Bromley baby, born and raised! Is it London? Is it Kent? It’s Zone 5, so to me, it’s south east London (at least, that’s my go to answer).
Am I allowed to say the cheapest place is with my parents, where I currently am? (Although I hasten to add that I am still paying rent). The most expensive was in Haggerston/De Beauvoir Town during my third year of uni. I lived in Hong Kong for two years, and the rent prices there are out of this world.
In my second year of uni, I lived in a lovely little flat near Exmouth Market, near to Angel. At least, it was lovely until we discovered we had a rat infestation in the summer. I was home alone one day when I heard a rattling noise coming from the kitchen, where we’d set out a bunch of traps that were intended for small mice, not large rats. Let’s just say it wasn’t a pretty sight when I found out what the noise was.
I am sad to say that I’m not sure whether it’s open anymore, but I used to really enjoy getting a cheap, quick and frills-free Thai takeaway from Siam Eatery in Covent Garden. I might be biased because I did do a few months’ part time work there, but even before then, their red curry was my fave.
During lockdown (let’s face it, there’s not been too much to do), I’ve really been enjoying exploring the Green Chain Walk and places more local to me, like Eltham Palace and Beckenham Place Park. Uncovering those gems and spending more time in south London’s green spaces has been one of the few pleasures of the last 12 months.
I love the Barbican Conservatory. Earlier in the summer, I did the outdoor sculpture walk The Line, which goes from Greenwich to Stratford’s Olympic Park. Great in nice weather, although make sure you’re well hydrated and ready to get that step count going.
Walking wherever I can. I never thought of London as a really walkable city before living in the centre, but you do come to realise how close together some of the tube stops are.
This is with the caveat of completely utopian thinking, but I’d want affordable housing for all, and better transport links in south London! There’s been so much back and forth about extending the Bakerloo line out this way. Also I would introduce a freeze on travel prices and keep free travel for under 18s.
The generic tourist-y attractions like Madame Tussauds and London Zoo. They are the antithesis of what I would call a fun day out.
This is going to sound very basic, but probably afternoon tea at Sketch. I’m a sucker for gimmicky places like Mr Fogg’s and Cahoots, so probably drinks at either after.
Ah so many! Getting gifts and going to Christmas markets is one of my favourite things, so I missed doing that last month, but tried to support small businesses online wherever I could. I really like jewellery by Anisha Parmar and About November. There are so many London-based artists I love, like Chin Chin Prints and Becky Glass. I love Peckham’s Forza Wine and Miss Tapas for food. Local to me, in Bromley, I love Theo & Gilbert for all things floral and the Lavender House for coffee and cake.
Since helping my mum to launch The Caring Touch, we’ve been supported and encouraged by so many amazing small businesses, and I want to give a shout out to Faith at British Chinese Biz for creating such a great community, as well as Bianca of the Mindful Market.
I would also recommend A South London Makers Market and Women of Colour Makers Market as they always highlight amazing small businesses. And it goes without saying, Cheapskate — obv.
Curious, resilient, umbrella-wielding (sorry I know that’s cheating!).
Follow Suyin on Twitter and check out her website here. The Caring Touch can be explored on Etsy and Instagram. All products are handmade in south London, using natural, plant-based ingredients and aromatherapy essential oils.
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Hornsey-based Amos Schonfield is the founder and CEO of Our Second Home, the UK’s youth movement for refugees and migrants, and a Jewish social justice activist.
Marie Le Conte is a French-Moroccan journalist and author who has been living in London for 13 years.
Francesca Specter is the writer of The Shoulds newsletter, author of Alonement and host of an award-nominated podcast of the same name. She has lived in Primrose Hill as a household-of-one for four years.