Camberwell. I’ve lived in an arc around north London my whole life, but I’d say Camberwell is the first place since my childhood home in Hackney that I’ve felt a real sense of belonging in. More and more I’m starting to consider myself a South Londoner, and I’m starting to exhibit most of the tribal prejudices that go along with that (even though I retain a soft spot for all north London Turkish restaurants and Sam’s Chicken).
Cheapest place would technically be my parent’s house in Bounds Green where I did not have to pay rent after I came back from university. Cheapest place I’ve paid rent on was in Camden, where a very good deal on a flat share meant I was paying about £350 a month.
Primrose Hill ─ I literally couldn’t afford it and lost all my savings, which is what you get for proximity to a lovely view and absolutely no culture.
A crumb of sunshine, a cycle ride to a park, a free museum trip or exhibition hopping around galleries in Mayfair, a walk on the South Bank and a free film at the BFI’s Mediatheque, a barbecue in Burgess Park.
No, and despite not wanting to ever drink a Pret coffee I consider it a personal insult that I’ve never been offered one.
Burgess Park or the Alexandra and Ainsworth estate on a sunny day. Both make me feel much more hopeful about London as a place to live in.
At one point I had memorised where to get on and off tube trains and how to interchange quickly, but someone made an app solely about this so now this earned knowledge is completely useless. I don’t know if it’s a hack as such, but I’d say a great thing to do if you’re bored is just pick a direction and walk somewhere.
No, my days of trying to scam TfL ended with Oyster cards. Before then you could simply put your thumb across the date of your week old 40p paper bus ticket and hope that the driver didn’t clock.
Install myself as mayor for life and then abolish the City of London Corporation.
I’m going to skip the obvious one, which is rent, and say the inflationary price on smashed cucumbers. We all know what a cucumber costs so where is this mark up coming from? There needs to be some kind of smashed cucumber cap because this situation is only going to get worse as they become more trendy.
A meal at Five Guys.
Native and Co for home accessories; Moxons and Fin and Flounder for fish; 40 Maltby Street for wine and food; Postcard Teas for tea and ceramics (full disclosure: I work there); Two Columbia Road and Frost for furniture; Hostem for clothes; the London Review Bookshop and Tenderbooks for books.
Born or chosen.
Interview by Caitlin Allen. Follow Caitlin on Twitter here.
Subscribe to the Cheapskate London newsletter - the ultimate guide to the capital's best free events - here.
Scarlett Ferro is a 23-year-old primary school teacher based in Streatham, south London. In her spare time, she reviews London restaurants, bars and other experiences on her popular Instagram account, London in Pairs. Here, Scarlett discusses cheap eats, dreamy dates and Alice in Wonderlands bars.
Courtney Bembridge is a TV journalist covering world news for the BBC. She hails from the sun-baked state of Western Australia – and moved to London in 2017. De Beauvoir-based Courtney has spent the pandemic rediscovering the things she loves about her adopted city, from lidos to markets.
Balham-based Katie Strick is a feature writer and commissioning editor at the Evening Standard newspaper. Here, she shares her go-to places for cheap food in London, her most memorable journalistic assignments and her biggest misconception about living in the city.