A Design Haven in Clerkenwell
London friends tell me they had a lovely sunny Saturday in the capital this weekend. Let me tell you that we weren’t so lucky in Bristol where we got a little battered by the wind and the rain. We made a point to explore the city nevertheless and ideally I’d like to plan to come back in more clement temperatures. This time, let’s just say there was a lot of ducking in and out of shops and cafes, but on the other hand, it was the perfect excuse to sample the local cuisine and to discover some makers and artisans from the area, so I’m not complaining!
You know that I love nothing more than a thoughtfully curated shop, right?
Well, today I’m sharing with you my recent discovery of Clerkenwell London, which as the title of my post suggests, is pretty much a design-lover dream come true. Set over 13,000 square feet, it showcases thousands of pieces from established and emerging independent designers. Paris has Colette and I trust that we can now say we have a serious contender as its London counterpart. Located at 155 Farringdon Road, Clerkenwell London is not so much a shop as it is a concept store and comes complete with a vinyl lounge, an in-house perfumery, a beautifully-designed restaurant and bar, a wine library, and a piano lounge.
If you visit you’ll see that you can easily spend a whole Saturday afternoon in the space, tucking into a delicious brunch with a friend, browsing through the impressive collection of handpicked homewares, fashion, jewellery, stationery, art, and literature displayed in the shop, sinking into a comfy midcentury armchair with a novel while listening to records, and finally kickstarting the evening with a fine martini. For those rainy days where you don’t feel like running all over town but want to have a good time nonetheless, it’s pretty much the perfect destination.
Caution: avalanche of pictures ahead.
Clerkenwell London: The Shop
Lovely no? You can browse some of the collection on the e-shop and I might share some of my favourites with you soon. If you’re planning a visit, Clerkenwell London is open from 10am to 6pm Mondays to Wednesdays, until 7pm on Thursdays and Fridays, and until 5pm on Saturdays. Keep an eye on them via social media: they’re @clerkenwellldn on Twitter and Instagram.
155 Bar and Kitchen
On our visit we stopped for brunch at 155 Bar and Kitchen, which is a contemporary take on the French bistro, focuses on seasonal cuisine with high quality British ingredients, and offers a relaxing environment for a midday foodie break. They serve breakfast from 7.30am, brunch from 10am, lunch menu from 12 to 2pm with two courses for £14, which is decent value, and the dinner menu is definitely appetizing: look: wild mushroom consommé, confit pork belly, pumpkin and sage ravioli, valrhona chocolate fondant with orange creme fraiche and biscotti? Music to my ears.
If you’re a cocktail lover, note that they have a cocktail hour from 5pm to 7pm on weekends with a nice seasonal menu. They organise events now and then too, like this free “Meet the Maker” wine tasting with Quinta da Calçada on March 3rd – tickets here if you fancy going.
I hope you enjoyed discovering Clerkenwell London in today’s post and if you’re planning to pop by the shop or restaurant, do let me know. If there are other concept stores or interesting multi-purpose spaces that you personally love in London or beyond, share your recommendations with me in the comments, I’d love to add them to my list.