Ich Bin Kentishtowner: Ella Jones, 34, co-founder, Phileas Hog at The Abbey

‘Kentish Town used to be working class, you know!’

Ella Jones: ‘You don’t always get what you want and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.’
Ella Jones has lived in Kentish Town all her life. A trained singer and musician, she has sung at Ronnie Scott’s and Jazz Cafe, as well as teaching in Camden School for Girls and Fleet Primary. In 2013, after fledgling success on the London streetfood scene, she set up the Phileas Hog kitchen with partners Joe Kehoe and Jack Willis at the Abbey Tavern. They have recently expanded into another north London pub, the Beehive in Tottenham.

When were you happiest?
Happiness is fleeting. I’d say I’m most content right now. I run a successful business with my partner, have a lovely flat and a baby on the way.

Where would you like to live?
I’m on Caversham Road, which I love, but if I could choose, I’d have a whole house on Lawford or Patshull Road.

What is your favourite sound or smell?
When the spring flowers are out in people’s front gardens, they perfume the air; wonderful.


What is your greatest life achievement?
Staying sane!

What is the most important lesson life has taught you?
Always have a walk around in someone else’s shoes. Understanding makes life much easier.

What is your earliest memory?
I grew up on Queen’s Crescent. The market is etched in my memory, as are sausage rolls from Dylan’s.

The Phileas hog crew: Ella, Joe and Jack
The Phileas Hog crew: Ella, Joe and Jack
What makes you unhappy?
Timewasting, and seeing people I love in pain.

What is your most unappealing habit?
Impatience…there’s a theme here.

What is your guilty pleasure?
Used to be BLT sandwiches from Brassino but that was taken over by E. Mono and Mike’s. Now it would have to be one of the sandwiches we sell at the Abbey: the Piggy Back with cheese, or a Hot Chick.

Where do you hang out?
The Abbey far too much! I’m having a baby next month so barely go out, but occasionally like to venture down to Camden. Lockside Lounge and Bar Vinyl are two favourites.

Who or what do you hate and why?
I hate bad manners and people who are inconsiderate of others. Anyone who takes advantage of those weaker than them. If I see that sort of thing with my own eyes, I will run my mouth: not a pretty sight.

What’s been your best and worst experience?
I have very fond memories of my schooldays at Camden School for Girls. Set me up for life, that place did. Worst? Well, having lived here all my life so there’s been a few. I was sad when Boris the Cat on Anglers Lane died. Always unhappy that the Jolly Angler became a Nando’s too. And we used to have an M&S once; I’d love one now.

What do you most dislike about your appearance?
I’m eight months pregnant – so don’t ask.

What’s the worst thing anyone’s said to you?
“Where’s the hit, we can’t hear the hit?” (when in a meeting with EMI records).

Spot the K-Town and Hampstead Heath locations in Ella’s promo video from 2011

Tell us a secret.
Kentish Town used to be working class, you know!

What has your career taught you?
You don’t always get what you want – and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

What is your favourite dish and why?
You can’t beat a great curry: satisfying, homely and invigorating.

What did you do today?
Wheeled and dealed around the streets of Kentish.

Describe yourself as an animal.
A dog. A bit mental but once I’m yours, I’m fiercely loyal and love cuddles.

Follow Phileas Hog on Twitter @phileashog

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  • Tom

    It is something of a truth that people tend to look at the past through rose tinted glasses. The Jolly Angler’s was something of a dive – think of O’Reilly’s! Many parts of Kentish Town are still “working class” (sic). Indeed, I remember well that the Abbey was a “working class” boozer.