Meet Emma Mac, our new London correspondent, and a contender for the most effortlessly cool chick I’ve ever met. Living in in East London with her gorgeous husband and even more gorgeous miniature dachshund, Betty, Emma works in the music industry, but has a passion for all things fashion and beauty (along with eating out - and Betty!).
Emma says, “I absolutely love the variety London offers and how it constantly challenges my perceptions on style. For me, beauty is all about feeling confident. In my early twenties feeling confident was about wearing make up, now having reached my early thirties, it’s about looking after myself and finding the best products to keep my hair and skin looking and feeling good. My beauty best friend is Tom Ford’s lip and cheek stain, as it keeps me looking fresh faced even after the dreaded tube commute.”
Here are Emma’s tips to getting the most out of the English capital; she is unashamedly biased towards the East End!
Where to stay:
- Ace Hotel (Shoreditch) hipster central very cool and laid back.
- Hoxton Hotel (Shoreditch or Holborn central) trendy hotel with good food, but no breakfast.
- Airbnb (have lots of cheap and chic apartments near the action)
Where to eat:
Sketch (Soho): amazing food in the Gallery restaurant, quirky interiors and potential celeb spotting. The bathroom is a must see!
Crate (Hackney Wick): great pizza and craft beer made on site, situated beside the canal - a very cool hangout on the weekend.
Street Feast (Dalston): a must in summer for an array of cheap yet quality street-food, drinks and the best people watching.
Shoreditch, Homerton, Hackney. Hampstead Heath (for a village feel in London)
The perfect Sunday afternoon in London:
Breakfast/ brunch at Hoi Polloi Shoreditch, before making my way to Columbia Road Flower Market for a stroll through the stalls, past the array of talented buskers. I love a bit of window-shopping and a rummage through the rails of Goodhood. Then it’s on to a lovely leisurely walk along the canals to Victoria Park, dog and husband in tow, followed by a pit stop to meet friends in the Lauriston for a top notch Sunday roast and a beer before home.
Where to drink:
- The Arts Theatre Club (Soho): very small but fab music and dancing central location.
- The Plough (Homerton): Laid back cool, with a dj playing great music on the weekends and pretty awesome food too.
- The Spurstowe (Hackney): a popular spot in the trendy part of town, again with a laidback and friendly crowd.
- Ridley Street Market Bar (Dalston): At the other end of the scale, put on your hipster wears and prepare for a fun night out filled with rum cocktails, good music and a student party vibe.
- Shackelwell Arms (Dalston): If it’s after hours and you like to dance into the wee hours, The Shackelwell will usually accommodate.
- Oslo (Hackney): is one to watch for small gigs and djs.
- Savoy American Bar (Charring Cross): For a laid back, elegant cocktail put on your best clothes and head to the American Bar; its an old world type of service but worth a brief visit for a romantic evening!
Favourite beauty shopping haunts:
I love the Beauty Hall in Selfridges as a one stop shop. I do prefer to go later in the evening when it’s not so busy and everyone has lots of time to help you out. (I avoid it on weekends) I also love SPACE.NK. apothecary for those more unique brands.
Favourite beauty treatment and where to get it:
Without a doubt, the Cowshed Skin Perfecting Facial at Cowshed, Shoreditch House. For a quick pre-night-out pamper session, try the “Cheeky Combo” manicure while getting your hair and make up done. (Cheeky Salon, Redchurch Street). For my hair, the wonderful Kella at Eshk, Pitfield Street has been my go-to for over 2 years now; she’s a genius at whipping it into shape.
Have any questions about London, been to any of these hot spots or have any recommendations of your own? Quick, to the comments!