Take 5: Get to Know Shoreditch, the London ‘Hood Everyone’s Talking About

Oh, hey! We’ve scored ourselves a spring semester correspondent: Our girl Mattie Kahn landed in London for a study-abroad program (or, in British, programme), and she’s going to grace this site with her neighborhood adventures and her exceptional taste. In a word: YAY!
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Shoreditch is home to some of the best nightlife in London. But guess what? The super-cool neighborhood is worth exploring before sundown as well. These five spots are at the top of my daytime hit list. —mattie kahn  

The Queen of Hoxton
Since declaring it spring in London, I’ve officially voted The Queen of Hoxton my watering hole. Snag a seat at its rooftop bar (pictured!), sip Slush Puppy cider, and embrace the warmness. Ahh.
(1-5 Curtain Rd.)

Ally Capellino
The brand best known for its so-pared-down bags opened its doors in Shoreditch in 2005, and Londoners have lusted after the high-functioning backpacks and bright totes ever since.
(9 Calvert Ave.)

Blondie
If you’re in the market for some top-notch vintage, this is your spot. Dive into Blondie’s collection of flapper dresses, seriously enviable handbags, and old-school YSL suiting. And dig for fifties-era separates—they’re worth it.
(114-118 Commercial St.)

Albion
Picture your high-school cafeteria. Now substitute mystery meat and lunchroom jocks for delicious roast chicken sandwiches and the neighborhood’s cool kids. If you want to avoid 9th grade dining flashbacks entirely, you can grab some bakery goodness to-go.
(2-4 Boundary St.)

Start
It’s window-shopping heaven over here. With its selection of Lily Kamper, Acne, and local favorite Sophie Hulme, Start is better equipped than any boutique in this town to fuel brand-new-wardrobe fantasies.
(42-44 Rivington St.)

 Spend more time hanging in London with Mattie.

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Take 5: Here’s How to Make the Most of a Weekend in Dublin

Oh, hey! We’ve scored ourselves a spring semester correspondent: Our girl Mattie Kahn landed in London for a study-abroad program (or, in British, programme), and she’s going to grace this site with her neighborhood adventures and her exceptional taste. In a word: YAY!

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Just over an hour from London by plane, Dublin makes for a pretty magical weekend getaway. But the city famous for its literature and liquor has killer boutiques and amazing ice cream (you know, on top of all that beer and Bailey’s). Here, the so-good spots I fell for. —mattie kahn

Murphy’s
The ice cream for sale at this establishment is the flat-out best I’ve ever tasted. My only complaint? That I was forced to choose but two of its sixteen flavors. (Kerry Cream Vanilla and Irish Brown Bread, FTW!) 
(27 Wicklow St.)

Meet & Meat
The fish and chips at Leo Burdock are as good as Dubliners say. But once you’ve had your fill of fried food, head to this corner café for a lunchtime sandwich or a heaping cheese board. Be sure to savor every bite of the Guinness-infused gouda. It’s only right.
(1-3 S. William St.)

Costume
A veteran of Dublin’s Castle Market Street, this boutique stocks designers like Johnstons of Elgin and Thakoon Addition. Be sure to solicit the advice of its super-chic saleswomen while you browse—they’re brimming with top-notch local recommendations. (Thanks, guys!) 
(10-11 Castle Market St.)

Blazing Salads
First off, the name! This brilliantly christened deli—with its endless array of salads, samosas, and baked goods—is the kind I’d frequent daily if I lived in Dublin. Since I don’t, I’ll have to settle for the cookbook filled with at-home takes on the recipes.
(42 Drury St.)

Project 51
Equal parts gallery and cooperative, this spot in the heart of the city celebrates local designers, and its supply of cozy knitwear could make even the harshest Irish winters seem at least a little more bearable.
(51 S. William St.)

To dig into Mattie’s London picks, click, click!

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Take 5: How to Spend a Fancy-Pants Day in London’s Mayfair

Oh, hey! We’ve scored ourselves a spring semester correspondent: Our girl Mattie Kahn landed in London for a study-abroad program (or, in British, programme), and she’s going to grace this site with her neighborhood adventures and her exceptional taste. In a word: YAY!

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London takes a lot of pride in its historic grit, but the city has a softer side as well—as evidenced in Mayfair’s cozy brasseries, dreamy cobblestone streets, and posh-enough-for-Posh shops. Here’s how to spend an indulgent afternoon. And plenty of quid. —mattie kahn

Sketch
Were Alice in Wonderland to build a mansion of her own design on Conduit Street, the result would probably look a whole lot like Sketch. The space houses five distinct eateries, but afternoon tea at its Gallery Restaurant is my personal favorite.
(9 Conduit St.)

Dover Street Market
Rei Kawakubo’s six-story emporium basically inaugurated high-concept shopping. And it’s not just about the exclusive finds: You also need to snag a seat and a snack at the Rose Bakery on the top floor—I’d go with the carrot cake.
(17-18 Dover St.)

No6 London
Curated by Adidas, No6 sells limited-edition footwear to Londoners in-the-know. Translation: Go here to get your hands on that pair of extra-cool Stan Smith sneakers that your friends at home can only dream about.
(6 Newburgh St.)

Pollen Street Social
Committed to definitively unstuffy fine dining, this restaurant is bright, lively, and just plain worth it. For a more low-key experience, sit at the bar for tapas and a drink.
(8-10 Pollen St.)

KJ’s Laundry
A few (walkable!) minutes from the heart of Mayfair, you’ll find this super-thoughtful boutique. It carries very cool, hard-to-find labels like Samantha Sung, Rodebjer, and Sessun, and just try not to salivate over the leather goods—I dare you.
(74 Marylebone Ln.)

More London! Right here!

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Weather Vain: Dallas, Texas - 73 and Clear

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This time last year, Claire and I were exploring Dallas, and we’re kind of itching to do it all over again—especially on a straight-up gorgeous day like this one. What we’d wanna wear! —erica

Clockwise from top left:

+ A denim moto jacket by Theyskens’ Theory—in case your shoulders get cold while eating tostadas de ceviche outside at La Calle Doce.

+ A T by Alexander Wang dress in a blush-y hue, inspired by Grange Hall's flower arrangements.

+ So slick, this Kelly Wearstler ring! It’ll fit right in at dinner at Tei-An.

+ A raffia bag, from Loeffler Randall, that’s totally ready for a happening summer.

+ The perfect Sicky shades for taking in the Nasher Sculpture Garden.

+ Shoes for showing off a Hiatus pedicure, c/o Opening Ceremony.

+ Collette Ishiyama earrings that would make all the fancy ladies shopping at Forty Five Ten swoon.

Got the travel bug? Us too.

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The Insider: Charlotte Druckman

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If having a soft spot for food writers is wrong (ahem, see past installments of this feature Q&Aing JJ Goode and the sisters behind The New Potato), then we don’t wanna be right. Case in point: We think you have to meet the über-talented and lovely Charlotte Druckman. She wrote a book on women chefs called Skirt Steak—good name, right?—and her byline pops up all over the writing-about-eating sphere. Get the scoop. —monica derevjanik

Q: What’s your ideal meal?
A: Because it’s cold and dreary out, I find myself craving one-dish wonders like lamb tagine and cassoulet. But I’m more inclined to make a bowl of roasted vegetables or a big country frisée salad with lardons, a poached egg, and lots of red wine. And, no matter what, I could finish with a rich, dark, near-bitter chocolate soufflé with whipped cream and coffee or hazelnut or vanilla ice cream.

Q: Which startups do you think are doing really amazing things right now? 
A: Here goes: Medium, Everlane, and Of a Kind (and I really mean that!). Like everyone else, I’m curious to see what Ezra Klein’s going to create at Vox. I’m also looking forward to seeing what Oyster does and how it takes off. In terms of O.G. startups—you know, the printed kind—Cherry Bombe and Modern Farmer have my support, and I’ve just subscribed to PORTER and to Book Riot’s Quarterly. I’ll never give up on print.

Q: Which cookbooks do you swear by?
A: I have a few bibles: Any Julia Child or Maida Heatter, The Frankies Spuntino Kitchen Companion & Cooking Manual, The Zuni Cafe Cookbook, and The Essential New York Times Cookbook. Mario Batali’s Simple Italian Food still has the best risotto recipe out there.For vegetable cooking, I love Yotam Ottolenghi’s Plenty andNigel Slater’s Tender. For Mexican, I’m loving Roberto Santibanez and JJ Goode’s Truly Mexican.

Q: What’s one vacation you’re desperate to take?
A: I always want to go back to France—Provence and Paris, especially—and so that’s what I tend to do. But of the places I’ve never been and dream of going to, India is probably at the top of that list.

Q: What do you wear all the time?
A: For the day, jeans and a mix of Chance, A.P.C., Everlane, Of a Kind, and Lars Andersson. For night, Zero + Maria Cornejo, Isabel Marant, and Tucker. I also rotate between a few favorite Le Labo scents. Breaking my kneecap in college marked the end of my life in heels, so you’ll always find me in flats and, because I love walking everywhere, sneakers—the cuter, the better.

Q: What do you love about your neighborhood?
A: Everyone always talks about the commercialization that has swept through Greenwich Village in the last seven years and the proliferation of faux charming neighborhood spots. But if you take your time and pick one street—I choose 10th Street, because it’s mine—and you follow it all the way from Avenue C to the highway on the west side, you will discover so many secrets and stories that span the city’s history.

Photo courtesy of Melanie Dunea.

Meet more rock stars (in our minds, at least!) here.

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City Haul: Where We Eat and Shop in Austin *and* L.A.

This week, Claire and I are headed west. Our itinerary: Austin, L.A., and Vegas. And though we can’t really comment on the latter—you know, what happens in Vegas…—we did want to share the places we’ll be visiting in destinations #1 and #2. In fact! We told Conde Nast Traveler alllll about our go-tos, and so for the full run-down, you best click on through. —erica

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AUSTIN! From tacos at La Condesa (pictured!) to warm-weather-appropriate sweaters from Kick Pleat to oysters as often as we can get them—more here.

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LOS ANGELES! We’re westside girls, and the are the Venice/West Hollywood/Santa Monica/Brentwood—like Tenoversix, shown up there!—that we’re hitting, for surez. This way for the scoop.

For more city-guide madness, click!

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Weather Vain: Anchorage, Alaska - 34 and Clear

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I’m going to save my first adventure to the City of Lights and Flowers for a time of year when there are, you know, flowers, but if you happen to be in AK today, here’s what I think you should wear—and what you should do! —erica

Clockwise from top left:

+ A Carven turtleneck, for cozying up to some seafood at Marx Bros. Cafe.

+ Frame Denim jeans that aren’t too fancy for some reindeer sausage.

+ Floral Kenzo gloves—because it’s too frosty to really experience any of the stunning natural scenery.

+ A Baggu bucket bag as caramel-y as a Bavarian Hefeweizen from Glacier Brewhouse.

+ An Isabel Marant coat, with a hood! In case your ears get chilly.

+ A K/LLER bracelet that would look fiiiiine resting on the bar at Hotel Captain Cook.

+ Velvet slip-ons c/o Rag & Bone that are cozy enough to watch the Alaska Aces play some ice hockey.

There’s a whole lot of “Weather Vain” to be had if you’re looking…

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Weather Vain: Buenos Aires, Argentina - 80 and Mostly Cloudy

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Most of us north of the equator are probably itching to go south right now, and where better than B.A.? Here’s what we’d be working if we were jetting to the Argentine capital right now. —erica

Clockwise from top left:

+ An Alexa Sofia scarf nearly as sweet as Nucha's baked goods.

+ A Black Crane top, as chilled-out as the lofts at Home Hotel

Pants—from Base Range—baggy enough for a healthy portion of grass-fed beef at La Brigada.

+ An Elizabeth Knight necklace game for some Palermo Soho shoppin’ time.

+ Shades, by Warby Parker, for strolling Jardín Botánico Carlos Thays.

+ The sort of Rag & Bone vest you should always toss in a carry-on.

+ A made-in-Argentina bag from the talented ladies of Hare+Hart.

Loeffler Randall shoes that can handle a really, really late night.

Whoa, there’s more “Weather Vain!” Have at it.

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Take 5: Spots You Really Have to Hit in London’s Way-Rad Islington

Oh, hey! We’ve scored ourselves a spring semester correspondent: Our girl Mattie Kahn landed in London for a study-abroad program (or, in British, programme), and she’s going to grace this site with her neighborhood adventures and her exceptional taste. In a word: YAY!
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I’m told that Islington was not always so achingly chic. But by the time I landed in London for the semester, a slew of hyper-cool cafes and sleek boutiques had long ago taken up residence on its tangled streets. Below, my faves—so far. —mattie kahn

Smug
Do your inner Zooey Deschanel a favor and pay Smug a visit. Check out the store’s mess of home goods, ceramics, and block-printed stationary, and then head upstairs for a  frankly adorkable craft workshop.
(13 Camden Passage)

Screen on the Green
London is teeming with offbeat, single-screen cinemas. And yet this one still manages to set itself apart from the pack. Does the fact that its back-of-house bar serves bottles of merlot and macadamia-studded brownies play an, ahem,role in its appeal? You bet it does.
(83 Upper St.)

Pistachio & Pickle
A shop named after two of my favorite foods was destined to win me over. One custard-y tart and a wedge of English cheddar later, I was ready to make it official.  
(Deli: 237 Liverpool Rd.; Dairy: 6 Camden Passage)

69 Colebrooke Row
It bills itself as “the bar with no name,” but its reputation is hardly anonymous. A speakeasy-ish cocktail den, 60 Colebrooke Row whips up some of the most killer drinks I’ve ever tasted.
(69 Colebrooke Row)

After Noah
If Wes Anderson and J.K. Rowling put their heads together and designed a toy store, I imagine it would look an awful lot like After Noah. This shop is pure magic. And in its basement? Some truly stunning furniture.
(121 Upper St.)

Lookin’ for more London adventures? Go for it!

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Weather Vain: San Antonio, Texas - 55 and Overcast

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Oh, to be in Texas this time of year. Here’s how I’d wanna dress if I suddenly became a San Antonio girl today. —erica

Clockwise from top left:

+ A Pamela Love bracelet that’s like V-day just a smidge early.

+ A sweater that’s not afraid to go big, from 3.1 Phillip Lim.

+ A Reece Hudson wristlet, with enough cash shoved inside for a stop at Pearl Brewery Farmers’ Market.

+ Kicks—c/o Won Hundred—for bopping around Southtown.

+ A Bande des Quatres ring that would look damn good snuggled up with a glass of rioja at The Monterey.

+ Acne wool sweatpants—that leave plenty of room for queso.

Oh, we got some recs for Dallas, Houston, and Austin, too.

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