What's My Weekend: Terri Leigh Finnegan

The Ministry of Sound's VIP manager shares her favourite weekend haunts

MOST POPULAR
ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

I have lived in London for six years and for five of those, worked at Ministry of Sound. A year ago, after graduating from university, I set up my own Luxury Fashion label Why So Serious, above (Unit 65 Omega Works, Roach Road, Hackney Wick, E3 2PF, 020 8133 8308, whysoserious.co.uk) , which bases its collections on culture and politics while giving money back to charity.

MOST POPULAR

The weekend is the busiest time for me and I enjoy filling it with trips to unusual places, eating good food and having the odd drink . I travel from East to South and not much in between.

Friday

Friday starts off in the Counter Café in Stour Space, above (7 Roach Rd, Tower Hamlets, E3 2PA, 07834 275920, stourspace.co.uk), where I grab a green tea and sometimes either a croissant or a full breakfast depending on how heavy the week has been. Food is all organic and beautiful – beans, sausages, eggs, bread . It is run by a brother and sister from New Zealand and is a very cosy, industrial- style venue, looking directly out to the Olympic park with canal side tables.

After a long day of designing, I then get ready for my night out at Ministry of Sound, below (103 Gaunt Street, Elephant and Castle, SE1 6DP, 020 7740 8608, ministryofsound.com)

ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

No drinking for me I’m afraid, as I’m working. Friday is the legendary ‘Gallery’ night, which started in 1995 and is London’s longest running club night, hosting DJs like Tiesto, Armand Van Buuren and Paul Oakenfold. Headlining DJs fill our main rooms and as the VIP Manager, my job is to keep the VIPs happy. We're not like some of those stuffy West End VIP rooms, where the staff are arrogant and the music is Shakira. Our VIPs are simply loyal fans and DJs, and our staff love the music as much as you do.

Saturday

Getting home from work at 9am means that my Saturday doesn’t start until 2pm . I always make my way down to Broadway Market, (Broadway Market, London E8 4PH, 07872 463409, broadwaymarket.co.uk), which is either a 20-minute bike ride from home ( Hackney Wick) or a 45 minute walk along the canals in East London.

With stalls producing everything from hog roast to fresh pasta to incredible brownies, it's not exactly healthy eating. I always have to go to Artwords (20-22 Broadway Market, 020 7923 7507, artwords.co.uk ), for their huge range of art, fashion and generally creative industry books, before browsing all the beautiful little boutiques - 69B (69b Broadway Market, 020 7249 9655) is my favourite - fresh fruit and veg shops, and I can even get my bike serviced at Buggies and Bikes (23 Broadway Market. 020 7241 5382).

ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW


Oh, and not forgetting one of the best pizza places in East London, Bella Vita (53-55 Broadway Market, 02072494772, bellavitabroadway.com). The kitchen is fully visible to the customers and is decorated with Italian art and half of a Mini Cooper on the wall.

If I have time, I ‘ll pop into the Pavillion Café (Victoria Park, Crown Gate West E9 7DE, 020 8980 0030, the-pavilion-cafe.com ) for an incredible bacon and egg sandwich – again, all organic . They have tables outisde on a pavillion stretching towards the lake in Victoria Park, where you can people-watch and feel bad for not running instead of eating sandwiches.

MOST POPULAR

Then it is back to work at Ministry of Sound for our Saturday sessions, where we arrange our VIP tables to have meet- and -greets with DJs such as Fedde Le Grande, Basement Jaxx and MK.

There is always an after party at 7am Sunday, which I love to go to now and again - Jaded, afterhours at Corsica Studios (5 Farrell Court, Elephant & Castle, London, SE17 1LB, 020 7703 4760, corsicastudios.com) They have my favourite DJ – Raymundo Rodriguez. They call him ‘The DJ who never sleeps’, as he always seems to be playing. He's a brilliant House DJ from the 90s and a lovely guy. There aren’t many places that stay open after Ministry of Sound closes, but this is a brilliant find.

Sunday

Sunday is THE day. The day I don’t necessarily have to lift a finger but the day that I do the most. At 3pm, we go our local bar Crate Brewery (The White Building, Unit 7, Queen's Yard, London, 07834 275687 cratebrewery.com),for their home-brewed stout or a glass of wine. Again, this is on the side of the canal, with tables outside or even in an old wooden boat . It's brilliant for summer parties, meetings or just a laugh with mates. They bring house DJs on weekends and even have a barber come in now and again who will cut hair for £10. The pizzas are incredible and home-made, but get in quick or you’ll have a long wait.

ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

Then, over to the newly launched Number 90 (90 Wallis Rd, London E9 5LN020 8986 1136, 90mainyard.co.uk), a large open space where you can enjoy cocktails by the canal and they have a restaurant too.

We will sometimes head off to Stratford Westfield to have a nice at ‘Jamie’s Italian’, (Unit 1078, Westfield Shopping Centre, Ariel Way,London, 020 8090 9070, jamieoliver.com) where I am addicted to the classic Daquiri and Spaghetti Bolognese or Jamies Burger or ‘TGI’ (LR02, 303, The Loft , Mezzanine , The Gallery, Westfield Stratford City E20 1ET, 0844 692 8901, tgifridays.co.uk/london-stratford) where I will always eat the Jack Daniles burger and sweet potato fries…this is making me hungry.

I think we may be addicted to this place. Such hearty homemade food and beautiful cocktails with really friendly staff and not over priced. I love the use of tin cans and car headlights hanging from the ceiling. Such a great venue – book in advance as it is always full.

Smokey Tails (119 Wallis Rd, London, E9 5LN, smokeytails.co.uk) is one of my favourite bars, and was set up by renowned DJ Seth Troxler. It is an outside summer bar which closes during the height of winter, with staff in fancy dress, cocktails and barbecue food. Music is insanely good (of course) and everyone is there for the long haul!

Terri Leigh Finnegan is VIP at Ministry of Sound and has her own fashion label, Why So Serious (whysoserious.co.uk is inspired by politics. Her last collection was inspired by Haiti, and they gave a percentage of the profits to the Haiti fund. The next collection, in September, will be based on the rebellion in Greece in 2009, and features structured panelled corsetry and tattered fabrics. We are currently trying to find a relevant children's charity to support from the proceeds.

Read Next: