Dulwich’s Best Boutique Shops

An afternoon of perusing the boutiques in Dulwich is a shopping enthusiast’s dream. This lovely London village has many independent stores, unique boutiques and creative shops where you will find gorgeous and fashionable treasures. This affluent area has the feel of a small village and it is a very pleasant place to walk around and explore. As many of the shops are locally owned, you will also get a chance to chat with the owners – who are wonderfully friendly and passionate about what they do. Here are some of the best boutique shops in Dulwich to discover on your shopping adventure.

Question Air

This chic boutique stocks a number of well-known brands including Paul & Joe, Vivienne Westwood, Paul Smith, Nicole Farhi and Alice by Temperley. They are dedicated to finding the hottest fashions from all over the world and bringing them to the UK. Question Air has developed a reputation as one of the best independent fashion retailers in London.


This shop is a bit of a Dulwich Village institution and it offers elegant items for the home. The items chosen have a vintage feel and a simple, neutral colour palette – which means that they will fit well in any decorating scheme. You will also find high end body care items as well as a collection of fashions.

The Art Stationers

Anyone with a creative streak will feel like a kid in a candy shop in this art supply and toy store. Here you will find everything from paintbrushes to crayons to charcoals to watercolour paints to sketch pads and much more. Take a look through and you just might find something that will inspire you for your next creation.

The Dulwich Trader

Brought to you by the same people who brought you Tomlinsons, the Dulwich Trader also offers a unique collection of beautiful fashion, homeware and gifts chosen with a discerning eye and a commitment to style. One side is dedicated to a wide range of modern furniture and the other side holds high end fashions. The labels featured here include Oska, Day Birger, Cut Loose, Soaked in Luxury, Cocoa Cashmere, Noa Noa and Helene Berman.

Biff Kids

Your little one can be just as stylish as you with threads from this chic children’s store. Biff stocks a great range of shoes as well as clothing from brands such as Joules, Hatley and Petit Bateau. The store also stocks plenty of great gifts and accessories. The staff have over 50 years of experience in fitting children’s shoes, so you can rest assured that they will be able to choose the perfect shoes for your little ones.

The Curtain Exchange

The curtain exchange is a shop in Dulwich that makes custom blinds and curtains to fit your windows, as well as offering second hand curtain services. Whether your home décor is elegant, vintage, classic or contemporary you will find the gorgeous curtains that will complete the look.

Give + Take

This responsible boutique is a concept shop on Lordship Lane in East Dulwich. The shop is inspired by people choosing to recycle their fashions, as well as those creating high quality products in support of a good cause. When you donate clothing you will receive a store credit worth 50% of your item’s selling price – so it’s a great way to get rid of old clothing that is just collecting dust at the back of your wardrobe. An optional £1 donation to the breast cancer charity Breakthrough is added on all purchases over £10.

Sugarcraft Boutique

If you are passionate about baking and love to make beautiful sugary creations, Sugarcraft Boutique offers over 2000 different baking and cake decorating supplies. Located on Lordship Lane in Dulwich, London, this is the perfect place to find everything you need to make that perfect cake or batch of cupcakes. If you have a sweet tooth, this will quickly become your favourite Dulwich boutique.

These are just a few examples of the many excellent boutique shops that you can find while shopping in Dulwich. Take your time to walk around this neighbourhood and explore all of the little shops and boutiques to see what lovey treasures you can discover.

Nightlife in Brixton

Brixton has everything that you could wish for from a great night out – welcoming pubs, great live music venues and dance clubs, where you can party all night long.

It is one of the most well known areas south of the river in London, and is famous for its clubs’ culturally diverse vibes. Many of the venues here are intimate, laid back and low key, but you can also find larger clubs offering a much bigger party scene.

Brixton also has the advantage that you can stay out partying later than almost everywhere else in London. Most of the bars stay open until 2am (even on Sunday, for those who don’t want the fun to end). Here are some suggestions of where to visit on a night out in Brixton:

Electric Brixton

This club and live music venue is open on the former site of The Fridge and often offers excellent Guest DJs including Felix da Housecat, Gilles Peterson, Beardyman, Glitch Mob and Kissy Sell Out. It also hosts bands such as Hard-Fi and New Model Army. The club is always packed at weekends and tickets can be purchased in advance or on the door.

The Dogstar

This is one of the classic bars of Brixton – a long-time favourite with locals. It offers a large dance floor with a diverse range of music, including reggae, ska and house, dance music and much more. The place is crowded every night and the staff work hard to make sure that everyone feels welcome. There are fun nights here that showcase some of the best Hip Hop music in South London.


This cosy underground venue in the crypt of St. Matthew’s church plays a mix of funk, hip-hop and jazz. It’s very popular with students and is the perfect place to hang out in the summer, as there is outside seating. Make sure that you get a stamp so that you can get back in!

Bar With No Name

If you are looking for somewhere stylish and upscale, check out this upmarket cocktail bar on Atlantic Road. It boasts an extensive and innovative cocktail menu and is set within minimalistic yet luxurious décor surroundings. Sit back on the silk cushions and try one of the fancy cocktails shaken by the talented team of mixologists.

Ritzy Café

Retreat into this funky little bar on Brixton Oval for live jazz music almost every night, within a cosy setting of small tables and plenty of candles. The musical programme brings artists from all over the world. The food menu includes scrumptious treats like toasties, crepes and pizza is available daily. As you enjoy the music and the food gaze out of the large bay windows and take in the views of the central Brixton streets.

The Prince Albert

This Brixton pub is legendary for its good music, cheap drink deals and friendly vibe. There is a great selection of affordable pub food here . On Fridays The Prince Albert hosts the “Offline Club”, a hugely popular free event that goes on well past 2am. It features an eclectic mix of DJs, films, live bands and comedy.


If you are passionate about beers, this will be one of your favourite bars in Brixton. They brew their own, as well as offering a range of great craft beers. Tasting notes on the pumps help you select your beverage. Why not pair your beer with some of the tasty dishes available on the menu, including white bean chilli and slow roast lamb.

These are just a few of the great spots in Brixton to visit on a night out, It’s a vibrant and exciting area of London and a night out here is sure to be a night to remember!

Spend the day in Wandsworth

With it’s leafy common, riverside pubs and restaurants, you can easily spend the day enjoying the delights this quiet South London borough has to offer.

It takes a little bit of insider knowledge to get to know Wandsworth, but once you start exploring the borough there really is a lot to discover. With plenty of great restaurants, pubs, cafes, shops and museums to visit you will really enjoy getting a deeper glimpse into this community.

Here are five fun things to do in Wandsworth and the surrounding area, so that you can explore what this London borough has to offer:

1.    Battersea Power Station

This building, made famous when depicted on the cover of the 1977 album “Animals” by Pink Floyd, is one of the most iconic symbols of industrial London in the mid-20th century and is considered an impressive example of industrial design in the Art Deco Era. It is now empty and is a listed Grade II protected building. The best place to view it, is from the north side of the Thames in Chelsea, so that you can see the building from a distance.

2.    The Battersea Arts Centre

The Battersea Arts Centre is a Grade II Listed Building that is housed within the original town hall. It is known for its exceptional theatrical performances, as well as its discussions, dances, family events and homemade food. Artists live within the building all year round and its open every day to the public. Check out the ever-changing programme of shows and workshops.

3.    The Bedford

Looking for somewhere to enjoy some live music in Wandsworth? The Bedford is known as one of the best music venues in London and it has hosted big names including James Morrison, KT Tunstall and Paolo Nutini. The Bedford was originally a hotel in the 1830s and has been a central community hub ever since. Live music is offered four nights a week and there are also comedy acts and dance classes featured. It is an excellent place to watch a live game of rugby or football while enjoying a refreshing pint.

4.    Tooting Common

This 221-acre park is one of the largest open spaces in the area and is the ultimate outdoor playground, with an athletics track, outdoor swimming pool, nature trail, lake, sports pitches and tennis courts. Tooting Bec Lido is the largest open-air pool in the UK and is a very popular spot for a refreshing dip during the summertime. The pool is open from late May until the end of September and there are a paddling pool and café onsite.

5.    Chez Bruce

Want to treat yourself to a truly fine meal? Wandsworth is home to many great restaurants, but Chez Bruce stands out from the rest and is considered one of the very best restaurants in the United Kingdom. It is a Michelin-starred French restaurant that is located across from the peaceful green space of Wandsworth Common. French classics are offered here, including homemade bread and charcuterie, slow-cooked braises, warm and cold salads and beautifully presented desserts. The wine list is also one of the finest in the country.The prices are at the higher end of the spectrum, but if you really want to treat yourself to a superb meal you will be impressed by the excellent cuisine.

These are just a few of the things that you can see and do in the London borough of Wandsworth. Once you have visited the area, your list of top things to do will vary and grow as there is so much on offer.

What to do in Clapham this Summer

Clapham offers plenty of great restaurants, bars and pubs and has become a desirable place to live ever since the 1980s. It was originally mentioned in the Domesday Book as Clopeham, where it grew from a tiny village to an affluent area in the 18th and 19th centuries.

This area has spread out over the years and now straddles both the Wandsworth and Lambeth boroughs. It is divided into four areas, Clapham South, Clapham Junction, Clapham North and Clapham Old Town. Celebrities such as Piers Morgan and JK Rowling have lived in this part of the city.

There are plenty of fun things to do in this part of the city, from theatre to club nights to concerts and more. Clapham High Street and Venn Street are lined with welcoming cafes, specialty shops and organic markets.

The friendly and sociable locals make this one of the most attractive places to live in London. The residents here are a multinational mix of professionals, university students and families – who are enjoying living close to some of the finest neighbourhoods in London without paying the extremely high prices. The area has the feeling of a small village and when you live there you will get to know your neighbours and will no doubt build a strong sense of community.

Are you moving to Clapham this summer, or just visiting to explore this part of the city? Here are just a few of the fun things that you can do while you are in Clapham, London.

Go Shopping in Clapham Old Town

Clapham Old Town is a lovely place for a stroll on a sunny summer day. Take a walk down the picturesque streets and visit trendy clothes shops, boutiques and other quirky independent local shops. After updating your wardrobe, you can visit one of the friendly local cafes and relax with a cup of coffee. Or, look for the Stonehouse Pub, which has a lovely little beer garden and some excellent food.

Lounging in Clapham Common

When the weather is pleasant many residents of Clapham head to the green grassy expanse of Clapham Common, a 220-acre park. This urban oasis is host to a number of concerts and festivals throughout the year including Colourscape Music Festival, Eurodance and many more and is a great place to enjoy a picnic with friends. On a summer day you will see plenty of people relaxing on blankets and soaking up the English sunshine. Clapham Common also has a range of sporting facilities, including a bowling green, football pitch, running track and cricket pitch.

Enjoying the Nightlife

Clapham is a lot of fun after dark and there are many great nightlife venues here, from classic pubs to dance clubs. Clapham High Street and Clapham Junction are the two main areas for nightlife whilst Clapham Junction is home to the famous Clapham Grand. The Belle Vue is also a popular pub – serving high-end pub food like gammon steak, beer battered fish and chips and braised lamb shank. The music is a mix of indie rock and 80s tunes and there are poker nights on Sundays and Irish music on Fridays.

Clapham Outdoor Markets

Another great Clapham activity to enjoy on a summer’s day is shopping at one of the excellent outdoor markets. The Venn Street Market on Clapham High Street is known for its wonderful variety of gourmet cuisine and is definitely a favourite with foodies. The Abbeville Farmers Market on Abbeville Road is open every Sunday and offers farm fresh products including produce, cheese, meat and baked goods. Northcote Road Market at Clapham Junction is open every day of the week and offers food as well as antiques, second hand books and flowers. Why not take the scrumptious market goodies to Clapham Common and have an al fresco lunch on the grass?

These are just a few of the great activities that you can enjoy in Clapham this summer. Do you live in Clapham or frequently visit this party of the city? What do you like to do during the summer? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

A Choice of Clapham’s Best Restaurants

Clapham is home to many tempting restaurants that offer delicious food and an unforgettable atmosphere. The attraction of this area is to enjoy fine dining and authentic cuisine from all over the world. Whether you are looking for Thai food, Spanish tapas, barbecue, pizza or any other type of cuisine you are likely to find it here.

Here are some examples of Clapham’s best restaurants to enjoy a meal:

Franco MancaGastronhome

This hidden gem produces the finest french cuisine in a homely environment. Their beautifully crafted menu changes every two months, enticing visitors back for more. You can expect to find traditional french dishes such as snails and rabbit with a modern twist, and of course French wines to compliment each dish perfectly.

Franco Manca

Franco Manca started out as a street cart but the pizzas were so good that it grew in popularity and evolved into a restaurant. It is now known as one of the best pizza spots in London. These delicious pizzas are made with sourdough flour and are cooked slowly in a wood fired oven.

The Lodge Bar and Restaurant (aka Four O Nine)

This restaurant is often referred to as a “hidden gem” but it’s not much of a secret because everyone in Clapham knows about it. It’s tucked away in a discreet doorway and you have to ring the buzzer to be let in. Dining on the alfresco terrace is a truly luxurious experience – perfect for a special occasion such as a birthday or an anniversary. The restaurant offers over 120 wines to choose from as well as many creative and expertly prepared dishes such as watermelon gazpacho and caramelised duck.

Donna Margherita

Italian cuisine at it’s best. This restaurant serves great authentic flavours from Southern Italy by importing most of their ingredients from this region. Their Neopolitan wood-fired pizzas are some of the best in London. With its rustic traditional decor and homely atmosphere, it is hard not to feel as if you are in Naples. Certainly, a restaurant for all occasions with the family as the menu is both affordable and authentic.

The Breakfast Club

Looking for the perfect place to go in Clapham for brunch? One of the best breakfast spots in Clapham is the Breakfast Club, a retro 50s style café with a delicious breakfast menu that is served until 5pm every day. Its popularity has led to further restaurants being opened up across London.You’ll find all of your morning favourites on there, from American pancakes to Eggs Benedict to chorizo hash browns. They also offer a dinner menu in the evenings and host fun weekly events.


Tsunami has been praised as the best Japanese restaurant in London and it offers expertly prepared sushi as well as creative cocktails and other delicious Japanese dishes such as sizzling meats and crisp salads. It has a sultry and sophisticated atmosphere and it is a secluded haven away from the hustle and bustle of Clapham High Street.

Trinity Restaurant

With one Michelin star, this restaurant situated in Clapham Old Town provides service, atmosphere and food of the highest standard. For those special occasions, this restaurant offers a memorable gastronomic experience. The crispy pig trotters come highly recommended for the starter. There is a varied main menu with a selection of indulgent desserts to complete the experience.

The Dairy

The Dairy has received a lot of praise for its locally sourced, seasonal dishes. The décor is rustic, with plenty of wood, tile and neon signs creating a hip atmosphere. The Chef is Robin Gill, who has worked at Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons and Noma. Some of the notable dishes include Galician octopus with tomatoes, herbs from the rooftop and fried bread or chicken oyster with crispy skin, English asparagus and wild mushrooms. At The Dairy, they grow their own herbs and vegetables on the rooftop garden and keep their own beehives. Try the amazing seven-course tasting menu for only £45 per person.

There are plenty of superb places in Clapham to go for a meal and these are just a few examples, so why not sample the delicious cuisine of these great local restaurants?

Brixton’s Cultural Melting Pot

The culture in Brixton is wonderfully diverse and one of the main perks of living here is the chance to travel all around the world without leaving your neighbourhood. There are cultural influences from many different countries and the local markets and shops showcase this with fantastic food and often live performances inspired by many cultures.

Brixton is close to central London and it only takes 15 minutes to get there from central Oxford Street on the tube. However, once you arrive in Brixton there is a completely different vibe in this multi-cultural area of the city. Whether you live in Brixton or you are just visiting, there are many ways that you can enjoy the cultural melting pot of this community – such as:

Travel Around the World at Brixton Market

No matter what you are in the mood for, whether it is Caribbean jerk chicken, Thai food, French crepes or Chinese noodles, you are sure to find it in Brixton Market. There are an incredible wealth of ethnic food options here and the market is open seven days a week. If you’re a whiz in the kitchen, this is also the place to stock up on exotic produce and ethnic food products – from French cheeses to Italian herbs and much more.

Some of the highlights of the Brixton Market include the wood-fired pizza at Franco Manca, the Chinese fusion cuisine at Mama Lan, the flavourful Jamaican jerk chicken at Fish, Wings and Tings and Elephant serving tasty Pakistani street food.

Eat Delicious Japanese Food

If you have ever wanted to get a taste of traditional street food from Osaka, Okan is the best opportunity to do so without having to book a flight from London to the Land of the Rising Sun. This street food spot in Brixton Village makes delicious and authentic cuisine, such as savoury pancakes with squid, cheese and sweet corn topped with green seaweed and Japanese mayonnaise. Called Okonomiyaki this dish is prepared right in front of you and watching it sizzle will get your stomach rumbling in anticipation.

Visit the Black Cultural Archives

Within a gorgeous old building that has been beautifully renovated you will find the Black Cultural Archives, which tell the story of black history in Brixton. It is the first Black heritage centre in the UK and it offers a very interesting insight into the history of people of the Caribbean and African descent in Britain. The collection includes organisational records, rare books, personal papers, photographs, ephemera and a collection of small objects. Most of the material is drawn from the last 100 years, but there are some displays that date back as far as the 2nd century.

Enjoy Some Live Music

Brixton often hosts several live music gigs at its many pubs, bars and venues and you can enjoy a wide range of music here – from blues to jazz to reggae and much more. For example, Hootananny Brixton is a venue that hosts a diverse collection of events, favouring the sounds of reggae, ska and afrobeat. Why not attend a concert featuring a music style that you have never heard before? You might just discover a new type of music that you absolutely love! The Brixton Academy is also a popular spot within a beautiful Art Deco building that holds audiences as large as 4,000. Check the event listings to see what kind of performances will be on during your visit.

These are just a few of the many ways that you can enjoy the cultural melting pot of Brixton. One of the main advantages of living in this neighbourhood is the diversity of culture that can be found here and the fascinating influences from all over the world making this neighbourhood very culturally rich and exciting to explore.

Boutique Shopping in Brixton

With its recent regeneration and influx of independent boutiques, Brixton is now a popular spot for shopaholics.

Whether you are on the lookout for vintage clothing, designer gear or artisan gifts, Brixton will cater for all your needs. There is a rejuvenated and welcoming feel to the local markets and all within a short walking radius.

On a day out shopping in Brixton you can find everything from new music, tropical fruit, luxury fabrics, designer clothes, handmade jewellery and much more.There is a wonderful energy here that comes to life in the local markets, independent art galleries and small restaurants that line the streets.

If you are looking for those perfect items, here are some of the highlights in Brixton.

The Brixton Maker’s Market

This market takes place on Brixton Station Road on the second Saturday of every month. It features a wide range of arts and crafts, from handmade clothing to knitted crafts to jewellery makers and much more. This market is a great opportunity to find a one of a kind accessory that no one else is wearing or to pick up a special present for someone you love.

Brixton Village Market

This historic shopping arcade is now a hotspot for foodies, as it offers a great assortment of cafes and restaurants serving food from all over the world – including European, Asian, Indian, South American, African and Caribbean cuisines. Why not try Honest Burgers with its irresistible choice of burgers and addictive fries. There are also many great shops where you can find food such as cheese, charcuterie, chocolate and much more.

20 Storey

Looking for something strange and silly that will put a smile on someone’s face? This gift shop is a great place for novelty presents such as cardboard pets, “I Heart Brixton” shirts, build your own camera kits, beautiful books and writing sets and even Ryan Gosling paper dolls. It also has a great selection of funny cards and other gift items.

Brixton Retro and Vintage Market

This market is held on the third Saturday of the month from 10am until 5pm. Over 30 stallholders come together to sell menswear, dresses, home furnishings, collectables and jewellery. Unlike many other markets in London it is not owned by a private corporation, it is run by the local Brixton traders and any profit made will go back into the community.

Electric Avenue

It was a well-known destination for shopaholics and during the beginning of the 1900s, it was home to some of the best shops in London including Bon Marche. These days it is still a great street for shopping and it also offers plenty of great independent food shops where you can grab a bite and refuel.

Rose and Thorn

This concept boutique in Brixton Village offers beautiful clothing and jewellery by emerging and established independent designers. The stock is chosen with an eye for the charming and romantic, making it a great place to find gifts or to treat yourself. It has a contemporary feel that creates an inviting atmosphere.

Brixton is a vibrant neighbourhood for shopping and its many boutiques and shops are overflowing with treasures. As you explore the markets you are never far from a food stall or a café where you can fill up on the delicious and creative fare.

Getting the Most Out of Hyde Park

Hyde Park is one of the most well-known landmarks in London and it is visited by millions of tourists and locals every year. This enormous park covers 350 acres and it is home to several famous attractions, including the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain, Speakers Corner and the Serpentine Lake. With over four thousand trees, a meadow, a recreational pond and ornamental flower gardens it will make you forget that you are right in the middle of London.

There is something for everyone in this park, whether you are in the mood for swimming, cycling or boating or whether you want to go horseback riding or play a game of tennis. The park also has two restaurants overlooking the lake and ice skating in the winter months.

There are enough things to see and do in Hyde Park that you could spend days exploring it! To make the most of your visit to Hyde Park, here are some tips:

Wear Good Shoes

Hyde Park is huge and the attractions are dispersed throughout the park, so it will take a considerable amount of walking to visit them all. Make sure that you are wearing comfortable shoes that you can walk long distances in, or you might have to cut your visit short.

Check Out Speakers Corner on a Weekend Afternoon

Speaker’s Corner is an opportunity for anyone with something to say to speak their mind. This traditional forum opposite Marble Arch is particularly busy on Saturday and Sunday afternoons, so this is the best time to come down and listen to what the speakers have to say. Usually they are political or religious messages, which generate plenty of entertaining heckling from the crowd.

Paddle around the Serpentine

The Serpentine is a 40 acre recreational lake in Hyde Park that was created in 1730 for Queen Caroline. It get its name from the curving snakelike shape. On your explorations of Hyde Park you can rent a paddle boat and take it on a ride around the lake. Don’t forget to bring some food for the ducks!

Ride on Horseback

One of the best ways to explore Hyde Park is on horseback. You can gently canter through these quiet green spaces and cover more of the park than you would be able to on foot. Hyde Park Riding Stables has been the most famous Equestrian centre in England for over 300 years, so it’s a great place to start when you want to go horseback riding. They offer riding lessons and five mile guided rides through the bridleways of the park and along the Serpentine.

Keep an Eye Out for Wildlife

Hyde Park provides a habitat for a diverse range of flora and fauna in London, so look out for wildlife when you are exploring the park. Small groups of Long Tailed Tits can be spotted hopping through the treetops looking for nesting materials and other birds such as robins and dunnocks can also be seen. Head to Dell Bridge after dark for a chance to see the bats that flock to the area to feed on insects.

Admire the Art at the Serpentine Galleries

These superb galleries are located on either side of the Serpentine Lake and they are a very popular attraction, receiving more than a million visits every year. They have a very important collection of contemporary art from some notable artists including Andy Warhol, Henry Moore and Man Ray.

Rent a Chair and Lounge for a While

Rent one of the striped folding chairs that you can find scattered throughout the Park. For only a couple of pounds you will have a comfortable place to sit where you can read a book, admire the view and just chill out for a few hours.

Grab a Bite to Eat

Hyde Park also has a number of refreshment points where you can grab a coffee or a sandwich, as well as some restaurants where you can enjoy a sit down meal. The Lido Bar and Café offers fresh and tasty food with stunning views along the Serpentine. The Serpentine Bar and Kitchen also has a stunning setting on the eastern edge of the Serpentine and it offers hot meals, cakes, puddings and snacks.

These are just a few of the ways that you can make the most of your visit to Hyde Park. Take your time and explore this enormous green expanse in London – there is a lot to see and discover here!

Image credit: Courtesy of Rankeelaw Creative Commons

5 Great Ways to Spend a Day in Richmond

Along a meander of the River Thames you will find the lovely suburban town of Richmond, one of the nicest areas to live in southwest London. It boasts a number of beautiful parks and open spaces (such as Richmond Park) as well as many protected conservation areas. This peaceful area has a great location with a close community and a welcoming country village atmosphere, yet it is still a short commute to central London.

Richmond offers a lot to see and do and, whether you live here or are just visiting, its attractions will delight you. In order to help you make the most of your explorations in this fine London suburban town, here are five fantastic ways to spend a day in Richmond:

1.   Enjoy Fine French Dining

Treat yourself to a superb meal at La Buvette, a lovely French bistro located within the former refectory of a historic Saxon church. This top notch restaurant is well-loved by the growing French population of Richmond and it offers many mouth-watering classic French dishes, including chicken stew, mussels, rustic French soup and a vegetarian Bourguignon that is made with parsnip, beetroot and potatoes. If you are celebrating a special occasion in Richmond, this is the ideal place to have an unforgettable meal.

2.   Take a Hike in Richmond Park

Escape into this massive wild green space and keep an eye out for the hundreds of wild deer that live within the park. Richmond Park occupies 2,500 acres, making it the largest of the Royal Parks.  Take a walk up to the highest point in the park and admire the stunning views of St. Paul’s Cathedral. Richmond Park was created by Charles I in the 17th Century and the landscapes have inspired many famous artists and have been the location for several television series and films.

There are also several buildings of historic interest to visit within the park, such as the White Lodge – which was once a royal residence and is now home to the Royal Ballet School. Why not take a picnic so that you can stretch out in the green grasses and dine alfresco while enjoying the beautiful views?

3.   See a Play at Richmond Theatre

Are you a theatre lover? This stunning 1899 building hosts an ongoing series of popular performances and is one of the most impressive examples of the work of theatre architect Frank Matcham. Often productions are road tested here before they hit the West End, so you can see some fantastic shows before they get big and it gets much more difficult to get tickets. There is also a Christmas and New Year pantomime tradition here at this theatre and many of the greatest pantomime performers in Britain have graced the stage.

4.   Check Out the Museum of Richmond

Richmond has been a centre of art and fashion for many centuries and has also been home to several British monarchs. If you are eager to learn about the colourful and exciting history of the area, the Museum of Richmond offers fascinating displays as well as educational activities and a programme of events. The exhibits in the museum will take you through the history of Richmond, from medieval times to the present day. Admission to the museum is free and it is open from Tuesdays to Saturdays.

5.   Go Shopping at the Farmer’s Market

On Saturdays from 11am until 3pm Heron Square by Richmond Bridge comes alive with the weekly Farmer’s Market, offering delicious homemade treats and fresh fruits and vegetables from local producers. Here you can find everything from organic cheeses to locally made honey to delicious home bakes cakes and much more. One of the best parts of visiting the Farmer’s Market is getting a chance to meet the fisherman, farmers and bakers and talk to them about what they do. The passion that they have for their home grown products is truly inspiring.

Richmond is a fantastic area of London to explore and there is so much to see and do here. These are just five ways that you could spend a day in Richmond and enjoy what this London suburb has to offer.

Getting the Most out of Hampstead Heath

The area of Hampstead Heath in London become well-known for its healing spa waters in the 18th century and is one of the most relaxing and scenic areas of the capital. Here you can stroll through seemingly endless meadows and woodlands dotted with swimming pools, playing fields and historical buildings.

Hampstead Heath is wild and untamed, different than the many manicured lawns and landscaped gardens in other parts of the city. With 790 acres of wood, meadow and heathland it is so large that you might even get lost. It’s a lovely place to catch a breath of fresh air and take a break from the big and bustling city.

So how can you make the most out of your visit to Hampstead Heath? Here are some ideas:

Check out the Hill Garden and Pergola

Not everyone knowns about this beautiful hidden garden on West Heath. It was part of a garden within the grounds of the 19th century Inverforth House, which was constructed by Viscount Leverhulme. The gardens are now part of the Heath and they are truly gorgeous, with a historic timber pergola covered in climbing honeysuckle, wisteria and other vines. The views from the pergola are breath-taking and you can see the elegantly landscaped gardens stretching out beneath you. There is also an ornamental fish pond with a bench that offers gorgeous views of the skyline of London.

Bring Your Swimsuit and Take a Dip in the Pond

Plan your visit to Hampstead Heath on a sunny day and bring along your swimsuit so that you can take a dip in the ponds. Dating back to 1860, many hardy Londoners have swum in these wooded ponds. There are three ponds and they are separated into men’s, women’s and mixed. They are the only life-guarded open water swimming facilities that are open to the public every day of the year in the UK.

Go Fishing

One way to enjoy Hampstead Heath is to spend a quiet afternoon casting your rod and patiently waiting for a bite while you soak up the tranquillity and beauty of your surroundings. Fishing is allowed in Hampstead Heath in the Model Boating Pond, the Mixed Pond, the Men’s Pond, the Hampstead No 2 Pond, the Vale of Heath Pond and the Viaduct Pond. You will need to obtain an Environment Agency license and a Hampstead Heath fishing permit in order to go fishing in the park and fishing is not allowed between March and June.

Check Out the View From Parliament Hill

From the lookout point on Parliament Hill you can spot many of the most famous landmarks of London, including the Shard, the Gherkin, Canary Wharf and St. Paul’s Cathedral. The viewpoint is easy to get to, simply walk there in five minutes from Hampstead Heath underground station. This is also a great place to fly a kite on a windy day.

Visit Golders Hill Park

This lovely area is located at the north western end of the park and it is a popular spot for families with kids. It has a small zoo and aviary that the little ones will enjoy. Admission to the zoo is free, which is great for families looking for a budget day out on the weekend that will keep the kids entertained and happy.

Take Part in Sporting Activities

The Heath offers an opportunity to enjoy a range of activities, including 16 different sports. Some of the sporting facilities here include a volleyball court, a petanque pitch and athletics track and a bowling green. There are also cricket pitches available and the trails around the park have become popular with cyclists. Football pitches are available from September to March on Parliament Hill and a putting green is available at Golders Hill Park. There are also rugby pitches available.

Hampstead Heath has a lot to offer and there are so many things you can do in this laid back and relaxing green space. Escape from the busy concrete jungle of London and to the wilderness of Hampstead Heath