a scent that captures their true essence. This unique concept, a fragrance bar, is the creation of Renata Da Rossi, who with her husband Giovanni Gaidano, is the founder of Cithera Sas, a Turin-based importer and distributor…

The New Craftsmen, Mayfair

Unique Mayfair showroom bringing together a spectrum of modern crafts

by Tracey Pollard

The New Craftsman launched in December 2012 and brings Artisan products from across the UK to a central showroom in North Row, Mayfair. Representing over 75 makers, the showroom hosts emerging designers and skills from a range of textiles, silverware, furniture and ceramics. Many of the products are limited editions…

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 have become achingly fashionable. Pretty impressive bearing in mind first and foremost they want to make clothes that last and are made from environmentally friendly, recycled or natural fibres, such as merino wool.

I am not a surfer but I love the brand and products, the warmest coats that you will ever wear that fold into a pocket and the cosiest merino wool socks. It is much more than your standard retail store  – hosting events, talks and film screenings – definitely pop in – the coffees are pretty good too!

The Apartment by The Line, New York

An unassuming entrance in Soho leads to a trove of unique products.

by Nigel Gillingham

The Apartment is the joint innovation of Creative Director Morgan Wendelborn and stylist du jour Vanessa Traina. The group brings together a collection of extremely well-compiled lifestyle products presented in the setting of an unassuming Apartment. The entrance is via a self-effacing entrance that sits amongst high profile and luxury…

Space Ninety8, Brooklyn

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

by Rupert Bentley-Smith

Amongst the modish cafes, bars and industrial space of Williamsburg, New York, lives Space Ninety 8, the five story Urban Outfitters concept store. Big and spacious, the multi-level space is located in a renovated warehouse. It has an industrial look, complete with exposed ceilings and brick wall. This Brooklyn store…

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. There are burger pop-ups and street food vans, the first signs of a Brixton Village-style foodiefication, plus an outlet of L’Eclaireur- selling vintage designer fashion. But most interesting of all is Habitat 1964. A concept store with a twist, it is based around genuine vintage and antique pieces from Habitat. Opened to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the brand, it celebrates iconic specimens of design and household furniture with a big attachment to the Terence Conran name.

Many of these vintage Habitat pieces are collectors items and hard to come by on the open market or the internet. Here, anyone can sell their own second hand Habitat pieces through the store at their approved prices. In my hometown of Bristol, Habitat used to be referred to as local landmark as much as a store. Now, it represents just a small concession in Homebase.  Similarly, the antiques market has struggled with the rise of E-bay as everyone is now an expert. What hits you as you peruse the store is that the majority of the items, although still feeling modern, were designed before the rise of internet shopping and before even the widespread dominance of Ikea.

Heritage here doesn’t mean traditional or old fashioned. The geographical distance from the chic city centre of Paris somehow adds to the feeling that you are shopping in a time before technology came along and changed it all.  You could spend a whole weekend trawling the entire area (Les Puces only trades on Saturdays and Sundays) but the Habitat 1964 store is worth a visit in its own right. Whilst you’re there, check out the eclectic concept stores – focused around antique and found objects for the home and garden – on the neighbouring Rue Paul Bert.

Palomar, London

A modern Jerusalem menu and creative, crazy environment

by Nigel Gillingham

Riad el Fenn, Marrakech

Five Riads converted into one

by Ed Corrigan

There has traditionally been a choice for travellers staying in Marrakech: the traditional but perhaps ‘compact’ accommodation offered by the riads within the Medina, or one of the luxurious sprawling hotel complexes just outside the city walls. Riad el Fenn attempts to bring the best of both, offering traditional charm…

Male grooming at Aveda, Covent Garden

The modern man's grooming experience

by Ed Corrigan

Modern men’s hairdressing is dominant in London now with the rise of Pankhurst, Murdock, Ted’s Grooming Room, and rumours of ‘peak beard’ abound. Usually masculine surroundings with leather, dark wood and musky aromas generally being the order of the day, these businesses are fundamental in changing the way that men…

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…