Enfield (for now). My husband and I are currently on the hunt for a house, wish us luck!
The cheapest is the one-bed flat in Enfield (Zone 6) where I live now and my travel costs aren’t much higher than when I lived in Zone 3, which means I have more money for going out - yay! The most expensive place was my last home I rented in east London (more on that in the next question).
It’s a London rite of passage, no?! Let me take you back to about five years ago when I lived out my childhood dream and rented with my best friends. We lived in east London in the affectionately named ‘Mile End Mansion’. To be fair, it was big but also very old and very very cold. The floors were sloped so my chest of drawers remained open at all times, there were mushrooms growing out the ceiling and we had to clingfilm up the windows to avoid the breeze on our faces whilst we slept.
We had very little money so we couldn’t afford to keep the heating on all the time; I remember one night when my housemate went to sleep in a beanie and faux fur coat. You gotta do what you gotta do...
However, I look back at that home with such rose tinted glasses as even though we had a cold for two years straight, it also hosted the best house parties and memories of my mid 20s.
Markets! They form part of my bond to different areas of London and are great for delicious affordable food, the only problem is making a decision...
I remember the delicious Pad Thai stall outside the Central School of Speech and Drama in Swiss Cottage that I used to visit multiple times a week whilst I was doing my masters degree, and there’s Magic Falafel from Camden Market, which I’m currently missing whilst working from home. I also love Broadway Market and Lower Marsh Market.
Walking. I love walking, coffee in hand, friend by your side - setting the world to rights amongst the beautiful backdrop of London. This is how the idea for my podcast, The Imposters Club, came about - my friend Sinéad (who also lived in the Mile End Mansion) and I would come home from work, make a coffee and walk around Victoria Park while dissecting every aspect of our lives.
A good walking route is: Embankment to Monument, cross the river, then walk from Borough Market to Southbank.
Yes, and when it first happened I thought I was the most special person in the world (easily pleased). In my early 20s I had a theatre company and every time we’d rehearse we’d get a 99p filter coffee from Pret and every so often they’d give it to me for free. Maybe the trick is to look like a struggling artist?
Foyers! Ever need somewhere to sit and not spend money?
The National Theatre is the best place for meetings and they do great coffee. Walking around the Royal Opera House is like being in a museum, with costumes and props from shows dotted around the venue.
The London Eye (not that I’ve been) but there are so many amazing places to see views for free and not whilst being trapped in a glass ball with random people. Some of my favourites are Primrose Hill, Franks Cafe, Netil 360 or Sky Garden.
This is easy: FOOD. I love eating out, and I especially love a dinner with a view. My ideal afternoon would start with a matinee show. I saw Tina, the Tina Turner Musical BC (before covid) and it was ah-mazing. Then I’d go for dinner so we can talk about the show we’ve just seen and then maybe cocktails and home! This has got me mourning pre-covid life!
There are some amazing charity shops in London. There’s one by London Fields station and I often pop in on my way to visit my friend in Homerton. Ground floor is homeware and upstairs is clothing, I have got some gems in there including a gorgeous vintage cream blazer.
Finding your places.
The Imposters Club (co-hosted by Melissa Murdock and Sinéad Kennedy Krebs) is available to listen to on Spotify and Apple Podcasts. Recent guests have included Flo Perry, Betta Lucca and Yvadney Davis. Follow them on Instagram here.
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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.
Swiss Cottage might not be the sexist area of London - but there's still a lot going on. Here, journalist, comedy writer and Swiss Cottage local Suchandrika Chakrabarti shares her tips for maximising NW3.