Thursday, April 28, 2011

Lounge Loving London

Back from London and back to reality, which oddly enough meant leaving 75  degrees and sunny for 45 and rainy here in Portland, but go figure. I was visiting a few close friends, living in distinctly different corners of the city in Fulham and Shoreditch, equally interesting and well suited to their respective inhabitants. My Shoreditch buddy has an eye for the types of place I like, so its great visiting her - regardless of the city - because I always know I will love wherever she takes me.

The Tea Building in Shoreditch

Shoreditch can't be called an up-and-coming neighborhood, because as far as trendy new neighborhoods go, it has long since arrived. The result of this establishment is the development multi-focused design oriented brands. Businesses that started off as a smaller notion in a location, once thought to be a gamble, have had the chance (and real-estate) to develop into brands that promote an entire lifestyle.  The end user gets to experience how these designers/ entrepreneurs would ideally spend a a larger chunk of life, rather than one aspect of it. Shoreditch's industrial backdrop, serves as an interesting background for these venues, and demands a certain level of creativity and eccentricities to stay afloat. 

The Bar: Lounge Lover
Les Trois Garcons is a design collective located in and around Redchruch Street.  In addition to high profile interior design services, they operate an antiques boutique, bar (Lounge Lover) restaurant and Château (admittedly, and obviously located  out of the city). It has sort of a Peter Pan feeling, in that it is extremely playful collection, with an unabashed mashing of periods, styles, and scale.  It is so clear the absolute joy the owners get from procuring these pieces and you can alwmost hear one person or another exclaiming that they need that 10 foot tall chinese vase.  The total abandomant of minimalism and need-based design was oddly refreshing, and felt wonderfully care-free given the recent tendency towards paired down design to match paired down spending. 

The Restaurant: Les Trois Garcons

 The Store: Maison Trois Garcon

The Chateau (yes, really) Chateau De La Goujeonnerie

On the same block, The Boundary contains a boutique hotel, cafe, market and roof-deck bar.   The Aubin & Willis Shoreditch location houses a theater and gallery alongside their  retail store   Each with its own distinct identity. There is no fear in appearing to be  larger than life, though each strives to make you feel as though you are at  home.  Whatever the motivation may be within each organization, the outcome for someone living in the areas is  not to shabby.  If you are not up for a "lifestyle experience", never fear, just like everywhere else in London, a pub as literally always around the corner! Photos are from the companies respective websites since I was silly and didn't bring along a camera... next time!

The Boundary

Images from the Aubin & Wills  Blog from the insanely British Tweed Run 2011.

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