Andrew Hosken’s recent book, Empire of Fear, Inside the Islamic State provides a galvanising account of the rise and current state of ISIS. He starts with a rather basic question: ‘who are these guys?’. A fundamental confusion that he expresses through an unlikely analogy (that of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid). It seems an important place to start. Over the past few years we’ve witnessed dramatic shifts in their leadership, their allies (notably, their tempestuous relationship with Al Qaeda) and their territorial strongholds. Exacerbating this, their regular rebranding makes even reference to the organisation strangely confusing. A metaphor that is returned to throughout the book is that of cancer, which goes some way in explaining their ability to spread unpredictably, shifting into ever new, dangerous shapes. Andrew’s work makes great strides in offering clarity on this topic which is prone to being sensationalised and misconstrued. Particularly, he focuses on the political conditions that allowed this group to exist in the first place, portraying a perfect storm of factors of which the West played a definite part. By understanding these antecedents, he suggests, we can start to understand the group’s hydra-like ability to rise from the brink of defeat and strike time and time again.Continue Reading →
Possibly the next company to join the ‘Footsie 100’? We caught up with Oli Brookes of The London Sock Exchange, who, along with business partner, Dan Zell, set up this handy (or footy) subscription service which tackles the age old problem of men’s sometimes slightly worrying attachment with their socks.
In our Magazine Rack we celebrate the best of indepedent magazines and Port Magazine certainly fits into that category. A long standing favourite, we at The Holborn have been reading their work since their launch five years ago. So we were excited when we got the chance to sit down with Dan Crowe, Port’s Editor to find out more….Continue Reading →
It’s a pavement-and-drizzle Wednesday in London, so we’re tucked inside a 2×4 coffee roaster-cum-café with a malty Assam (me) and a proper espresso and water chaser (Fleur McCree, owner of Little Beauty).Continue Reading →
Whilst researching for our up coming issue we ‘skid’ in to (you’ll get the pun in a second…) a great company based in the Scottish Highlands. As it is the season for skiing and their speciality is handmade skis. We just couldn’t wait to share their story with you. So take a break from the piste, find yourself a warm log cabin, fire and hot toddy, sit back relax and join us in discovering Lonely Mountain.
In a city awash with a cacophony of great beer it is almost impossible to pick a best in show let alone construct a top five. Though saying that, inspired by our journeys round London Beer Week this February we thought we’d muse on some of our favourites from the ever expanding London Craft beer scene. Then in the coming months we’ll pack our bags and dutifully head off round Blighty and pick some of our other regional favourites. It’s a hard life we know…Continue Reading →
We meet Andy from Snaffling Pig at the start of London Beer Week 2016. A busy week for a pork scratching producer. But like the quality beer being celebrated at festivals such as London Beer Week these are no standard pork scratchings. So we sat down to find out more about the people behind the ideal quality snack to accompany that ever so glorious pint of beer.Continue Reading →
Pococello started life when James meet a James, that being James Elliot, one half of The Pizza Pilgrims meet James Chase of the infamous Chase Distillery at Camp Bestival and a conversation about a shared love of Limoncello eventually blossomed in to a collaboration and rather delicious product.Continue Reading →
For those of you who haven’t had the pleasure of stumbling across the Galvin Brothers, they make beautiful well-made furniture. The brother team, Matt and Andrew, formed back in 2012 and built on their Father’s 61 years of joinery and cabinet making experience. Though this article isn’t about furniture, it’s filed under our The Wardrobe section as the brothers have teamed up with local clothing manufacturer Wayside Flower to produce a small collection of utility work wear. We sat down with Matt Galvin to find out more.Continue Reading →
Next in our Magazine Rack we ‘explore’ a new launch, Let’s Explore Magazine. LEM is a magazine about inspiring people, projects, travels, brands & ideas.
Kilian Idsinga, Editor of Let’s Explore was one of the very generous individuals who helped take The Holborn to print back in 2014 when we crowdfunded our launch and we very excitedly returned the favour recently. We were then delighted when the magazine landed on our doorstep and since then it’s sat well thumbed on The Holborn HQs coffee table. We sat down with Kilian to find out more: Continue Reading →
I was once told in strict confidence that the first thing to do upon checking-in to a hotel with more than three stars was to run a bath and eat the complimentary biscuits. Thereafter it is necessary to test everything – the bed, the windows, the chaise-lounge, the discreetly stowed hair-dryer, the selection of magazines, and any bathrobes. Then, having topped the bath up with sparkling water (the more bubbles the better, right?), all that remains is to climb into the free-standing tub with a good book – Eat, Pray, Love, say, by Elizabeth Gilbert – and then call for room service.
Racing Atelier is a multi-disciplinary creative practice made up of brothers Leonhard and Leander Angerer in Germany. The small Bavarian village of Oberammergau has a long tradition of woodcarving art and according to a quick Wikipedia search; it is famous for the Passion Play performances taking place every ten years. Also, this small community in the Bavarian Alps is the home to one of Racing Atelier’s workshops. Hopefully this sets a backdrop of an imagination-induced panorama of mountains, distant trails and blue skies.Continue Reading →
I’m visiting places around Stockton on Tees because my girlfriend is from here. Her parents still live in Norton, which is half sleepy Georgian village and half fighty pubs, but we want to see Stockton itself because that’s where she grew up. Continue Reading →
We’d like to introduce you to Dappa. No not an urban well dressed gent but Devon’s own and the UK’s first Grappa. Produced by the Devon Distillery the name of product comes from the fact that like Champagne the term Grappa is protected and the product can only be made in Italy. So after two trips via bureaucrats in Brussels the term ‘Dappa’ was born. Hot on the heels of the burgeoning English wine industry the Devon Distillery uses grape skins from a range of renowned English wine makers to distill their award-winning spirit.Continue Reading →
To relaunch our Magazine Rack feature, where we seek out the people behind our favourite magazines, we got in touch with one of favourite new discoveries from last year. Now on their third issue, their ‘Defiance’ issue, Lobby is an architecture magazine which is unlike any other we’ve read. Our three words would have to be: vibrant, innovative and enticing. We sit down with Editor-in-Chief Regner Ramos to find out more:
A delicious rum is always appreciated. A carbon neutral delivery method is also increasingly de rigueur….for a local dairy or jam producer perhaps, but for a rum? Just in case we haven’t got enough of a good thing with this pretty exceptional rum that Alex Geldenhuys has sourced from the Dominican Republic, she then loads the rum barrels on what is basically a pirate ship. It is currently the only trans-Atlantic, engine-less cargo vessel. Powered by good old-fashioned wind, it guarantees a massive reduction in the carbon footprint typically associated with trans-oceanic freight. Continue Reading →
From this distance it can be hard to fathom the strangeness of childhood; the peculiar “X”s on unwritten maps, those self-tailored taboos of what was absolutely okay and what was terrifying beyond imagining. As a child I had no fear of horror films, finding Hammer’s melodramatic gentility rather cosy. They were fairy tales played out by well-spoken gentlemen; the gushing blood palpably orange poster-paint, the alabaster décolleté barely a distraction. Equally I remember being greatly disturbed by an episode of the Austrian/Japanese cartoon series Vicky the Viking which showed the cartoon squiggle of Vicky’s cock and balls under his tunic, like a lonely dim sum with a Poirot moustache. Facing hordes of axe wielding warriors was one thing, but to doing so without your underwear? Terrifying.Continue Reading →
To become a fixture on the mental, and physical landscape of a town or city is no simple feat. It is by its very nature generational. The long haul, over the fly-by-night or Johnny-come-lately. Yet once settled in the minds-eye, one becomes a part of an individual’s mental map. A point of reference, an anchor in a changing world. And so it is with Harveys Brewery, whose familiar features have graced the centre of Lewes for over two centuries.Continue Reading →
In this new world of making, more and more people are taking the big leap into creative self-employment, supporting themselves with their talents. However, this passion is often (read: usually) not enough. Without an established network, finding the right manufacturer to supply the leather for your belts or even a studio to screen-print your designs, can be a maze with no obvious beginning or end. Step in Helen Kemp, owner of Just Got Made, a directory connecting designers and makers to the services and micro-manufacturers they need. With the first JGM event coming up next month, we chatted to Helen to discover more about her company and what the ‘maker revolution’ is.
We were luckily enough to be introduced to the world of Millican last year by our friends at Do Books, exhibiting alongside other great brands such as Hiut Denim and McNair Shirts at the Do Market. Millican are another example of principled, purposeful and value-led companies that we love at The Holborn. Their mission is to make sustainable bags for the conscious traveller, the deep-thinker, and for personal journeys across the globe. The company is based on a farm in the Lake District and we decided to pay them a visit and meet Co-Founder Jorrit Jorritsma. Continue Reading →
In our infancy as a blog and magazine we tracked down the man behind on of our favourite brands, William Kroll of Tender, who kindly agreed to tell his story to us back then. Three years on we sat down again with William to see what he had been up to. While Tender has gone from strength to strength, William has recently launched his very own watch brand, GS/TP, inspired by vintage watches commission by the British Government during WWII for military personal, each watch was marked GS/TP standing for ‘General Service Trade Pattern’. We find out more:Continue Reading →
“Are you a sponge or a stone?” Uncle Monty asks a cowering “I” in “Withnail and I”. It’s not a question we need ask of David Bowie. When Marc Bolan travelled the globe he never strayed far from the hotel mini-bar, but Bowie embraced the world, tirelessly heading to where the action was, soaking up the latest local idioms, appropriating whole scenes and trends and rebuilding them in his own pale, awkward image.Continue Reading →
They say that habit is a great deadener. And what could be more deadening than the punishment of the single task – surely the very substance of withered life. Its drab weight putting thoughts of joy to sleep. And for factory hand, or office clerk, this proclamation surely hits the mark. But not for all. Continue Reading →
Every Sunday for the past month we at The Holborn have been heading to Brick Lane for The London Artisan Market and have been meeting a plethora of talented makers and designers. We were lucky enough to meet Matthew Gilbert and his collection of innovative furniture. After a brief chat we discovered that Matthew was also an architect (our creative director is also an architect), we were fascinated and decided to sit down for a drink and find out more.
I’m sure I’m not the first to mention that Christmas is full of eating, drinking and being merry. So we thought it prescient to introduce you to a great little treat we happened upon recently. Me met the founder of Gozo Deli and the maker of Casheese, Lydia Davidson. We loved the creamy cheese she spread liberally over the old classic cream cracker, and whilst dreaming of a little glass of port to accompany, she revealed there was in fact no cheese in this little jar of Casheese…..
An often overlooked and neglected item of a chaps attire is that small square of material that sits in one’s breast pocket – the pocket square. It is quite often an item that can transform your look from tired dreary city worker to a confident flaneur and dandy about town.
Every Sunday for the past month we at The Holborn have been heading to Brick Lane for The London Artisan Market and have been meeting a plethora of talented makers and designers. We were lucky enough to run into Adam of Bird and Branch Turnery Co. and have a look at some of his exceedingly good products. So we decided to sit down and have a coffee and find out more:Continue Reading →
Winter is a cruel mistress, and especially for those of us who decide to venture out to the more rugged corners of these isles. But atop a mountain, chilling on a cliff or lounging on a Scottish beach how does the considered lady or gent look stylish and still fight off the bitter cold and the 62 varieties of rain than can fall in good old Blighty? Well a company based in Yorkshire may have the answer.Continue Reading →
“We are a word of mouth kind of company. I love this feel that if you were looking for a tie you would ask one of your friends and they would recommend us. I like that we still inhabit that world a bit. It means people that come to us wanting a tie, are wanting to wear a tie, not because they have to wear a tie.”Continue Reading →
As Christmas approaches the term ‘retail therapy’ becomes a totally ridiculous concept. Especially when you find yourself wandering around the crowd packed stores desperately trying to remember any slight hint that perhaps your loved one dropped when you told her you were spending the afternoon in the West End Christmas shopping. But do not fear The Holborn are here to help, so get yourself home, pour yourself a gin and tonic, sit back and read our 5 Best Gifts for Her….Continue Reading →
Stereotypes are a terrible thing. And as a Englishman who has never been east of few grand hotels in Cairo my experience of Australia and Australians has been restricted like many to rugby matches and friendly faces behind mainly Sam Smiths pubs in central London. Gin & Christmas have never been the first things to spring to mind when one mentions our Antipodean cousins.Continue Reading →
It’s fair to say that there has been a huge growth in the appreciation of eyewear in recent years, with many wearers focussing on beautifully designed and well-made glasses. Consumers are making deliberate choices and now consider eyewear as high quality wardrobe staples.Continue Reading →
Winter has befallen Britain, the charming chaos has commenced; the ground is wet, the roads icy and the trains have started their inevitable grind to a halt. As such it is quite likely we shall all need to do a little bit more walking. However the number of thoughtless oddbods I see out there carelessly slipping around like a Daddy Long legs on ice in a pair of Converses or unwittingly wrecking Suede in deep snow has led me deduce that some of you might need a hand when picking winter shoes.
This week we headed for a tipple with our editor in chief and real beer lover, Morgan. Mother Kelly’s nestled under the arches in Bethnal Green, lined on one side with fridges full of glistening cool beer bottles, some we know and some we need to discover. If you are more of a tap man or women you will not be disappointed either, with 19 out of 23 taps you are sure to find something you like. For those non-beer drinkers there is a great selection of ciders or a simple wine menu, white, red or Prosecco. What more do you need? Oh yes I know, a pork pie with piccalilli to compliment your drink selection! Don’t worry they serve them too, along with a cheese or meat board.Continue Reading →
After sharing a number of beers with Higgs & Crick co-founder Will Hartley on a sunny Friday afternoon it would seem disingenuous to describe his company as merely a homeware brand. Will exclaims, ‘it is ok to aspire to something, if you see David Beckham wearing a jacket, you don’t think if I buy that jacket I’ll be a good footballer but you still buy in, it is a very visceral and visual way to express that aspiration. But why can’t we aspire to something more cerebral?” Ex-TV producer, digital entrepreneur and philosophy teacher Will is driven by ideas and so are his products and his brand. Will used to run a ‘philosophy in the pub’ gathering and he said the first week would always have most people stating that they didn’t know anything about philosophy, but it wouldn’t take long till people were questioning the nature of reality – over a pint naturally. ‘Everyone is a philosopher, everyone is a thinker, and everyone is a designer’ – Higgs & Crick seek to tap into this more cerebral world and as a philosophy graduate myself I’m hooked to Will’s every word.Continue Reading →
Our resident habitual drinkers Lettie Dibben & Julia Hamilton-Griffin head East to explore Dalston’s latest offering: Silk Stockings.Continue Reading →
I first came across Stutterheim a number of years ago, the press surrounding them certainly looked promising (‘The Last Raincoat you will Ever Need‘) but as it was the tail end of summer and I had just purchased a new (just a bit useless) raincoat, Stutterheim did, to my shame pass me by.
The Holborn returns to our ‘Artisans’ campaign, a series of articles of which the aim is to highlight the efforts of skilled and inspired individuals and bring you a closer insight into their work – written in their own words. In our next instalment we hear from Vicki Turner, designer and founder of Feist Forest, ‘specialists in handmade wooden tables for independent minds and makers.’
In preparation for Lettie and I’s discovery of London Cocktail Week tonight, I couldn’t resist a little Wednesday night tipple at one of my favourites The Worship Street Whistling Shop. This underground Victoriana cocktail bar is the second bar for Fluid Movement, following on from the huge success of Purl in Marylebone. Continue Reading →
It may be London Cocktail Week and we may be self confessed lovers of the capital (and especially it’s drinking options) but having put down the Evening Standard and turned off Capital (that’s a lie I’ve never listened to Capital in my life) we thought we’d reach out to some of our favourite bars from our drinking travels round these Isles.
We first heard of Jake’s Bar & Still a few years back when interviewing Jake Burger at their sister bar in West London The Portobello Star. Jake spoke passionately of the drinks scene in Leeds and the great time when working at Jake’s Bar & Still. So spurned on by such strong recommendations we jumped on a train northwards and the cocktails at the other end made it, despite the daylight robbery committed by Virgin Trains, well worth the trip. Continue Reading →
Spirits are in bloom. London is awash with cocktail bars and the number of drinks brands lining the shelves is seemingly ever-growing. The rise of small batch gin has seen a stagnant market propelled forward and with it a diverse range of tastes, flavours, and expressions.
Following gin, the industry – and drinkers – are busy wondering, what next? Continue Reading →
London Cocktail Week is upon us. For us gin-swiling miscreants here at The Holborn this is our Glastonbury. In celebration in-between copious whiskey sours and French 75s we have sought out some of the men and women behind some of our favourite watering holes.
We’ve gone East, we’ve gone Central so time to head North. Kentish Town’s Ladies & Gentleman has the feel of a charming local cocktail bar – but with a difference. First of all the setting – a disused underground Victorian lavatory opposite the Kentish Town Forum. Second of all the bar makes it’s own Vodka & Gin to go into it’s inventive cocktails. All sounding good. The bar is the brainchild of craft spirit producer and proud Kentish Town resident William Borrell and we grab him for a quick gin and a chat. Continue Reading →
London Cocktail Week is here. For us gin-swiling miscreants here at The Holborn this is our Glastonbury. In celebration in-between copious whiskey sours and French 75s we have sought out some of the men and women behind some of our favourite watering holes.
We headed over to Soho to the famous and historic Quo Vadis. The Bar, Restaurant and Members Club was founded in 1926 by an Italian named Pepino Leoni. Now under the stewardship of Sam and Eddie Hart, also the owners of Fino and Barrafina, the establishment has gone from strength to strength. We sat down with Bar Manager Fin Spiteri to find out more about life behind the bar. Continue Reading →
London Cocktail Week is upon us. For us gin-swiling miscreants here at The Holborn this is our Glastonbury. In celebration in-between copious whiskey sours and French 75s we have sought out some of the men and women behind some of our favourite watering holes.
We start a stones throw from Liverpool Street Station at a bar inconspicuously tucked down an unassuming street. The Discount Suit Company is in what was originally a storeroom for the old suit company above. The bar is named the Discount Suit Company in homage to the existing original sign and business on Pettycoat Lane. We caught up with owner Andy Kerr to find out about his journey into the world of cocktails. Continue Reading →
Our library correspondent John Patrick Higgins went on holiday and sent us this…
I went on a holiday which is very out of character for me as I’ve never quite got the hang of them. But I’d longed to go to Cornwall for years: all those Arthurian myths and legends, the tors, the Great Grimpen Mire and its attendant bad tempered phosphorescent dogs. The wreckers, the smugglers and the romance of the sea, with all those spume lashed groynes wading out into the white water. Of course, you don’t really get that in St. Ives in early September. You get a lot of tourists. But you also get dramatic landscapes, beautiful and often empty white sand beaches, picturesque fishing villages with winding cobblestone streets and some surprisingly confident seagulls.Continue Reading →
English wine is now a thing. A big thing. It’s been internationally recognised, decorated with medals and awards. It’s very tasty, especially the bubbly stuff.Continue Reading →
We Do Wood design furniture in the material moso bamboo, because it is one of the most sustainable natural resources the world has. And it is the only woody plant that can keep up with the rate of human consumption and deforestation. They describe this as their responsibility. We do Wood combine such noble principles with beautiful aesthetics and inspiring design. All of which meant we could not pass the opportunity to meet designer Sebastian Jørgensen while he was town for The London Design Festival. Continue Reading →
As part of London Design Festival, we’re chatting with a few creatives exhibiting at the event to discover a little more about them. Today we meet lighting and homeware designer Oliver Dean, one half of Dyke & Dean. We have been long standing fans of Dyke & Dean, including using their lighting in our 2014 pop-up bar/shop.
As part of London Design Festival, we’re chatting with a few creatives exhibiting at the event to discover a little more about their process and what the festival means to them. Today we meet contemporary paper goods designer Alison Hardcastle.
As part of this year’s Tent London exhibition at Brick Lane’s Truman Brewery The Design & Crafts Council of Ireland will present ‘Ó’, an exhibition of new work from Ireland’s designers and makers as part of London Design Festival 2015.Continue Reading →
As part of London Design Festival, we’re chatting with a few creatives exhibiting at the event to discover a little more about their process and what the festival means to them. Today we meet designers Kerry and Pete from creative studio Tom Pigeon.
As part of London Design Festival, we’re chatting with a few creatives exhibiting at the event to discover a little more about their process and what the festival means to them. Today we meet sign painter Archie Proudfoot.
VOID Watches was originally launched in 2008 by Swedish designer David Ericsson. What started as a side project to a career in design and engineering turned into a full time job and eventually a small company. After graduating from the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm David was offered an interesting position as a development manager for a company in Hong Kong. After a year in a large company he thought it was time to go back to something smaller and more genuine and he started his own company. He started developing a watch (their first ever V01) alongside consulting work for his old Swedish clients. About two years later and having sold enough watches to skip consulting and the rest as they say is history.
As part of this year’s London Design Festival, Sir John Soane’s Museum will showcase ”pieces”, a selection of contemporary works created in response to the numerous fragments of ancient sculpture in Soane’s collection. Curatorial collective Workshop for Potential Design has invited five artists and designers – Paul Elliman, Gemma Holt, Sam Jacob, Peter Marigold and Study O Portable – to reinterpret the historical pieces, and create works that respond to and explore the concept of the fragment.
Inspired by the Museum’s unique collection, the participants have all created original pieces which formulate an intimate yet diverse body of work in the Museum’s No.12 Breakfast Room.
Curators Tetsuo Mukai and Bernardette Deddens explain their curatorial approach: ‘Each ancient fragment within the Museum suggests an incomplete, yet intriguing picture of the whole. These fascinating pieces invite the viewer to speculate on the whole, and encourage us to draw our own, unique conclusions. The objects themselves offer tangible, yet imperfect, insights into the past, while the incomplete pictures they leave prompt discussion and interpretation. The exhibition explores the idea of how the incomplete could shape the complete’.
We got in touch with Tetsuo and Bernadette to find out more.
We last met Richard Brendon in a wine bar last year just off Portobello Road where we spoke at length about his stunning ranges of bone china and his attempts to breathe new life into Stoke-on-Trent’s historic potteries. We were certainly impressed and we featured Richard in Issue Two of our print magazine. Fast forward just under a year and Richard has turned his attention to another material, cut crystal glass. We got back in touch and decided to find out more about this new venture.
Last time we spoke we talked extensively about your variety of bone china products. You’ve now created a range of glassware – what prompted the move?
Over the last 5 years I have learnt a lot about tableware. This knowledge has been developed form visiting antiques markets and the best shops around the world. I have observed that the highest quality tableware tends to be hand crafted using traditional techniques, but as is the case with bone china the designs are often very traditional. Over the coming years we will be developing a complete tabletop collection focusing working with the best traditional craftsmen in the world to create products that are contemporary and bring a new audience to high quality hand crafted products.
With over 12 years’ experience crafting tailor-made furniture design products alongside maverick design agency Minale + Mann, Gabriel Brateanu (Carpenter), Victoria Spencer-Eves (Design Manager); Mia Larden (Designer), Sebastian Mann (Founder), Mihai Brateanu (Carpenter), and Matt Steels (Designer) decided in 2013 to branch out with The Workshop to bring their expertise and beautiful products to a wider audience.
In true English style, for the last bank holiday before Christmas we braved the rain and hosted a BBQ at The Holborn Headquarters. Our wine expert Lettie brought over a little Spanish gem for us to try – the only ray of sunshine we were going to get.Continue Reading →
Here at The Holborn we are not just about well-polished brogues and scotch older than our fathers, we also hold intelligent and thought-provoking dialogue in high esteem. After all we are all about a slower more considered way of life, taking time to think about the issues of the day and having open and honest dialogues with others from all walks of life. This is where The Holborn Essay comes in, a regular column where we invite someone in, sit them down, give them a gin & tonic and get them to regal us with their thoughts on the world today. For this essay we invite parliamentary researcher and community activist Mario Creatura to talk about the world’s increasing urbanisation and what it means for all of us.
It’s been a while since we’ve spoken to a jewellery designer, hence it being high time we introduce you to Clarice Price Thomas. A jewellery designer based in the heart of London’s East End, Clarice’s necklaces, earrings, bracelets and rings have a geometric simplicity which belie their mechanical inspirations. Focusing on two collections a year (silver in September; fine jewellery in February), Clarice handcrafts all her pieces to perfection . In our latest Workshop interview, Clarice shares her love for the machines that help to hone her craft; how she runs her business entirely from London, and what to do when a jewellery designer breaks a finger…
In the bookshelf we explore the literary lives of men and women who we at The Holborn hold in high esteem and for our inaugural issue we spoke to renowned Furniture and lighting designer Terence Woodgate. Terence initially trained as a design engineer, however, fascination with purer forms of design led to a decision in the mid-80s to retrain as a furniture designer at the London Guildhall University. Woodgate established his first design studio in London in 1988. Working from his London base, Woodgate began to build his reputation as a thoughtful designer of both style and practical innovation. Examples of his work are held in the permanent collections of the Museu d’Arts Decoratives, Barcelona and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. He has received several design industry awards at home and abroad.
This week we headed to the faded elegance of Kettner’s Champagne and Cocktail Bar nestled in a Grade II Listed building in the middle of Soho.Continue Reading →
‘I often joke that I have a dealer in Colombia.’ Kylee Newton is, of course, talking about fruit. Fruit which makes it into the jarfuls of preserves that leave her kitchen every week and contribute to the 130 recipes that will grace the pages of her new book The Modern Preserver.
The Holborn returns to our ‘Artisans’ campaign, a series of articles of which the aim is to highlight the efforts of skilled and inspired individuals and bring you a closer insight into their work – written in their own words. In our next instalment we head to Hackney Downs Studio to hear from James Kennedy of Kennedy City Bicycles. So without further ado I will hand you over to custom bike maker James Kennedy.
Lindsay Anderson was a theatre director, film critic, war-time cryptologist and documenter of “Wham!” dicking about on the Great Wall of China. A busy enough C.V but Anderson also found time to make a triptych of extraordinary state of the nation satires describing the culture of sixties and seventies and anticipating that of the eighties.Continue Reading →
It’s been impossible to pick up the paper recently without feeling sorry for poor Greece. Yet, over the last few years in the face of serious adversity, Greek Wine has gone from strength to strength gaining popularity in the UK alongside its Mediterranean neighbours. With this in mind we headed out to pick up something Greek.Continue Reading →
Described as a ‘True Adventurer’ by Kevin McCloud, Sebastian Cox is a designer maker who creates beautiful lightweight furniture from an underused and sustainable resource, namely coppiced hazel. The combination of sustainable materials, traditional and sometimes ancient techniques, all with a contemporary aesthetic has made Sebastian one of The Holborn’s favourite new furniture designers and makers. Combine that with passion he shows for the material he works with and we couldn’t not head down to share a cup of tea and a few apples with the Kent-born maker. So nestled in amongst all manner of machines and a cacophony of sawing based noises in his Greenwich based workshop we settled down to find out more.
I sit down at my desk. Even before opening my computer, or thinking about the words I might use to start this article, I make sure that my tobacco, papers and filters are within reach, and that my small ceramic blue ashtray – which I made myself in a pottery class a few years ago, just to have a perfectly sized one – is empty and clean. I know that if I want to be able to fill a few pages I’ll need them; I’ll need the nervous rolling of a cigarette, the scratch of the lighter, the bitter taste in my mouth, the cloud of smoke around me, the empty stare at the wall just a few inches from my face.
There’s a very good chance that you’re reading this whilst sipping from a cup of coffee. Yes, I know – hardly an observation of the century. However, there’s an awful lot to be said about the meteoric rise of roasted beans and hot water, now the nation’s favourite brew. The humble cup of tea has been truly ousted by the flat white coffee, which, according to leading economist Douglas McWilliams, is so significant that the FWC even has its own digital economy named after it. Continue Reading →
Jessica started by telling me that design had not been what she’d originally intended to do. Despite coming from an artistic family and enjoying her art GCSE she made a decision that maybe she didn’t have the natural flair and chose to focus her studies on scientific subjects. Though that creative itch wouldn’t go away, as is often the case for frustrated designers. Though the journey to Jewellery designer wasn’t a straight forward one. After a flirtation with photography, many CityLit mini courses and a foundation degree at St Martins Jessica found her medium and her passion.Continue Reading →
After a bottle of sassy white in last weeks Time for a Tipple, it was our creative director, Julia’s, turn to treat our wine expert, Lettie, to a refreshing cocktail in a relaxing setting. The Sun Tavern on Bethnal Green Road has been reopened for almost a year now and has built a reputation on providing fine local ales, classic cocktails, and a large selection of poitin and whiskey. As you may have already guessed The Holborn team are often found here exchanging wise cracks and jests over a couple of tall handled steins.Continue Reading →
It is said that Trawlermen have one of the worlds most dangerous jobs. The hours are long and antisocial, the work filthy and even on a good day, sailing on the North Sea is probably a fairly brutal experience. After arrival at the fishing grounds, a relentless cycle of work will begin: sleeping in bunks, too tired to remove work clothes or the sleep to brief to make their removal worth while. Now imagine what this job was like as a young twenty-something in 1960.
Just in case you hadn’t noticed but bikes are cool. There are bike cafes, bike magazines and even a vintage inspired annual Tweed clad jolly round town. The economist Douglas McWilliams in his book, The Flat White Economy, which explores the explosion of the digital economy around Old Street says there has been a culture shift where; ‘The bicycle has replaced the Porsche, skinny jeans have replaced suits and, of course, flat white coffee has replaced champagne.’Continue Reading →
The best businesses are born out of a passion. For Scott Eden and Ben Marden, co-founders and directors of men’s shirt brand Tripl Stitched, that passion was vintage sewing machines.
They’ve been collecting them for ten years now and initially began using them to create unusual and good quality shirts for a number of top brands, building their business as a British menswear manufacturer. The popularity of the use of the triple stitch machines with their clients including Paul Smith and Ben Sherman sparked the idea to create their own shirts, which are made in England and made to last, using the machine as its key element.Continue Reading →
Belfast is my adopted home. It is a strange and fascinating place and, while I can now make myself understood to taxi drivers (a mixed blessing at best) I have yet to conquer the many shibboleths it throws up to mark out we “blow ins”. But as a bon viveur and boulevardier and other borrowed French euphemisms for alcoholic I have made decisive in-roads into Belfast’s pub life. There are many Belfast pubs I haven’t been to. They tend to be the ones without any natural daylight, adorned with flags of various hues and murals of Bambi-eyed gunmen in balaclavas wanting to shoot you over some historical detail involving chaps on horses wearing wigs. The chaps, not the horses; horses have lovely hair and little need of wigs. On the very few occasions I have attempted to enter these types of pubs I have been promptly escorted from the premises by bald men with mottled blue forearms and extremely pro-active views on health and safety.Continue Reading →
Our Creative Director and cocktail enthusiast Julia is teaming up with wine expert Lettie Dibben to explore the different wines & cocktails to have out and about and at home. For the first instalment we decided to do a bit of both – we scoured the shelves of our supermarkets to find a fine tipple but rather than retreating home we headed out searching for London’s best BYOB options. Continue Reading →
Allow me to introduce you to Gareth Neal, a furniture designer and maker based in Dalston, East London. A fascination with pushing forward the traditional craft of woodworking into a contemporary sphere has most recently seen him collaborate with world renowned architect Zaha Hadid, creating incredible wooden vessels that must be seen to be believed. I went to visit Gareth at his workshop situated in a large warehouse filled to the brims with designers and makers. We chatted about 3D printing (he’s unsure about its environmental impact, but is a fan of printed ceramics) and the inspiration for his winning chair design in the Great Heals Bodging Race (an Egyptian bamboo beach chair) before moving onto our interview conducted to the surprisingly soothing sound of woodsaws.Continue Reading →
Mudlark & Co, producers of beautiful handmade sandals, is the brainchild of couple Chris Bingham and Hannah Roberts. The genesis was many moons ago when Hannah worked in a shoe shop in Cambridge. She started to see her boss’s business model slowly changing, moving more towards echo shoes and the comfort import market. She witnessed more and more of his old customers coming back and being disappointed by the move. Hannah felt there was more value in the old patterns. The offer came about from her boss to take the old patterns and make it her own. Partner Chris tells us this was the gift that got them going.Continue Reading →
Be honest – when was the last time you took a proper lunch break, that’s to say, a full hour away from your desk, without checking your phone or emails? If you can remember, you’re in the minority. The Holborn ponders why lunch is not just an enjoyable part of the day – it’s essential for health, wellbeing and productivity.
A gentle stroll through London’s parks has got to be one of the better ways to bask in a fine English summer’s day, and what more of an indulgence could there be to round off time spent traversing Victoria Park than to visit the nearby East London Liquor Company. The distillery is located in one of Bow’s best-known historical sites, the old glue factory in Bow Wharf, and is a treasure trove to any card-carrying spirits devotee.Continue Reading →
For many, a night out at a restaurant is a much-anticipated treat every month or so. If this is the case, best to head somewhere that is sure to provide a memorable experience of quality food and attentive service to avoid a lingering feeling of disappointment.
A sound choice is a booking at one of the monthly food and wine dinners hosted at one of the ETM Group’s gastro pubs and brasseries across central London.
We were lucky enough recently to stumble upon a new brand that encapsulates everything we at The Holborn love. While sharing a space at a recent show I struggled to keep the attention of our erstwhile Editor-at-Large as he seemed to be elsewhere with his thoughts as I bellowed a number of instructions at him. He was in fact enthralled by the stand opposite us, that being Nuwold. That day unlike this particular British July day was basked in glorious sunshine but still Joshua blurted out off topic – ‘god, I love those umbrellas, I have to have one’. So on further inspection and a chat with co-founder Ian Nash we both instantaneously became fans of this new brand. So we saw it quite fitting to get back in touch with Ian and find out more.
Tell us how Nuwold started? Whats your background?
This year Bastille Day falls on a Tuesday – not the most typical day for a party, but there will be celebrations nonetheless, bien sur.
We have a soft spot for Victorian & Edwardian Heroes, as we do for great tasting Beer and Northampton made Boots, especially when they are all combined into one company. The Shackleton Company is a lifestyle brand who make a range of products, all inspired by the legendary explorer Ernest Shackleton.
“What happened to all the Polymaths?’ Those men who excelled in many disciplines, multi-talented individuals. In modern times, this way of thinking is discouraged. People are not educated to be a jack of all trades. They work to be a businessman, or an engineer, or a musician. It is rare to find a man who is a painter and an inventor, and who is also interested in human anatomy. Sound familiar? That’s Leonardo da Vinci. And then you could look at another man, who is a politician, a writer and a scientist; Benjamin Franklin. One should not deprive one’s self of something fulfilling, just because they happen to enjoy something else fulfilling. There is no reason not to do both.
“When in the land of perpetual rain, buy a waterproof coat.”
Jacob Hurwitz recalls that quintessential purchase in London five years ago that inspired him to pull the trigger on co-founding his own outerwear and apparel brand, American Trench.
“Returning to PA, at a time when so many people were losing their jobs, my friend [now co-founder] David and I got to thinking… what could we do? What can we make? And I had this beautiful trench coat, and wondered who was making them in the US. We couldn’t find anyone.”
Sipsmith, London’s first new gin distillers to open for 200 years, was started by old friends Sam and Fairfax. A fair few years ago they were both out working in the US, here they were witnessing the burgeoning craft beer scene emerge and an idea came to them, why couldn’t they do this back in the UK and with that most British of spirits.
One of the most important features of a shoe is its heel. Yet when we conjure up the image of Italy’s unique boot-like shape, the heel is perhaps not the first place we would consider visiting. However the region of Puglia, also known as “the heel of Italy”, is fast establishing itself as a food lover’s destination with its rich offerings from the land and sea. Continue Reading →
The next installment in our Artisans series takes us back generations to discover where contemporary upholsterer Rachael South‘s business began. Rachael’s skills as a chair caner and upholsterer utilise many traditional craft skills which she puts to use as both a modern-day designer and antique furniture restorer. Creating beautiful pieces, her work is often colourful, using unexpected intricate weaving and always finished to perfection. As with other features in this series, Rachael has temporarily turned writer in order to share more of her story, her inspirations and her process…Continue Reading →
Welcome to The Bookshelf, our column where we ask journalists, actors, designers and esteemed others to tell us their five most loved and treasured books and why they adore them so. This week we welcome molecular mixologist and world famous bartender Tony Conigliaro. Continue Reading →
London is most certainly a city of villages: whether you are loyal to the tribes of the north, south, east or west, you are never too far from a venue owned by the ETM Group, which has gastro pubs all over town. Over the past 15 years brothers Ed and Tom Martin have learnt a thing or two about adapting successful concepts to their location. The Botanist Broadgate Circle is virtually unrecognisable from its West London counterpart, with smart tweaks ensuring it suits the City clientele the new venue is already attracting in droves.
David Hieatt is the Founder of Hiut Denim Co, a premium Denim label based in Cardigan, North Wales. Cardigan was home to the largest surviving jeans factory in Britain. Four hundred employees used to make 35,000 pairs of jeans a week over three decades of production. Then one day, due to an outsourcing of the manufacturing to Morocco, the factory inevitably closed.Continue Reading →
‘Nina+Co is about slowing down. It is about balancing beauty with ethics. And it is fundamentally about collaboration.’
For a small creative agency, Nina+Co are known for delivering inspiring interior design projects within both large hotels and small coffee shops. But with the launch of their latest collection, Nina Woodcroft wanted to create something a little different for a meal we at The Holborn very much enjoy: breakfast. The Breakfast Collection takes just a few pieces fundamental to the most important meal of the day and gives us something wonderful with which to enjoy our coffee and toast. These gorgeous ceramics, including a butter dish and an espresso/egg cup, have certainly tempted us into taking a few more minutes over our waking meal. Read on to discover more…
The London ‘bubble’ – it is a thing- and something we are often guilty of being part of. Be it the collection of young exciting brands emerging out of East London or established companies with their flagship stores in St.James’, London does have a captivating hoover effect. But sat on the train north, ready to break the bubble we ponder what might lay ahead. The team at Best of Britannia, whose annual event in Clerkenwell we have excitedly attended since 2012, have stretched their wings and started their expansion across this green and pleasant land. First stop Preston.Continue Reading →
Thank you for joining us in the Pantry at The Holborn for Tea & a Chat, Isabelle.
What would we find if we poked around in your pantry?
I love my pantry – it’s full of glass jars, you won’t find any plastic. I’m a big believer in a “one single ingredient” policy, so everything we cook at home is made from scratch. We’ve just made a huge batch of pâté and we have kombucha and kefir fermenting in one corner of the kitchen. Aside from that, there are rows of homemade jams and lots of dried wild herbs for tea. I also like to forage, so we currently have some extra herbs macerating in oils too. Everything you can think of, we’ve got a jar of it!Continue Reading →
These days, there’s a pop-up to suit every occasion and any craving. Perhaps your fancy is tickled by a dessert tasting menu, a Persian supper club or perchance an evening supping cocktails with owls? In London, there’s a pop-up for that.
At the Holborn, as much as we exalt the time-honoured British tradition of eccentric buffoonery, we had a hankering for a simpler, richer evening celebrating quality produce, novelty animal companion optional. We were delighted to find the monthly pop-up from acclaimed Venison-savants Wild Game Co ticks all our boxes, an altogether more British affair bringing a taste of the Highlands to Clerkenwell.
So we’ve staggered along to the polling station and exercised our democratic right. With the polls predicting electoral mayhem it is likely to be a long night and politics will become even more opaque and messy than it already is. We have a Very Holborn and quintessentially British way of dealing with this – keep calm, sit back and pour yourself a drink.Continue Reading →
Today, craft will finally gain a place alongside our capital’s respected fashion and design industries as the inaugural London Craft Week opens its doors. With renewed interest and increased respect for traditional design skills over the past few years, it’s almost a surprise it’s taken so long to come into existence. As good old Boris says,
“Celebrated throughout the world as a centre of creativity and innovation, London has a long and rich heritage of craft and designer-making, which do not always get the attention they deserve. London Craft Week will throw the spotlight on this vibrant and growing sector and the highly skilled craftspeople at work in our city today.”
A stalwart of British style – Sunspel has been making underwear since 1860 and in 1947 it was the first firm to introduce boxer shorts to Britian. Having been producing products for larger brands for years, Sunspel has gained itself a dedicated following through the production of high quality wardrobe staples for both men & women that look and feel great. In 2008 a Sunspel Polo shirt graced the shoulders of Daniel Craig’s 007 – continuing a relationship with the world’s favourite spy that began with Sean Connery donning Sunspel swim-shorts during Thunderball in 1965. In 2006 Nicholas Brooke took over Sunspel with Dominic Hazlehurst and the company has been moving from strength to strength. In the past few years the brand has opened its own stores in London’s Soho and Shoreditch. The Holborn got in touch with Nicholas to discuss Sunspel’s past, present and future.Continue Reading →
Elevate these versatile veg from “a bite on the side” with these seasonal recipes and serving suggestions. Continue Reading →