May 31, 2024

East London - with content creator Belle Perez

Belle Perez is an Australian content creator who traded life in a regional town not far from Melbourne for a London adventure two years ago. With her camera in hand, Belle captures the everyday moments, often romanticising her London life along the way.

1. Where do you rest your head?  

On my pillow that I’m religious about taking with me wherever I go. You won’t catch me on a long-haul flight without it (don’t worry, I have the double pillowcase routine down to a science). The majority of the time, however, my pillow sits among my blue bedding in east London. 

East London has been my home for two years now, which feels crazy to say - it’s gone so quickly that I can’t quite believe it. Prior to London, my pillow was all over the place. I grew up in country Victoria, in a town called Bendigo which is two hours north of Melbourne, but have lived in Perth, Melbourne, New York City and even on a superyacht (for work not pleasure, sadly).

2. What’s something amazing about your area that only the locals know about? 

I’ve been living in the same spot for two years and I still don’t feel like I have a solid grasp of everything my local area has to offer. My bestie and I have a ride-or-die kebab shop that we get falafel wraps from after a night out or as an easy Sunday eve feed. I highly recommend finding your own version of this in your neighbourhood!

3. Where’s your favourite local spot for a cheap bite to eat? 

Mangal 1, 10 Arcola St, London E8 2DN - a Turkish restaurant which is BYOB. It doesn’t get much better than there!

4. What would your perfect no-spend London day involve? 

Strolling around a market is probably one of my favourite things to do in London. There can be costs involved (depending on my mood and bank balance), but in general the act of putting on a cute outfit and pottering around one of London’s many markets is an activity I’ll never get sick of. The people-watching is always top tier too, especially in east London.

5. You’re originally from Australia. What brought you to London? 

I just needed a change and the proximity to so many incredible holiday destinations was definitely a large draw card. With Australia being part of the Commonwealth, the Visa is really easy to get, so it just made the most sense. It’s funny, I really didn’t love London before moving here. I wanted to live in New York, but couldn’t manage to get a Visa. So London was my fallback. In reflection, that was the best thing that ever happened to me. 

6. What do you miss most about back home? 

The people. I could live without everything else forever if I had to. But quality time with my family and friends can’t be replicated. It’s not easy, but I always tell myself it’s just for now, not forever. So I try to live in the now and remember that they are all proud of me for chasing my dreams.

7. Where do you go/what do you do in London when you’re feeling homesick? 

I live with my best friend and it’s hard to be homesick when she’s around. But fresh air always helps clear my head when those emotions feel like they are taking over. The two of us would probably go on a walk to a cafe and get a pastry or something, then come home and pop on a so-bad-it’s-good rom-com. 

8. If you were Mayor of London, what would you change about the city? 

In an ideal world, there would be a cap on rental prices. I’m pretty lucky with our flat but so many born and bred Londoners are getting priced out, which doesn’t seem fair. 

9. In three words, what makes someone a Londoner? 

I’m not sure I’m qualified to answer yet, or maybe I don’t feel like I classify myself as a Londoner. I’m just a little ol’ Aussie in London… talk to me in a couple more years!

You can find Belle on all social media platforms @belleperez and her website at belleperez.co.

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