The Great British Brand Swap
Written by: Violet Myers
When was the last time KFC bought you a beer, Amazon helped you move or Google gave you a reach around? We’re guessing that, unless you’re George Osborne, never.
It’s been proved time and time again that big goliath brands are not really our friends, so why remain so loyal to them? Way back in 2012 it was revealed that Google, Starbucks and Amazon weren’t paying their fair share of tax in the UK. The good people of the UK were understandably outraged and yet their profits continue to rise, while the communities they exploit suffer.
We think that needless big brand loyalty is a bit sucky. Instead we want to encourage you smart cookies to support the reams of incredible, tax paying, local businesses we’re lucky enough to have here in North London. From your daily coffee to your weekly hangover cure, we show you how to dump big brands and get chummy with the locals…because, in the words of baggy trousered lady band All Saints: “I know where it’s at.”
The Krispy Kreme VS Glazed Doughnut from Bird
Those iconic glistening rings have ruined countless diets over the years, but maybe it’s time to let a new local lovely into your life and destroy those skinny jean dreams once and for all, with curves like this we say let them! Bird’s yeast risen bad boys are freshly hand prepared every day and change their glaze on the daily. Krispy who?
Bird, 81 Holloway Rd N7 8LT + 21-22 Chalk Farm Road NW1 8AG
The Starbuck’s Frappucino VS Iced Mocha from Coffee Circus
Starbucks has slowly transformed into a caffeinated McDonalds for adults. It’s fast, it’s easy, it almost entirely runs on the West’s addiction to processed sugar, which makes the famous iced Frappucino Starbuck’s equivilant to the Happy Meal. But the Frappucino isn’t the only ice queen that will be cooling us down this summer, Crouch End’s Coffee Circus is right on our doorstep and offers an iced mocha worth raising our blood sugar for. Add homemade vanilla syrup for an extra hit.
Coffee Circus, 136 Crouch Hill, N8 9DX
Subway VS Max’s ‘What Is Neil Gill’s Beef All About’
We’ve all been there: waiting in the Subway queue going over our order in our head, when we finally reach our turn and the bored looking, cap wearing sandwich ‘artist’ (this is literally what Subway calls their employees) looks at us expectantly. The pressure gets too much and we panic “olives!” we yell, “lots of olives! and… mayonnaise!” we don’t even like olives and we have a rare yet deadly allergy to mayo. Sometimes too much choice can be overwhelming, that’s why we’re sticking to local favourite Max’s for all of our sandwich needs. Try the braised beef with sauerkraut and creme fraiche, hold the mayo.
Max’s Sandwich Shop, 19 Crouch Hill, N4 4AP
Budweiser VS Gamma Ray from Beavertown
Binge drinking is as British as The Royal Family (BBC not OBE). Piling out of work with a couple of squashed sarnies, some overpriced strawberries and a six pack of beers to desperately squash into the 8 minutes of sunshine us Brits get over summer is not just a national tradition but a god given right! But instead of reaching for a Bud, why not support an awesome local business and kill your brain cells with Beavertown beer, which is brewed in our very own Tottenham Hale.
Beavertown Brewery, Tottenham Hale, N17 9QP
Pizza Hut VS the Al Capone from La Saporita
Pizza Hut for a nine year old is like frickin’ Vegas. There’s balloons, an unlimited ice cream factory, pots of spicy chilli corns you can double donkey dare your mates into snorting…heaven. As soon as you start paying to live in your own house the allure of this sticky tabled hell hole becomes a mystery. Yes the icecream is unlimited, but who’d want an endless supply of something that tastes like watered down cardboard? Save your bus money and walk leisurely to La Saporita, one of N4’s tastiest pizza places.
La Saporita, 174 Tollington Park, London N4 3AJ
Chipotle Burrito VS King Prawn Burrito from N4 Street Burrito
The American chain has snuck its way across the Atlantic and stuffed its monster wraps into our dainty British hands and we can’t get enough. Chipotle boasts an increasingly loyal fan base who’ll happily queue for their favourite fast food fix. We’ll be honest, the burritos are tasty, affordable and rather girthy (and we don’t love a bit of girth) but for the same price you could be wrapping your paws around Street N4’s equally well endowed treats. Plus Chipotle doesn’t offer a mouthwateringly good king prawn burrito, which has us waving our local flag once again!
Street N4, 8 Clifton Terrace, London N4 3JP
The McFlurry VS Chocolate Honeycomb from Udderlicious Ice Cream
God knows what could have been cultivating in McDonald’s big pot of McFlurry pieces over the years. Odd bits of sugary remnants, pulverised Smarties and limited edition ‘seized as ongoing evidence’ shards litter the tops of this tasteless ooze, so sweet it makes us miss Pizza Hut’s ice cream factory. Why not treat yourself to a scoop of Udderlicious’ udderly organic, udderly grown up chocolate honeycomb ice-cream? No pulverised nasties guaranteed!
Udderlicious Ice Cream, 187 Upper St, London, UK N1 1RQ
Photography + excessive gluttony + inventive use of props by: Mike Barry
Whilst progressive thinking about gender has become more and more mainstream recently, there is still far to go. Traditional gender constructs are yet to be broken down fully and there will likely always be resistance to the movement. Which is why it is so important to celebrate and promote events like Camden People’s Theatre, Come As You Are Festival: a celebration of non binary existence like no other.
Andrew Rummer is someone you want on your side when you’re choosing your new poison. You also want him on your side when finding where to source that beverage. He is the brains behind Sipping Liquor: a craft spirits club that delivers carefully chosen spirits to your door on a monthly or bi-monthly basis.
Got a supper club, guinea pig cafe, unicorn tears cocktail pop up? Stoke Newington wants it. Luckily a cafe close to Columbia Road has the space you’ve been looking for all along. Probably. Think exposed bricks, boutique lighting and tiled counters, like you’ve just stumbled off a long haul flight and ended up in a trendy Brooklyn coffee house.
“I’m on the veg… of reeeeason” Sang Lady Gaga, whilst cavorting around a staircase in shorts. The very same can be said of Kerb Street Food’s latest event organisers. The amount of quality vegetarian food stalls they’ve gathered together for us is teetering on the unreasonable. It’s not fair on our stomachs, nor on our eyes that are bigger than said stomachs.
What’s it really like to live in North London gem Stroud Green? This short film gives you a glimpse into local life. See if you can spot yourself on Stroud Green's streets; walking your dog, buying bananas from the fruit and veg shop, cheering to a bad joke over a pint outside The Worlds End...
Ever walked past Stokey Town Hall and thought, oh the things I’d do with that space. What would you do exactly, if you had the chance to take over? It’s a question we’ve often asked ourselves. Well now Hackney Council are finally asking us. Residents and business owners in the surrounding areas are being consulted on their draft proposals.
Sadiq Khan’s decision to change London underground announcements from ‘Ladies and Gentlemen’ to gender neutral greetings might have seemed like an obvious, positive step in the right direction. Unfortunately the news was met with some resistance and negativity. Some saw it as an attack against gender, deeming it ‘pathetic’, unnecessary and even ‘demeaning’. Presumably that affectionate term, Snowflake was also bandied around for good measure.
I'd had a bad day, so I thought reading the Slimming World magazine while eating a family-sized bag of crisps would help. This was the day I realised London was ridiculous. And it had rubbed off on me. I started out the day wet. Wet in my cute summer dress with a raincoat on top. It was July, pissing it down. But hot, very hot.
Beyond The Binary is our mini series breaking down gender norms and exploring queer theory through events and interviews. We're kicking things off with an explosion of fashion, identity and expression. This September it’s London Queer Fashion Show. LQFS showcases the greatest new talent from people who know that ‘gender exists beyond the binary’, that clothing doesn't take male or female forms.
Did you know, the recipe is a relatively new invention? Back in the 80s, a soon-to-be infamous supermodel (sorry but it was blats Naomi Campbell) walked into a bar feeling sleepy and sober and in need of a pick me up. Asking notorious and rakish bartender, Dick Bradsell for something that would “wake me up and fuck me up”, she watched him crack his fingers and deftly shake up the tasty Espressotini we all know and regret ordering today when we look at our bank statements the next morning.
This family run restaurant has been sourcing the best of date night seafood the for the last twenty years, sourcing the finest and freshest fish from their very own fishmongers in Stoke Newington. But not only are they super sustainable, these guys are also super on trend with a signature lobster sub. So you can feel posh and down to earth all at once, stroke your beard then passionately get off with an avocado once you’ve finished cycling home on your fixie.
Have you ever sat in the pub with ol Vick and Charlie and whatsherchops and thought, I’d love to draw a nude right now? No? Well what about a neon nude? Yeeah, now you’re keen! Well luckily that tasty Duke of Wellington pub happens to have just the right set up for a life drawing class. Not to mention a fluorescent one. So that is exactly what they do now. Every other Monday Jylle leaves her superb gin and tonic pouring duties to host Neon Naked.
The last time I checked it was March 18th and I was watching someone drink green beer in a big hat and wondering whatever happened to Boxing Day. But someone has informed me that it is August and we need some kind of plan for the month because all logic has flown out the window and nobody knows what anything means anymore and I can’t remember if I had breakfast yesterday no but thanks for asking. Time for some live music to zone out to and tap along blankly while we gather our thoughts.
Haunting melodies, rich ambience and devilish lyrics: indie folk singer Hazel Iris comes to Stokey all the way from California. Joining her is musician Mally Harpaz on accordion, cello, guitar and even percussion to create a pretty special double bill of musical awesomeness together.
I’m Emmie, I'm 24 and from Newcastle. J'adore le foot. Ou est les piscine? I moved to London 6 months ago because 'it's where all the jobs are'. The above new-life-motto was a graffiti tag I saw in my first few days of London life. Capital R and all. I certainly followed through when, that night, I went to a gig and nipped to the loo... Sitting on the uncomfortably warm seat I looked up to see a club night poster advertising: '4 Jägerbombs for £20!'
Who’s Richard Hunt and what are exciting little gimlets when they’re at home? Take a walk down Stoke Newington High Street this month and you’ll find out. An intriguing new cocktail bar and teahouse has opened, calling itself The Mint Gun Club and offering up a three fold menu of teas, cocktails and pantry style food.