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Filtering by Tag: designer

Summer Hangouts: Mare Street Market

Charmaine Leong

If you haven’t visit Hackney’s recently opened Mare Street Market, you’re missing out.


Opened in March this year in a former Job Centre, the market houses a whole host of shops from food and drink spots, florists, vinyl stores to lifestyle pop-ups featuring independent fashion and jewellery designers. The market opens from 8am till late on weekdays, and from 9am on weekends.

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Set up more like a boutique mall than a street-food market, Mare Street Market is designed to fit the local East London vibe. Stalls in the Open Kitchen are set up in a grid-like fashion on an open plan space. With long rectangular tables filling the centre of the room and plenty of natural light cascading in during the day, it’s no wonder that this place is the chief go-to for many aspiring writers, students and workers. Worked a long day? No worries, there’s a bar by the side of the hall just a few steps away.

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In terms of the food, the market does not disappoint. Food writer and TV chef Gizzi Erskine, who is a huge advocate of innovative pop-ups and underground food scenes, took charge of Mare Street Market’s food offering. She runs the market’s main restaurant, The Dining Room, headed up by chef Tim Mawn (from Scott’s and Sexy Fish), which serves stunning wood-fired British food such as steak tartare and indian-inspired scotch eggs.

Described to be Brunswick House’s cooler East London sister, The Dining Room is furnished with unique chandeliers, pendant lights, stone busts and other bits and bobs from local antique dealers. Find a piece of furniture you like? You can buy it.

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Meanwhile, The Open Kitchen serves delicious modern cuisine. If you’re visiting for lunch expect to find jazzed up avocado and smoked salmon toasts. For lunch, the kitchen cooks up beautiful porcini pizzas, Wiltshire burrata salads, rotisserie chicken and wood-fired cauliflower with dandelion, grape, hazelnut and Gorgonzola buttermilk with hot sauces. If you have a sweet tooth, you definitely don’t want to miss their miso caramel banana split and piña colada sundae.

Other food concepts at the market include a raw food bar, a deli showcasing local produce and a coffee roastery called Flying Horse Coffee, named after the Flying Horse Inn founded in 1593 for travellers going through Hackney. According to Gizzi, Hackney really is the perfect place for a permanent market concept like this. "We have so many great ingredients in Hackney," she says, "I don't think people realise how much food is being produced in our area. There's Hackney Honey, Newton and Pott, the best smoked salmon from the Secret Smokehouse then there's great bakeries like Yeast and people like Lilli Vanilla and The Meringue Girls. So there's all this amazing food, but the only time you could ever get the chance to shop it all was on a market on a Saturday." This is something Mare Street Market definitely changes.

A particular stand out section of the market, which is sure to get a lot of use during the summer months, is the big outdoor terrace running along the side of the building. Fancy a mojito or a glass of watermelon juice? Not a problem at all. This summer the market will collaborate with Brooklyn Beer in the terrace, bringing barbeque into the alfresco dining area.


Responses from locals to the new Mare Street Market have been overwhelmingly positive. The market’s opening weekend was relentless, with food flying off the shelves and in need of constant restocks. Some visitors have described its Sunday lunch as the best they’ve ever had: rhubarb crumble puddings had to be eaten in silence to fully appreciate its deliciousness.

So what are your waiting for? Go check out Mare Street Market at 115 Mare Street, London E8 4RT.

Top 10 Summer Favourites

Charmaine Leong

With summer well underway, we have put together a list of our top 10 must-haves for this summer season.

1) Everyone needs a basic white tee. A lot of us probably have more than one, and often try to justify to ourselves that they are different (when they actually aren’t). Spice up a basic white tee and know that it is actually different with this one from Darling and Gold.

Second Female White Tee, £60 at    Darling and Gold

Second Female White Tee, £60 at Darling and Gold

2) Everyone needs a gorgeous swimsuit during the summer, and this piece from Alexandra Miro clearly meets that criterion. With sleek, clean lines and a sweet baby pink, this swimsuit is both modern and timeless. Pair it with dramatic palazzo trousers or a full skirt for the ultimate holiday vibe.

Grace Swimsuit by Alexandra Miro, £190 at  Harvey Nichols

Grace Swimsuit by Alexandra Miro, £190 at Harvey Nichols

3) It may be summer, but it still does get chilly in the nighttime. Stay warm and funky in this varsity jacket by Denisse Montaré. Although a jacket may not be the most summery item, its bright blues, greens and reds lighten it up and bring life and energy back into the look.

Love 1995 Varsity Jacket, £105 at   Concept Store Y

Love 1995 Varsity Jacket, £105 at Concept Store Y

4) The summer season will be full of plans and activities. Keep track of the time with this versatile watch from Flint Watches – refined enough to accompany you to formal events, and summery enough to be worn for casual day-to-day. This is also an incredibly high quality piece incorporating marble bezel from the Aravalli Mountains, goat leather and Swiss movement.

Aravalli Marble Sandstone Watch, £180 at    Concept Store Y

Aravalli Marble Sandstone Watch, £180 at Concept Store Y

5) What better way to spice up an outfit with a pair of statement earrings? Try this dangly art décor piece with wavy lines and bright colours, plated in 24 carat gold. These earrings would go well on holiday, or even if you’re just going for a nice dinner with friends and family. Designed exclusively by Milk Tooth in collaboration with artist Maria-Ines Gul.

Milk Tooth Cloud Earrings, £52 at    Concept Store Y

Milk Tooth Cloud Earrings, £52 at Concept Store Y

6) Get summer festival ready with this chic bumbag from Miu Miu. The perfect size to carry all your festival essentials, you’ll definitely be ready to party all day and night. This bumbag also comes in blue, green and pink, if red isn’t your thing.

Matelassé Leather Belt Bag, £1,080 at    Miu Miu

Matelassé Leather Belt Bag, £1,080 at Miu Miu

7) Throw a modern twist onto a classic shoe with this pair of Converse trainers. Part of Converse x MadeMe’s collection, this pair One Star Converses mixes MadeMe’s cool girl style with the laidback street vibe Converse is known for. Featuring an olive green suede upper and platform sole, these trainers are definitely a pair to get your hands on.

Converse x MadeMe One Star Platform (Green), £90 at    Dover Street Market

Converse x MadeMe One Star Platform (Green), £90 at Dover Street Market

8) Add some glimmer and shine to your summer outfits with these rings from Fotini Psarouli. A masterful jewellery maker, Psarouli experiments with metals and creates elegant jewellery by hand. Made out of 14 carat gold, these high quality hand candies will be a long-lasting staple in your wardrobe.

Fotini Psarouli Rings starting from £325, at    Kabiri

Fotini Psarouli Rings starting from £325, at Kabiri

9) Nike has long stayed ahead of the trainer game by constantly reinventing itself. Get a pair of trainers unique to yourself by personalising your own artwork on these Nike Force shoes. Paired with a cute sundress for the summer season, you’re sure to stand out from the crowd.

Art Nike Force, £200 at    Marr LDN

Art Nike Force, £200 at Marr LDN

10) What would any summer favourites list be without any cute swimwear? Turn heads this season with this glitter bikini set from Danish brand Becksondergaard. Whether worn at the pool, beach or at the skate park (with roller skates of course), this bikini set will keep you looking cute and fresh all summer.

Get the Becksondergaard Orchid Bloom Bikini Top, £36,    here    and Bottom, £36,    here   , at AIDA

Get the Becksondergaard Orchid Bloom Bikini Top, £36, here and Bottom, £36, here, at AIDA

Best Independent Boutiques in Amsterdam

Charmaine Leong

From bohemian areas of East London and Hackney, we now bring you to highly creative and innovative Amsterdam. With an equally bohemian spirit, the Dutch capital boasts a dynamic shopping scene. Many unique fashion boutiques exist alongside global brands in areas like Waterlooplein and Nine Streets, catering for every taste.

Here is our list of the top 5 independent boutiques in Amsterdam:

1) X Bank

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Located in W Hotel Amsterdam, this hip concept store, which claims to be the ‘epicentre of Dutch design’, is more than a fashion boutique: it is a destination for the artistically minded. Featuring all types of objet d’art ranging from fashion, jewellery to artwork from local Dutch designers and artists, X Bank also hosts an art gallery and workshop space. Up-and-coming Dutch designers that are stocked at X Bank include Roderick Vos, Lola & Lou and Ink Inklusive Denim.

2) OU Boutique Stories


Curated specially by owners Val and Rose Adam, OU (French for where or where did you get that) brings all manner of texture, prints and sparkles into clothing, bags and jewellery. As the OU woman is bright, cheerful and feminine, but not afraid wear statement prints and colours, the boutique adopts tongue-in-cheek approach to make classic fashion too pretty and hard to resist.

Check out their Instagram here: OU Boutique Stories.

3) Hutspot


What makes Hutspot unique in the Amsterdam boutique scene is its lifestyle offering for young sustainable creatives. Brands sold at this boutique emphasise the use of sustainable materials and practices to ensure dignified treatment of the workers that produce their garments. After a long day of shopping and browsing, Hutspot also offers you the opportunity to kick back and relax and have a cup of coffee. Who wouldn’t like that?

4) T.I.T.S


Based in West Amsterdam, T.I.T.S stands for ‘This is the s***!’ and its name definitely lives up to the shopping experience. In here, you’ll be able to find funky and unique fashion pieces ranging Brixton Hats to stylish knuckledusters at affordable prices. Brands carried include indie label Mannish and Frisur and well-known Stussy and Lazy Oaf. Also, in mandatory Amsterdam fashion, coffee is served at the back of the store if you ever need a caffeine pick-me-up.

5) Cottoncake


A posterchild of Tumblr’s sleek, minimalistic and white interiors, Cottoncake feels very open and spacious despite being shaped like a pijpela (a long and narrow pipe drawer). Run by owners Tessa and Jorinde, the store only stocks items that they really love and pick up during their travels. Labels you could expect to see are Storm & Marie, Samoe & Samoe, and jewellery brands Mimi et Toi and Monocraft. Things are constantly changing however, as the owners bring in new upcoming designers, so don’t forget to pop in and check it out!