What's My Weekend: Shaefri

The singer/songwriter shares her favourite London haunts


Born and raised in London, I've been writing and performing music here for as long as I can remember.  When not gigging or working on my EP, I find ways to amuse myself on the weekends…



After leaving the studio on a Friday, I might head down to The Social, below (5 Little Portland Street, London W1W 7JD, 020 7636 4992 thesocial.com/) to grab a few drinks in the upstairs bar. I always take a quick peek at who and what’s playing in the basement – I have discovered (and played alongside) all sorts of musical gems in this darkness, like the UK’s answer to Haim, Jagaara (facebook.com/jagaara).


Later, I make my way over to Village Underground, below  (54 Holywell Lane, Shoreditch, London EC2A 3PQ 020 7422 7505).  It’s an amazing, converted railway coal-store that now hosts all manner of cultural events: a great venue to see bands and artists that are breaking through. After stumbling out of here around 4am, it’s home time…



On Saturday morning, feeling a little worse-for-wear, we make a beeline for The Electric Diner, above  (191 Portobello Road, London W11 2ED, 020 7908 9696, electricdiner.com), where they do an Eggs Benedict that you would sell your left arm for.  No exaggeration. As we're already on Portobello, we might as well have a wander. Apart from haggling with the vendors on the stalls that made the market famous, there are loads of little boutique shops: a favourite of mine is jewellery shop Jessie Western, 82b Portobello Road, London, W11 2QD, (020 7229 2544, jessiewestern.com), which has beautifully elaborate Native-American-themed jewellery, all hand-crafted.

In the evening, we might head down to The Blind Pig, above, a speakeasy-style bar hidden above The Social Eating House (58, Poland Street, London W1F 7NS 020 7993 3251, socialeatinghouse.com), where they make incredibly intricate cocktails. My favourite is the ‘Genever Lopez, which is presented with a ‘signed’ Polaroid of J. Lo’s infamous derriere.


Then it’s off to XOYO (32-37 Cowper Street, London EC2A 4AP 020 7354 9993, xoyo.co.uk) for a look at who’s playing. Recently I watched Danish artist Mø do one of her first London shows here, and Rosie Lowe.



When Sunday morning rolls around, The Breakfast Club, above,  calls (33 D'Arblay Street, London W1F 8EU, 020 7434 2571, (thebreakfastclubcafes.com). Although trapped in a Sophie’s Choice of not wanting to throw up, versus being absolutely starving, if you make the commitment, you won’t regret it. Their huevos rancheros will transport you to another dimension.

I can’t resist Yamaha Music London, below (152-160 Wardour Street, London, W1F 8YA 020 7432 4400, yamahamusiclondon.com), where I float around their sea of beautiful pianos for a while.

A walk through the beautiful Kyoto Gardens in Holland Park (100 Holland Park Avenue, London W11 4UA, 020 7361 3003) always gives me a lift. My parents used to bring me and my siblings here when we were little, where we’d be raucous and irritating, ruining the serenity of the place - but I am now oddly calmed by it. 

Sunday night involves being swallowed up by Netflix because - let’s be honest - noone does anything productive on a Sunday night.

Having jammed with the guys from Babyshambles, Shaefri will play the main stage of The Curious Arts Festival in July, opening for Dire Straits’ founding member John Illsley.  Described as combining Banks with Florence and the Machine, in her new track, ‘Suzanne’, her dark lyrics combine with Craigie Dodds  ‘dirty’ production, built on a single live-take when Shaefri sang and played a Wurlitzer, to give this track its distinctive sound.

This year she’s working in Brixton on the release of an EP with Producer Craigie Dodds (Gorillaz, Amy Winehouse, Eliza Doolittle) as well as new London DJ/Producers, J Harvey Jones, who put an electronic twist on Shaefri’s soulful writing.

She writes and performs all her own material (shaefri.com, @shaefri).

Click here to see Shaefri’s video ‘Suzanne’, shown for the first time exclusively on ELLE.

Read Next: