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East Village, London

With 25 acres of parks and wetlands, East Village is a place to breathe the air and get active. Even our gigs and gatherings take place outdoors.

Elephant Central, London

Perfectly placed to make the most of the city, yet with a character and community all of its own.

New Maker Yards, Manchester

The buzz of two great cities. The cool calmness of the canals. A place to live, work, meet friends.

8 positive lessons from lockdown

There are a few things we learnt in lockdown that we won't be giving up in a hurry.

1. Keep calm.
Sometimes it’s really not helpful watching lemon-water-infused-beauties championing at pandemonium. Break up a mindless insta-trawl and instead sign up for a 30-day free trial of the Calmapp, it’s been voted number 1 for aiding sleep, mediation and relaxation. There’s also Insighter Timer, which is free and is great for soothing music, guided meditation, mindfulness.  Check out our 5 instagram accounts to follow immediately feature for GOOD VIBES ONLY.

2. Take time.
If you’re not headed back to an office any time soon you’ve gained those daily commute hours. Use that time to catch up on sleep, have a pre-work workout, make something delicious for breakfast. On days you’re not in back-to-back Zoom meetings, let your hair dry naturally – why wear make-up? Take time for you. Your skin/hair/brain will be better for it.

3. It’s good to talk.
Everyone (including gran) became Skype/Zoom/Houseparty savvy. What a time to be alive. Thanks to tech we managed to chat to friends, fam and colleagues face-to-face. Yes, sure, Zoom meetings have been challenging at times but keeping social has been good way to feel ‘normal’. From a society reliant on endless whatsapp group chats we’ve become acquainted with the face-to-face chat again – albeit digital and we’re all perkier for it.

4. We’ve got the world at our finger tips.
Most of our favourite places have access to virtual tours on their websites, including The National Gallery London, Natural History Museum, London, British Museum, The Guggenheim New York, The Louvre in Paris, Vatican Museums in Rome, The Guggeheim Bilbao. Add to that, the National Theatre are still streaming plays. So get the snacks out, open a bottle of something lovely – and get cosy…because tomorrow, we’re off to Machu Pichu.

5. We can dance like Beyonce (kinda).
When lockdown happened, entrepreneurs and creative thinkers were offering up their services digitally. From dance classes to line drawing, there’s still so many things we can learn online, from the comfort of home. Follow @ryan.heffington for upbeat dancing vibes, here’s the live stream class list – a guaranteed mood-boost. Artist Alexandria Coe will be continuing to hold her sought after drawing classes online throughout autumn, stay tuned here. And what about mastering an instrument? Here’s how to learn to play a ukulele. You’re welcome.

6. We aren’t terrible cooks.
We all had to become a little inventive with mealtimes. After the initial shock of having to feed ourselves three times a day we became meal planners and learnt that preparing even the simplest meal provides a much needed screen break and is pretty cathartic. Poster girl for delicious food indulgence Gizzi Erskine kept us busy in the kitchen. While Lola Milne’s book ‘Take one can’ taught us clever recipes with minimal ingredients, check out the crab cakes and the Sri Lankan curry (nom). Laura Jackson taught us to get creative with table settings and how to cook simple dishes from across the globe. When we couldn’t go to the restaurant – we brought the restaurant home.

7. The art of reading.
When we completed Netflix, we turned to books. Retraining our brain to focus on the written word and escaping to mystical faraway lands, or laughing so hard we cried/choked/weed – see Raven Smith’s first furore into book writing: Trivial Pursuits. Let’s keep the spirit of reading alive. Get round to reading that author you’ve always had on your list. Delve into ancient traditions, explore Buddhism – why not? Stay tuned with Waterstone’s bestsellers list and Stylist’s book page.

8. Sleep cures.
Sounds simple but we all know that sleep is a real healer. Just because we can lay in a bit longer, sans commute, don’t be tempted to stay up ‘til the wee hours box-set-bingeing/pacing the floors (and drinking the extra wines)… This is your opportunity to enjoy your bed, get some fresh sheets on and hop right in. It’s the best medicine. (Revert to point 1 for a calming send-off).