The Chic Marketing Maven
London-based PR and marketing wiz Ellie Stephens would make a great tour guide. With her finger on the pulse of all things fashion and culture, she’s an excellent resource for what’s cool in the city—and what’s going to be cool not long from now. Stephens has worked with Refinery29, The Lifestyle Edit, Southbank Centre and most recently Palm Vaults, a dual coffee-vintage shop in Hackney.
Stephens recently moved back to her native city from New York, though she still travels back and forth often. Follow her adventures on Instagram. You might get some fashion inspiration too: Stephens’s wardrobe reflects a unique sense of style, and she always radiates an ineffable sense of cool.
Stephens spoke to us about seeing London with new eyes, her favorite destinations in the city, and (of course) clothes.
You recently moved back to London from New York. What was it like to return, and what do you newly appreciate about the city?
The biggest change I noticed was the effect of gentrification. Cranes have taken over the London skyline and high-rise buildings are going up everywhere. It never used to be like that, and it just makes me appreciate the old architecture around the city and London’s history. Since returning, I’ve now got an even greater appreciation for London’s pubs and pub culture. You can’t beat getting together with friends and family on a Sunday afternoon for a roast dinner in your favorite pub.
What’s the vintage clothing scene like in London?
We’re not short for vintage clothing stores in London and Londoners definitely appreciate good vintage. Hannah McEvoy, the owner of Palm Vaults, has an amazing curated collection of high-end vintage brands like Versace, Moschino, and Dior, which is available to buy in-store. East London, Notting Hill, and Camden are also great for vintage shops. Beyond Retro, Rellik, and Blitz are worth checking out and Spitalfields and Portobello Road have good vintage markets.
When you get off work, what are some of your favorite spots to visit and why?
I live in East London so I tend to spend most of my time there when I’m not working. Palm Vaults just launched a new menu of delicious vegetarian and vegan food which is amazing, and their pink velvet latte is quickly becoming the most Instagrammed drink in town. For after-work drinks I often go to Ruby’s in Dalton. They do my favorite cocktail ever, which is a chili apple martini. I spend a lot of time in The Stag pub in Hampstead. They have the best beer garden, which is a great place to spend warm summer evenings. I’m a big fan of Franze & Evans on Redchurch Street—their cake selection is to die for. Patty & Bun is another great spot for the best burgers in town.
Palm Vaults is up in Hackney. How would you describe the neighborhood and its appeal for visitors?
Hackney is a neighborhood that is thriving at the moment. Ten years ago it was a completely different place. I always tell people visiting to spend some time there. There are so many great places to eat and drink. We’re very spoiled for choice and it’s easy to spend hours exploring independent shops and galleries. In Hackney, I love Columbia Road flower market, which takes place every Sunday. I’ve been going since I was little and it’s an East End tradition. Broadway Market is good for food and shopping on a Saturday. It also has Victoria Park which was voted the number one park in London. It’s a fun place to hang out in the summer and around the corner you have London Fields Lido, the open-air swimming pool. Call me biased, but I’d go as far as saying it’s the best part of town!