Autumn is finally here and I’m sick in bed, though this time L is keeping me company as we both caught a flue. We spent the last few days drinking chamomile, eating rice, working from home and watching Netflix – what else can you do when you are sick? The temperature outside now drops to 10°-7°C during the night so we’ve taken the arduous decision to turn on the heating for a couple of hours before we go to sleep each night as well as when we wake up in the morning. I remember last year we managed to wait until October before switching it on. This year we are starting a little bit sooner, but at least we’ll be on holiday later on this month (and will leave the house cold while we are away).
It feels like my body has taken the shape of my bed, my bones hurt and I can’t wait to feel better. I really want to go out and celebrate this weekend, I can’t wait to be back to the city centre now that there should be fewer tourists around and hopefully, more sales. I recently ordered a few dresses for the honeymoon from NastyGal and I was pleased with the designs they have, but not with the quality of the fabric at all. I’ll be returning most of the items I’ve ordered, which is quite sad. I’ll show you what I kept in the upcoming posts, once we are back from the honeymoon. In any case, me returning items means I can enjoy more shopping soon! I still need to find something to wear the day after the wedding, when we’ll have a family lunch. If you have any suggestions, please let me know or link some options in the comment section below, I need help!
In the meantime, I can only do some online window-shopping from my bed and I force myself to go out once a day for a stroll around the neighbourhood. When you live in such a big city, your suburb becomes your reference point and your true home, the place you really know and feel comfortable walking around. I’ll share with you some photos we took last weekend around here, just before we both got sick.
When I stroll around the area, I normally walk up to the park in Clapham Common, also known as The Common by the locals. I grab a cappuccino at Gail’s or at Patisserie Valerie, hold it in my hands to warm them up and check if there’s anything new at Sass&Belle, a cute little shop that sells homeware and accessories. Next to Sass&Belle, there are also a couple of trendy coffee shops, a tasty Italian Gelateria, two vintage shops where you can find clothing as well as furniture, a hairdresser and a couple of other high street retailers.
If we are hungry and wish to eat out, well, there’s plenty of choice in Clapham. So far my favourite places are The Pepper Tree, a Thai restaurant where I had an exquisite pad thai, Radio Alice, one of the best pizza places in London and Trattoria dell’Arte, another Italian place where you can eat tasty, traditional cuisine at a moderate price. If I’m up for a burger, I normally go to either Five Guys or Honest Burgers. I tend to prefer Five Guys, though both L and I admitted it is easy to opt for Honest Burgers when you want to eat in a safe and comfortable space (and with that name, Honest, your brain is immediately hooked).
Walking around the neighbourhood, I discover new corners every time. The streets I tend to go to in my weekly walkabouts or runs are those where you can find gorgeous, traditional English homes. There’s a hidden beauty in well-kept, looked after houses that helps my mind relax. The streets around Elms Cres and Abbeville road are my favourites, as well as the houses around Grafton Square. When I’m in a beautiful place, surrounded by these tidy and expensive apartments, I forget about my problems and simply admire the place I’m lucky to live in. Another building that is worth mentioning is the little church in Clapham Common: it may not be huge but it’s a real work of art with all its statues and paintings.
If you know me, you’ll know I love going out at night for a drink. We’ve not explored the area well, but we’ve been to a few places such as the pub Hootananny and Pop Brixton, a place where you can find several independent shops, pubs and restaurants built in shipping containers. In general, Brixton is the place where we tend to go out at night, there’s a nice vibe and it’s definitely not short of crazy people that will make you feel at home.
During the weekend, there are also a few markets that are worth visiting. On Saturday there’s a food market in Clapham Common and a themed market in Brixton. On Sunday, there’s the farmers’ market in Brixton and Herne Hill market, which is my favourite one for the quality of the food the stalls offer. Herne Hill is also close to Dulwich Village, the place where L asked me to marry him and that makes it even more special. From Herne Hill market we normally walk through Brockwell park to breathe some unpolluted air and get a view of the city skyline from the hill.
It’s been relaxing to spend some time in this area and if you have never visited it, I recommend spending a day around here to live like the locals! I now hope I’ll be back to the office soon. This weekend we will have to tackle the seating arrangements for the wedding, wish us luck!