Mowgli Street Food opens on Church Street, Cardiff

BGP acted on behalf of the landlord, Hermes Investment Management.
by Rosie Higgins

This is Mowgli’s eighth restaurant having opened their first site in 2014 on Bold Street in Liverpool. Since then, former barrister and now TV personality, Nisha Katona has opened in Manchester, Birmingham, Sheffield and Nottingham, with this unit their first site in Wales. The menus are designed to emulate authentic Indian home and street cooking including the iconic tiffin tins. The restaurant has been designed to be fun, yet intimate with trees, bird cages, rope swing seats, exposed brick walls and fairy lights.

Church Street is a pedestrianised thoroughfare which links High Street and St Mary Street in Cardiff which has been redeveloped by the landlord to create a restaurant destination. Mowgli is joining a high-quality line up which includes The Botanist, Pho and Honest Burger with one further letting to be announced in due course.

Victoria Broadhead acted on the letting, and comments:

“Cardiff is such a vibrant city with a large young professional population and a lucrative visitor economy. Mowgli is the perfect occupier for the cosmopolitan Cardiff customer and ideally complements the existing line up. Having focused exclusively on expanding nationally, Mowgli is a great example of the quality operators successfully trading outside of London.”

BGP act jointly on Church Street with Cooke & Arkwright. The tenant was not represented

Amazónico, Madrid

Excellent Jazz and Hangout for Madrid's Glitterati

by Nigel Gillingham

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…

Sub Cult opens in One New Change

by Rosie Higgins

After much anticipation, Sub Cult are now open at 82 Watling Street, part of Landsec’s One New Change development. To celebrate the opening, free subs were given out to the lucky first 200 customers. The new store is the first permanent site for the brand which was founded five years…

Navrtar

Director, Saaj Kanani
interviewed by Zoe Schoon

Navrtar is the UK’s first free-roam virtual reality and bar experience.

You recently opened in Dicken’s Yard, Ealing. What can people expect from the Navrtar Experience?

Navrtar is the UK’s first free-roam virtual reality and bar experience. The Navrtar experience is the next generation’s version of a social experience, which combines virtual reality alongside a bar. Our main package is broken down into a 30 minute demo and then 30 minutes free-roam where we have a bespoke choice of experiences. Perfect for friends, families and corporates… Navrtar promises to immerse you within a cool virtual world in minutes.

What is a “free roam” gaming experience?

As mentioned before, the term ‘free-roam’ means being able to roam freely in a huge space without the limitation of wires. It caters for group experiences (up to 5) however, it is available for individuals also. This gives customers a real feel of the game and a sense of immersion giving them that feeling of being inside the experience. Again, when you’re able to engage in something like this with other people at the same time with capabilities such as communication, it really makes a huge difference. As tech advances it should entice more people in and take experiences to the next level.

You have entirely 5 star reviews on Trip Advisor! What do people tell you they like most about their visit to Navrtar?

The fact that it is an exciting, fun and unique experience. A lot of the things in and around London offer the same or similar things but with different aesthetics. Navrtar on the other hand not only implements a cool and futuristic theme, but is a next level experience that has not been done before. Customers have said the experience is fun and uncomplicated, meaning it can be experienced by the majority. It is also great to see frequent mentions of how nice and helpful our staff are!

What do you think makes Navrtar so unique?

The fact that it’s something new and something different. It’s an exciting social experience with a futuristic feel that the majority haven’t tried before, and Londoners thrive off new things to do; especially when it’s an experience you can do with friends, families and corporates – it really takes the enjoyment to another level.

E-gaming is a relatively new phenomenon here in the West, (although relatively common in Asia) what do you think are the driving factors behind its success?

The competitiveness and the fact that people are getting into gaming from a young age! Most children and teenagers love gaming and can’t get enough of it as they grow up. I think it’s an easy option in the sense that limited effort is required and it’s there at the switch of a button. With the current level of technology, young people get used to gaming in their spare time. It’s addictive, requires skill, and as there are so many gamers out there, there’s been enough interest and interaction to turn it into a massive industry. It’s something I can see growing more and more especially as the tech is becoming more advanced every year. It’s so realistic and people love the immersion; that’s what engrosses people and the fact that ‘online gaming’ is available gives it that competitive feel. Most people get carried away when it comes to being better or being the best!

This is your first UK centre (in London). Do you have plans to expand to other cities?

We are definitely open to the idea of expanding! London had to be our first location due to the influence it carries. Having Navrtar in other areas across the UK is something we’d consider if the opportunity arose.

www.navrtar.com

Stack, Newcastle

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

by Victoria Broadhead

BGP acquire Anna Haugh’s first restaurant, Myrtle

by Zoe Schoon

Former Bob Bob Ricard and Gordon Ramsey chef Anna Haugh has opened her first restaurant, Myrtle. Her comforting, yet modern European approach with an Irish twist uses only the finest Irish produce. Anna started her passion for cooking in her Dublin based home alongside her mother. Here she developed the basis…

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 I think the team spirit shines through into the restaurant.

What inspired you to start a vegan burger restaurant?

I went vegan for the cookery challenge and stayed with it because the other factors make it even better! Bean burgers weren’t great so I thought I could make something more interesting. You are not constrained by the taste of beef so you can be more creative with what goes in the burgers. The patty is a vehicle of texture to carry more interesting elements in the burger. I’m a designer by trade, so really love the process of designing new recipes. Take our special ketchup for example, we slow-smoke our tomatoes in the oven at 80 degrees. You put smoking chips in the oven and control how much they burn with the fan (you can do this with a commercial oven). Then they sit overnight in the weighted down. I love how recipes evolve. As a designer you’re trained on product; you’re trained to make things obsolete to make things look different – just by the shape of products and the cut of clothes. You’re changing up the trends and making change. In my case, I’m doing it with food.

What do you think of the vegan revolution that is currently circling the globe?

I think it has to happen because of the environment, but I don’t think it’s good to tell people what they can and can’t do. I think eating meat 3 times a day is bad; eating meat 3 times a month is OK. At DoppleGanger we believe we’re having a greater impact with every bite. We don’t want to ram it down people’s throats but I do believe that if we do what we do well we can change the world. If somebody eats 12 burgers a year, and if 3 of those times they came to a DoppleGanger, then that is us having an impact, making change.

What is your best seller? What are your burgers made of?

Well actually, for us, the seasoning is the thing that stands out. The patty is there to chew and add texture and is then seasoned. For example, I use a recipe I found for steak seasoning in one of our burgers, to flavour the patty. People also love the ranch sauce in the Dopple which is made from garlic and herbs, capers, chives, parsley and other bits. We make it by emulsifying soya milk and oil, in the way you make mayonnaise.

What do meat eaters say about your food?

The biggest win for me is meat eaters who say they’ll come back. When we started it was much more heavily veggie-vegans who come in, but now the reputation has built and people are coming because it’s good. Nowhere in the restaurant does it say it’s vegan. We replace the vowel in bacon and cheese (b*con and ch*ese) and changed “duck balls” to “quack balls”. Everything is air fried and we don’t use any fat. Our air-fryer is a brilliant investment because you can literally press a button.

Your menu looks very tasty! What was the inspiration behind your dishes / how did you come up with them?

Every four weeks we change the menu and we do a taste-off. You buy a ticket on Eventbrite and test half of each burger. At our most recent event we tested Ends 2 (“chicken” burnt ends, roasted in dry spice and glazed with sticky sauce, served with coleslaw, pickles and pepper jack cheese) and the Casbah Babaganoush (charred with burnt banana blossom and lemon, and served with oregano and red onion salad and a dukkah with hazelnut, cumin, fennel, and seeds).
I also now have a part time chef who I can bounce ideas off. Its quite difficult to find a good cook; and a good vegan cook even harder.

What other plant-based food brand do you most admire and why?

I’m actually not massively aware of any other brands because I live in bit of a social media hole. As long my customers and my staff are happy, I’m happy. I think people coming into the restaurant and having a good time and telling their mates about it is more important. Word of mouth is the best advertising you can get and so as long as my customers are happy and the restaurant is full, I’m not worried about what else is going on.

Do you have any plans to expand outside Cambridge at the moment? To other cities in the UK?

Yes – Norwich. We may also expand to other towns skirting London. For example, Giggling Squid has opened around 20 restaurants around London, but not actually in London.

What advice would you offer somebody who is thinking of embarking on a similar venture to your own?

Just work hard – it’s a lot of hours. I’ve not had a day off since Christmas. I start at 7 or 8 and finish at 10 or 11. My staff are paid hourly so they make more money and it’s fairer. Vegan cookery is more challenging.

You have to learn a whole new larder and ingredients; you have to make stuff more flavoursome.  I want DoppleGanger to be about good food that coincidentally is good for you.

www.dopplegangerburger.co.uk

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,…

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 and a restaurant.  There is literally everything any foodie could need or want.  Their mantra is to select all products according to naturalness, seasonality and taste, and this is consistent across grocery and the restaurant.

They also pledge to work only with local producers and are wholly organic. There is a stunning selection colourful fresh fruit and veg, which look like they’ve just been dug up, tomatoes that smell like tomatoes and the veggies aren’t all regular in shape and size. There’s a patisserie, breads, meats, chocolate, wine, cheese, and a fabulous selection of savoury tarts, soups and salads can be taken away. Perfect for a romantic picnic in the Marais district where the store is located.

Freshness is reflected in the interior design, which is light, with beautiful planting and pots on the external terrace echoing its freshness.  Dry Produce is beautifully lined up in uniformed simplicity and stylish packaging means the shelves reflect the most beautiful Instagram larder (I‘ll know I’ve made it in life if I have a larder that looks as stunning as these shelves!) Maison Plisson, please come to London and save our shelves!

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

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…

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.  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…