Which London Neighborhood Do You Recommend?

London NeighborhoodsThat’s the question I asked practically every single pseudo-friendly Brit this past weekend. That or “Where should I live in London?”

It’s becoming more and more apparent we’ll be leaving Paris in 2014, which is about a year earlier than expected (2 year stay instead of a 3 year stay). Rio’s been saying we’d probably move to London for months now but I’ve been in denial for quite some time. I seriously thought I was going to be able to stay in Paris forever. Dreams crushed. Anyways, I’ve gone through my stages of grief and so while I was in London visiting friends this past weekend (thus, the lack of blog posts), I figured I might as well get a head start on figuring out which neighborhoods in London would be good for notre petite famille.

Boy – nearly everyone had a different neighborhood they recommended. From Angel in Islington and Herne Hill by Brixton to London Fields and Primrose Hill. It looks like it’s not going to be as easy deciding on a place as it was in Paris! The pic above is a little sheet where a shopkeeper started writing down all her neighborhood recommendations, and I started adding to it after chatting with random bartenders, waitresses and friends.

So if there are any readers out there who are either British or live/have lived in London, please let me know your thoughts on London neighborhoods. I hear the East End is quite the trendy area now… and Rio will be working in the City of London as well as Croydon, so it’ll need to be convenient to get to those two areas. Oh, and in case it helps, here is my list of must-haves that I gave Rio when he was apartment-hunting for us in Paris (and he was able to fulfill everything in our beautiful little Parisian home):

  1. 2 bedrooms. We have A LOT of visitors. Although… maybe we’ll have less in London compared to Paris.
  2. South / Southwest view. I need the sunshine, as little as there may be in London!
  3. French charm & details … or I guess in this case, traditional British charm & details.
  4. Elevator. Having to take Tyler the Terror up and down stairs four times a day is too treacherous.
  5. Outdoor space. Right now, we have a balcony and when the weather’s nice, I love working out there, enjoying some wine and apéros and just soaking up the vitamin D. And Tyler quite likes it as well.
  6. Close to a park. I am literally at Parc Monceau every single day.
  7. Close to a metro (or I guess, tube).
  8. Close to lots of bars and restaurants. After a year, I still haven’t been able to eat/drink at all the bars and restaurants in my neighborhood!
  9. Safety, safety, safety. I have no desire to live in a gritty neighborhood where I have to worry about pick-pocketers or worse when I’m coming home late at night.
  10. And last, but not least, a neighborhood vibe. I love that the local fromagerie, cave à vin, marché, boucherie, retoucherie, pressing and apéros spot all know me and I know them. I mean, the fact that we wave to each other when I’m walking by their storefront, or when I stop by and they ask me how Tyler’s doing is priceless.

Bloody hell, how am I going to ever leave Paris!

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