EACH week Pillow Magazine asks someone from our network of creatives to open up their little black book and reveal the secret side of London that you only know about if you’re in the know.
Name: Charlotte Sutcliffe-Smith, 24, Head of PR, Beyond Retro
Which area of London do you live in?: Brockley in SE London
Why do you love it?: Because it feels like you’re coming home at the end of the night. Plus all my best friends live in the area and there’s some excellently cheap pubs and restaurants.
Best place to have a coffee: Browns of Brockley or the Beyond Retro café in Dalston. Browns of Brockley is a lovely independent coffee shop run by ex-Goldsmiths students. Their bagels are amazing and they also run a weekly pizza night, which I’m yet to experience. When I’m around work (East London) I always pop into our café. Without sounding biased, the food and coffee there is delicious and it’s a great place to have a meeting or just people watch. And there’s always the temptation to have a browse in the shop too…
Best place for a great breakfast: Brockley Mess or Dean Street Townhouse. The latter is a recent favourite as I had a press meeting there the other week. It’s a very special place and the food and service is to an extremely high standard. I’ve promised to take my mum and boyfriend’s mum there in the New Year. Brockley Mess is a great little place near my house which I’ve spent many hungover mornings/afternoons there gorging on their Veggie full English (I’m not a vegetarian but any breakfast that includes halloumi and hummus is good with me)
Most amazing place to buy vintage clothes: Beyond Retro!
Best market: I tell anyone who visits London (or anyone listening) to go to Borough Market. Not only is all the food absolutely incredible, the ambience and buzz of the place is unmissable. You can also get the most AMAZING sandwiches from a vendor at the entrance of the market (by the big paella plate). They are literally the size of my torso and so delicious, but a challenge to eat without making a huge mess. I also love going to the Vintage Fair at Chelsea Town Hall which is held every other month or so. I found a beautiful leather apothecary bag there which I got for £25 which included a ‘60s chiffon shift dress in the deal! My best friend also found a fur coat for 40 odd quid which had a “Penny” collar, which is appropriately her name so she understandably fell in love with it
Best quirky/independent cinema: I’ve never actually been to this cinema but the Duke of York in Brighton has always fascinated me. It reminds me of my childhood (I grew up there) and we’d always try and spot the legs that stick out of the roof. I’m not the biggest fan of going to the cinema, but going to Somerset House in the summer is always a treat
Best fashion boutique for amazing clothes/jewellery: There’s a shop off Carnaby Street called The Great Frog which sells beautiful biker jewellery. Some of their clients include Slash and all the members of Aerosmith, who aren’t exactly my pick of fashion heroes, but their animal skull pendants and ladies biker rings are absolutely beautiful. Failing that, Liberty’s is always a treat.
Most amazing club night that Pillow Mag readers will love: God… I haven’t been clubbing in a while. If you want a really hilarious night, then Visions bar in Dalston is it. It’s nothing fancy but their hip hop nights are sweaty but perfect.
Favourite place for reasonably-priced/mid-price dinner: The burgers at the Gantry in Brockley are literally the best burgers I’ve ever had. I have no idea what they do to them, but they’re amazing. This is a new restaurant by my house that is spectacular. Run by a lovely French couple, the food is delicious. It’s a great place to go in the summer as they have a lovely garden, which conveniently backs onto my house. Barricca is an amazing Spanish tapas restaurant on Goodge Street (book a table though, it becomes rammed very quickly).
Your favourite secret place for cocktails: The Lucky Pig in Fitzrovia is fantastic. I’m not sure if it’s a private bar, but it’s worth discovering as the cocktails are excellent.
Best pub: The Carpenters Arms opposite Beyond Retro on Cheshire Street is my favourite pub in London. Go there and you’ll see why.
Greatest place to check out art/exhibitions: As I went to Goldsmiths, there’s tonnes of exhibitions popping up everywhere. My friends run a night called Off Modern and they have exhibitions in the area all the time. I can’t really name a specific place, but just keep your eyes and ears open.
Your ultimate Secret London recommendation: Don’t get the tube in central London. If it’s a nice day then walk around Soho. You may get lost but it’s great finding your own new places. I also highly recommend finding Trisha’s bar in Soho… It’s worth it.
For a brilliant selection of vintage clothes and accessories visit www.beyondretro.com