February 08, 2013
If you want to feel inspired, or just feel good, go to Columbia Road on a Sunday. It's a multi-sensory experience - the banter of the flower-sellers, the smell of flowers, the simple beauty of this classic East end street. Then you realise that behind all this is an incredible and eclectic mix of the kind of shops that make you feel great about shopping.
You start at one end, walk down one side, walk back up the other side, and then feel like you have to see it all again. We owe a lot to these shops. They provide us with a much needed dose of alternative retail therapy, a tonic against all the other average stuff out there.
My favourites? Hard to say, but when we start fitting out the Seven Boot Lane flagship store I'm going to hire a van and go there, and I know we'll find inspiration everywhere. We'll definitely be going to Nelly Duff's gallery and Ben Southgate. Campania Gastronomia serve unbelievably good coffee, and the guitarist outside was amazing too. Get down there as soon as you can. East London at its best.