Usually Walthamstow (although I'm on a temporary hiatus from London right now while I get my life on track!).
Hollow Pond. It’s a half-hour walk away from me but my idea of “local” is a moving target these days. It’s a beautiful lake on Wanstead Flats surrounded by trees and full of geese, and there’s boat hire as well so you can go rowing in the sunshine. IMO it’s one of the loveliest outdoor places in London.
Any museum or gallery - big ones like the National Gallery or the V&A will always pull me in, and the smaller ones as well. The William Morris Gallery is gorgeous, and Whitechapel Gallery always has something really interesting going on.
A lot of walking, probably around the east London canal area, with a thermos flask of tea and a backlog of podcasts - they’re always getting ahead of me. There are some cows on Walthamstow Wetlands that I love saying hello to. They’re not particularly bothered by me though.
Angel Comedy has got to be the one for me. There have been weeks where I’ve spent multiple days at the Camden Head/Bill Murray pub. It has always been a place which treats all comedy the same, from newcomers to massive names, and I really appreciate that everyone gets a look in. Also, while it is technically free, you absolutely should chuck a few quid in the bucket afterwards to show your appreciation!
I’m always banging on about this because there couldn’t be anything more perfect for me than comedy and musicals, but I had the best night possibly ever at one of Amusical’s shows. It’s hosted by Jayde Adams and Kiri Pritchard-McClean, who bring comics on stage to sing musical theatre with the accompaniment of a full band.
This particular night was the Valentine’s Day special and the band kept on playing after the show and we all sang and danced to musical songs for about three hours. There was one moment where Jayde was singing 'Circle of Life' and everyone was following her in a train around the room pretending to be the animals from the Lion King stage show - it was so surreal and honestly the best workout I’ve ever had.
It’s indefinable - there is so much variety but crucially it is always there for you. Before the global pandemonium, one of my favourite things was getting to the end of the day and deciding I wanted to see a comedy show and just turning up somewhere to find something totally unexpected and brilliant.
ALWAYS! It's so difficult to choose and there's a big fear of leaving people out but this is a tiny sample of what I love: Jen Ives is an incredible stand-up and all-round good egg. Crybabies are a sketch trio who did one of my absolute favourite shows called Danger Brigade. Leila Navabi is a stand-up and comedy writer who is absolutely going to be a big name. I love everything that Kemah Bob does, she's the funniest and I adore her drag king persona Lil Test Ease. And then Siblings is a big one - Maddy Bye, who I do LMAOnaise with, and her sister Marina are incredible sketch comedians and actors and make me weep with laughter at all times.
Oh god this is one of those times when someone asks you your favourite thing and you forget all of the things you’ve ever known about… So I’ll just pick one: There’s this brand new cafe in Clerkenwell which my friend opened at the beginning of March called Clerkenwell Kiosk. It’s in a park rangers’ hut in St James’ Churchyard and it’s so beautiful and everyone should go there for their coffee and snacks.
Open to experiences.
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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.
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