“I am awfully greedy; I want everything from life. I want to be a woman and to be a man, to have many friends and to have loneliness, to work much and write good books, to travel and enjoy myself, to be selfish and to be unselfish… You see, it is difficult to get all which I want.” ― Simone de Beauvoir
We’re nearly two weeks into this heatwave and I’m suffering. These cold brew coffees are keeping me going though.
I’ve replaced my morning coffee, usually made hot in my french press, with one of these. I’ve also started having one mid afternoon to cool down and help beat the mid afternoon sweaty slump.
How do you beat the heat?
Strawberry season is one of my absolute favourites. I try my best to shop and eat food in season, and try to source as much as my food as locally as possible. At the moment we’re coming up to the end of British Strawberry season and I’ve been averaging a punnet(sometimes two) a day.
Decided to do a little photo shoot because these berries were as beautiful as they were tasty. Taken on my kitchen table with some cute vintage coffee mugs from my local charity shops.
Last Sunday I had the absolute pleasure of meeting Amber Lee; writer, blogger, maker, and plus sized fashionista. Amber was gracious enough to be my guinea pig on a trial run of the Gwen and Wear Vintage Shopping Experience which I’ll be launching at the end of the month.
We met at Shoreditch Highstreet Station and began an epic journey through nearly a dozen hand picked vintage shops. We visited everything from the high end, highly curated to the thrill of the hunt, bargain basement, to the market stalls stacked on top of eachother along Brick Lane.
When you book the experience you’ll receive a questionnaire via email. This questionairre is to help me get an idea about your personal style, fashion strengths and struggles, and just to get to know you a bit better. The questionnaire will help inform me and allow me to tailor every experience to the individual.
Between shop stops we snuck down quieter side streets to shoot some cute street style photos. This is a big part of the experience! Not only am I your personal stylist, personal shopper, and tour guide, I’m also your personal paparazzi!
We broke for a coffee break halfway through at Close-Up a cozy cafe come film library come cinema tucked down Sclater Street.
Amber was an absolute pleasure to work with! She was open and adventurous and as a result scored some real treasures! We struck gold in at nearly every stop, but as it is with vintage some items were damaged, or ill fitting, so they were left behind.
Amber defintaly didn’t go home empty handed! At the end of the day she hoped on the train having added a vintage NIKE sweatshirt, a super chic semi-sheer glittering top that’s as cute now as it was when it was worn at Studio54, a couple of dresses(shown below), sunglasses(above), and the most babely dusty pink lace and sheer bed jacket to her regular wardrobe.
“As you might be able to tell, I had an absolute ball. Gwendolyn was an excellent planner, guide, co-shopper, photographer, creative – and it was a really personal, not at all stuffy experience. In all honesty, I wouldn’t have had the confidence to try a lot of the things I did without a seasoned vintage shopper to show me the ropes; it made all the difference and counteracted the overwhelm I sometimes feel when shopping in unfamiliar environments.” – Amber in Red
I had such a wonderful time with Amber and am so thankful to have such a wonderful first run of the Gwen and Wear Vintage Experience! I finished the day on such a high and can’t wait to launch the expereince at the end of the month!
Thank you again Amber for coming to London and exploring the vintage shopping landscape of East London!
Here’s Amber at home showing off some of her haul! The hot pink dress was a STEAL at 5£!!!
If you’re interested in taking the tour and booking your own vintage shopping experience you can follow @fakeproductionco and send us a DM or email us at email@example.com.
Another quick shout out and BIG THANKS to Afroglory for putting us in touch!
Do you have a morning routine? I don’t really but I do have a single ritual; COFFEE.
Routine as Ritual.
At home I grind two shots every morning, and brew a large cup of coffee. I add a heaping tablespoon of honey and enjoy.
When the weather, like it is this morning. I drink my coffee on the small balcony I have that looks on to the gardens of the surrounding flats.
I try to have a little time for quiet and calm, but more often than not I am drinking it half cold mid way through morning chores, or while getting dressed or putting on makeup. Or as I am today, updating socials on my phone.
Before we went on holiday I started using a Bullet Journal, now I am just getting back into it after a few weeks hiatus.
Mismanagement of my time is my biggest problem. I make long lists of things to do, many aspirational, and then am overcome with fear about not finished or what to start first and end up doing none of it.
Since starting to use the bullet journal I have noticed that I am able to accomplish much more with far less stress and anxiety.
I’m only just getting started, but I’m already seeing results.
So I finally made it down to Palm Vaults, the cafe built for Instagram and it was as mediocre as I expected it to be.
I can’t say it wasn’t beautiful: it is basically my dream aesthetic with its large mirrors, dusty pink velvet, leafy plants dangling over head and exposed brick…but beauty isn’t enough.
I should also be honest and say I did go into Palm Vaults cynical. I lived in Dalston for years and remember the backlash the previous white hipster cafe faced(rightly so). The place is really interesting… if you look at it as art rather than a coffee shop. If we can view it as a comment on the times Palm Vaults is pure zeitgeist. It’s made to ‘gram; it looks much better than it is, and honestly we all know it. Just like your favourite Instagram profile it looks perfect and amazing and exciting but in reality we know it has been painstakingly put together for our consumption.
I imagine this is something a very femme Scarface would create, a late 70s Miami coke dream dripping in gold, pastel believer, and mirrors. The people inside felt to me like mannequins; upon entering you become part of the place, unwitting performance artists playing at being happy and fashionable and young with varying success. You can’t escape the fact this place was made to be photographed and there is something absurd about a cafe who’s main objective isn’t service or food… but again we live in absurd times don’t we?
When we went it was too hot, having been a sunny day. Large glass frontage without curtains(we can’t obscure the aesthetic!) and with no apparent fans or air conditioning it was a bit stale inside by the time we arrived mid afternoon. The place serves ok coffee, however the regular tables are far too high for the chairs they’ve got. Our coffees day at eye level while we sat much lower in comfortable if not entirely impractical lawn furniture. The staff were friendly and quick, and obviously excited about their job…but like the punters it is an excitement about the associated with the place rather than the place itself.
All in all I would give it a 3/5. It’s worth going if you’re as into Golden Girls and that dreamy tumblr aesthetic as I am. Do it for the ‘gram; grab a coffee snap a few pics for your social media profile and forget we’re living in a world of late stage capitalism, environmental upheaval, rising fascism and sea levels…