on heart say London is my absolute favourite place to be in the entire world. Being a woman myself, I cannot tell you how important it is to know that in this city that I love so very much there are women who have created successful businesses through hard work and passion – something I strive to do every day at NOTSOBASICLONDON.
Celia is the founder of Polú Poké. Back in 2012 she took a trip to LA to visit an old school friend. Surfers, skaters and locals were queuing up along the beach front for these delicious pots of marinated fish in extraordinary flavours and colours like nothing she’d ever seen or tasted before back home.
She was working as a menswear designer at the time, buying lunch daily from places like Itsu, Pret, and Wasabi and couldn’t understand why there was no-where she could get poké for her lunch back in London.
The idea stayed with her and eventually she quit her 9-5 in early 2015 to found London’s first poké pop up. She spent the next two years on the street food circuit, trading at lunchtime markets in Canary Wharf and Kings Cross, and various events with pop-ups before finally opening her first stand-alone café in Shoreditch and then another in Fitzrovia a year later.
Celia is a great example of how if you have enough passion for something you can make it happen. You can find more information and a full menu for Polú Poké here.
“There is no limit to what we, as women, can accomplish.” Michelle Obama
Following degrees in Law and History of Art, Hossack studied at Christie’s and at The Guggenheim in Venice. She then set up her own gallery in Windmill Street, Fitzrovia, in March 1988.
Hossack’s business, despite the economic climate, has not only survived, but thrived. In 2007 she moved the main London gallery to a three-storey building in 2a Conway Street, off Fitzroy Square, while keeping a second space at nearby 28 Charlotte Street.
Hossack has been a great champion of Non-Western artistic traditions. Hers was the first art gallery in Europe to exhibit Australian aboriginal paintings, and it continues to promote such work. She also writes regularly in the national press and lectures internationally on Aboriginal art as part of NADFAS, the National Association of Decorative and Fine Art Societies, an international organisation with around 450 local societies and 80,000 members across the UK, Europe, Australia and New Zealand.
You can see Rebecca’s upcoming exhibition dates here , as well as her past works.
“You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think.” — A.A. Milne
Thomasina Miers, Wahaca
You may recognise Thomasina Miers … but where from, you ask? If you were watching MasterChef back in 2005 you will know she was a very well-deserved winner. However, MasterChef was only one part of Thomasina’s puzzle to become the successful business woman she is today.
She started to cook by her mother’s side when she was just six and was instantly hooked. In a quest to follow her passion for food, Thomasina travelled to Mexico where her love for the diversity and vibrancy of the Mexican food and drink scene was born. After her MasterChef win, she met business partner Mark Selby and the idea for WAHACA was born. WAHACA is a vibrant Mexican street food restaurant perfect for all ages and every occasion. Don’t think cheap tequila shots, mind numbing spices and greasy tortilla chips but colourful and interesting plates of authentic Mexican food.
Thomasina tells us about her love for Mexican street food & the inspiration behind WAHACA.
“What I’ve been amazed by in Mexico is how street food is totally ageless and classless. On every street corner and in every market you see suited business men eating tacos alongside young families, factory workers and government officials. On top of that the food has so much integrity. Integrity in the flavours and the sourcing of the products, and that’s what we’re constantly working to bring to life. Continually looking to the markets of Mexico for inspiration and recreating their wonderful food over here.”
Thomasina’s career isn’t limited to WAHACA. As well as a restauranteur she is a food writer, a presenter, a recipe developer and above all a mum.
Jenny was born in Athens, Greece. Her passion for food was born as she helped her grandmother at the stove, cooking with local produce from the hills around the city.
In 2004, Jenny moved to London to study cinematography at MetFilm School and since travelled the world as a photojournalist. Over time, Jenny cherry-picked culinary inspiration from her travels and discovered a passion for wine. Missing the flavours of her grandmother’s cooking and the burgeoning wine culture in Athens, Ampéli was born.
Taking cues from the modern wine-focused restaurants of Athens, Ampéli features dishes inspired by the Eastern Mediterranean which are accompanied by a list of indigenous wines from across the Greek mainland and its islands.
The wine list has a strong focus on the innovative producers creating a stir in the country’s wine scene and has been curated by Greek Master of Wine Yiannis Karakasis. Entitled ‘The Indigenous List’.
You can find more information about Ampéli and the full menu here.
I hope you enjoyed this blog celebrating the women of Fitzrovia who are totally bossing it! If you can this International Women’s Day, head down for Mexican at Wahaca, Poké at Polú Poké, have a walk around Rebecca Hossack’s gallery or indulge in the flavours of Greece at Ampéli.
Whatever you do, make sure you take five minutes to appreciate the strong females in your life and don’t forget to give yourself a pat on the back too. You deserve it.