Claire Menary on blogging, travel and East London hot-spots
Working as a freelance photographer based in London, Claire is rarely in the one place for too long. Documenting her travels as she goes, Claire Menary continues to stun her readers with beautiful imagery and recommendations you can rely on. Her instagram feed will have you booking your next trip away and filling your belly with the finest food London has to offer after one scroll. Dipping into beauty and fashion too, her blog is a one stop cultural fill with shots of stunning interiors. Claire will make you lust and love everything she sees through her camera lens.
We caught up with Claire to guide you to her favourite East London spots, give advice on all things blogging and to share where she if off to next.
Here is our 9 Questions With: Claire Menary
What advice would you give to anyone starting a blog in 2017?
Just start! Don’t compare yourself to other bloggers who have been doing it for years - everyone has to start somewhere. Do use other blogs as inspiration; not to copy but to help you find your own identity and to discover what you want for your blog. Don’t start blogging with the sole aim of getting inundated with invites to events and offers of gifts - just be authentic and write about what you want to write about! Your blog is your very own slice of the internet and it can be whatever you want it to be so just enjoy it.
Is it difficult to juggle blogging whilst working?
The simplest answer is yes! I’m lucky in the sense that I’m a freelance photographer so I can easily fit blogging duties around my work, however photography is my number one so sometimes, when that’s hectic, I have to put the blog to a side unless it’s a campaign I’m working on. I’m still trying to grasp the concept of work/life balance but haven’t quite figured that out yet!
What social media platform do you love the most?
Instagram without a shadow of a doubt. Photography is my greatest love and it gives me such pleasure being able to share the photos that I’ve taken with people. I also really enjoy seeing other people’s take on the world through their photos and seeing something through their eyes. It’s a very creative and inspirational platform - I’d be at a loss without it!
Where have your best East London restaurant finds been?
I really love Campania on Columbia Road - it’s the most beautiful, charming little spot. The restaurant actually goes quite far back to a candle lit room which, during the day, is where they make their pasta. I’d really recommend a meal there - for any occasion. A new favourite restaurant of mine is also Blanchette East on Brick Lane. I went for the first time several days ago and fell completely head over heels. Every dish was so more-ish - I need to go back for my fix again soon!
Which East London brunch do you go to time and time again?
As editor of instagram account @theldnbrunchcollective, I’m fickle when it comes to my brunch spots as I always go somewhere new every week. But when it comes to East London, my favourite so far is Bistrotheque. Beautiful interiors, delicious food and live music at weekends. It’s magical.
Where are you travelling to next?
I have a fair few trips booked in the diary. Currently I’m in Milan for a photoshoot then next is a quick trip to Copenhagen, then potentially Stockholm, Cape Town for Christmas and India for New Year! I think I’ve well and truly caught the travel bug...
If you didn't live in London where would you live?
If you didn't live in London, where would you live?
Tough question! I adore London and in truth, nowhere else really comes close. In terms of other cities around the world, I’d live in New York for a period of time as I think it’s perhaps the closest in likeness to London. Maybe one day I’ll move out of London to somewhere beautiful like Oxfordshire… but that’s not happening anytime soon!
Apart from travel you are amazing for skincare help. What skincare brands can you not live without?
Skincare is my secret obsession. I love it and can talk for hours about all different lotions and potions. I really recommend The Ordinary, REN Skincare, Sarah Chapman and Elemis - all are great brands available in the UK. And if you’re travelling to the US, pay a visit to Sephora and stock up on Herbivore. Their Blue Lapis Oil is a skin-changer!
Why did you choose The Mariner Bag from Paradise Row?
Aside from the beautiful navy hue, I just really loved the ship wheel charm. I think I have some kind unexplained fixation with the coast and the sea so I just naturally gravitated towards The Mariner.