Kiwi girlboss Ella Drake moved to London in 2011 to pursue an international modelling career, and wound up as the face of Gucci.
But it’s since founding bespoke jewellery brand Monarc Concierge in 2016 that Ella has really found her niche. In the latest issue of Fashion Quarterly she talks us through her brand launch. Here? She walks us through her London neighbourhood.
Where in London do you live?
I live in Haggerston, Hackney. It’s a really thriving area — there are many like-minded people and new businesses that share a love of culture. I wanted to be close to Regent’s Canal and have a warehouse apartment that provided a lofty living space. I love the network of waterside paths in the greater Haggerston and Islington neighbourhoods that allow me to walk from A to B without relying too much on trains and buses.
Regent’s Canal, Haggerston.
What are the best stores/boutiques in your area?
Modern Society on Redchurch Street for a seriously good mix of luxurious and creative products. They stock Etre Célile, Georgia Alice, Rejina Pyo and Pamela Love to name just a few. Glasshouse for organic hair care and makeup. They do beautiful uncomplicated hair and you’ll be sure to find a few ex-Stephen Marr super stylists here. And Allpress Roastery and Cafe in Dalston. You just can’t beat the taste of home!
And your favourite restaurants?
Pamela Bar. It’s a vegan restaurant and bar that makes insanely tasty Mexican. Their Jackfruit Tinga Masa Pancake has me going back time and time again. Pamela is small and most often fully booked, so plan ahead. I also love The Clove Club. A little decadent for a weekly, but perfect for a special occasion!
A post shared by The Clove Club (@thecloveclub) on
Where’s the best place for a drink (and what do you always order)?
Brilliant Corners, where I order skin contact (orange) wine or an old fashioned. This venue has an audiophile system that is complemented by great DJs who play a mix of jazz, house, disco etc. Or P Franco, a wine bar that serves seasonal food. There is no way you could ever drink this place dry or have a less than exceptional night out. It’s run by the killer Antipodean duo behind Noble Fine Liquor; James Noble and Liam Kelleher. These guys and the P Franco team know their wine!
Where do you always take out-of-town friends?
The Tate Britain and/or Tate Modern, two of my favourite galleries in the world. I’m booked in to see the David Hockney exhibition next week. London’s pub culture is always a must to share, too, and I feel that I need to demonstrate how a day can be lost at the pub! The Spurstowe Arms is an east London institution, also The Scolt Head in De Beauvoir. Finally The Kew Gardens in Richmond, a UNESCO World Heritage site. It’s best to go between April and October. The scope of the Kew Gardens’ botanic collection will make your head spin.
The Scolt Head, De Beauvoir.
Do you have a favourite walking route?
A walk along the canal to Victoria Park is a pretty great route. If you press on a little further you end up at Hackney Wick. Crate Brewery is a perfect place for a low key drink and pizza on the water.
Do you have any famous/noteworthy neighbours?
I often see Alexa Chung on my walk to work. Yes she does always look THAT good, even at 8am in the morning! Noel Fielding, he’s such a dude, always dressed to the nines and up for a chat.
Can you reveal any secret spots?
These secrets are certainly out, but they’re lesser known and experiences not to be missed: Atsuko’s Kitchen — Atsuko is an incredible chef that brings her expertise to your own kitchen for a private dining experience; The Printworks London — a music and art space, recently converted from one of Europe’s largest printing facilities. It’s huge and hosts some massive international artists; Café Oto — café by day, laid-back venue for jazz, electronic and experimental music by night. It’s a cultural institution.
Perfection🏅I am so proud that everyone (specially people attended this class today!) was able to make these beautiful pieces of sushi at the end of my sushi making class😊 • • • #recipe #cooking #cook #healthy #recipes #yummy #health #instafood #delicious #foodporn #cookingclass #japanesecooking #cookingclasses #cookeryclasses #londonfood #foodphotography #japanesefood @atsukoskitchen #sushi #sushilovers #sushilover
Where in London do you aspire to live?
I love it here in my neighbourhood! The only thing I would aspire to have is a proper outdoor garden, and a house with an underground cellar. I’m keeping an eye out for property listings with these two attributes!