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Feature

February 12, 2021
The Lockdown List: Homeware, Merch, & More From London Restaurants
Spark joy with the merch, meal kits, and ‘nice stuff’ that is getting us through lockdown.

Are you staring at the wall or is the wall staring at you? Discuss. Welcome, sweet locked-down Londoners, to the return of our quarantine coping mechanisms. For some it’s alphabetising bookshelves, for others it’s the ‘Snoop Dog Special’, but for us, it’s doom-scrolling through restaurant websites to buy certified Nice Stuff. Every week we’ll be updating this guide with everything from candles to the best cookies from London restaurants, and other London businesses, that are helping take the edge off of 2021.

The Gloria Cookbook ft. All The Cheese

“Unable to get to my favourite restaurants, I have done the unthinkable and started cooking. More specifically, I’ve been trying to recreate the meals I miss the most from my favourite spots. My latest comrade in this fight is the cookbook from Big Mamma, the team behind loud and proud trattorias Circolo Popolare and Gloria. It includes plenty of their signature dishes like the Burrata Flower Power, their XXL Profiterole Napoletana, and, of course, a bunch of their super boozy cocktails. Just be sure to stock up on plenty of parmesan before you get cooking.” - HLB

XXL Italian treats, this way →

Some Hackney-fied Football x Restaurant Merch

“If you have an interest in quite-expensive-but-undeniably-nice-shops, then head down to Broadway Market. You can often find me here power-walking, either away from everyone, or to get some gözleme. You can also find Hill & Szrok - an excellent butchers with trendy penmanship and the kind of merch that would make you a hero at a Dulwich Hamlet game. Their scarves are colourful, quite cool, and warming (probably). Get yours in-store.” - JM

Stand up, if you love meat (£15) →

The Drink That Works Miracles

“To be honest, I don’t know what Pocari Sweat is. Is it what runs from the taps in heaven? Is it what Timothée Chalamet perspires after a 5k saunter? Who’s to say. All I know is that every time I’ve had a nightcap too many, or am just feeling a little so-so, Pocari Sweat does the trick. By definition it’s a Japanese ion supply sports drink. But to me, it’s magic. Get it from Snackbar and, whatever you do, don’t talk to me about the placebo effect.” - JM

The elixir of life (£3.50) →

St. John’s Eccles Cake Stout

Steve Ryan

“Something beautiful happens when a dessert meets a beverage. It’s sort of like watching the Sugar Plum Fairy get hammered, which is exactly the kind of entertainment I’m after right now. Iconic London restaurant St John have partnered up with 40FT Brewery to create a stout mixed with the flavours of their signature eccles cakes. Think brown sugar, currants, allspice, and nutmeg, all combined with your classic dark stout. It’s a union we’re terming ‘pure class’ and the best part is they’re delivering nationwide.” - HLB

Dessert + beer (£18) →

Really Lovely Nibbly Bits To Eat Horizontally

“Like everyone I’m going through an enormous wave of CBA when it comes to cooking, cleaning, and pretty much anything requiring a degree of effort. But I don’t really feel like gorging on crisps and snacks, so I just end up motionlessly and wordlessly complaining, eventually eating one meal, before going to sleep and repeating said routine. Thankfully some friends of mine (previously of the River Café and Rochelle Canteen) have attempted to fix this in the shape of Millfield Stores. They’re making a load of delicious boxes filled with snackable spreads, like blood orange madeleines, or za’atar flatbreads with bowls of roasted and candied beetroot, hummus with urfa chilli. Everything is delicious, the homeware is truly aspirational, and the pear and almond tart is so good I bought one for my mum’s birthday.” - JM

Get some snacks →

A Very Attractive Jug

“You ain’t gonna drink enough H20 without a cute water jug, hun. That’s the kind of profound thing I like to tell myself when buying artsy things from bakery-turned-homeware folk, Pophams. You see, this hammered glass (!) jug is much more than a vessel for cold beverages. It is a talisman that I like to stroke and convince myself of a successful, grown-up future whilst starting my second (sixth) viewing of Moanna this week. Only successful people require a beautiful amber glass middle-man between tap and cup, don’t they? Yes. Maybe. Who cares, it’s pretty.” - Heidi Lauth Beasley, Staff Writer

The Broste Water Jug (£38) →

A Cheerful Bunch Of Flowers

“I’m not entirely sure why, but one thing that’s been keeping me going through lockdown is big, bright colours. Real fluoro numbers that assault your eyes. In fact, I’m writing this wearing a lime green t-shirt and bright red fleece. They sort of jolt me into life. And remind me of things other than the four walls of my lounge. Anyway, flowers have been a regular fixture of this colour package, and Sage Flowers (who happen to be ex-restaurant people) do a lovely bunch. They’re based in Peckham but deliver all over and, on top of their beaut flowers, run a free three month BIPOC floristry training programme in normal times. A lovely bunch all round.” - JM

Brighten things up →

Light Some Spiritual Candles

“The less said about this, the better. But what I will say is that having a spiritual candle in each room (attraction in the bath, prosperity in the lounge and, er, ‘do as I say’ in my bedroom) has improved my mood to no end. They smell alright too. This spot in Clapton is where I get mine.” - JM

Get spiritual →

A Doughnut Cooking Class ft. Crème Pâtissèrie

“Is it just me or is there some kind of pressure for this lockdown to be better than the last two? It sort of feels like a third marriage where my nearest and dearest are just praying I don’t regress to daydreaming about exes and instead finally commit to something other than Netflix. Spoiler: I won’t manage either of those. But maybe, just maybe, I can learn how to make a doughnut. So can you, with top bakery Bread Ahead’s online workshops. They’re currently doing a January sale on their e-classes and alongside the two-hour live workshop, you get a workbook that’ll help you make London’s best doughnuts time and time again.” - HLB

Become a doughnut connoisseur (currently £15 per person) →

The News Reporter Mug You Always Wanted

“It’s a fact that online shopping has become the new actual shopping. It’s almost like every time you open your emails, your hand accidentally slips and you find yourself browsing the homeware section of your favourite shop. It’s a risky situation. But, don’t worry about it. Especially if your next accidental purchase is this bright yellow mug from The Breakfast Club. Firstly, it’s worth remembering that at this point in your life you can never have too many mugs. And you should also know that this particular mug will make you want to end every Zoom meeting with “and that’s all from me in the studio, over to Debra for the weather.”” - Rianne Shlebak, Editorial Assistant

The Locally World Famous mug (£10) →

A Three In One T-shirt

“With waves hands everything that’s going on, it’s useful to have some positivity around you. No, we’re not talking about Live, Love, Laugh frames, we’re talking about this t-shirt. It provides you with a pep talk, dinner inspiration, and a piece of clothing, all in one. Wear it around your house whenever you’re feeling low and the mental image of a future full of pasta will almost definitely help get you through.” - RS

This Too Shall Pasta t-shirt (£29) →

Chocolate And Coconut Choux

“If you’re one of those brave January souls that is currently working on their core muscles and like, actually practicing mindfulness, I salute you. Me? I’m working on my snack game. Seriously guys stop the applause, I know, I’m very impressive. I will be filling the rest of this sad nap of a month with choux from entirely charming café, Flour and Flowers. If you too are up for swapping KitKats for choux, you should know that they start at £3 but you can currently get 10 for £25 using the code ‘Choux5’. The pistachio pastry should also be on your order.” - HLB

Up your snack game with choux (£25) →

A Zoom-Ready Cocktail Selection

“I don’t know about you, but boy am I chuffed that Zoom parties are back! Not. As fun as staring at your screen for two hours whilst contemplating when you can go for a polite piss is, it’s currently one of the few ways to actually catch up with the people you love. Enter a cocktail selection that will make your Zoom catch-ups feel a little more like you’re at a great bar where your friends just happen to be trapped inside a laptop screen. Kentish Town bar, Ladies and Gentlemen, are delivering a selection of five disco cocktails for 20 quid, including my personal favourite, the Cherry Sour.”

The Zoom cocktail box (£20) →

Poems With A Side Of Pancakes

““I am living through a pandemic, I deserve this”, you say as you click ‘add to basket’ on yet another pair of pyjamas, a hand-blender, and a full-body pillow. Who are you talking to? Dunno, presumably your bank account. Treating yourself has really come into its own lately and that’s exactly why I’m encouraging you to buy Where The Pancakes Are’s gift kit. For yourself. Not only does it include everything you need for their 10/10 pancakes, and prosecco, but it also comes with a book of poetry. You can even add a gift note. My suggestion: ‘To me, Love me <3’.” - HLB

Read Rudyard Kipling over breakfast (£35) →

Pecan Pie Babka

“We’re living in a post-banana bread lockdown. Say it outloud with me, ‘I will not make any more banana bread’. I know you probably feel like this is some betrayal, like you’ve described Tiger King as mediocre, but no. It’s time to break free of the chains of lockdown one and turn instead, to babka. Sweet, comforting babka. And better than just any old babka, The Good Egg has created this holy union of babka and pecan pie. It’s the crunchy, syrup-loaded antidote to that void left by mid-day sweet treat runs from the office. And you can freeze it to enjoy whenever you fancy a slice.” - HLB

Buy some babka (£15) →

This Funky Green Face Covering

“It’s rare that a fashion choice saves your life and the lives of others. Unless you’re talking to my flatmate, a stylist, who will inform you that wearing anything from Suitsupply will indeed lead to the instant demise of your immortal soul. But when it comes to 2021’s ultimate accessory - the face covering - it’ll keep you safe and, importantly, make you look pretty, pretty cool. Also, the bright green makes it ten times easier to find when you’re stomping around your flat asking if ‘anyone has seen my bloody mask’. Alas, style and practicality collides via Doughnut Time. Who’d have thought it?” HLB

The mint sprinkle mask (£8.95) →

Freshly Baked Cookies

“At the urging of beloved history nerd and electric blanket expert, my mother, I have taken to keeping a journal through - dry-heave - ‘these unprecedented times’. She believes it might one day be published, but I’m pretty sure this generation’s Vera Brittain wouldn’t write ‘added chilli flakes to my baked beans today!!!’ or circle ‘Britney survived 2007, you can do this’ in gold Sharpie. She also probably wouldn’t have dedicated an entire entry to these New York-style cookies from Crumbs and Doilies, but I did. That’s just how good these cookies are. Get involved.” - HLB

The New York cookie selection (£21) →

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