It might seem that interior design trends come and go faster than you can say “what colour velvet sofa do I want?” But there are some solid tips and tricks that you can always rely on for elegant, timeless, style in your home…

Mix old and new

A great trick employed by interior designers is to incorporate old items, including antiques and inherited pieces, with newer furniture. The best way to approach this is to tailor your new purchases to the older items that you already have. Go for natural woods and simple designs in new furniture to compliment antiques without looking too mismatched.

Think about your bulbs

The lightbulb you choose makes a massive difference to the overall look of a light fixture. More than that, the type of lighting you have can alter the whole mood of a room. Do you want the room to be bright and bold, or snug and cosy? Lightbulbs themselves can be a great statement item – there are loads of interesting filament bulbs available and the prices have really come down since they first arrived on the market. A great filament bulb can even work in a bare fitting, with no need for a lampshade.

Clashing can be great

Carefully curated items that technically ‘clash’ can be a great style choice and help to give a room more personality. This works best in moderation. If your seating clashes, for example, go for a cohesive colour scheme for your walls and floors.

Keep it personal

Make your home really feel like your own by making personal items the central focal point of a room. Interesting interior design doesn’t mean turning your back on your own personality and going along with fads and trends. Put your favourite ornaments and mementos on display, or perhaps create a dedicated area for certain memories, like a shelf for holiday souvenirs or an area for wedding photographs.

Keep the kitchen classic

It’s said that the kitchen is the heart of a home. The kitchen is likely to be the room where your interior design choices feel more permanent. Installing a breakfast bar, shelling out for new cabinets and worktops, these are major decisions. As a general rule, keeping the kitchen simple and classic is always a good choice. For kitchens, go for something that will never go out of style.

Make it look lived in

Good interior design is forward thinking. Consider your lifestyle when making decisions about how to style your home. Got four dogs? Maybe not a white rug, then. Small children? Is a cream velvet sofa the best plan? You should feel relaxed in your home, and making interior design choices that are practical and suited to you doesn’t mean you have to compromise on style.

Think about taps and sinks

A small detail but one that can make a big difference to the overall look of a kitchen or bathroom. Spending a little more on a stylish sink and taps can really elevate the room.

Buy less but buy well

Whether you’re moving into a new home and need a whole set of furniture, or you’re looking to update your home, don’t shop without a plan. A good way to break down the task is room by room. Think about how you want the room to look, and start with a few essential pieces (like the interior design equivalent of a capsule wardrobe). Then you can gradually build on this. Don’t try to force your home to look perfect overnight – part of the joy of interior design is seeing how your living spaces evolve.

Play around with seating

Changing up your room’s seating arrangement can be a great way to refresh the look of a room. You could even have different arrangements for different seasons, creating a more cosy feel in winter and a more airy and open feel for summer. Having one statement piece of furniture is also a great way to add a splash of colour.

Think about areas, not rooms

Don’t make the mistake of thinking a room should only be used for one thing. Some of the best interior design utilises space in creative and multi-purposed ways. You can easily add a study to the corner of a living room, or make a beautiful dining room in a kitchen. Think about dividing spaces with clever use of furniture. For example, in the picture above, the combination of a corner sofa and a large rug clearly section off a cosy lounge area in a much bigger reception room.

It’s Pancake Day! The one day of the year when it’s basically the law to eat breakfast for dinner, in the form of piles of yummy pancakes. But if you’re flipping skills aren’t up to scratch, or you just don’t feel like messing up your kitchen… here are some of East London’s famous pancake spots…

The Breakfast Club, Hackney Wick

At The Breakfast Club, Pancake Day is a really big deal. They release a special menu packed with savory and sweet options (and heaps of vegan options too) running from 5th – 8th March.

If you’re feeling extra hungry, you could even take part in their annual pancake challenge – eat 12 pancakes in 12 minutes and they’re on the house. Don’t manage it and your bill will be donated to charity.

The Diner, Shoreditch

The Diner in Shoreditch is a classic American style eatery complete with booths and tall milkshakes straight out of the 1950s. So you might not be surprised to hear that they go big on Pancake Day too. Keep it simple with choc chip pancakes or go for something fruity or savoury… they also have an extensive vegan pancake menu. Yum!

Shane’s On Canalside, Hackney Wick

At Shane’s On Canalside you can munch through your stack of fluffy pancakes whilst watching the world go by along the pictureque River Lea. Their unique twist on brunch pancakes include goats cheese and butternut squash. If you’re feeling virtuous, you can work your meal off afterwards with a cycle or walk around the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

Trade, Spitalfields

Work up an appetite by doing some shopping around Spitalfields before heading to Trade. Expect all the classic pancake options including maple syrup, berries and mascarpone and bacon and egg.

Pavilion Cafe, Victoria Park

Pavilion in Victoria Park is the local’s favourite brunch spot and it’s not hard to see why… with tonnes of outdoor seating beside the park’s boating lake, you can relax with their famous banana, syrup and mascarpone buttermilk pancakes. Delish!

It’s just over one month until the official start of British Summer Time. So get your spring cleaning hat on and get ready to give your home a whole new lease of life… we’ve got some room by room tips to help break down your epic spring clean…

Kitchens

Make the most of wall space

Some people make the mistake of thinking that everything needs to be hidden away for your kitchen to look clutter-free. Often, this just leads to chaotic cupboards where you can’t find anything. Add hanging space on kitchen walls for saucepans and install a magnetic knife block. You’ll have less stuff to riffle through in your cupboards and your kitchen utensils will be better organised.

Invest in a stylish spice rack

Is your spice cupboard packed with ancient bottles? Not even sure what you’ve got in there, lurking at the back? You’re not alone. First, have a massive clear out – throw away anything out of date. Then invest in a stylish spice rack. Online retailers like Etsy have literally hundreds to choose from, including clever space savers that go on the kitchen work surface, and wall mounted racks.

Reorder your cupboards

Everyone’s favourite tidying expert Marie Kondo has some excellent advice for making your kitchen clutter free and practical. Simply reorder your cupboards so every day items are easier to reach than things you only use occasionally. For example: that giant punch bowl that’s always in the way? Put it in a high cupboard, or move it out of the kitchen altogether. Mugs, everyday glasses and plates; move them to lower shelves or drawers. Simple.

Ditch duplicate items

Got three wooden spoons for no reason? Too many knives but never enough forks? We feel you. Start by getting rid of duplicate stuff. Donate it to your local charity shop, or use the app Olio to get your unwanted items collected for free by people who can use them. Then, buy inexpensive matching items that will make your drawers feel more co-ordinated and less cluttered.

Living rooms

Create categories

One of the best ways to deal with clutter the rooms you spend the most time in, is to categorise. Make your categories based on things you like most, not things you have a lot of. For example, your categories could be: books, plants, photographs. Or: movies, gadgets, magazines. Put the things that fit into the categories together first. Next, look at what you’ve got left over. Are these miscellaneous items things you really need? If so, can they be stored in a cupboard, or in storage elsewhere in your home? Stuff that isn’t something you like, or something you need: toss it!

Add trunks, boxes and baskets

So you’ve sorted out the things you like and the things you need from the stuff that’s just annoying clutter, but now what? Add some storage to your living room easily with stackable trunks. These can be picked up for a few pounds from vintage shops and car boots sales. Or, if that’s not your style, add wicker baskets, or simply boxes that can slide under tables.

Donate old books, CDs and DVDs

Running low on shelf space? Got dozens of old DVDs that have been gathering dust since you signed up for Netflix? Don’t be afraid to donate stuff to your local charity shop – you’ll be amazed how much you don’t miss things when getting rid of them makes your home feel cleaner and more spacious.

Make personal items into a feature

Got nick nacks around the room that have sentimental value? Ornaments and photographs that remind you of a certain holiday, or a special time in your life? Group these together and make them into a particular focal point in the room. Dedicate a space on a shelf to items from your travels, or momentoes from your wedding day, or whatever it might be. Collecting items together like this will make that part of your toom look like a considered style choice, even if the types of items themselves are very different.

Bathrooms

Ditch old and expired products

Spice cupboards and bathroom cabinets: the dumping ground of every home. First thing’s first: clear out all the empty bottles, all the old expired products, all the crazy lipsticks and nail polishes that you impulse bought before realising they don’t suit you.

Tidy those towels

Whether you live alone, with a partner or family, or with housemates, keeping towels tidy is a great way to make your whole bathroom look more organised. If more than one person uses your bathroom, why not try designated baskets or hangers for each person’s towel. If you live alone but store spare/guest towels in your bathroom, be sure to fold them and stack them neatly in size order. Or, for smaller storage spaces, roll your towels and place them on shelves or in baskets.

Add some greenery

Adding a plant to a decluttered surface will help motivate you to keep it neat and tidy. Aloe vera grows well in bathrooms (and you can use the leaves as a great moisturiser and after sun). Other good bathroom plants include bamboo and Boston ferns.

Divide his and hers

Living with a partner? Feel like they’re the one who always messes up your nicely ordered bathroom? Why not create boxes for each of your stuff, labeled with your names. That way you’ll both have responsibility for keeping your own toiletries tidy and there won’t be any more arguments about who left that empty shampoo bottle in the shower (hopefully).

Bedrooms

Try the wardrobe clearance trick

Want to have a clear out of your old clothes, but not sure where to start? Here’s a great technique to help you decide what to ditch. Over the next few months, make a habit of hanging clothes you have recently worn back into the cupboard with the hanger facing the other way. Do this every time you put back a jacket, or when you tidy away something you have recently worn and laundered. After a while, you’ll start to see which items of clothing you genuinely wear, and which ones just sit there gathering dust. After a length of time that you decide, take out everything that hasn’t been worn, and head down to the charity shop. Ta-da, decluttered cupboard.

Add under bed storage

A brilliant storage solution for smaller bedrooms is under bed storage. This can be as simple as inexpensive plastic boxes to house your shoes, or as fancy as a bespoke made bed with built in storage (like this one from Made). By adding under bed storage in your guest room, you can get rid of items that you want to keep hold of, but only use occasionally.

Organise jewelry using bowls

Shallow bowls and plates are an attractive way to keep your jewelry neat. You can buy trinket dishes from homewares shops and boutiques, like this one from Anthropologie or this one, available on Trouva. Or, if you’re a fan of upcycling and shabby chic, you can pick up vintage crystal plates at flea markets for a few pounds.

Create fun storage for kids

Getting kids to tidy up their bedrooms can feel like an impossible task. But there are lots of fun and creative storage solutions that make tidying up seem less boring. One idea is to turn a toy kitchen into a storage area (and combine tidying up with playtime). Stylish homewares company Stackers make these great kid’s laundry baskets too.. sharks like to eat socks, right?

Read more home and lifestyle articles on our blog HERE

It’s half way through half term… entertaining your youngsters might be starting to feel like a challenge. But don’t worry! East London is packed with fun (and free!) things to do for all the family. Here are some ideas for great days out that won’t break the bank…

The Museum of Childhood, Bethnal Green

Part of the V&A, the Museum of Childhood, a few minutes walk from Bethnal Green station, is difficult to miss. A huge red brick 19th Century building, you’ll recognise it instantly for it’s imposing structure and enormous arched windows.

The Museum is the largest collection of childhood artifacts in the world, from retro games that Mum and Dad will remember to Victorian tin toys and puppets, old games, and the largest collection of dolls in the UK.

As you’d expect, the Museum isn’t just about display cases, it’s very much set up with children in mind, with loads of interactive and hands on exhibits. They also run regular competitions for children.

On a sunny day, you can enjoy a picnic and let the kids run around in the Museum’s spacious and enclosed grounds.

Eastern Curve Garden, Dalston

Behind a small door just off Dalston Lane, a secret green oasis awaits.

Dalston Curve Garden, which was created in 2010, is a free community garden packed with wildlife friendly plants and trees, including butterfly bushes and raised beds for growing food.

There’s hot and cold drinks and cakes for sale, you can sit in the open air or stay cosy in one of the snug glass houses (where there are loads of creative materials and activities for kids).

They also host regular events and welcome volunteers for gardening.

Hackney and Stepney City Farms

Meet donkeys, sheep, pigs and chickens at the city farms in Hackney and Stepney. Both farms want to teach children and adults about how a working farm operates, where our food comes from, and encourage people to learn new skills from arts and crafts to growing vegetables.

Both farms are open all year round (excluding Bank Holidays) and host regular events and workshops.

Victoria Park, Hackney

Green Flag Award winning Victoria Park is a great place to spend a sunny day in East London. Hunt for frogs and newts in the ponds, feed ducks, stroll around the Victorian pagoda, see canal boats on Regent’s Canal, or set the kids free at the skate park. For smaller children, there are two large playgrounds with swings, climbing frames and slides.

On Sundays from 10 – 4 you can also enjoy tasty treats at the street food market. There are also two permanent cafes (both dog friendly) and fantastic pubs on every corner.

Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Stratford

There’s loads to do at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, from cycling around the wild gardens and wetlands, to splashing in the computer-controlled fountains, tacking the outdoor climbing walls, and exploring wildlife with a free trail tour.

Refresh with a hot drink and a sandwich at the Timber Lodge or venture along the canal to Here East where you’ll find a water-side row of excellent restaurants and cafes serving up everything from burgers to Italian food and Sunday roasts.

The Ragged School Museum, Bow

Give your little ones a taste of history at the Ragged School Museum. This interactive museum is dedicated to teaching visitors about the history of the East End and giving an insight into what a Victorian school was really like. The original building once housed the largest free (or “ragged”) school in London, set up in 1867 by Thomas Barnardo.

Between 2:15 and 3:30 on the first Sunday of each month, you can experience a Victorian class, led by an actor in full costume (ticketed on a first come first served basis daily). They also run regular talks and free arts and crafts activities.

Kid’s rooms are a great opportunity to add some fun quirky style to your home. Here are some of our favourite home decor ideas for bedrooms for boys and girls…

Breton stripes

(Pottery Barn Kids)

Add some French chic to your child’s room with Breton stripes. These ones with snappy crocs are from Pottery Barn Kids. You could even create a Provencal theme and match curtains and rugs.

Massive maps

(Murwall via Etsy)

Stylish and educational, add a statement wall with map wall paper. You can get map wallpapers with all kinds of themes, we love the little animals featured on this design.

Quirky lighting

(Neon Home via Etsy)

Bespoke neon lighting has really made a come back in interiors. This simple but colourful rainbow design will really brighten up a child’s room.

Pretty pastels

(Murals Wallpaper)

Pastels are pretty and soothing – great for creating a relaxing environment that leads to drama-free bedtimes. If you don’t feel like going all out with pastel walls, add a touch of understated colour with bedding or cushions instead.

Tree-mendous bookcases

(WoodarByLyubaschenko via Etsy)

Help keep mess and clutter at bay with a themed book case, such as this tree design from Etsy online marketplace.

Make a climbing wall

(Lovethedesign.com)

Future mountain climbers will love these climbing rocks. Available in white or black, you can buy them in sets of 8 so you control how to place them and high they can climb.

Camping adventures

(Amazon)

Make every day and adventure with a mini -indoor teepee. A perfect hide out for young explorers.

Get more interior design inspiration on our blog HERE

House plants not only make your house feel more like a home, they also help to clean up your air. Plants filter harmful chemicals from the air (such as formaldehyde and benzene which are commonly used in household cleaners) and  they also oxygenate your air. Here are our top tips for making plants into a feature in your home. Make space in your life for a bit more greenery!

Create a green room divider

Fill a backless shelving unit with plants and create an indoor living wall. This can also be a great way to divide up your living space, creating a dedicated dining area or reading nook within an open plan living room. Add candles too and you’ll have a stylish focal point for daytime and evening.

Add hanging planters

Hanging planters aren’t just for town high streets and outside of pubs! Add low maintenance succulents, or training plants like Senico Pearl or the very suitably named String of Beads plant to easily add a touch of green to any room. You can buy loads of different hanging planters online (in all kinds of shaped and sizes). This one pictured is from Not On The High Street. You can hang them from curtain rails or exposed beams, or you can buy stylish minimalist frames that can be attached to the wall.

A sprinkling of succulents

If you’re a serial plant killer, these are the plants for you. Extremely hardy and low maintenance, succulents (like cacti) can live on the moisture in the air. They benefit from a sprinkling of water now and then, but you can forget about them for a long time before they start to turn brown. You can buy them as tiny cuttings (only a few centimeters across) and they grow fairly slowly, so they’re great for smaller spaces like a bookcase or desk. They also cope better than other plants in less well lit spots.

Populate corners with greenery

This large Peace Lily really looks at home in the corner of this room. It can be tempting to position storage furniture in corners, such as bookcases and drawers, but reshuffling a room so that furniture is more central can make a room appear more spacious and well proportioned. You can also even out the levels in your room with a plant. For example, if all your furniture looks a bit low, add in a tall palm. If you already have items high up like tall lamps or shelves, a short plant can make the room look more balanced.

Make a mini oasis

Terrariums are a great way to add plants to your home in a flexible way. Terrariums are a bit like tiny self-contained gardens. And because they’re completely enclosed in a glass container, you can easily move them around from room to room. You can buy ready-made terrariums from good quality florists or from boutiques. Or, you can get creative and make your own. Companies like The Botanical Boys run regular terrarium-making workshops in East London.

Make a statement

Make one plant a real focal point in a room. In this studio/living space, the greenery has been allowed to creep in, making for a stylish mix of man made and natural. You could achieve the same effect with a large hanging plant, or a mature palm.

Grow your own greens

The kitchen is a great place to start when greening up your house. Living herbs can be bought in most large supermarkets and don’t take up a lot of space. Add a small herb planter to your kitchen and have fresh herbs to hand whenever you cook.

Find more home decor ideas and interior design tips and tricks on our blog HERE 

This Valentine’s Day treat your date to an escape from the ordinary. No roses and champagne here (well, you could buy those too I suppose), these dates are guaranteed to be a night to remember. From Victorian boats to video games and zombies… East London is the place to be for an out-of-the-ordinary Valentine’s Day…

Drink beer and eat jerky at Stepney City Farm

Head over to Stepney City Farm for a boozy barbecue feast. Tickets include tasty meaty treats (vegan options also available) and 4 free tasters from the absolutely massive beer menu (additional tasters only £1 each) from the beer archives of Boozers Beer. Expect an array of very unusual and rare craft brews and lots (seriously) of them.

As if that wasn’t good enough, all proceeds will go to Stepney City Farm and Help Refugees.

Tickets £25 available HERE

Dive into a giant ball pool

Only East London would have a giant ball pool for adults. In case you were wondering, yes, it is also a bar. For Valentine’s day they’re getting all pink and pretty, with special themed ball pits and a Valentine’s buy one get one free cocktail running all night. So grab your date (or some mates) and have fun! Choose from general admission or VIP tickets which include table service.

Tickets £7.50 – £35 available HERE

Drink cocktails and compete at shuffleboard

I know what you’re thinking: what’s shuffleboard when it’s at home? Shuffleboard hearkens back to a glam era of cruise ships and cocktail dresses. Think classy crazy golf, or bowling without the sweaty shoes. Intrigued? Head over to London Shuffle Club in Stratford and give it a whirl. They have six outdoor lanes and two indoor lanes so you can shuffle whatever the weather. They also serve up tasty cocktails from their retro Airstream bar and you can munch yummy pizza too!

Tickets £20 – £40 available HERE

Enjoy dinner on a (very) old barge

Barge East is a 114 year old Dutch barge moored in the Hackney Cut. Their mission is to be Hackney Wick’s best outdoor eatery. Specialising in local beers and food sourced from local suppliers, you’ll be spoiled for choice with meaty, veggie, and vegan options, small and large meals, as well as Sunday lunch and bottomless brunch. On Valentine’s Day they’re offering a four course feast with a welcome glass of Prosecco and live music, all for only £35 per person.

Valentine’s Day Feast £35/pp book HERE

Escape a zombie

Everyone thinks they have a plan for the zombie apocalypse, right? Well at Trapped in a Room with a Zombie in Stratford you can put your zombie escape skills to the test. The premise is simple: solve clues within an hour to escape a room, or get eaten by a zombie (not actually, obviously). Just like a real zombie disaster you’ll have to work with strangers, so get ready to make some friends (or enemies depending on how your escape goes). If Valentine’s Day cliches aren’t your thing, this might be the answer.

Tickets £30 available HERE

Defeat your date at PacMan

Relive the 80s with retro arcade games and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle themed pizzas at Four Quarters in Stratford. Located canal side at Here East you can shoot alien spaceships and chase little pac-man ghosts before chilling out with a beer and watching the world go by. The bar has all the best beers you’d expect from East London, along with wines and spirits. They get pretty busy, but do accept bookings via their Facebook page.

Get more local inspiration and read about more great bars and restaurants around East London on our blog HERE 

Guest rooms are often the neglected room in the house. After all, your guest room is probably a room you hardly ever go into. But creating a comfy guest room will make your visitors feel more relaxed and will make your home feel bigger – you can use the room when you don’t have guests as an extra living space or study and by adding a bit of style create a room that you actually want to spend time in. Here are a few ideas for ways to transform your guest bedroom…

Paint it white

You can’t go wrong with white. White walls, ceilings and floors make a room look elegant and put-together and you’re guaranteed that whatever furniture and soft furnishings you choose, they won’t clash.

Add low maintenance plants

Nothing makes a guest room look more neglected than dead plants. But it’s easy to forget about them. Go for very low maintenance plants like succulents or cacti. You can forget to water these hardy little guys for weeks and they’ll stay green.

Upcycle an old suitcase

What better upcycling inspiration for a guest room than a suitcase? Upcycle an old suitcase (you can pick these up at car boots sales or antiques markets for a few pounds) or just stack three on top of each another to make a low side table or handy storage at the foot of the bed.

Theme your decor

Continue the travel theme with some decorations all about journeys and travelling. This will give your guest room a chic hotel-like feel and mark it out as a dedicated room for visitors.

Install a hanging rail

Quick and easy clothing storage like an exposed or hanging rail are ideal for a guest room. If your guests are only coming for a flying visit, they probably won’t want to unpack into a cupboard or chest of drawers, but giving them a handy place to hang their coat and hat (and pajamas!) is a nice touch.

Don’t forget the mirror

Mirrors are a great way to make a room lighter and brighter. Adding one to your guest room will also double up as a practical choice – no more queue for the bathroom as your guests can now do their hair and makeup back in their own room!

Get smart with storage

Cute hanging baskets like this are perfect for guest rooms. You can use them to store towels or even miniature toiletries for an elegant, thoughtful touch.

Add hidden space savers

Is your guest room also a messy storage room? Liberate your guests from your clutter by hiding it in secret storage spaces like these cleverly designed under-bed drawers.

Show them you care

Flowers are a great way to make your guests feel welcomed. You don’t need to go all out with a huge bouquet; a single stem in a small vase adds less-is-more glamour. And if that seems like too much hassle, you can get extremely lifelike silk flowers online.

Get more home decor inspiration on our blog HERE 

This Valentine’s day treat your date (or your mates!) to a drink or two. We’ve brought together some of the coolest, quirkiest and most romantic cocktail bars across East London, serving some of the tastiest and most innovative drinks around…

Nightjar, Hoxton


(Pic credit: Nightjar)

Think cosy low lit rooms and slick service. This is the perfect bar to impress your date. Ideal for an early evening drink before heading on somewhere else, or to make a night of it. Nightjar kicks off the evening with chilled jazz before things get lively with bands later on.

The cocktails are inspired by history, with the menu divided by era (Pre-Prohibition and Post-war). They also have an exciting array of original signature drinks. If you’ve decided to shun Valentine’s this year and are hitting the town with friends, Nightjar is still a great choice; their sharing cocktails go way above and beyond the norm.

Cocktail Trading Company, Bethnal Green


(Pic credit: Cocktail Trading Company)

If you want a drink that’s out of the ordinary, look no further than Bethnal Green’s Cocktail Trading Company. Located just off Brick Lane, this has to be one of the most theatrical cocktail bars in London – the large and very creative cocktail menu will be enough to keep the conversation lively, making this a great spot for first dates. Highlights include The Guido Forks, a whiskey cocktail served with a small explosive (seriously) and the One In A Million, a cocktail with a chilli kick and a lottery ticket.

Original Sin, Stoke Newington


(Pic credit: Original Sin)

At Original Sin you won’t find dull run of the mill cocktails (as well as the usual suspects, you’ll find a whole host of interesting specialty spirits that you might not have seen before). You’re in good hands with their expert bartenders. Look forward to little twist on familiar classics, such as the Negroni Rosa; not your usual Negroni this one has strawberry and balsamic. They also do top quality bar snacks including pate and cheese and charcuterie boards, so you and your date won’t be falling off your bar stools.

69 Colebrook Row, Islington


(Pic credit: 69 Colebrooke Row)

Impress your date with your local knowledge by taking them to this tiny hidden gem of Islington (also known as The Bar With No Name). Tucked away in a backstreet, identifiable by the lantern burning above the door, 69 Colebrooke Row’s reputation has been built off the back of their cocktail making masterminds who mix truly original creations, many of the ingredients created in-house in the upstairs laboratory.

They’re also running a Valentine’s cocktail master class on 9 February and a whiskey cocktail masterclass on the 16th.

Happiness Forgets, Shoreditch


(Pic credit: Happiness Forgets)

Happiness Forgets don’t feel the need to big themselves up, their drinks speak for themselves. Their website promises “Great cocktails. No wallies.” And they deliver what they promise. A stylish but laid back vibe, it’s high end cocktails in a basement bar. The service is what really stands out, with dedicated staff and exclusively table service throughout the evening. They take some bookings but reserve the majority of tables for walk-ins, so get there early.

Read another local bar or restaurant guide on our blog HERE 

It looks like the cold weather is finally here. It’s the time of year for staying home, snuggling up with a cuppa and putting on a box set. Here are some of our favourite home accessories to help make your favourite place extra cosy (until the sun comes back!)

Unique velvet cushions


(AliCoulterArt, Etsy)

We love these gorgeous handmade velvet cushions from independent maker Ali Coulter. This design is called ‘Cold skies’ and it’s easy to see why – doesn’t the print remind you of chilly winter walks?

£35.95 – Etsy

Fireside rugs


(Anthropologie UK)

These colourful and cosy fireside rugs are perfect for chilled evenings in. Available in a variety of sizes and colours, they work well as furniture throws, rugs, or blankets. They’re faux fur, so don’t worry, no animals were harmed to make them.

£38 – £188 – Anthropologie 

Industrial-chic candlesticks


(SoloStyle Boutique, Etsy)

These inter-connecting copper-pipe candlesticks make a great center piece for dinner parties and wintery Sunday lunches with friends. Their split design makes them ideal for different uses – build several together for a statement look or place two candles on a coffee table for homey minimalism.

£32 – Etsy

Treat you pet to a new cosy bed


(Fetch and Follow on Trouva)

These stylish high quality dog beds will make sure your furry friends feel snug and warm at home too. After a chilly walk they can curl up and sleep in comfort.

£120 – Trouva

Minimalist oil burner


(Lavender and Green on Trouva)

Warming fragrances like frankincense and sandalwood are great in winter. These slick and stylish oil burners are a perfect alternative to candles or diffusers. The deep bowl will also ensure many hours of continued fragrance.

£20 each – Trouva

Jumbo knitted throw


(Cocoonandme on Etsy)

Knits are back! And we love the super-chunky knit on this soft throw. Imagine curling up with a book under this. You’ll never want to go out again.

£38 – Etsy 

Giant floor cushion


(Habitat)

Hosting a movie night and need more places to sit? Or maybe you just want to put your feet up at the end of a long day. These stylish giant floor cushions from Habitat are on sale at the moment. Pass me my wallet!

£55 (was £110) – Habitat

Luxury candles


(Candles Direct)

This lovely teakwood and tobacco candle will fill your room with a snug wintery fragrance, think crackling fireplaces and roasting chestnuts. The rustic style of the brown glass and simple label means they suit any room.

£21.99 – Candles Direct

Warming bronze lights


(Artifact Lighting)

Bronze light shades diffuse light in a smooth and warm way, making them ideal for dark winter evenings. Here, the cooler blue tone contrasts brilliantly with the reddish copper, making for a very stylish design. Add a low wattage filament light bulb for an even more cosy light.

£120 – Artifact Lighting

Colourful cushions


(SalliesLittleProject on Etsy)

Bring a bit of the outdoors into your living room with this beautiful botanical print cushions. Until it’s time to get back out into parks and gardens, you can remind yourself of the greenery that’s to come with this beautiful hand made print.

£28 – Etsy

 

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