We made the move from east London to Kingston Upon Thames, then after seven happy years there and a new addition to the family, we stepped out further into Surrey to the village of Banstead, which lies just within the M25. London is still easily accessible, Brighton is a 50-minute drive away, and we have the Surrey countryside on our doorstep. The five-bedroom house we found at a great price was the initial draw, and I wasn’t entirely sure what the area would offer in terms of places to inspire and spend time, but luckily, I have been pleasantly surprised by some of the local gems and lovely spots all within a short drive. Here a few of my faves
Todmorden buzzes with a vibrant community atmosphere. This is a town for artists, with many writers, painters, musicians and other creative souls calling Tod home. There is a vegetarian café, a community gardening project, a pub that regularly hosts celebrated musicians and more pop-up’s, workshops and events than I can keep up with. It may only be small, but it’s thriving.
With its brightly coloured buildings, housing independent shops and Artist studios, the Old High Street is at the heart of the Creative Quarter. I love this part of town, it slows down a little out of season but between Easter and October it is a hive of activity. At the top of the street is the family friendly Lubens pizza restaurant which sits just next door to County Fayre.
When I was first asked to contribute to Sister’s Hoods I wasn’t quite sure what to call the area surrounding me. I live in the middle of quite a few neighbourhoods, on the cusp of Upper Holloway and Islington in North London. It’s an area that unless you’re a local or have friends living there you may not ever visit. I’m not sure I’d want it any other way though, it keeps things local and that’s the way we like it, no?