Style Staycation: Mawi Keivom On London-------
Mawi Keivom loves her neighborhood. And that’s a good thing, because the jewelry designer, whose line, Mawi, has been blowing the socks off editors for the past six years, is due to spend a lot of time in Dalston this summer. Dalston, for the uninitiated, is the East London burg recently dubbed “the Coolest Place in England” by both Vogue Italia and The Guardian, and frankly, Keivom makes the place sound so great, we’re thinking of moving there ourselves. “It’s a mixture of Turkish, Afro- Caribbean, Pakistani, Indian, as well as a healthy dose of fashionistas,” she explains. “Dalston used to have cheap rents with big empty warehouses,” adds Keivom, “but now it’s on the cusp of becoming gentrified and trendy.” Well, that was bound to happen. In the meantime, Keivom has a few suggestions for those of you who, like her, are sticking out the dog days on London’s East Side.
“Ridley Road Market is our pride and joy here. It’s East End barrow boy meets African high priestess, and there’s nothing I love to do more on a sunny afternoon than potter around here, checking out the African textiles, exotic meats, and other strange edibles. On a good day you saunter down and hear African beats, gospel music, reggae, and it’s easy to forget you are in London. Dalston also boasts the Rio Cinema, an independent movie house restored to its original Art Deco splendor, and the Prince George pub. The George is situated in a leafy backwater and the emphasis is on quality alcohol—good beers and ales and an extensive wine list. Christopher Kane and Gareth Pugh are two of the designers who live and work nearby that you’re likely to spot here. Great place to chill out over a pint.”
2. More Markets
“The Columbia Road Flower Market is a great place to see real East End culture, hear cockney accents, and see a world-famous market in full swing. All the plants and flowers here are a fraction of what you’d pay at your local florist, and the street is lined with interesting vintage stores, bric-a-brac, food stalls, and great eateries. Round off your day with a pint of beer at the Royal Oak and sample some English grub. Perfect! A great way to spend a lazy Saturday, meanwhile, is the Broadway Market. For coffee in the morning go to Climpsons, and the Cat and Mutton or the Dove for pint and pub food later. You can also sample a variety of gourmet food at the food stalls—anything from Ghanaian food to kosher food, freshly baked patisseries, marinated olives, and organic vegetables. (There are vintage stalls offering clothing at reasonable prices, as well.) You will not go home hungry.”
3. Cheap Eats
“Tayabs is a Pakistani restaurant in Whitechapel, East London. The food is absolutely amazing and it’s reasonably priced. They don’t serve alcohol, but you can bring your own. Their specialties are lamb chops and kebabs, but if you are vegetarian, there are plenty of other mouthwatering dishes. There is also an enormous glass counter filled with Indian sweets. Try the kulfi (Indian ice cream) or the rasmalai to cool down after the fiery curries. Be sure to book in advance, as the queues meander for miles. It’s an hour-long wait to get a seat if you are lucky. Alternatively, you can always find a seat at London Fields. During the weekends people from all over London congregate here to sunbathe, drink, and enjoy a BBQ. It’s the playground for the East London fashion set. The dress code is cool/quirky with bicycles being the favorite mode of transport. Pack a picnic and watch the fashionistas on parade.”