My London: Hello, Tufnell Park

20160908_benscommute_0251After less than a year ago writing that I had finally found my groove on Tottenham Hale and we were never going to leave..We left. And it’s the best thing ever!

Some dodgy plumbing and a stubborn landlord meant our hand was forced and after a particularly riling note left by said landlord one day, we promptly handed in our notice and started looking for a new place to call home.

We set our budget, lowered our expectations, lowered them some more and then saw the first of what would turn out to be 18 flats all in all.. and we’re not even that fussy.

Anyway, we had pretty much closed a deal on a super hipster place in Dalston sharing with a chef and his fashionista girlfriend. The place was chic and totally aspirational for us, we’re nowhere near that cool and put together. But I had noticed a humble room in Tufnell Park that I thought I would go and check out just to be sure, as I had my doubts about Dalston.20160723_Saturday_BBQ_0602It was the one. I knew it as soon as a wandered in. But I had consumed half a bottle of wine with a friend down the road beforehand so I had to bring Ben back the next day to be sure. He agreed and luckily the current flatmates liked us too and the rest is history.

We have lived here 6 months now and it’s amazing how much our lifestyle has changed over this time. We walk everywhere possible and when we don’t walk we catch the 390 bus from straight outside our house.20160723_Saturday_BBQ_0554We picnic on Primrose Hill…

And swim* in the ponds at Hampstead Heath.img_6884*Well I have swum once so far but I’m trying to make it a more regular thing.

We buy way too decandent ice creams from Ruby Violet’s on the high street and have brunch at Tufnell Park’s claim to fame Bear + Wolf cafe where they serve Kiwi coffee.. Aaaand also import, to my everlasting surprise and gratefulness, Kiwi Hot Chocolate! I’m transported home with every sip.

We haven’t even scratched the surface of all the great restaurants and pubs in the area. I’m sure I read somewhere some research that shows that people who have a local pub are happier, or something along those lines. I can say that we are much more social having lots of drinking options close by. Shout out to-

Oh and did I mention all the excitement of Camden town is half an hours walk away and that means food markets for lunch!

It has been a great summer here so far. I love our new lifestyle, I feel like we spend much less time commuting and jumping on a tube as soon as we leave our front door and much more time exploring what’s around us and taking time to smell the roses.

So this is where I’m living. I’m posting this as part of a little project I’m doign to record this point in my life for posterity. You can check out earlier posts on My Visa Journey and My London Project.  Next I’ll introduce you to my netball team.

Follow me  @andieinspired and see more of my London life on snapchat @aaaaandie


We love living in Tottenham Hale

Tottenham Hale Tube SignNumber 20 on my 27 List was ‘Move into a 1 bed flat with Ben’ or in other words, move out of Tottenham Hale. Ben and I have lived here in North London for about three years now, and for about two of those I have talked about moving somewhere else.

My reasons for wanting to move have always boiled down to the area. I can’t imagine Tottenham has ever had a particularly good reputation; it’s rough and ready, like most of North London, but being the area that triggered the London Riots in 2011 made it infamous and quite intimidating – we haven’t had many visitors up here. To add to that, a lot of the facilities are run down; the high streets in the area boast an inordinate amount of chicken shops; there are places where I definitely won’t venture to at night; but the biggest shortfall for me has always been the lack of local pubs, cafés or parks that we felt comfortable hanging out in.

Holcome Road Market, TottenhamI have talked and talked about making a move. Thinking about where we might want to go and when to do it for two years. That’s a long time and super boring. To all my friends who have been listening for the past two years to me umming and ahhing and flipping between definitely moving and definitely not, I apologise.

But I have finally come to a decision: No, we’re not moving, we’re staying in Tottenham.

Tottenham has grown on us. We’re slowly getting to know our little community here and finding places we love and people we can chat to. Recently things have been changing here too and it seems, for better or worse, regeneration is coming to Tottenham.

Market days, cleaned up parks and social areas, craft breweries, pop up bars and coffee shops are springing up everywhere and the streets are looking brighter. The local council is spending a lot of time and money developing Tottenham and we’re definitely getting the benefits.

Here are a few things I’m loving about Tottenham right now, I’m hoping it will convince you to come and visit.

20150815_Around_Tottenham_0008Our Place: We rent the top floor of a two bedroom flat about 10 minutes walk from the underground station. It’s pretty spacious, for London, the rent doesn’t break the bank and it’s really warm in winter. In fact, I think it’s the warmest house I’ve ever lived in, for that reason alone I may never leave.

20150704_Tottenham_For_Blog_0029-WebThe Victoria Line: We are so well-connected in Tottenham. We have 3 overground stations nearby, a huge bus network and the holy grail…. We live on the best tube line in London.

Tottenham High Road 2015 The High Road: Where you chose to live not only affects your rent outgoing, it effects your lifestyle costs too. I like that Lidl, Asda, Iceland and Aldi supermarkets are all within walking distance and they’re soooo cheap! Even after three years here I am still astounded by the amount of groceries I can pick up at Lidl for under £10. Tottenham Green market, Tottenham Hale Tottenham green Market, Tottenham HaleThe Tottenham Green Market: Every Saturday in the summer we have been able to wander down to our local market and sit in the sun eating some awesome street food fare.

BeaverTown Brewery, Tottenham Hale20150815_Around_Tottenham_0070Beavertown Brewery Tap Room Saturdays: As the name suggests, on Saturdays this local craft brewer opens its doors and serves its extensive range of beers to the masses. Well maybe not masses, but it was surprising how many people make the trip out to this random little haven in the middle of an industrial estate. Watch out though – these beers are strong.

image3 image4Craving Coffee: I’m not a fan of coffee, but one sunny afternoon I forewent my usual chai tea latte and tried their iced coffee and I have never looked back. It’s milky, sweet and perfect for a non-coffee drinkers and coffee lovers alike. These guys also hold Tottenham Social events on Friday night with street food stalls and cocktails, I plan on spending a Friday evening there very soon.

_MG_0069The Beehive: A change of ownership has put this pub right up there on my ‘local loves’ list. It’s right around the corner, has an awesome beer garden, pool tables and heaps of space to relax. Oh and this pic shows me about to tuck into ‘The Tomahawk’ a huge, smokey BBQ pork chop, it’s going to be hard to stay away on lazy Sunday nights.

So this is Tottenham right now for me, I’m doing so much of the exploring I was too timid to do when I first moved here. Sure I do walk down Upper Street in Islington and wistfully imagine us living in a lovely one bed just off the high road, but the reality is, I don’t think I could ever justify paying those prices in rent. Tottenham works much better for us and our priorities.

So how about paying us a visit?