Young professional couple in Bethnal Green, E2, London
After visiting Leslie and JV’s apartment in North London last week, we are heading East to a bright refurbished flat on the second floor of a Victorian purpose built mansion block just off the high street in lively Bethnal Green.
28-year old Raluca, a management consultant shares her three-bed apartment with her fiancé Matt.
I bought the flat 3 years ago and was attracted by the location and how close it is to everything (the tube, Victoria park, supermarket, Columbia Road, Nandos!) while also being set back from the hustle and bustle in a quiet street overlooking a park.
How long have you been living in London?
I’ve been living in London for the last 5 years. East London drew me back when Shoreditch was cool, Bethnal Green (or Betty G as me and my fiancé Matt lovingly call it) was the next stop and we haven’t looked back!
What do you like about your neighbourhood? Why did you choose to live there?
I love the diversity and the fact that unlike Shoreditch, you see real people — grandmas, builders and babies mixed up with the ever present hipsters. It’s the perfect mix of cultures, ages and races and feels really authentic.
Tell us about your favourite local businesses?
We love Mother Kelly’s, and spend almost every Sunday afternoon trying to prolong the weekend by drinking one too many craft beers. Satan’s Whiskersis a neighbourhood cocktail bar filled with weird taxidermy and an amazing rap soundtrack. Off the drinking theme, I like browsing in Pam Pam for well-curated sneakers and lifestyle accessories.
What are your favourite restaurants and bars in London?
So many to choose from! We like to try new places but the ones we return to most often are Atariya, not technically a restaurant but the best sushi in London and Sager and Wilde — an intimate husband and wife run wine and cheese bar in Hackney. We go to Som Saa for mouth-numbing but delicious Thai food and love their great terrace in the summer. Jago, a Middle Eastern/Ashkenazi restaurant run by an ex-Ottolenghi chef for their massive portions and orange 50s vibe.
What are your favourite home decor and furniture shops?
I used to live next door to SCP on Curtain Road so that was, and still is, a regular window shop. I want everything in Monologue on Redchurch Street as well as the Goodhood Store and have to limit visits there to try and keep to the uncluttered aesthetic I’m going for! Online, Monoqi has a surprisingly good selection of independent furniture and homeware for a daily deals type website.
What is your favourite decorating style?
I like modern, uncluttered, clean lines, with a bit of colour thrown in so Scandinavian and the 50s classics do it for me the most.
What are your favourite sources of interior inspiration?
Elle Decor and Pinterest are the two big ones — Coco Lapine is one of my favourites bloggers.
Can I have two? One is the Bo Concept sofa that took about 3 months to choose, 2 months to get delivered only to find out it didn’t fit up the stairs, 2 more months to get another version that also didn’t fit up the stairs and eventually had to come through the window. It was worth it. Two is the map of London from the Future Mapping Company in the kitchen. It’s a great conversation starter and aid for talking about places in London!
What is on top of your shopping list for your home now?
A Kitchen Aid which I’m supposed to be getting for my birthday!
What is the dream piece of furniture or decor you would like to buy?
I love cacti and my life goal is to have one as big as me. Matt’s sister lives in Arizona so I’m planning on smuggling one back this summer!