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My London Glossary

My London Glossary: Emeli Sandé’s little black book for the capital

The East London resident shares her favourite creative spots

Soulful singer and songwriter Emeli Sandé reveals her little black book to the capital, from he best hairdresser for curly hair to her dream music venue.

Home is…

Bethnal Green and Hertfordshire – I split my time between the two. Ever since I moved to London from Scotland, I’ve been drawn to the east. I like the creative energy of Bethnal Green and how noisy it is. Often I’m up quite late writing songs, so it’s comforting to know other people are awake, too.

Favourite restaurant…

Nobu in Shoreditch when I’m feeling fancy. I actually spent last New Year’s Eve there – it’s got a great vibe and brilliant vegan dishes. Before I gave up fish, I used to love the black cod. But it now has an aubergine miso dish on the menu that tastes just like it, so there’s no compromise.
30 Willow Street, Hackney, EC2, noburestaurants.com

Nobu restaurant in Shoreditch
Nobu, Shoreditch
The dish I always order is…

The vegan aubergine and tofu claypot at Viet Grill in Hoxton.

58 Kingsland Road, Hackney, E2, vietgrillrestaurant.co.uk

Favourite terrace…

The Sky Garden at the Walkie-Talkie. I love that you can walk around and see such an incredible view of the city. The restaurant there is also phenomenal.
20 Fenchurch Street, City of London, EC3, skygarden.london

Sky Garden viewing gallery London
Sky Garden, City of London
Best cocktail…

A Pornstar Martini at Novikov in Mayfair – their bartenders make the most interesting and experimental cocktails.
50A Berkeley Street, Mayfair, W1, novikovrestaurant.co.uk

Best music venue…

Royal Festival Hall. I’ve never played it before, but I’m a big fan of cellist Jacqueline Du Pre who made her debut there, so it’s always been a dream of mine. The sound is amazing there – you really can hear every single instrument.
Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, South Bank, SE1 southbankcentre.co.uk

The exhibition that most impressed me is…

The Frida Kahlo Making Her Self Up exhibition at the V&A. It offered a perspective on Frida Kahlo’s life story through her most intimate personal belongings. I thought I knew about Frida Kahlo, but I learnt so much about her through this exhibition.
Cromwell Road, Knightsbridge, SW7, vam.ac.uk

Frida Kahlo
Frida Kahlo
Favourite members club…

The Curtain in Shoreditch. The library room there is a great place to spend an afternoon working. It’s very welcoming and the décor is really cosy.
45 Curtain Road, Hackney, EC2, thecurtain.com

The pool area at The Curtain Hotel and members’ club in Shoreditch London
Rooftop pool at The Curtain Hotel and members’ club in Shoreditch
Favourite shop…

Liberty London – it’s great for interiors inspiration. I also love the scarf room – I wear them a lot of scarves in my hair and they have the most beautiful collection in London.
Regent Street, Soho, W1, libertylondon.com

My go-to designer…

Gucci. You can always spot when something is Gucci because its designs are so unique. The colours are so bold and never predictable – there’s real power in the designs.
34 Old Bond Street, Mayfair, W1, gucci.com

Models wearing Gucci AW19
Gucci Autumn/Winter 2019
I get my hair done by…

Raquel Fernandes of Beyond Curls at The Standard Studio in Blackheath. It specialises in curly hair. I am so grateful for her care and expertise, plus we always have such a laugh.
156 Westcombe Hill, Blackheath, SE3, thestandardstudio.co.uk

Best beauty spot…

Imarni Nails at The Curtain Hotel. I’ve been going to Imarni for three years now and since then I’ve had the most imaginative nails. One of my favourite designs was for my first wedding anniversary, when she put my wedding date on my last three fingers.
The Curtain Hotel, 45 Curtain Rd, Hackney, EC2, imarninails.com

Best wellness space…

I love SaiSei Cyro Studio, a holistic cyrotherapy studio in Stoke Newington. You go into this mist of freezing smoke and it makes your body wake up somehow. You come out with
great skin and feeling so energised – the process basically resets your whole body.
19-20 Barn Street, Stoke Newington, N16, saiseicryo.co.uk

Best yoga studio…

Triyoga. No matterwhat part of London you’re in there’s usually a Triyoga studio you can go to, and the teaching is exceptional. I went to a kundalini yoga class recently and I felt a real shift in my energy afterwards. I’d never tried it before, but it left me feeling very cleansed.
10 Cygnet Street, Shoreditch, E1, triyoga.co.uk

Favourite London discovery…

The mural of Nelson Mandela on Mandela Street in Camden. A few weeks ago, a friend showed it to me because it really excited him. When I saw it I could see why; it’s so joyous, hopeful and bright.
3 Mandela Street, Camden, NW1

Nelson Mandela mural in Camden
Nelson Mandela mural in Camden

Emeli’s new album “Real Life” is out on 13 September 2019.

A version of this feature was published in the Summer 2019 issue of The Glossary.

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