The Islington Company is situated almost directly across the road from Steve Hatt fishmongers store on Essex Road. It is a privilege in its own right to share a high street with a local business that first opened its door in 1895 and has been an integral part of the community ever since.
Every day when we come to work the long standing experienced Steve Hatt team is already there waving a ‘good day’ to us. Each Saturday a stretched line of regular customers persists almost around the block for the entire morning.
It is very inspiring that Steve Hatt has kept up the sterling reputation of the iconic store and remains popular in an age where supermarkets have spelled the decline for many businesses of its kind.
The selection of first class fresh fish is mind blowing and so great that one is likely to be spoilt for choice. One should be proud to recognise half of the fish on display. Expect prime examples of wild Scottish halibut, bluefin tuna, gilt head bream, prawns, scallops, fresh samphire as well as lobster, mussels and crab.
This is a perfect reason to make a detour from Upper Street and shop local!
Article by Vaida Filmanaviciute at The Islington Company
Images by photographer Aida Nedzelskyte
Vaida from The Islington Company caught up with Joff from Fandango Interiors to chat about business, life in Islington and passion for unique interiors. We thank Joff for taking time to talk to us.
Vaida: Why did you choose Islington for your store?
Joff: My business started in Brighton 17 years ago and I moved to Camden market a year later, I was looking around London for an area that had an interesting mix of shops, places to hang out and people. I always liked Islington, I lived on St. john's St when I first left university, and the connection with the antiques trade here goes back a long way. It's a dynamic place always changing but it hasn't lost that community feel, you always bump into people you know on the street.
Vaida: What do you look for when you select pieces for Fandago?
Joff: The pieces I put in Fandango are essentially things I'd like to have on my home, things I'd be happy to live with. It's hard to pin down exactly what makes something special. I suppose what I look for is evidence of care, and attention, love I suppose in the way something has been designed, made and also cared for. It's amazing how pieces have lives of their own, and you can see it, and feel it when your around them.
Vaida: What is your favourite item that you have ever sold?
Joff: Wow it's really hard to pick a favourite there have been so many things I've loved to have and then had to sell, mainly because I've run out of room! I think though it would be a Jellyfish light by Mazzega. It's a pendant light from the 1960's and it has overlapping layers of opaline glass that give a beautiful soft fluid light. I've had two in my time as a dealer, if I find another I'm keeping it!
Vaida: Who are your clients? Who is your most noted client?
Joff: Clients is a hard one, all sorts of people from young couples putting together their home to Celebrities and collectors looking for something really special. We work with quite a few interior designers sourcing specific pieces for projects and stylists working on photo shoots. It's pretty wide cross section of folks really, people who appreciate quality and something unusual.
Vaida: What is your favourite place in Islington to go for a drink and/or dinner?
Joff: There are so many great places to go out in Islington, I've got to mention the New Rose, and not just 'cause it's across the road, it's everything you could want in a pub, great beer, lovely food and happy friendly people. Akari on Essex Rd is a great place for dinner, I love Japanese and the food there is amazing, I hesitate to tell people about it as it's hard enough to get a table already!
Article by The Islington Company
Images by Photographer Aida Nedzelskyte
Joe Allen – Bespoke Tailor
Historical Georgian homes with specialised craft shops makes Cross Street a unique and fascinating shopping experience, it has been home to Joe Allen's Tailoring atelier for over 20 years.
Joe Allen is a local Islington resident, who attended Highbury Grove School. Establishing the generation of tailors his parents ran a successful tailor's atelier on Blackstock Road. Joe's passion for tailoring and business acrument were evident from a young boy. However, his ultimate inspiration for tailoring was his grandmother Miss E. Khora who was the first in the family to take up this timeless craft.
Joe's clientele range from members of the royal family, musicians to Islington's smart and trendy residents in law, banking and the media. His reputation for impeccable quality tailoring and innovative design ideas proceed him along with his warm charming personality. Joe's work has also been recognised and exhibited at the V & A museum.
If you would like to meet the man himself feel free to pop down to Joe Allen Tailoring, 44 Cross Street. However, if you would also like to invest in a personal passion for tailoring, Joe also holds tailoring workshops on Sundays for beginners to advanced all are welcome.
Written by The Islington Company
Photos by Aida Nedzelskyte
Pickering Street is located just off Essex Road in Islington. Essex Road is home to London famous Steve Hatt fishmongers, taxidermist that never seems to open, but has been there for years, and other iconic stores. The high street is changing though.
In the last few years the neighbourhood has welcomed Raystitch, Fandango, Food Lab and The Islington Company among others. All of the above businesses seem to embrace the quirky shabby-chic timeless flow of this remarkable area of Islington.
Pickering Street for some time was a peculiar corner on which of a girl who believes in angels stood. I see this image nearly every day and on occasions it provokes thoughts. Earlier today I went to assess a rental value of a property on Maryland Walk.
This is when I noticed that the girl in a pink tracksuit with a dog was no longer alone. Somebody has decided to change a face of a not so bright a street to make us all wonder for a moment or two of our busy days.
Street art is a peculiar species of self-expression. It is also an integral part of an urban culture. What does it do for a wider society? Is it yes? Do we need it?
I think we do. If everything else fails in an area where original Banksy works are still around, now covered clear plastic sheets we might discover a new talent.
At The Islington Company we have heard that giant red balls will be appearing in locations all across the UK this summer. Why? Who knows? It sounds pretty cool though!
This is a project constructed by Brooklyn based artist Kurt Perschke and has previously taken place in major cities across the globe, such as Sydney, Taipei, Barcelona and Chicago.
The giant 15 feet inflatable RedBalls will come to a number of cities along the UKs south coast before making their way to London. The sculptural performance art is part of the Olympic theme for London's games this summer. RedBalls are wedged between buildings and emerge in unexpected spaces everywhere from bus stops to public toilets and railway arches.
While walking down the street you realise there is a massive bouncy red ball squashed into an alleyway, you look twice and realise it is really there! It's kind of weird, but makes you smile.
The bright colour and size make them both conspicuous and bizarre, but the playful concept of the RedBalls is set to awaken the imagination of the general public. They liven up spaces that may normally appear dreary or derelict and injects some creativity and colour.
I have to say I'm pretty excited about seeing them, maybe there will be some in Islington. Our lettings manager Vaida Filmanaviciute was bouncing at the thought of using this as a feature for a rental property. Hopefully they'll be squishy and within reach so we can jump on them too! A bit like this guy...