What's My Weekend: Holly Lander

The co-founder of Atomica Gallery shares her weekend plans


Living in Hackney and working in Soho is pretty much my ideal London life -  I get the best of both worlds. Owning my own business means that I never stop working, so I only occasionally get a whole weekend off, and when I do I try to pack in everything I can.



My first stop is The Lounge (26 Peter Street, London W1F 0AH, 020 7437 3877, theloungesoho.co.uk); besides the fact that we are neighbours, they are super friendly and totally on the ball with the coolest hairdos and colours.  After feeling all hair-hopped-up and ready to go. I head back to my home-turf, Dalston,  first checking in at Doomed Gallery, below (65 Ridley Road, London E8 2NP, doomedgallery.com). It is a great independent gallery, mainly dealing in cutting-edge and off-beat photography. Their exhibitions are short but super sweet, usually only going on for three days, and they know how to throw a damn good party.


After having some of the owner Ken's special sangria, I’ll transport myself to the tropical hideaway crossed with the Twin Peaks black lodge that is The Market Bar (49 Ridley Rd, Dalston,  London, E8 2NP). They have some ace DJs playing on the weekend, and a killer watermelon cocktail. By this time the pizza slice calls and I make for my local addiction, Voodoo Rays, (95 below (Kingsland High Street, London E8 2PB, 020 7249 7865, voodoorays.co.uk). They have pretty creative specials and always do alot of veggie and vegan slices - oh and they put cucumber in their table water, which is a nice touch!

Seeing as I’m still out and about I can’t miss out my favourite Hackney haunt Mascara Bar (72 Stamford Hill, London N16 6XS, 07983 912957, mascarabar.co.uk). It’s owned by a lovely lady called Maggie and I have spent many a night propping up the bar chatting away to Maggie and her husband John. My business/gallery partner, Orla, and I used to run a night there- back then it was primarily a jazz bar with a pretty good modern jukebox; we played weird and cool punk, soul and garage records from the 60s and 70s. Maggie seemed to like it and she has since opened up the bar for a whole mix of music nights, so it’s pot luck as to what you might find when you step inside.




I start off at my local cafe L’Atelier (31 Stoke Newington Road, London N16 8BJ), where they do a superb coffee, fab French fare and, if there is any left, my favourite indulgence - gluten free pistachio drizzle cake.  After a big night on Friday I will try to take it easy. Being an avid collector I am partial to a good market. Hackney Flea Market, above (Abney Public Hall, 73A Stoke Newington Church Street, London, N16 0AS, 020 7923 9332, hackneyfleamarket.com) has some great finds: records, one-of-a-kind vintage pieces and bric-a-brac galore. Princess May Car Boot (Princess May School, Stoke Newington Road, London, N16 8DF, 07956 312131, thelondoncarbootco.co.uk) is also worth a rummage. Oh, and I might drop into the Shacklewell Art Fair (The Shacklewell Arms, 71 Shacklewell Lane, London E8 2EB, 020 7249 0810, shacklewellarms.com) to check out what the local kids are up to art-wise.  If it’s  sunny, I love to bus-it down to London Fields and mosey around Broadway Market.


In the evening I’ll head to either a gig at Power Lunches (446 Kingsland Road, London E8 4AE, 020 7998 1997, powerlunchesltd.co.uk) or Shacklewell Arms and TRY and end my night earlyish. Occasionally I DJ with my friend Gary the Tall at the Indo, above (133 Whitechapel Road, London E1 1DT, 020 7247 4926). It’s a great little pub with cool, friendly staff,  and it gets super busy, even wild, on a Saturday night. The dance floor is tiny but we always manage to get everyone up and tripping the light fantastic.




A Sunday potter around Soho is the best.  I love to zig-zag all the way from Carnaby to Greek St. You would think that after working in Soho all week there would be no chance I would step back on my day off - but to be honest I can’t keep away.  Soho is dear to my heart and it has so many great happenings I rarely get to enjoy while I’m working. First I need a good coffee after such a hectic weekend. I pop into to my work local, the Soho Radio coffee shop (22c Great Windmill St London W1D 7LD, sohoradiolondon.com/). The coffee is supplied by The Department of Coffee and Social Affairs and you can see right through to the live studio.)  Orla and I have a monthly art and music radio show, ArtBeat, on Soho Radio, so it’s nice to swing by and see who is on air. I weave through Greens Court and make a beeline for Gosh! Comics, above  (1, Berwick Street, London W1F, 0DR, 020 7636 1011, goshlondon.com).  They have the best selection of graphic novels around, as well as lots of other beautiful books and, of course, comics.  

Next I’ll take a stroll down Berwick Street and do some record shopping; Sounds of the Universe (7 Broadwick Street, London W1F 0DA, 020 7734 3430, soundsoftheuniverse.com) and Sister Ray (75 Berwick Street, London W1F 8TG, 020 7734 3297) are musts. I pop into The Circle (21 Noel Street, London W1F 8GP, 020 7734 3499, thecirclelondon.com) - a tattoo studio with a difference:  it’s also a contemporary gallery/ shop and I stop in for a chat and to see what they  have on. I move on to the beautifully curated Photographers’ Gallery (16-18 Ramillies Street, London W1F 7LW, 020 7087 9300, thephotographersgallery.org.uk). They always have a captivating exhibition on, and I like to feel inspired for the week to come.

As I start to wind down from the busy weekend, a late lunch/early dinner is in order. Ceviche, above  (17 Frith Street, London W1D 4RG, 020 7292 2040, cevicheuk.com) is a regular, haunt, the Don Ceviche and the yucca chips are my go-to dishes.


Balans (60-62 Old Compton Street, London W1D 4UG, 020 7439 2183, balans.co.uk) is another favourite; sometimes eggs benedict is the only cure no matter what time of day. Then, finally bound for a nice chilled evening at the cinema. I’ll either head homeward and catch a flick at the Rio Cinema (107 Kingsland High Street, London E8 2PB, 020 7241 9410, riocinema.org.uk) or walk over the bridge to the BFI (Belvedere Road, South Bank, London SE1 8XT, 020 7928 3232, bfi.org.uk), whose new cult strand programme for 2015 is outstanding.


Atomica, (7 Greens Court, London W1F 0HQ, atomicagallery.com), is an independent, contemporary art gallery which showcases a wide range of cutting-edge UK and international artists, as well as offering a selection of limited edition prints, books, magazines and other hard-to-find/easy-to-love artist- made rarities. Current exhibition is 'Soft Life/Hard Nites’, the UK debut from American artist Charlie Roberts (runs until 7th March 2015).

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