Lady Bird Lake Champagne cruise ahoy featured
Barley Swine Locally yours featured
Hotel Saint Cecilia Eccentric luxury featured
Ippudo Amen to ramen

According to word on the street (the internet), Shigemi Kawahara is the Ramen King of the World, and according to the queueing bellies outside his new London branch of Ippudo, the hype is for a good reason.

What started out as a little grub shack selling Japanese soul food to the slurpers of Hakata is now making waves in the wider culinary world. After satisfying his homeland’s hunger with over 80 stores, they have set up shop in Australia, Korea and China, finally touching down in London with a mob of drooling, worldly foodies eagerly waiting. The cheap-and-fast street food label of ramen has been ripped off, however, as their sit-down lunch and dinner menus show off some pretty exquisite treats: seared and braised pork bellies, raw baby octopuses, chirashi sushi and tonkotsu pork broths. All of which don’t disappoint in the slightest and are bound to brighten up the ole Instagram feed too. Drinks-wise, you can treat yourself to cocktails, bottled beers, hot or cold sake, Japanese whiskies, teas, and various wines to wash down your tiger prawn toast. Go there with the aim of trying something new. Chopsticks at the ready, everyone.

The Goodhood Store Up, up and away featured

When The Goodhood Store first opened its doors in 2007, it was heralded as having an innovative approach to fashion retail rarely seen outside of Japan. In the same vein, they went on to open the Goodhood Life Store, Goodhood Creative and launch ‘Goods by Goodhood’, their own in house label. That’s a lot of Goodhood. All this expanding has, unsurprisingly, seen them outgrow their original location and they have opened a new flagship store, along with its very own cafe. The new store incorporates womenswear, menswear, kidswear, homeware and any other ware you can think of, all under one roof. The same attention to detail and charm that made the brand successful in the first place is still apparent, both in their own collection and their curated offerings—exclusive lines by the likes of Opening Ceremony, Building Block and Monocle are available here. The cafe, meanwhile, serves up healthy grub and single origin coffee, providing a relaxed community vibe to this colossal retail space. With whispers of taking the brand outside of London, it seems the sky’s the limit for Goodhood.

The Old Police Station 'ello, 'ello, 'ello

There’s always been a defiant element to urban renewal: Reclaiming spaces abandoned by the powers that be, and repackaging them for the enrichment of the local community. It’s contemporary cultural Robin Hoodism is what it is — just with the nice, green trees of Sherwood forest replaced by crumbling masonry.

Down in deepest, darkest Deptford this sentiment certainly rings true, where an old police station on Amersham Vale has been coerced out of retirement to serve a new purpose as an artistic hub. Imaginatively rechristened The Old Police Station, the former clink is now home to a bunch of artist studios, project spaces, radio stations, recording studios and social spaces. Running on a ‘do-it-yourself’ kind of basis, anyone is free to to rent out one of the spaces for as long as they like and fill it with whatever they like.

This makes for an eclectic program, meaning on any given day you might come across a heady blend of art installations (which tend to lean to the funky, experimental side of things), gigs, supper clubs, and so forth. They also hold exhibitions in the prison cells too, so you can flirt with life behind bars — only you’ll have interesting stuff to look at as you wile away your incarceration, not just a toilet.

Danielle Arnaud Make yourself at home featured

No matter how committed a gallery trekker you are, it can get tiresome eating up white cubic space after white cubic space. Sure, it’s a blank canvas that puts the focus on the stuff on show blah blah blah [insert impenetrable high art mumbo-jumbo here]. But it’s boring. Variety is the spice of life, as the old adage goes.

That’s why it’s nice when someone, or in this case Danielle Arnaud, bucks the trend and makes a gallery out of their three-storey townhouse instead: Furniture, floorboards, fireplaces and all. Plus there are windows, actual windows, that look out onto the street. It doesn’t feel like some self-contained, self-important vacuum where the works on show don’t interact with what lies beyond the walls.

And it’s appropriate that it’s in Kennington (a far cry from commercial hubs like Soho or Mayfair), too, because it’s all about allowing artists to do their thing without having to compromise themselves in lieu of sales or trends. There are 17 artists — including mixed media installationist Rieko Akatsuka and edgy illustrator Oona Grimes — attached to the gallery, and a laundry list of others exhibiting in the space across myriad mediums. In a nutshell, it’s like your living room, just with much, much more interesting things to ogle at. Unless you’re Danielle Arnaud, of course.

Oslo Hackney All aboard

Redeveloped railway station, contemporary British cuisine, underground electronic music, Hackney. All simple words and phrases when they stand alone, but when strung together they translate into something much more powerful: Hype. Or, in the case of the multifaceted trend-mongering Oslo, serious hype—judging by their packed-out opening party at least. The thing about hype, though, is that eventually you’ve got to cut through it and rummage around for the facts underneath. Allow us to oblige…

Let’s start with their digs: The converted railway station building. It’s fairly immense, the bricks have that charismatic layer of big-city scum on them and you can’t deny it looks cool with their shiny silver logo on top. Now for the food. They’re not exactly doing anything new—you can find gourmet micro-burgers and bone-in sharing steaks at any gastro-venue in London these days—but it’s executed with panache and tastes great. Case in point: the pan-fried cod with smoked eel, crushed potatoes, clams and parsley liquor.

On the floors above the restaurant, it’s the after-hours pursuits that hold jurisdiction, fuelled by a well-honed selection of craft beers (Brooklyn Lager and Red Hook Long Hammer IPA amongst). Their flagship Friday night, Valhalla, offers up a one-size-fits-all mash of soul, disco, ‘90s RnB and indie. Things get a bit more serious on Saturdays, when the gloomy space bops to a more uniform BPM—courtesy of DJ sets and live shows by ‘up-and-coming’ electronic talents (i.e. good and easier to book) such as Visionist and Nguzunguzu.

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