manolya bakes

:: by Lizzie


Manolya Isik studied photography at the Willem de Kooning Academy in Rotterdam. She currently lives in London, where she combines her love for creating pretty images with baking (and eating) cakes. We at SMUG are lucky enough to have her as part of the team. As well as working in the shop and running CAFE SMUG, she bakes much of the sweet treats for sale. Her blog which combines her beautiful photography and artful baking, features a collection of her favourite sweet recipes – many of which our cafe customers have come to know and love.


Her BlondiesMillionaire Shortbread, fruity Friands and my personal favourite, Helva Brownies, are all utterly delicious and firm CAFE SMUG favourites. If you’d like to follow the recipes to make them at home you can click on the links above or on any of her photographs in this blog post. If you’d prefer to enjoy them baked by Manolya herself then pop in to CAFE SMUG on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday. Manolya is also available for freelance photography and design work and you can contact her at









san giorgio hotel – mykonos

:: by Lizzie




Mykonos had been on the top of my must visit list for some time and it seemed like the perfect chilled get-away for mine and Daniel’s 2nd wedding anniversary. So, we booked, we packed, we travelled, we relaxed, we ate, we sun-bathed and most importantly, we loved it. The largest contributing factor as to why our mini break of 3 nights was so very recharging and inspiring was the hotel we stayed in, the San Giorgio Hotel.


The San Giorgio Hotel project truly began over 15 years ago, in the mid 90s, when Thomas Heyne and Mario Hertel met on the shores of Ibiza. Heyne, from Augsburg, had turned down a lucrative career in construction to run a nightclub in Ulm, Germany. Fellow Bavarian Hertel had opened a café in Bayreuth when he was just 18 and eventually built up his own mini hospitality empire of restaurants, bars, cafes, and clubs. In 2012, after nearly a decade running Mykonos’ world-famous Paradise Club together, Heyne and Hertel teamed up with Design Hotels™ to create the San Giorgio Hotel, a destination for likeminded free spirits.


The result is a super chilled haven where attention to detail is key. Everything is beautiful but understated and never trys too hard (just like the guests). The decor of freshly painted white walls and woodwork with furnishings of kelim tapestry, vintage or reclaimed wooden furniture (be it antique or drift) and woven raffia lampshades sets just the right tone and fits the atmosphere perfectly.


There are hammocks everywhere, even floating bean bags for the pool and guests aren’t afraid to use them. We were lucky enough to have a room with a veranda and our very own hammock to while away the afternoon in. The whole place is designed to slow you down and encourage rest and relaxation. Or at least it is in May and September which are the ‘off-peak’ months. I can imagine it’s pretty bonkers in July and August which is high party season.


We spent most days doing something like this:

– waking from a deep, peaceful sleep in our netted queen sized bed

– eating a delicious breakfast of fresh fruit, Greek yogurt, mini pastries, cooked eggs, amazing juices and hot chocolate (breakfast was included so we smashed it every day)

– sunbathing on our large, square, room for two, sun lounger over looking the sea/ocean enjoying our books and taking moments to sit in the shade under a palm or swim in the pool

– lunch if we had it was the house buba ghanush which had feta and dried petals generously sprinkled on top (we usually saved a couple of bananas from breakfast for an afternoon snack)

– afternoons were taken up with more sunbathing, a nap or read in our hammock or a little walk

– the closest beach was nice to walk and people watch along and I always love the chance to take my jellies off, walk in the foam and get the sand between my toes

– Mykonos town and particularly Little Venice were worth the cab journey and the London priced restaurants (food delicious but not cheap) other nights we stayed in the hotel or popped along to the closest taverna on the beach


All in all I would say it was one of the best, or at least most ‘us’ holidays we’ve ever had. Beautiful surroundings, delicious food, wonderful attention to detail and a super chilled, lazy atmosphere – we’ll be back soon Mykonos!


















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SMUG turns six

:: by Lizzie
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SMUG is now six years old! Can you believe it? It’s been a fabulous 6 years and we’re well up for the next sixty (or more) years of curating, collecting, collaborating and commissioning fresh and exciting design in Islington. I’d like to thank everyone who supports SMUG and everything we do – the team, my family, my friends and the many friends of SMUG, customers and designers we’ve picked up along the way.


Here I’d like to share with you the new exclusives specially designed to celebrate SMUG moving on into its seventh year.


P L A N T S  C O S M E T I C  P O U C H  B Y  R O S I E  M O S S :

As most of you will know I absolutely love Rosie’s work and have really enjoyed commissioning pieces from her and developing our offering of Rosie Moss at SMUG. It’s rather nice that this brand new Plants Pouch is my absolute favourite thing she’s ever designed. Thanks Rosie! Totes and cushions coming soon.




P L A N T  H A N G E R  B Y  E L E A N O R  B O L T O N :

Can you see a bit of a theme developing? It’s fair to say I’m rather into plants at the moment. Fellow plant lover and more importantly, jewellery designer, Eleanor Bolton, crafts lust-worthy necklaces and bracelets by coiling and hand stitching cotton rope. Her 40/50 Necklace is very much on my wish list (the whole collection is defo worth a good look). Luckily for SMUG she also makes utterly perfect Plant Hangers. Eleanor has created a new size especially to fit our best selling plant pots. These new hangers come in Mint and Dark Grey and are a great way to get more greenery into your interior.




B R A S S  F O I L E D  N O T E B O O K S  B Y  T O M  P I G E O N :

SMUG has been a fan of Tom Pigeon for some time and we carry lots of different stationery and accessory items by the brand. Our 6th birthday seemed the perfect time to launch our first ever exclusive with them. Kirsty and Pete took the SMUG pattern (see the background of our website) and used it as the inspiration for a this Brass Foiled Notebook design which comes in four SMUG colours.




W O O D E N  O W L  I N  M I N T  B Y  M A T T  P U G H :

You may not be surprised to hear that we’ve teamed up again with Matt Pugh to launch a brand new Mint coloured Wooden Owl to mark our 6th birthday. SMUG is lucky enough to now have four exclusive colour ways with Matt. Check out our Yellow, Peach, Pale Blue and Mint Owls here.


As well as thanking the above designers for sharing their talent and hard work on these new SMUG exclusives, I’d also like to say a big thank you to the people who made the SMUG birthday party itself a really special and enjoyable event.


F R U I T Y  P O R T R A I T S  B Y  R U B Y  T A Y L O R :

The fabulous Ruby Taylor was on hand all night to created Fruity Portraits of our lovely guests. Some people had two painted because they couldn’t choose which fruit to be. Others had loved ones not in attendance immortalised as fruit with the use of iPhone photos. It got pretty fruity! Thanks so much Ruby. SMUG is lucky enough to have an exclusive print by Ruby and we also stock lots of her work with Wrap Magazine so maybe take some time to have a look at all her wonderful creations. You can see a slide show of some of the portraits here.




S I P S M I T H  D I S T I L E R Y :

Sipsmith are small, they’re independent and they craft truly artisanal spirits of uncompromising quality. Prudence, the most important member of the team, is the first copper still to launch in London for nearly 200 years. She’s the only one of her kind. The swan motif on the Sipsmith mark is a reference to the “swan’s neck” pipe where the spirit vapour turns above the still. Sipsmith very kindly furnished us with bottles of their Dry Gin, Sloe Gin and Summer Cup for us to serve and enjoy at our birthday event. If you’ve not tried their gins before you absolutely should. They made a wonderful celebration all the more SMUG.




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ruby taylor’s fruity portraits

:: by Lizzie
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We were very lucky to have the immensely talented Ruby Taylor painting Fruity Portraits all night at the SMUG Turns Six birthday party. She came, she painted, she rocked it. Take a look through the slide show above of lots of happy and fruity party-goer’s portraits. They’ve been all over social media and we thought it would be nice to be able to show a few of them together in the same place. Thanks again Ruby! Want to share your Ruby Taylor Fruity Portrait? Pop it up on twitter, instgram or Facebook using the handle @ifeelsmug and the hashtag #smugturnssix




may favourites

:: by Lizzie


This is where where I pull together my favourites in design, fashion, food, beauty and everything in between for the month of May.


F A S H I O N :

House of Holland Hannah Dress – I love a dress that feels ‘special’ and like you’ve made an effort but is casual and comfy too. I’m not so good at the glamorous look so am always on the hunt for beautifully made dresses with gorgeous detailing that I can wear for special occasions but that still feel me. This one fits the bill perfectly.

Pippa Lynn Camo Duster Jacket – Having been on the hunt for the right duster jacket for some time, I came across this bad boy at Urban Outfitters. It’s nuts but it kinda works and is great fun to wear. I’ve been pairing it with an asos leopard print midi dress and black jellies for the clashy look but it also works really well over skinnies and a simply vest.

Eve Bracelet by A.P.C. – I’m a huge A.P.C. fan and particularly enjoy their accessories. I was pretty excited to be able to combine my love of the brand, big bangles and graphic representations of fruit, all in one piece, with this smile inducing bracelet.


F O O D :

Berber and Q – My new favourite restaurant opened under one of the Haggerston railway arches only a month or two ago. The ingredients are predominantly Middle Eastern but the recipes draw inspiration from the American BBQ movement. Expect grilled and smoked meats cooked over charcoal, mezze from the East, music from the West, beer by the growler, cocktails, pickles & pita. Their Rosemary Lemonade is particularly amazing, and of course I love the lamb.


B E A U T Y :

Now I know I mentioned these beauty items in my Travel Skincare post but it wouldn’t be fair to leave them out of my May Favourites as they’ve totally changed my beauty routine. I’ve loved using them all through May and will continue to do so throughout June and the rest of the summer I’m sure. I’d really recommend every single one of them.

Super Facialist by Una Brennan Vitamic C+ Brighten Skincare – I’ve been using the Dark Circles Eye Cream, the Glow Boost Skin Serum and my favourite, the Skin Renew Cleansing Oil and my skin really does feel brighter and altogether better. The orangey fragrance is lovely too.

Colab Dry Shampoo – This is a revelation. No white streaks or heavy residue just fresh smelling, clean looking hair. Rio is my favourite from the collection.

Rimel London Lasting Finish Primer – I’ve not really gotten into primer before but at the recommendation of Vivianna Does Makeup I thought I’d give this low budget option a whizz and it’s a really nice product. Defo preps my skin nicely for what’s going on next and keeps my makeup in place longer. I’m going to crowbar in an extra May favourite here and say how much I’ve been enjoying (Vivi)Anna’s blog on all things beauty and suggest you give it a look.

Nars Yokio Kabuki Brush – This was one of my special treats/splurges in May and I can really say it was totally worth it. I’ve not used brushes much in the past and so didn’t quite understand how amazingly well the right one could do a specific job. This Nars blush brush deposits and blends just the right amount of pigment onto the apples of your checks for the perfect natural healthy look. It’s pretty much fool-proof.


O T H E R :

San Giorgio Hotel Mykonos – My long weekend in Mykonos was my absolute favourite part of May. Beautiful design, delicious food, super chilled vibe. We loved it! Hotel review with lots of pics coming very soon.

Orange, Banana and Coconut Juice – I’ve been well into breakfast smoothies since April and I’m really noticing the difference in my skin and general health. My May favourite comes from a blog I follow, Hello Natural. Take a good look at her blog for lots of recipes, DIY and beauty advice. This orange, banana, almond milk and coconut water combo is so refreshing and is a great option if you don’t have a juicer.

Stock Flowers in Peach – Okay, so, if I was a flower it would totally be Peach Stock. I didn’t even know stock came in peach until this May and I’m totally in love with them. They even have pale yellow colouring right at the heart of each bloom. My perfect colour combo and flower shape. Happiness in a vase.