I’m excited to add a new series of posts to the blog – Meet the Londoner! I’ve been blogging about this city life in London for over a year now, sharing my new finds, old favourites and why it’s so great to live here along the way. I thought it was about time I got out there to find out about the places you’ve discovered and what you love doing here. Introducing my first Londoner – Susan Hamilton.
What’s the best thing about living in London?
It’s an amazing multi cultural city, there’s something for everyone to enjoy – you can be into anything and you can be sure to find a match in London. It’s a cultured and beautiful city: theatre, museums, arts together with parks, top bars and restaurants, great nightlife. I just love that you can’t ever get bored – there’s always something new going on!
What do you love doing most in the city?
It depends entirely on which day of the week! On a weekday there’s nothing better than going to Selfridges after work for a quick shop and buying a few bits of lovely food treats like gelupo ice cream or a cupcake from Lola’s. Always brightens up a Monday evening! Then walking down Marylebone High Street for some dinner or drinks – usually the Providores Tapa Room (Patty and Bun if the queue is small). There are some lovely pubs like The Marylebone and bars to enjoy a drink later on, they always seem to be packed.
The weekend is what all Londoners live for! Friday nights are always messy with too many drinks. Favourite thing is to end up at Meat Liquor and finish the night off with cocktails and dirty food. If the weather is good I’ll walk home to try and burn off the alcohol!
Favourite Saturday activity is to go for brunch at Automat or Nopi then we’ll do something cultural like visit the Wellcome Collection near Euston. We might meet friends for a few drinks and nibbles at a tapas place – somewhere like Barrafina or Iberica. Saturday evening I love Notting Hill – cool restaurants and bars. Currently love The Shed and newly refurbished Electric Diner. Usually end up at The Oak which has my favourite bar upstairs – really decadent with amazing cocktails and Italian wine list. I’m obsessed!
Sundays are spent in Hampstead, walking around the amazing Heath to get some exercise in. Then a roast in one of the gorgeous pubs like The Old White Bear, The Wells or Red Lion & Sun in Highgate. Then a bit more walking before reading the papers and having a few nibbles at The Clifton or The Elgin.
If someone asked you to describe this city life in one sentence what would you say?
Too good to be true 🙂
What would be your best piece of advice to someone coming to live in London?
Don’t stick to one area (ie where you are based). Go explore: Shoreditch, Islington, Notting Hill, Clapham/Balham etc etc sometimes people say the city can be too busy/rushed with arrogant people. I think you really need to get to know your way around, live near friends and make the most of all the events in town. Steering clear of Leicester Square or Covent Garden on a weekend – full of tourists and can get scary!!
If you had to cheat on London with another capital city which one would be your first choice and why?
New York without doubt! I’ve been as a tourist but I’d really love to experience it. Lots of friends have lived there and they say it’s like London but maybe better. I want to see if that’s true!
What are the top five places that you’d recommend to a fellow Londoner or exploring visitor?
1. Borough Market! touristy but soo good. Amazing food for every taste – personally I adore the Comte cheese stand and oysters. Always good to pop into Wright Brothers for some fish and wine pairing or go down to Bermondsey Street for wonderful tapas at Jose Pizarro. Maltby Street market is also a good shout to walk to.
2. Museums! V&A is my favourite – you can get lost with all the amazing exhibitions, great for a rainy day. Gotta go down to Chelsea and check out Kings Road while your there to see what all the hype is about! Go somewhere like Colbert, Botanist or my personal faves The Phene and The Hollywood Arms on Hollywood Road. Usually a few Sloaney celebs to spot!
3. Check out the pubs! Nothing beats a great English pub. I’ve grown up in Italy and had only ever experienced a fake Irish pub in my hometown. So wrong! My favourites are around Hampstead as they’re old and traditional. But I also love ones in Westbourne Grove (Prince Bonaparte, The Westbourne, The Metropolitan) or Angel (the Pig & Butcher).
4. Get on the trends! There’s new openings and fun things on every week. At the moment burgers are the ‘big thing’. I’ve been trying them out and so far nothing beats Meat Liquor (impossible to describe) or Patty and Bun. American Diners are also a trend at the moment – I adore Lucky 7’s, the Electric, Automat and the Big Easy. I still haven’t been to Bubbledogs for champagne and hot dogs though 🙂
5. Visit the parks! As already mentioned Hampstead is in a league of its own. Other wonderful ones are Richmond Park, Holland Park, Regents Park or obviously Hyde Park. Go for a walk on a Sunday and then hit the pub for a Bloody Mary or two 🙂 some pubs even have ‘Bloody Mary menus’ with beef stock or wasabi. Yes London has something for us all!!
Brilliant recommendations, especially if you like a bit of north or west London! Thanks Susan!!
P.S. All photos are from Susan’s own collection.