Meet a londoner

Meet a Londoner: Benjamin Lipari – Suave Instagram and Digital Comms Guru

February 4, 2016

In today’s post, suave Benjamin Lipari, Instagram guru and antipodean traveller shares his love of East London, great food and shares his tips to help you Instagram like a pro!

Meet Benjamin

Benjamin Lipari

Hi Ben, can you tell the reader a bit about yourself?

I was born in Italy and moved to Sydney, Australia when I was young. I was lucky enough to grow up in a stunning part of the world called The Northern Beaches or Summer Bay for you Home and Away fans. I studied Marketing and Communications and worked in various roles across Brand and Advertising for The Commonwealth Bank. In my free time I love playing around, plotting/planning my next Instagram post. Instagram has alway been a creative release for me and I love how it connects people from all walks of life.

Why London?

Basically I was on a 9 month sabbatical (like a good Australian) and was asked to MC my friends wedding in Surrey at the start of my trip. I came to London and completely fell in love with it. I was meant to stay for 3 days but ended up being here for 2 weeks and knew it was where I belonged. I continued spending the summer gallivanting around Europe before settling in East London just over a year ago. I believe London provides an opportunity for everyone to find their tribe. There is so much diversity, I genuinely feel there is something for everyone. I was consumed by East London. There is something so real and raw about it which I love. From collecting ingredients for brunch sessions at Broadway Market to purifying yourself with a wander down Columbia Road Flower Market, East London well and truly has me.

As someone who’s moved to London from another country, what is different about London compared to where you’ve lived previously?

Probably the biggest difference would be the amount of things that are always happening. Back in Sydney, (for me anyway) Monday to Thursday were be in bed by 10pm nights (party animal right?). But here in London there is always something happening, always some way to spend your time, be it exploring new areas, tasting new foods or going to the theatre. I absolutely love it.

Where are your favourite places to shop?

I’m a sucker for a good market and love going to Maltby Street Market on Saturdays to sample the culinary delights that are on display. Coming from Australia and living on the beach (ok I’ll stop), being close to the water is really important to me. I absolutely love walking up Regents Canal and stopping for brunch at one of my favourite little breakfast places on the canal especially The Barge House (get the breakfast special and thank me later). If it’s clothes I’m looking for, you’ll find me on Redchurch Street in Club Monaco convincing myself that I need another scarf haha.

benjamin lipari

What restaurants can you recommend to our readers and why?

Ok, I never want to refer to myself as a ‘foodie’ but being half Italian I certainly appreciate decent food. It all depends on the occasion but when friends visit from out of town, I can’t go past Sushisamba. From the ride in the lift to the 38th floor, to the yellow tail, it’s a complete experience from start to finish. That being said, one of my favourite places for dinner is a small Georgian restaurant near Broadway Market called Little Georgia. It’s run by a lovely family who moved over from Georgia many years ago. The pride they take in sharing their culture with every dish is amazing. It also happens to be BYO which, lets be honest, is a MASSIVE plus haha :)

Is there anything that annoys you about living in London?

There are some aspects that I’m still coming to terms with like eggs being in the baking section of the supermarket…Seriously guys, eggs are for breakfast and belong next to the bread. Also at work, people bring in their own cakes and treats when it’s their Birthday or they have something to celebrate…It’s YOUR Birthday, it’s YOUR celebration….we buy YOU cake! Haha.

I agree with you on this Ben, we got it backward! Haha!

Your images on instagram are so beautifully captured – what are your top tips for getting the best shot?

Lighting, lighting, lighting. I can’t stress it enough. I’ve only just discovered the power of correct lighting when taking photos. It gives a far more authentic image than trying to brighten and edit after you’ve taken the shot. Play around with different lighting and shadows to see what works for your account. I’d also say that it’s important to establish your own brand for your Instagram account. This helps create consistency and allows you to develop your own style that you can own.

Where can you usually be found hanging out on a Friday or Saturday evening?

This is going to sound so boring (old man alert) but I live with 6 absolute legends who all share a passion for 90’s RnB and beautiful food. We’re often found cooking up a storm on the BBQ (look at that, an Aussie with a BBQ…) all together dancing around to ‘No scrubs’ by TLC before heading off to one of the local pubs (Mother Kelly’s or The Sun Tavern) for a couple beverages. We’ve been known to recruit people from the pub to come back for a dance at our place from time to time.

Can you share any hidden gems in London that nobody else knows about?

What isn’t a secret is my love of Jazz and a decent cocktail. What’s a little more of a secret is the bar Kansas Smittys which has some of the best Jazz and cocktails in London. They play till all hours of the night. Sit back, grab yourself a Smitty’s Julep and enjoy the smooth sounds hitting your eardrums.

Finally as an avid traveller are there any other cities in the world that you’ve visited that you’ve loved?

Cinque Terre on the Italian Riviera would have to be my favourite. The plan was to stay for a couple nights which then got extended into a week. This town and the locals way of life is so infectious. Each of the 5 towns has something different to offer in their own unique way. Coming from Australia there’s nothing like it back home. I felt like I was inside a child’s imagination. I spent a day with an Aussie girl I met one morning. We spent the day going from each town by train (lazy I know) starting at Riomaggiore with the plan to get to the furthest town to swim and get our tan on.

Along the way at each town we were making friends with locals and travellers alike. Stopped at the third town and found a local family deli where we ordered cheeses, different types of ham and tomatoes for a mezze platter along with beverages. We sat on the rocks with our fresh local produce, sun beating down, the locals fishing, kids running and swimming. It probably one of the most perfect moments of my life. We managed to get to the last town and a train back to Riomaggrie in time for the sunset. We took a bottle of wine to the highest point of the town which happened to be a church and watch the sun set over the Mediterranean. Dusk is my favourite time of the day because of the colours it produces and given Cinque is already socked in colours it made for something really special.

Wow, that sounds idyllic. Thanks Ben for sharing your infectious love of East London. As an East Londoner myself I really do identify with your sentiment. 

Want to feature in our Meet a Londoner section? Get in touch, we want to hear lot’s of different perspectives of living in London.

Meet a londoner

Meet a Londoner: Katherine Omerod – Editorial Director – Lyst.com

February 2, 2016

Meet Katherine

Katherine Omerod

Today’s interview is with the very stylish Katherine Omerod, Editorial Director of Lyst.com. I came across Katherine’s instagram and was struck by the beautiful images of the places she has visited and her well put together style. In this piece Katherine shares with us her love of North West London.

Katherine, tell us a bit about yourself?

I’m Editorial Director at global digital shopping destination, Lyst.com and I live in Queens Park.

2) Why London?

I went to school in the suburbs close to Bromley, but was born in Munich, where my dad still lives. From a really young age, I knew it was always going to be bright lights, big city for me. I went to Uni in Edinburgh which was lovely, but felt very small after 4 years. There was never any question that I would live in London – I’ve been here for more than 10 years now.

What drew you to live in Queen’s Park?

I was drawn by its walking distance to Notting Hill, but it’s much more affordable. There’s diversity, artisanal coffee shops and a local farmers market as well as great amenities including my gym Frame which was what drew me from Kilburn where I was living before my move to Queen’s Park. I’ve been living here for two years and five years in North West London overall. I’ve lived in Islington, Hackney, Chiswick, Hammersmith and Kennington. All had their ups and downs, but Queens Park feels like home.

What are your favourite places to visit in the city?

The National Portrait Gallery is my favourite of all of London’s incredible museums – as a history student, it is just the ultimate cultural destination. I love Hampstead and spend a lot of weekends on the Heath. But Notting Hill is probably my favourite place to while away hours.

Where do you usually shop? 

I’m a big online shopper, but love mooching in Notting Hill – Matches, Maje etc. I love Iris in Queens Park and if I’m high street shopping I’ll go to the King’s Road.

Katherine Omerod

What restaurants can you recommend to our readers and why?

Ida in Queens Park is an incredible neighbourhood restaurant and during the week you can get a fantastic plate of homemade pasta and a glass of red wine.

Is there anything that annoys you about living in London and why?

Not much, I love my city. I mean, the rain gets you down, but it makes you appreciate the sunshine that bit more!

What do you do to de-stress from busy city life?

I do Pilates and Yoga at least three times a week. Socialising with red wine is the less saintly version – that takes place probably more than three times a week.

As a Londoner working in fashion describe your style?

My style is really varied, but generally I’m pretty polished. I’m definitely not conservative though, and I would never be nervous to try anything new.

Can you share any hidden gems in London that nobody else knows about?

The flower shop at Queens Park station is so lovely. The man that runs the stall is very charming and puts a smile on my face nearly every day.

Finally as an avid traveller are there any other cities in the world that you’ve visited that you’d live in?

Los Angeles is right up there. My best girlfriend lives there, I love the sunshine and the space. New York is my home from home—we have an office there which I work out of regularly. I could definitely see myself living there. I’m still very connected with Munich culturally and Amsterdam is my favourite European city!

Thanks Katherine, I’ll have pay Queen’s Park a visit soon! 

Meet a londoner

Meet a Londoner: Andrea from @prettylittlelondon

January 29, 2016
big ben - @prettylittlelondon

@prettylittlelondon

Meet Andrea – @prettylittlelondon

Today’s interview is with Andrea who runs a successful instagram account @prettylittlelondon, Andrea’s IG beautifully captures London’s unique architecture and design providing inspiration for those looking to visit.

Hi Andrea, tell us a bit about your background?

Hi my name is Andrea and I am an admin for @prettylittlelondon my curated Instagram page. I work as a Project Manager at a Bank and I love photography and sports. I arrived in London 2 years ago and I have been in love with this city since.

Why London?

I chose London because I wanted to attend an MA in the UK. I currently live in London Bridge and have been here for 5 months now. I have chosen this area as it is in walking distance from where I work, and it avoids me taking the tube during rush hour, keeps me healthy and saves me a lot of money I can then spend in booze. One of the best features of where I live is that it is really central, I am 10 minutes walk from the Tower Bridge and right next to Borough Market, where you can find any variety of food.

Where are your favourite places to visit in London?

I love to go to Notting Hill and Hampstead in my free time to take pictures. There are so many beautiful houses and lovely vintage cars to photograph, it’s overwhelming. I also love going out at Oxford Street where my Uni used to be, there are nice shops in the day time and good clubs to go out in.

Where do you do your shopping?

My favourite place to shop is without any doubt Westfield. It is the biggest shopping centre in London and you can often find good deals. But be careful and don’t get carried away, last time I went I spent over £600 in Zara. In my defence their winter collection is great this year!

What restaurants can you recommend to our readers?

I would definitely go to Sketch or the Aqua Shard. The food is fantastic and the venue is dreamy. Sketch, in Regent Street, has this unique pink style inside and the best toilets in the world (I know I sound crazy, but wait till you see them). And The Shard just has the best view in London, with excellent food and service.

Is there anything that annoys you about living in London?

The only thing that annoys me about London is that there is no night underground, and I am hoping that it will open soon (even if it’s not likely). It would make it easier for people to get home safe after a night out.

Where can you capture the best photos of the city?

For good photos I would definitely try the Monument of the Great Fire of London in Monument, the Sky Garden, Waterloo Bridge at sunset, the View from the Shard and Primrose Hill.

@prettylittlelondon

@prettylittlelondon

Can you share any hidden gems in London that nobody else knows about?

I would look for Neal’s Yard in Covent Garden or any narrow street in Notting Hill, where you can truly find some really colourful hidden gems.

Finally, are there any other cities in the world that you’ve visited that you could live ?

I have been to almost every capital in Europe as my parents own a travel agency and have worked as a travel agent, and I can say that no city comes close to the beauty and diversity of London.

Thanks for sharing your perspective Andrea. 

Art, Things to do in london

Elegance in Vogue by Norman Parkinson Exhibition opens 11th February

January 27, 2016

Private view for “Elegance in Vogue” by Norman Parkinson. Tuesday 9th February 2016, 6 to 8pm

Norman parkinson - Vogue

A exhibition celebrating Norman Parkinson’s influential contributions to fashion photography specifically through his work for Vogue  is opening at The Eleven Gallery this February. The exhibition has been organised to coincide with the National Portrait Gallery’s Vogue 100: A Century in Style (11th February to 22nd May 2016) where a number of Norman Parkinson’s works will be shown.

In a career that spanned over five decades, Norman Parkinson photographed for Vogue for most of this time. He worked consistently for British Vogue from 1941 to 1960, and after a stint at Queen, returned again in 1965 working with British Vogue through 1975. His long association with Vogue brought him worldwide recognition and he is now considered one of the twentieth century’s foremost fashion photographers.
Parkinson was instrumental in taking fashion photography beyond the stiff formality of his predecessors and injecting an easy and casual elegance into his images. His impulsive and unstructured style changed forever the static, posed approach to fashion photography.

The Norman Parkinson exhibition opens from the 11th February at the Eleven Fine Art Gallery.

Norman Parkinson

Norman Parkinson Le Groux Soeurs Hat, Vogue, 1952

Interview, Meet a londoner

Meet a Londoner: Jessica Patterson, CEO JPR Media Group

January 26, 2016

Meet Jessica Patterson

We are kicking off our new series of perspectives of London with an interview with Jessica Patterson of JPR Media Group. Jessica’s PR agency represents some of London’s best restaurants and clubs. In this short interview she shares her perspective of living in London.

jessica patterson JPR

Jessica, tell us a bit about yourself?

I am a Californian American living in London. I run a top London PR agency specializing in luxury lifestyle public relations called JPR Media Group.

Why London?

I didn’t choose London, London chose me. After university, I wanted to live abroad against my father’s wishes so I took the first job I could get which happened to be based in London as the UK PR Director of Escada.

I’ve lived in London for 13 years, most of my time living in Chelsea. Now I live in Pimlico which is a bit quieter, residential and close to everything.

As someone who’s job involves a fair amount of socialising, where do you go to let your hair down?

I relax on the weekends and go for steams and workouts at Akasha Spa, Café Royal Hotel where I am an ambassador and I used to do PR there for the owner.

Where are your favourite places to shop?

I love shopping at Brunello Cucinelli, Rupert Sanderson, and The Shop at Bluebird in Chelsea.

What restaurants can you recommend to our readers?

I recommend all of my restaurant clients obviously – The Worlds End Market for the incredible tuna tartar, skate wings and grilled lamb chops, Beaufort House for healthy smoothies and breakfasts, Muga, Kouzu, 35 New Cavendish, Nozomi which is now franchised abroad.

My personal dining favourites include Caravan Kings Cross for weekend brunch, La Petite Maison, Hedone, Poule au Pot, and Dinings.

Is there anything that annoys you about living in London?

English culture seems very much a “no” society. I noticed being American that Americans are more proactive, don’t take no as an answer, and go out and make their dreams a reality. There is a huge positive attitude in America for entrepreneurs to do well and we promote success.

As a business owner in London, what advice could you give to others look to start their own business in the city?

My advice for any individual who wants to create their own business is to START! You just need to get off your ass and go! No one is there to help you more than yourself.

I had £40,000 worth of debts when I started JPR Media Group alone a year ago with no financial support whatsoever. I now have paid off all my debts, employ 5 people on full time salaries, saved enough in my 1st year of business to put £150,000 back into my company whilst saving enough for a deposit to buy my 1st flat this year.

Starting was the most difficult step for me. Everything else I learned along the way and I am learning everyday.

Can you share any hidden gems in London that nobody else knows about?

I have done yoga at Skygarden which has amazing views over the city. I love Carpo, Poilane and Monmouth for coffees.

Finally, are there any other cities in the world that you’ve visited that you could see yourself living in?

I feel like London is my home but I would consider living in New York City for a few months whilst I set up my JPR Media Group branch there. New York City is a fantastic, buzzy, fast-paced cosmopolitan city like London.

Thanks Jessica for sharing your perspective on life in the city.

Art, Things to do in london

A journey into Miro’s Studio, Mayoral Gallery, Mayfair

January 25, 2016

joan-miro-quote

On Saturday, I took a trip down to Mayfair to Miro’s Studio, a recreation in London of the great surrealist Joan Miró’s studio complete with original works at the Mayoral Gallery on Duke Street.

The Mayoral Gallery have painstakingly taken the time to recreate all the details of the studio from the collection of weird artifacts that he kept on his wall to the paints pots and splattering on the floor.

Miro's studio

Viewing his studio is a rare portal into the mind of the artist and a chance to experience Miró’s signature biomorphic forms, geometric shapes, and semi-abstracted objects  expressed in multiple media, from ceramics to sculpture.

I try to apply colors like words that shape poems, like notes that shape music.

I won’t spoil it all by giving it all away, but surprisingly this exhibition is FREE. The exhibition ends the 12th February.

Miros-studio

To find out more and to book a ticket visit: http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/miros-studio-tickets-19577106653

 

Letter from the editor

Happy New Year from The London Perspective

January 1, 2016

image
It’s the start of another new year. With every new year there comes time to reflect. I purposely took some time off from blogging to decide where I wanted to take the site in the new year. I’ve been writing this blog since 2010 and it’s taken me through my twenties and I’ve had so much fun. As I move to another year of writing about London I want to not only write about what the city offers but also offer the perspective of the people who live here. So this year you can expect more interviews with inspirational Londoners, more of a focus on independent shops and more pieces about community issues. I’ll still be shining a light on all the great things there are to do in the city so don’t worry.

Have a happy new year and I look forward to continuing this journey with you this 2016.

Adanmax

 

Food, Freebies, Things to do in london

Flat Iron Covent Garden: Two days of FREE Steak

December 1, 2015

flar iron free steak

You heard it here first guys there is a new Flat Iron on Henrietta Street, to celebrate  they are giving all diners FREE steak! Yep, that’s steak on the house… with a side dish thrown in for good measure. You just pay for drinks and any extra sides.

Go there early to avoid disappointment and wrap up warm as there will probably be a bit of a queue at times…

Two days of FREE Steak!

Free Steak soft launch Tuesday & Wednesday evening at Flat Iron Henrietta Street

When: Tuesday 1st & Wednesday 2nd December from 6pm

Where: Flat Iron, 17-18 Henrietta Street
, Covent Garden

What: Free steak and one side. Only pay for any drinks / extra sides you would like

 

Art, Things to do in london

Hang up Gallery Winter Show: Hibernate – Featuring Banksy -11 Dec – 31 Jan

December 1, 2015

hang up gallery

An exhibition for all you contemporary art fans that shouldn’t be missed is the Hang-Up Gallery’s upcoming group Winter exhibition Hibernate, which will feature an eclectic selection of  hand picked artworks from this years leading urban and contemporary artists including Banksy, Harland Miller, Sir Peter Blake, Invader and Takashi Murakami alongside new and exclusive works from Dave White, Joe Webb, Lauren Baker, Magnus Gjoen, Mark Powell, Pure Evil, Rosie Emerson, The Connor Brothers and more.banksy In celebration of their new gallery space, Hang-Up are will be officially opening the doors to their new vaulted Banksy Bunker – a dedicated Banksy room situated within the main gallery space, showcasing a permanent collection of the infamous artists’s most sought after works.

The show will run from 11 Dec – 31 Jan, with the Private View launch on the evening of the 10 Dec, from 6 – 9pm that will be serving up winter warming beverages in the new downstairs bar!

murakami

 

Advertorial, Travel

Reunited with United: Home for the holidays

December 1, 2015

New-York

It’s the first day of Christmas, here is a sweet little video to get you in the spirit. For me Christmas is all about family and loved ones  and I look forward to reunited with mine very soon. Are you going home for the holidays?

Comment on this Facebook post http://hyperurl.co/Reunited by 6 December telling United who you want to reunite with and why, and you could win one of 10 trips for two to the U.S.! Must be 18+ and a resident of the U.K. Find out more here: http://uafly.co/3MBnBG