At work with Elliot's
by Stephanie Hannington-Suen·
Elliot’s is a restaurant, bar & natural wine store located in Borough Market & Hackney. Specialising in seasonal wood fired cooking using the best produce from independent suppliers. We visited Samantha, co-owner of Elliot’s, at the Hackney restaurant in the heart of London Fields for a chat about her inspiring business and how she creates balance between home and work life.
Tell us a bit about yourselves, your background and what led you to start your business?
Brett’s background is as a chef and after a couple of other projects he opened Elliot’s in Borough Market over 11 years ago now. I’d worked there on and off over that time and loved it, so in 2019 we decided to focus on the business together as I was over working on events in the PR industry. I wanted to do something more meaningful to me and Elliot’s was always a place that was very special to both of us. Last year we opened our second restaurant in Hackney, which has been amazing to have a place in our own neighbourhood.
Describe your business in 5 words.
Feels like home to me.
Do you have any advice for anyone trying to start something of their own?
We often spend a lot of time and energy on planning, but unexpected changes come. Learn to listen to and take advice, but also follow your instincts. Sounds contradictory, but I think deep down you have to go with your gut otherwise you won’t be able to be fully behind it.
Where do you look for inspiration?
Inspiration mostly comes from peers in the industry. London has an incredible restaurant scene and a lot of incredible people behind it. We’re very lucky to share the space with and learn from them as well as support each other.
Have you got any exciting plans lined up for Elliot’s?
At this point we’re just focused on keeping the two restaurants functioning at the level they are at!
What has been your proudest moment for your business and the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?
For sure being able to survive some serious dark times like the pandemic. Everyday was a challenge, but we threw everything at it and have come out the other side all the better for doing that.
Talk us through a typical day for you?
No such thing as a typical day in this business! But generally checking in on the team to see how things went the night before and then planning for the day ahead. I’m not always on service, but I like to be in the restaurant when I can and I always have to be available to the team - there is A LOT of What’sApps happening on a daily basis.
How do you find balance in your daily routine?
As I’m always “on call” I’ve found it really important to set boundaries to make sure I do have time for myself and my daily rituals.
What are your aspirations for the future?
Continually working on improving Elliot’s both for the guests and also for our staff. It’s very important to us that we maintain a positive and safe workplace culture that’s supportive of our teams. This is something that’s always evolving and we work really closely with the staff to do the best we can at all times.
What is your favourite homework scent and why?
It would be Valle as it was the one I was drawn to instinctually. The mix of woody and herbal undertones just spoke to me. It felt even more fitting when I found out the scent was inspired by Mexico, a place I truly love and adore!
Follow Elliot’s on instagram @elliotslondon.
Visit their website at elliots.london.