Celina Teague’s latest solo exhibition, I Think Therefore I #, is at Kristin Hjellegjerde gallery (533 Old York Road, London, SW18 1TG, 020 8875 0110), from 6 August – 5 September.
After a week of painting at my studio, above, I like to head to Hampstead Heath, below. for a late afternoon stroll and swim with my husband, baby daughter and our dog Rifa. I’m addicted to the women's pond - it’s my favourite place in London. Nothing beats swimming eye-to-eye with ducklings. We’ll then head up to the newly opened Karma Bakery (13 South End Road, London, NW3 2PT, 0207 435 8543), to buy some freshly baked bread for the weekend and scoff some delicious chocolate and cinnamon twists there and then.
After all that sugary sustenance, we will swing by Daunt Books (193 Haverstock Hill, London NW3 4QL, 020 7794 4006) - which always ends in a purchase. I’m currently reading a book of short stories called The Moth which I highly recommend, and am about to start A Better Man by my friend Leah McLaren. I have a stack of books to get through on my bedside table. ‘Go Set a Watchman’ by Harper Lee is next on my list. If it’s half as good as To Kill a Mockingbird, I’ll be happy.
From there, we’ll drop by to see our friends Sam Roddick and James Ostrer, who live and have their studio in the area. It’s always entertaining hanging around these two talented and bonkers individuals and hearing their ideas for whatever they are working on. My husband ended up being turned into a junk food tribal warrior in James’s last exhibition Wotsit All About (Gazelli Art House, 39 Dover Street, London, W1S 4NN, 020 7491 8816), and I ended up as an 1960s nude replica Carlo Molino muse for Sam Roddick’s Hidden Within, which was at the Michael Hoppen gallery (3 Jubilee Place, London SW3 3TD, 020 7352 3649), earlier this year.
Sam and James will often come along with us to Pizza East, above (Kentish Town 79 Highgate Road, London, NW5 1TL, 020 3310 2000). As a treat, because we go out less these days, I’ll order a Picante de la Casa and my husband a Guinness, while we wait for antipasti and pizzas to arrive. We love the apple pie from Chicken Shop (Downstairs, 79 Highgate Road London NW5 1TL, 020 3310 2020), directly beneath so, on the way out, we’ll grab a takeaway pie from there and get stuck into that at home. Our weekdays are pretty full-on work wise, especially recently. I have been putting in very long hours with 3am finishes in the studio ahead of my exhibition. So come Friday night, it’s nice to just spend time with my husband and get some beauty sleep.
If we have a fun evening plan, I might swing by and see Emma at The Flying Hare (2A Murray Street, NW1 9RE), which is a beautifully decorated, one-woman hairdressing outfit. She has a sweet rescue labrador-cross called Archie, who greets you with a pillow. Emma is great at braiding hair and I love her to plait mine, basically to get my unruly tresses out of my face. We tend to have guests on weekends and sometimes my nieces and nephews will arrive noisily on my doorstep, which is always a pleasure. They like to go east, so we will take them to Shoreditch House, above, Ebor Street, London, E1 6AW, 020 7739 5040), where they like to have a swim in the pool, before the posers and grown-ups take it back. The boys will always go for the Full English, and I’ll have the avocado and poached eggs or the pancakes.
Another place we love to go for brunch is Hoi Polloi at The Ace Hotel (Ace Hotel, 100 Shoreditch High Street, London, E1 6JQ, 020 7613 9800), which feels somewhat womb-like, and is a great place to hang out on one of those grey London days. When we step out of this enclave of cool, we’ll stroll up to Beers London 1 Baldwin Street, London, EC1V 9NU, 44(0)207 502 9078). My pal Andrew Salgado - an artist himself - has just curated a show there called Fantasy of Representation, above, which includes works by Francis Bacon, Jenny Morgan and Blake Daniels. My tutor at Central St Martins, where I did my MA in fine art, hammered the importance of visiting galleries into me, and now I’m an addict. After Beers London, we’ll head over to the Victoria Miro gallery, below (16 Wharf Road London N1 7RW, 020 7336 8109).
Sadly, one of my favorite boutiques, Brix Start-Smith’s Start has closed down, so I feel a bit lost at sea without this East End fashion fix but I did come across a lovely designer vintage shop called Storm in a Teacup (366 Kingsland Road, London, E8 4DA, 020 8127 5471), halfway between Shoreditch and Dalston. The clothes are a well-curated selection of Vivienne Westwood, Margiela and Jil Sander, as well as some lovely Margaret Howell basics.
We use to live next to Spitalfields Market (16 Horner Square, Spitalfields, London, E1 6EW, 020 7375 2963), so we do still like to see our old stomping ground - stroll up Brick Lane, head round to Spitalfields and then up to Boxpark (2-10 Bethnal Green Road, London, E1 6GY, 020 7033 2899) and Shoreditch High Street. I might pop in to see some friends in my old studio on Cremer Street ,and say hi to Errol at the Cremer Garage, (35 Cremer Street London E2 8HD, 020 7729 6423). Errol fought the council to allow artists to graffiti his building and so it stands out like a gem on a pretty run- down street. A friend of mine from Central Saint Martins, who goes by the name of Cept, painted part of it - looks fab!
For tea we often go to Embassy East on Hoxton Street (285 Hoxton Street, London N1 5JX, 020 7739 8340), or Long White Cloud (151 Hackney Road, Hoxton, E2 8JL, 020 7033 4642), which has the best banana bread in London. If we are staying east for dinner we’ll either go to Andina, below (1 Redchurch Street, London, E2 7DJ, 020 7920 6499), a fantastic Peruvian restaurant with excellent cocktails, or Sushi Samba (Heron Tower, 110 Bishopsgate, London, EC2N 4AY, www.sushisamba.com), a pulsating hive that serves up glamour by the bucketload, delicious food and the best views in London.
If the weather is good and we’re not really in party mode (or dressed the part to rub shoulders with the glitzy cognoscenti at Sushi Samba), we’ll get the gang to congregate back home. We love to walk back to Camden along the canal and then collapse on the sofa all together before having a chilled out dinner at a local restaurant like The Lord Stanley, (51 Camden Park Road, London, NW1 9BH, 0207 284 3266).
I used to be a regular at Speaker’s Corner and Hyde Park but since moving to Camden our new Sunday habit is to walk along to the canal to Primrose Hill, where our first stop-off is at Melrose and Morgan, above (42 Gloucester Avenue, London, NW1 8JD, 020 7722 0011). They sell this insanely refreshing charcoal drink. They also have these great PixMix and Match picnics, with recyclable cutlery and plates, and they even throw in rain macs in case the weather plays up - and when doesn’t it?
It’s a toss-up between here for a caffeine fix or If we’re feeling more virtuous and want something light to save room for a heavier lunch, we’ll go to the Cowshed, above (Regents Park Road, London, NW1 8XP, 020 3725 2777), or have breakfast at the GreenBerry Café , below (101 Regent’s Park Road, London, NW1 8UR, 020 7483 3765). Any place that accepts dogs is a winner with us, and they welcome Rifa with open arms and a bowl of water, so we love them.
I can’t resist dropping into I Love Gorgeous, 73 Regents Park Road, London NW1 8UY, 020 7586 1552, www.ilovegorgeous.co.uk), a beautiful little girls clothes shop, as lovely as you would expect in Primrose Hill. The clothes are scrumptious and brightly coloured and seem to have a magnetic pull in the direction of my wallet. We then walk to the top of Primrose Hill, below, to soak in the view before heading to the playground so my daughter can play on the slides. We cunningly wait until she’s tired herself out and its nap time and then zoom back down for lunch in the village at The Engineer, (65 Gloucester Avenue, London, NW1 8JH, 020 7483 1890), where we might get to wolf down our lunch – they do the best Sunday lunches - before our little creature wakes up.
Then it’s back along the canal and all the way to Kings Cross. If the weather is good we hang out in front of the new Central Saint Martins and watch all the children getting soaked as they run through the fountains. We love the new outdoor pond Kings Cross Pond Club, (20 Canal Reach, London N1C 4BE, 020 3818 6500) right in the middle of the Kings Cross development complex, complete with lily pads and reeds. If we’ve thought ahead and made a booking, we’ll pop in for a swim.
If we haven’t eaten at The Engineer, we’ll always make a beeline for the Grain Store, above (Granary Square, King’s Cross, 1-3 Stable Street London N1C 4AB, 020 7324 4466) which is one of our favourite restaurants – this place churns out the some of the very best veggie dishes you’ll eat in London, although I am also a huge fan of Honey & Co, (25A Warren Street, London, W1T 5LZ, 020 7388 6175), a modern Israeli café which has the most excellent Middle Eastern soul food.
When we’re done with Kings Cross, I might pop in to Triyoga, above (57 Jamestown Road, Camden, NW1 7DB, 020 7483 3344) to do a barre or yoga class, depending on whether I want to zone out or pep myself up for more painting at my studio. We’ll then play in the garden with our daughter and try and read some of the papers, a challenge in itself with toddler running around. We’re non-stop during the week and we like to pack as much into our weekends as possible, so we’ll probably retire early to brace ourselves for the week ahead.
Celina Teague is a London-based artist who studied fine art at Central St Martins. Her latest solo exhibition, I Think Therefore I # , was inspired by her interest in the growing number of hashtags used in onlinenews stories, and what happens once the hashtag has lost its potency. Kristin Hjellegjerde gallery (533 Old York Road, London, SW18 1TG, 44 (0) 20 8875 0110), from 6 August – 5 September.