Zainab Mohiuddin is a newbie blogger at Discover With Zainab and proud to be born and bred in Streatham, South London. These days she spends her time globetrotting and collecting stories and myths about the places she visits. Catch up with her discoveries on her website; we know you will like it.
Going Local in London with Zainab Mohiuddin
Morden is right at the end of the Northern Line on the London Underground, and so many tourists don’t stop there. But Morden Hall Park is the absolute best place for an English picnic in the summer (if it doesn’t rain). It’s a National Trust park and has bridges over the River Wandle, rose gardens, stables and the 18th Century House, Morden Hall. Beautiful, tranquil and quintessentially ‘English’, Morden Hall Park is my favourite park.
Tooting is filled with delicious aromas and outstanding Indian restaurants. The one I frequent most often is Spice Village because you can always rely on it for a brilliant mix grill, chops, biryani and pretty much any other dish. It’s also not too pricey for London (2 people can eat a lot for less than £30). Usually, it’s trendy but worth sticking around the hustle and bustle just to try the food. I also recommend the Peshawari Naan, which is buttery and baked with raisins. Tooting, in general, is a great neighbourhood to walk into with an empty stomach.
Walking around the Southbank is my favourite evening stroll. Hell, it feels romantic even when I’m alone. You can cross the River Thames, wander around the numerous bars, (if you feel like splashing the cash, the OXO bar at the top of the OXO tower is impressive for special occasions) take a look at the London Eye (because in my opinion, it’s not worth £26.10 just to sit in a big Ferris wheel), take in the impressive skyline and if you visit in the day then definitely spend some time in the food market (get a Jacob’s Ladder burger while you’re there!) and second-hand book market.
Open your mind at the Saatchi Gallery: There are loads of museums and galleries around London, and a lot are refreshingly free to enter. My favourite is the Saatchi Gallery. It’s a short walk from Sloane Square station, and I love walking past the posh boutiques and charming streets in this very exclusive part of London. The Saatchi Gallery is free to enter, which is awesome. I enjoy it, because of its contemporary exhibitions and the different perspectives of artists that get me to stop and think. Right now they have an exhibition on called ‘From Selfie to Self-Expression’ that looks fascinating.
Other free museums and galleries I’d recommend are the V & A for its art and design and of course the British Museum for some history. For kids, the Science Museum is brilliant and super interactive and very young children will have lots of instruments to play around with at the Horniman Museum.
It would be a sin to visit London without going to a chippy. Melfort Fish Bar in Norbury has you covered. Definitely, off the beaten track for tourists, this was my local right by my home. Nice portions, fat chips soaked in vinegar and a big, yummy, fried fish. What more could you want?
Melfort Fish Bar
Morden Hall Park
Going Local is a series of interviews that we are doing with people that live and enjoy the city they live. You can read more interviews filled with tips here. And if you want to be featured here, this link will tell you how. We're always looking for more locals to share their favorite spots!