Updated: Jul 24, 2018
My second week in the UK took me to the out-skirting suburbs of London. Enjoyed with no better than family and good friends, here is just a snippet of what I got up to.
The Suburbs - Peckham & Walton-on-Thames
Peckham; the perfect combination of culture, creativity and grunge. My auntie first introduced this area to me as the place where the artisan smashed avo served by people with long beards and curled moustaches meets the many multicultural grocery, fabric and market stalls.
Galleries, cafes, trendy bars and restaurants have popped up, flipping the old run-down Peckham into now one of the more diverse and 'hip' outer suburbs of London.
We spent the day, contentedly consumed by venturing down the narrow laneways, browsing the many up cycled vintage stores, and everything else that came with. Our aimless wandering, following the music and traffic on the streets had us absorbed by the variety of street art, and quirky galleries.
A unique concept creating a new use for the abandoned interior of a multi-storey car park. Spread over seven levels, it cleverly showcases cultural talent in Peckham, through food stalls, art exhibitions, yoga studios, skate parks and movie rooms. Such a cool idea, and so well executed to become reality.
The small town in which my grandparents reside. There's something special about not only visiting the town that my dad grew up in but sleeping in his childhood bedroom. Precious time spent with both my grandparents - from photographing the bees in the back yard with grandpa to listening to the local radio as grandma and I cooked dinner together.
Grandma's lunch spreads followed by homemade tarts enjoyed around the garden table.
The Forrest - Fordingbridge
Tucked away, roughly a 3-4 hour drive from central London is little Fordingbridge. It's only ever happened twice in my life, therefore to have ALL of my English family together under the once roof was really special. A huge house, table football, pingpong, the World Cup and the Avon River were just some of the things that made up our weekend.
Surprise surprise, it was HOT. So swimming in the clear, but still freezing (?) fresh water seemed to do the trick when it came to beating the heat.
The local furry residents of Fordingbridge.
The Seaside - Worthing & Brighton
My Auntie Katie, my uncle and two cousins lived in Worthing, which was the purpose of our visit to the seaside town. The flat oceanside is lined with little white beach boxes that come alive in the summer, creating picturesque scenes for miles.
Perhaps I bought the Queensland sun with me, but the UK sure did put on a show with its weather during my broken visit. I'm not sure how many visitors would be able to say that they had not only a dry, but SUNNY three and a half weeks on the English coast
A day with my family, spent soaking up the English rays. Swimming in British waters - something I never quite thought I'd do.
A twenty minute train ride east of Worthing brought us into vintage, boutique, laneway and cafe heaven; Brighton. Relaxed, colourful and beachy vibes made for a colourful day of shopping and eating our hearts out. The best way I could describe this city is to think of Byron Bay and multiply it by ten.
I was forever grateful to end some of the best months of my life reuniting with my family and friends in the UK. Six years too long.
London, I'm already dreaming of being back.