lifestyle

Easy Like Sunday in East London

March 11, 2016

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Photography by Ray Roberts.

There’s nothing better than a day spent surrounded by what you love.

For me a weekend best spent is one pottering about your favourite place, with a warm drink in your hand. It’s comforting food for the soul days like this that inspire the brain and keeps you who you are. I popped by Starbucks to pick up one of their new Spring Macchiato flavours to accompany me for a Sunday stroll through my favourite place to wander – Shoreditch.

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Within that, treat yourself.

Whatever form this takes, a day well spent is one where you treat yourself. The Starbucks Macchiato flavours for Spring begin with a base of their Espresso Roast, and then a finishing of your choice – either Classic Caramel, French Vanilla or New Honey Blossom. All of which sound lush to me! I grabbed one and headed into Rough Trade records just off Brick Lane to treat myself to some new vinyl for my record player. I’m finding a lot of peace at the moment in working at home with the turntable effortlessly spinning next to me, flawlessly bringing my favourite artists to life in my lounge.

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It’s music that gets my brain ticking, gets my inspiration levels up.

Music is not only powerful in the emotional sense, as it helps people through happy and sad times, but it can also serve as a limitless boundary for expression and creativity. You’ll always have a song in your head, you’ll always have sounds and vision that accompany what it is you want to do – whether it’s as simple as partying with your friends, or whether it’s the soundtrack to your newest YouTube video – it is food for creativity. Just being in record stores soothes me and reminds me why I love music so much. I love excitedly grabbing the newest – or oldest – release and exclaiming with joy about just how much that record means to me.

Today I left with Rated R – by Queens of the Stone Age.

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If you’re familiar with London you’ll know all about Rough Trade, but even given it’s cult status, it’s still my favourite store to pop into. The chilled out atmosphere with the cafe and the knowledgable – yet not judgemental – staff always make shopping there a pleasurable experience. There’s two stores in London but the Brick Lane store wins it for me hands down.

They also have an eclectic mix of records, from all genres.

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I know vinyl is having a comeback, but I love it.

Vinyl has massively turned itself around from a one way road to the vintage tip and back into people’s homes. I love that. It’s a little fragment of the past that we can’t change at all, but we can keep alive. Vinyl really does sound better, and it feels like a conscious choice to listen to something and get to know it rather than having your music on shuffle. This reminds me of all the years I spent as a college kid in Cambridge, lounging in the Starbucks with my friends playing cd’s we’d just bought in HMV through our MacBooks and the little headphones that we had. I’ve always loved the relaxed atmosphere of a Starbucks, and the people you meet inside it. I remember striking up a conversation with a chap in one of the New York City Starbucks stores, and listening to his stories.

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I wore:

Top: Lazy Oaf*

Jeans: ASOS

Shoes: Vans

Jacket: Topshop*

Sunglasses: Monki

Bag: Skinny Dip

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You know those little happy moments? You’re seeing one of them.

I think life is just a series of little moments strung together by the hours we physically have in the day. Those little moments are stored in the back of our brain and saved for a sad moment, or a reflective moment so we can look back and remember. This is one of my little happy moments, sippin’ on this gorgeous drink and just browsing. Just quietly at peace yet internally so inspired and so stoked for the records that exist in front of me. It’s good to take a step back from the world in whatever capacity you live in it and just be you for a bit.

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Enjoy your free moments, and explore. If you’re living in London, get out into that city and especially around East. Now we live East way it’s become even more of my second home, but Camden will always have a place in my heart. There’s so much to see, people to meet and records to buy.

Will you be picking up one of the new Macchiato Starbucks flavours? If so which one is ticklin’ your pickle – Vanilla Bean, New Honey Blossom or Classic Caramel? Let me know what you think of my day record shopping in the comments below.

This is a sponsored post by Starbucks.