EACH week Pillow Magazine asks someone from our network of creatives to open up their little black book and reveal the secret side of London that you only know about if you’re in the know.
Name: Nana Wereko-Brobby
Job: Date Concierge
Tell us a bit about Social Concierge: SC is an offline members dating club for twenty and thirtysomething Londoners. I put on supperclubs, crew date, and cocktail parties and arrange blind dates in cool venues around London. It’s for people who aren’t’ comfortable with the concept of online dating and want to meet potential lovers by expanding their social circles in a much less cringe way. All members are vetted, by being scouted or applying through the site, so it’s a great bunch.
Which area of London do you live in? Shoreditch.
Why do you love it? It’s a real hub for start-up businesses and there’s a positive glut of dimly lit speakeasies to set up dates in.
Best place to have a coffee: It can be hard to find a coffee shop in East London that doesn’t take itself seriously but Shoreditch Grind is fantastic. Aside from staff who hit the right balance between laid back and welcoming, the building is original, the tunes are loud and it’s ideal for casual dates. It also serves booze and is conveniently located right next to Old Street tube, so a mere drunken stumble away.
Best place for a great breakfast: The Modern Pantry. It’s a beautiful space, on a cobbled pavement in Clerkenwell. The upstairs room is slick and formal but the ground floor makes a perfect morning after breakfast with the papers. The sugar cured prawn omelette with green chilli is incredible.
Most amazing place to buy vintage clothes: I used to live on Portobello Road in Notting Hill, which is an obvious place to shop for vintage. If you want the good stuff, One of a Kind is full of original, but expensive bits. It’s all Chanel bags and slip-like dresses and you may spot Kate Moss and Sienna Miller in there.
Best market: The best (or funnest) food market is Broadway Market in Hackney, more for the crowd spotting than anything else. Michael Fassbender tends to nurse hangovers at the coffee stations, and Oxbridge hipsters mingle with bemused tourists. For second hand markets, Camden Passage is a good one, and is flanked by breakfast joints for a refuel.
Best quirky/independent cinema: The Lexi cinema in Kensal Rise. It’s pretty out of the way and very small indeed but makes a very romantic date. I was taken there on a Sunday date to watch Annie Hall, with a bottle of red and some pretentious popcorn. It was very empty and very romantic.
Best fashion boutique for amazing clothes/jewellery: I’m a massive fan of Bill + Mar, a really creative clothing brand for women. Dresses are spray on, but very artful indeed. I’m also really excited about the Grey Book, a recently launched high end online boutique that has some seriously chic dresses and accessories.
Most amazing club night that Pillow Mag readers will love: Plan B in Brixton host a night called Supa Dupa Fly – honestly the funnest night around. It plays old school hip hop, rnb and garage and is a really mixed crowd. You can spend 4 hours there just doing shots, mouthing lyrics and grinding up on friends.
Favourite place for reasonably-priced/mid-price dinner: If I’m meeting friends, then the Tantamen at Bone Daddies noodle joint is heaven in a bowl. I actually go there alone sometimes. For a date, Casa Negra in Shoreditch has great Mexican food and fantastic margaritas.
Your favourite secret place for cocktails: I send a lot of dates to Happiness Forgets in Hoxton Square which is dark, intimate and hard(ish) to find. For my own dates I tend to avoid speakeasies and head to the less busy hotel bars. Blue Bar at the Berkeley and the Donovan Bar at Brown’s are great ones.
Best pub: The Abingdon in Kensington. Amazing food and a classy joint. I spent many a lunch getting drunk with my pretty debauched grandmother there so it always reminds me of her. A close second is the Angelsea Arms in Chiswick.
Greatest place to check out art/exhibitions: I’ve met a lot of young gallerists doing some really interesting stuff recently. My favourite gallery is Breese Little in Clerkenwell. I’m obsessed with one of their artists Ben Cohen, but have not yet be able to afford one! Also a big fan of Bosse and Baum’s installations and immersive experiences.
Your ultimate Secret London recommendation: Riccardo’s in South Kensington. This is the restaurant I’ve been to most in my life, for birthdays, at Christmas and on dates. It’s a Tuscan menu so you order lots of medium sized plates to share. It manages to be deeply glamourous despite the simplicity of the place. The sundried tomato spaghetti and a glass of good red wine is the quickest way to make me happy.
Anything else you wanna tell Pillow Mag readers?
Absolutely. If any young singletons are looking to mix up your social life and find a hot date then get applying for membership to Social Concierge at www.socialconcierge.co.uk/membership and I’ll see you at a party soon!
Find out more about Social Concierge – dating, drinking and dining at www.socialconcierge.co.uk.