Published work

Featured Articles

Explore a featured selection of my writing work below.

“It’s one big boys club”: the women reclaiming graffiti culture

In its early days, graffiti-writing meant scaling walls to get into abandoned buildings, walking along train tracks in the dead of night, and battling with other writers to gain notability. Influenced by the originators from 1970s New York, the UK graffiti scene began to take its own form. But from the get-go, men dominated proceedings, with women writers few and far between. In her 2001 book, The Graffiti Subculture: Youth, Masculinity and Identity in London and New York, ethnographer Nancy Ma

Why the f*ck is there so much burrata everywhere?

The white cheese blob is now ubiquitous on London restaurant menus, so we went to find out exactly why ‘Burrata is a product that is suitable for travelling,’ declares Simona di Vietri, founder of La Latteria, a burrata-maker in west London. ‘Would you ship bread made in France to Australia?’ Simona is referring to the thousands of burratas that are packed into vans every day and shipped from cheesemaking factories in Italy to locations all over the world, many of which are wolfed down by us B

Dylan Llewellyn: "Derry Girls rescued me, really"

Dylan Llewellyn doesn’t take himself too seriously. He’s warm and endearing – just what you’d expect from the actor who won the nation’s hearts playing the ‘Wee English Fella’ in one of Channel 4’s most popular comedies, Derry Girls. Although slightly less sombre than his character James, there are certainly similarities – yet perhaps that’s testament to Derry Girls’ cultural ubiquity. Despite being 29, his Cupidlike curls and dimples mean Llewellyn is often cast as a baby-faced schoolboy. Ther

"It was very overwhelming." Luke Newton is the talk of the Ton

When Bridgerton first aired in December 2020, Luke Newton had no idea what was coming for him. On reading the script, Newton had an inkling that the show was going to be special – but not to this scale. Netflix’s most successful release at the time of its premiere? Watched by 82 million households worldwide? Generating mass hysteria through a man licking a spoon? Special doesn’t even touch the sides. “There wasn’t a moment of, ‘oh, wow, this is gonna change our lives.’ It wasn’t until Christmas

Features

Hype Dish: Mangal 2’s seriously smoky cull yaw kofte

Sertaç and Ferhat Dirik talk us through this banger of a dish When Mangal 2 opened 30 years ago, it was one of the first ocakbasi restaurants in London. Now with a cult following, Sertaç and Ferhat Dirik are still finding ways to surprise. Their cull yaw kofte (meat from older ewes) pays homage to their Turkish heritage, but with a twist. They use ‘retired’ sheep instead of lambs, giving a unique flavour. ‘Things that are considered waste are opportunities to create something that might not be

"We tell a story through the outfits." | Meet the man who dresses Tyson Fury

On 2 August 2015, Nav Salimian got a call from an unknown number. He was working at Claudio Lugli, a menswear brand owned by his family based in north London. “Have you heard of Tyson Fury?” the caller asked. “Of course,” Salimian replied. He knew the Gypsy King. He’d been following his upcoming match with Wladimir Klitschko, he was excited to watch the fight. The caller had seen other boxers – Amir Khan and Conor McGregor – wearing Claudio Lugli suits. Fury wanted one. But the catch? Salimia

‘Out and About!’: the archive celebrating 40 years of queer resistance

Since 2011, archivists at the Bishopsgate Institute have been documenting activism, art and personal histories within the LGBTQ+ community. One of the largest archives of its kind, it holds everything from photographs of queer nightlife, to relics from niche subcultures like the Gay Vegetarians, to a puppet in the shape of a penis crossed with a venus fly trap (or a “penis fly trap”). In a new exhibition at the Barbican titled Out and About!, items from the archive will go on display highlighti

Life inside an isolated Russian mining town

Dubbed ‘Russia’s treasury’, the district of Yakutia sits atop a vast pile of wealth in the form of a giant diamond reserve. It’s here that Belgian photographer Hanne Van Assche discovered Udachny, a mining town frozen in time. In her new book Udachny / Lucky, Van Assche explores the inhabitants’ deep connection to their landscape, and how the diamond industry has kept this small community tethered to the hinterlands of coldest Siberia. Shooting as part of her master’s degree at Ghent Royal Aca

Female AI Assistants Are Programmed To Reinforce Harmful Gender Biases

Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa, Google’s Google and Microsoft’s Cortana all have one thing in common – their default voice is female, white sounding and subservient. There is a growing conversation around how female AI assistants reinforce harmful gender biases. In 2019, the UN published a study titled ‘I’d Blush if I Could’ that highlighted how female AI assistants are programmed not to stand up for themselves when consistently receiving sexist and abusive comments. The same year, Caroline Criado

Community, archives and anarchy: how photos of Hackney in the 80s tell an important story for grassroots activists today

In 1983, the Rio Tape/Slide Newsreel Group was created as part of a community arts project that put the local people of Hackney both behind and in front of the camera. These photographs, rediscovered in 2016 hidden in the basement of the Rio Cinema in Dalston, tell a story of grassroots activism and community. Politics in 2020 bears a striking resemblance to what was happening in 1983. With the elections of Reagan and Thatcher, Conservative populism was spreading across the western world. Facin

Women in British television are biting back, and I love it.

*This piece was published on LAPP in November 2018. I pause halfway through an episode of Killing Eve to write this article, as Villanelle, played by Jodie Comer, stands in the Parisian courtyard in THAT Molly Goddard dress, pink tulle billowing in the wind and I think, what a fucking icon. A killer with a killer wardrobe. Villanelle is the unapologetic essence of girl power (not that I support the murdering). She speaks to her male mobster bosses about heavy periods and chicken fillets: “thing

Reviews

Rotorious review

Decent chips and gravy are something you can rarely get in London. Northerners who’ve migrated south often bemoan the capital’s serious lack of the good sauce to slather on your spuds, which is typically confined to northern chippies or KFC. Although chips and gravy aren’t the main item on the menu at Rotorious, it's certainly worth going there to scoff them. Heading up Rotorious, the new audaciously named rotisserie chicken joint at Market Stalls in Peckham, are brothers Adam and Sam Reid, nei

Caia | Restaurants in Ladbroke Grove, London

Caia is a tale of two venues. The upstairs room of this new Notting Hill restaurant and wine bar gives off an air of sophistication, with chic bar stools to perch on and floor-to-ceiling bottles. But there’s a clear vibe shift when you walk downstairs to the basement. Suddenly you’re at a ’70s house party, with kitschy-cool velvet seating, chandeliers and even a disco ball. And here’s the kicker: on the far wall is a massive vintage record stand, bedecked with retro vinyl and three turntables. T

Hackney Coterie brings new flavours to the heart of East London

Hidden away under the railway arches by Hackney Downs station, this unassuming spot is home to a vibrant new restaurant. Calling itself a modern brasserie, the restaurant and wine bar is not defined by one cuisine, although hints of modern British and Asian run throughout. Hackney Coterie is founded by two friends, Anthony Lyon running front of house and sommelier Kelvin McCabe. With exposed brick, hanging plants and colourful Basquiat-esque art, we’re definitely in East London. A giant pop-ar

News

A statue of the Queen may be put on the Fourth Plinth

The Trafalgar Square spot has become famous for hosting some challenging contemporary art To commemorate the Queen after her death, it has been suggested that a statue of our longest-reigning monarch could occupy a permanent position on Trafalgar Square’s Fourth Plinth. The idea has been spinning around London’s rumour mill for years, with former London Mayor Ken Livingstone first mentioning the statue of Her Majesty back in 2013. The proposed sculpture will show Queen Elizabeth II on horsebac

London Underground has banned busking until after the Queen's funeral and people aren't happy

If your commute is usually backed by the sound of singer-songwriters strumming their guitars, you can expect to trudge through the tunnels of London Underground in silence for the next week. In light of the Queen’s death on Thursday (September 8), TfL has decided to ban busking on the underground until after her funeral. However many musicians are concerned about what this means for their income. This comes as part of a that has seen everything including football, community events and club nigh

A corner shop opposite Battersea Power Station is selling £3,000 wine

Among the essentials you usually pick up from the local cornershop like toothpaste, pints of milk and late-night Tiskies, you wouldn’t expect to see truffle and caviar. But for the bougie of residents in SW11, this is apparently completely normal, as the cornershop in the new Battersea Power Station complex is selling some extremely extravagant items, including a bottle of 2007 Petrus for a cool £3,000. Nestled inside a padlocked and temperature-controlled ‘Fine Wines’ cabinet, the red is one o

Why Stoke Newington flooded so badly yesterday

Yesterday, after a week of immense heat, Stoke Newington saw some unreal scenes after torrential rainfall caused flash flooding. Chaos ensued as water gushed on to roads, pavements and parks, flooding local shops, pubs and homes. Yesterday the Met Office put out an amber weather warning across London and parts of south-east England, meaning that there could be a threat to life. It warned there were likely to be floods, power cuts and travel disruptions. Amber Middleton is a manager at The Thre

This beautiful London café has been forced to close after 60 years

Islington’s Alpino Cafe is leaving its home because of what it calls its ‘greedy’ landlord The latest casualty of gentrification and London’s spiralling rents comes in the form of a beloved Islington greasy spoon, Alpino Cafe, which is having to move, its owner citing a ‘greedy’ landlord. The family-run Italian-English joint on Chapel Market opened in 1959, and ever since has supplied the area with hearty fry-ups, plates of pasta, kippers and chicken escalopes that are synonymous with the Angl

The team behind Printworks are opening a new club in east London

They’ve just announced the line-ups for the first nights With the news last week that Printworks will be closing down and be turned into offices, Londoners were devastated to see another beloved electronic music venue bite the dust. Luckily we haven’t retired our Air Maxes just yet, because the people behind the Surrey Quays music mecca are opening a brand new club in east London. A collaboration between Broadwick Live (Printworks, Tobacco Docks) and LWE (Junction 2), The Beams will be based i

An anticolonial statue will occupy the Fourth Plinth

Trafalgar Square’s Fourth Plinth is getting a new occupant, and this time they’re giving the old white dudes a rest, as the statue will celebrate John Chilembwe, an anticolonial hero and baptist who was killed in an uprising in Samson Kambalu, a Malawian artist and associate professor of fine art at Oxford, has created the sculpture, called ‘Antelope’. It will be unveiled in September and is the fourteenth contemporary artwork to be commissioned for display in the historic location. ‘Antelope’

Canary Wharf has launched a new open air swimming venue

Wave to the bankers as you perfect your butterfly Attention all you wild swimmers and water nymphs, because London’s got a brand new outdoor swimming venue. It’s found in the very wild natural beauty area of Canary Wharf. Jokes aside, this new spot seems pretty swanky and the epitome of urban swimming. Against the backdrop of One Canada Square and Newfoundland tower block, Middle Dock, a 220-year-old former dock, is now open for seven days a week until the end of September. You can launch you

Asda has started security tagging butter

The cost of living crisis has come for dairy, as shoppers this week were dismayed to find Lurpak’s spreadable butter is being hawked in some supermarkets for an insane £9. The butter is now so outrageously expensive that Asda has security tagged it. And it’s not just butter, as Aldi and Co-op have also been spotted tagging blocks of cheddar and packs of lamb chops. In Iceland, it’s currently £9.35 for 1kg of Lurpak, while in Tesco it’s £8.98. The cheapest pack of Lurpak was found at Co-op wher

How to help the people of Ukraine if you’re living in London

Practical things you can to do to support Russian president Vladimir Putin has launched a full-scale attack on Ukraine, sending in military forces by air, land and sea. Ukraine is at war and people around the world are looking for ways to show their support for the nation. If you want to help the Ukrainians and you’re living in London, here are some practical things you can do. Donating money to charities working on the ground is probably the most effective thing you can do to directly help th

Bando Belly burned down and there’s a GoFundMe to save it

suffered a tragedy last week after a fire destroyed the restaurant’s kitchen. The blaze was sparked by a malfunctioning fuse box which exploded early in the morning on Wednesday May 11. One of the co-founders, Naz Ramadan, has started a GoFundMe to help rally support to restore the beloved venue in . So far she has raised £1,723 of the £10,000 goal. ‘I've been cheffing it up for ten years and poured my heart into Peckham’s Bando Belly for the last year. On Wednesday, I woke up to the news that

Dreamachine is London's trippy new immersive experience

Apparently it can make you hallucinate with sounds and lights A trippy new immersive experience has come to London. Running at Woolwich Public Market, ‘Dreamachine’ uses sounds and lights to make you hallucinate, tapping into the ‘limitless potential of the human mind’ – that’s right, no illicit substances are involved. It’s also completely free. Sounds like a wild ride, right? Strap in. What actually is the titular machine? It’s essentially a big box with flashing lights and loud music. Thin

We have burning questions about the London Eye Jubilee pod

The London Eye is one of the capital's undeniably iconic tourist attractions. And to celebrate ol’ Lizzie’s Platinum Jubilee on June 2-5, the Eye's organisers have created a brand new pod experience, dedicated to our longest-reigning monarch. We’ve had a gander at what is being billed as ‘The Queen’s Head’, ostensibly designed to be a traditional 1950s pub, soaring 135m over London, and the decor is… a lot. A zip around on The Queen’s Head will set you back £60, which will include not one but

London is hosting three naked bike rides this summer

Get ready for pants-free fun. No, not that kind of fun! It’s a bike ride. Picture this: it’s a beautiful summer’s day, you’re zooming through the streets of London on your fixie, wind in your hair. But that’s not the only place you can feel a breeze. You look down, and you’re completely naked. But it’s not embarrassing, it’s liberating. You’re surrounded by a sea of bare bottoms, gloriously jiggling around the city’s streets. That’s right, it’s time for the (WNBR). And nudies rejoice, because

Kink and fetish clubs in East London under threat of being shut down by the council

Earlier this month, Tower Hamlets council contacted venues E1 and Colour Factory, which host Klub Verboten and Crossbreed, two of London’s most popular sex positive, LGBTQIA+ friendly fetish club nights. The council threatened the venues with legal action in an attempt to prohibit “nudity and semi-nudity” at nightclubs in the borough, by invoking “archaic” laws that would require attendees to be clothed at nighttime venues. Founded in 2016, Klub Verboten is London’s largest kink community and c

Listicles

The funniest reactions to the London heatwave so far

London is in meltdown, literally. In this country we’re not really equipped for any kind of extreme weather. Tarmac is bubbling, trains are cancelled and the Queen’s Guards are still wearing their furry hats and wool jackets. In 40C heat, with air con, our city’s been thrown into utter chaos. Despite the weather giving us all a feeling of impending doom, we wouldn’t be Brits if we didn’t approach the frankly terrifying heatwave with our signature sarcasm and deadpan wit. On Twitter, every man,

20 things London still does better than anywhere else

Tins and tings. Here’s all the stuff we are greater at than every other city in the world We’ve got over 3,000 public green spaces in London, and if there’s one thing they’re good for, it’s cracking open a few cans and gorging on ‘picky bits’ with your mates. During lockdown in 2020, Londoners were so desperate for a knees-up that park boozing got alcohol temporarily banned from London Fields. A proud boast, indeed. The voyage to a day festival in London is an epic pilgrimage. Hundreds of buck

10 great ways to take part in London Craft Week 2022

London Craft Week is back this week, with makers and creatives across the city celebrating all things crafty from Monday May 9 to Sunday May 15. If you want to discover a hidden talent or learn from experts in their field, there are loads of workshops, exhibitions and talks to choose from. Whether it’s spectacle-making, wine-tasting or knitting, we’ve rounded up our top picks for you to help you have a really fun crafternoon. Make your own spectacles with Cubitts Make the kind of glasses that

Ten brilliant looks from Harry Styles

Often hailed as one of the most fashionable men on the planet, it seems that Harry Styles’s fashion knows no limits. Fabulously flamboyant and not afraid to play by his own rules, Harry Styles has secured himself a place in the highest echelons of fashion. Styles is Gucci’s darling, has hosted the Met Gala, and was the first man to appear solo on the cover of American Vogue. As the singer gears up to release his highly anticipated third album Harry's House, Square Mile looks back on his best

The best pubs in Camden

Ah Camden – a mecca for rock music, markets and late-night revelry. And tourists. Lots of tourists. But don’t be put off by the crowds as Camden serves up some of the best pubs that London has to offer. There’s vast diversity of choice – whatever your drinking needs, Camden will have the pub for you. These are boozers once frequented by the likes of Amy Winehouse, Oasis and even Charles Dickens. For the best beer gardens, Sunday roasts and musician haunts, we've selected our favourite pubs in

The best cocktail bars in Soho

If there’s one thing Soho isn’t lacking, it’s cocktail bars. But how to choose the best ones? Our comprehensive list helps you avoid tourist traps serving watered-down Cosmos, and leads you straight to the best cocktails bars in Soho. As you stumble out onto Dean Street in the wee hours of the morning, you’ll have ingested some of the finest cocktails that Soho has to offer – and maybe even have room for a nightcap. Whether you’re looking to sip Cantonese spirits in Chinatown, taste London’s

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