Since the start of lockdowns last year, I’ve been concerned as to how independent business owners would survive. Indeed many haven’t and continue to close, but many have been lucky to weather the storms, and need our continued support where possible. I decided to start a #followfriday #supportlocal #supportlondonbusinesses post on my Instagram page (find me there @lovinglivinglondon to see this and my other posts) with a focus on smaller businesses.
It has been wonderful to celebrate what London has to offer! Please also find the below on my Instagram account @lovinglivinglondon, and find each of the below businesses on my guide there, with their Instagram accounts also linked.
The Littles Kidswear
First off we introduce The Littles Kidswear, which is curated by the wonderful Alex who carefully selects a variety of the most hip and trendy baby and toddler clothes (with some matching items for mamas!) that I think I’ve ever seen! My favourites include the Busby Jacket and the Mo Tracksuit in Burnt Orange, and I’m looking forward to purchasing some of these as special wear for Sonny as he gets bigger. The Littles has a focus on long term durability that can be handed down in the family, and also donates money to charities including Black Lives Matter.
The Sugar Tearoom
Afternoon Tea is one of my absolute favourite things to do, and in London one of my favourite places to do it. As the months go by in lockdown it’s hard at times having things to look forward to and wanting to plan but not knowing when things may be re-open again. Enter, mobile tea rooms “The Sugar Tearoom”, who are based in North London and for just £13.50 can whip up an amazing afternoon tea and deliver it to your door. How good is that? See photos below for what the gorgeous goodies look like, and also note that owner Sophia caters for dietary needs if highlighted, including gluten free, and caters for special events such as forthcoming Valentines Day cookies, hampers and occasion cakes! Perfect!
In the early days of life with Sonny, and not being prepared for the intensity of the fourth trimester, his colic and reflux and more intense lack of sleep with that, plus the cluster feeding that left me with no hands free most of the time, I wanted something nutritious, healthy, yummy, and better than the average microwave/oven meal from the local supermarket to nourish myself with! I came across Vibrant Vegan and was instantly intrigued. Although I’m not a vegan, I love eating veggie and vegan food, especially when ingredients and flavours are used as well as these guys do!
I ate these during summer months, they are of course for all year round, and right now I’m particularly loving the “Mega Marrakesh Tagine” which has some of my favourite ingredients of chickpea, buckwheat, flaked almonds for a delicious texture change, and pieces of apricot for a lovely sweetness! I really like the way the company has a ethical ethos, that you can create your own box from over 20 flavours, the packaging it is both delivered and cooked in is all recycable and love their charity initiatives, more details of which are on their website! I also love the fact GF and other dietary needs can easily be catered for, and that you get a good amount on my plate, as I don’t know about you, but standard microwave meals often leave me feeling a little bit short changed!
**Vibrant Vegan kindly gifted me some meals during Veganuary but all thoughts and opinions very much my own.
Boem 5th Feb
I absolutely adore Helen’s “urban girl with a gypsy soul” hand made jewellery. Over the years of finding Boem first at the Wanderlust Festival in Victoria Park and later at Soul Circus in the Cotswolds, I have purchased blue kyanite earrings and a necklace, a green kyanite necklace and a beautiful ring, all of which were at really reasonable prices and get so many compliments. Helen is normally found at Backyard Market on Bricklane at weekends, but these lockdown days you’ll find her beauties at the website below. The perfect gift for you or someone special!
South Island Art 12th Feb
Rowana’s art stood out to me as it’s just so gorgeously cheery and evocative of those blissful holiday memories you want to remember forever, as well as capturing my favourite city of all so wonderfully. Rowana has the most beautiful blossoming portfolio of London parks and skylines, and also does bespoke commissions which would add some unique colour popping detail to your walls. She also offers more than prints: find her website below with further details.
House of Dandelion 19th Feb
When i saw Rachel’s flowers, I made a mental note of the one I am going to order for myself in due course! (it’s the Clamer Boquet, in case you’re interested!) Rachel has the most fantastically curated instagram feed of her flower arranging skills. Working with fresh flowers for weddings, she has readily turned her hand to dried flowers, and I love the kits and bouquets she’s put together at really reasonable prices. She ships nationally (hurrah!) and at the time of writing Mother’s Day is approaching, or simply, do you need a reason to treat yourself?!
Apres 26th Feb
Quite simply, my partner and I are all take away’d out this lockdown! There always seems to be a problem with our orders: too much oil used or too much salt, and I am the family fuss pot as have intolerances such as to dairy and to gluten which I need to, and try to stick to most of the time. I had Apres on my list of restaurants to visits pre lockdown beginning 1 year ago, as they cater for so many of my intolerances, and I loved that Catherine the co-founder is a functional medicine nutritionist: could you ask for more, healthy as well as yummy! Further happiness when I saw that during these lockdown days co founders Catherine and Danny have ingeniously started doing home deliveries. My partner and I particularly adored the 15 hour slow cooked beef, which was insane, you really must try, as well as the deep, rich chocolate brownies. So good! We would have liked the main meals to be a teensy bit bigger, because we are gannets like that!
Braw Cakes 5th March
There are no words to describe how amazing these cakes are! These raw, vegan and gluten free cakes are simply decadent and are an amazing gift for oneself or a special someone. In my household, we’ve loved choosing the assorted cake, where you can select up to 6 flavour options, and peanut butter is a personal favourite! I’ll be honest and say these simply don’t last long in our house! They are for free delivery across London only, but offer a smaller assorted mini cake box for national delivery. Also to add they are delivered in luxury boxes and ribbons and are worth every penny!
Work out with Matteo 19 March
I came across Matteo as Frame gym in Shoreditch in my pre Sonny days, and always loved his high energy, high positivity classes. Since lockdowns hit, Matteo has of course moved online and is offering on demand classes for just £10 a month, with new classes added weekly, and live classes that are available as pay as you attend or package deals! Matteo also has some taster options for you to check out what’s he offering first. Why don’t you take a look?
Essential Sacred Self 26 March
I attended several of Roberta’s intimiate crystal led meditation practices in a cosy setting at Buddha on a Bicycle in pre lockdown days, and took various friends and my partner along with me! The chance to sit and meditate isn’t something I was very good at by myself at home, and so I appreciated these guided meditations and time for myself with the wonderful Roberta, so so much. Roberta is now offering her pyschic and healing abilities in both group and 1-2-1 settings online. Take a look at her website for more details about the classes and the background leading up to her work.
Posh Puddins 2nd April
I was gifted a set of these by a dear friend who knows of my intolerances and how tricky it can sometimes be to find the right products. I was delighted to receive these cheesecakes which are plant based and gluten free, also and importantly without soy or palm oil. I also love that they are home made by mother and daughter duo Marie and Shauna (Shauna is also working a full time job which is just incredible) and well, always with me whenever anything is good, they disappear very quickly! If you sign up to their mailing list, they also offer 10% off, an extra bonus!
For more London ideas and recommendations, come and find me over @lovinglivinglondon on Instagram!