The Five at Five: Paul + Niko, Earl of East
17 Feb 2022
From hidden-gems to places to people-watch, from bookshops to beauty spots – here is some inspiration, celebrating the independents in our local neighbourhoods around the world.
This week’s selection has been curated by Paul Firmin and Niko Dafkos, the founders of Earl of East. “A love of fragrance and a desire to build something of our own led us to develop our own line of home fragrance products,” they explain. “Which has since expanded from just three candles to a line that encompasses candles, incense, home mists and bath and body products, all of which are produced by us in London.”
Earl of East now has over 230 stockists worldwide, and in September 2019 Paul and Niko launched their debut book, "The Scented Candle Workshop" in both the UK and the US. Their brand has four pillars: Create, Curate, Collaborate and Community. This is the DNA that weaves through everything they do.
“Currently, our favourite place to eat is a spot really close to our home called Filly Brook whose food residency from Fumio Tanga called Sho Foo Doh is not to be missed. The vibe in Filly Brook is always very chilled and the food delicious, so it's a regular haunt. More and more of our friends are moving to the area too, and after many months hanging exclusively in this area we always bump into someone we know, so it has a real community vibe.”
“Probably Redchurch Street, it's always been a favourite of ours, but since opening the store here last October we have been regulars on the street. There is a real mix of locals and people passing through, and it just feels really London.”
“On a midweek day off we love to head into town. One of our favourite streets is Chiltern Street, and no visit is complete without stopping by Shreeji Newsagents and grabbing a magazine, or obscure book.
“A recent find was Leaked Recipes which is a collection of recipes found in the world's biggest email leaks. It always sits in the office and becomes a talking point when it's discovered on the shelf.”
“The ultimate place for us is Ojai, California. The lavender sunsets are incredible, it's so chilled there and you can really relax. We always make a point of staying in one of the Hot Tub Cabins in the Ojai Rancho Inn.
“During the last couple of years we have also loved discovering local spots like the Retreat East in Suffolk.”
“Truly for shopping you would be very hard pushed to beat London, but for inspiration we love indie stores in the US, especially those in LA, which really inspired our own journey as retailers. We also love an annual trip to Paris.”