After working full time for nearly a year now, I have come to appreciate my weekends so much more. Sleeping in until 9am is now a precious gift and showering at midday becomes (somewhat) acceptable. What I love most of all about my weekends, and what I appreciate more than ever is the chance for me to recharge my batteries for the week ahead. Escaping from the so-called ‘countryside’ of Buckinghamshire I explored the tropical and vibrant area of… Kingston-upon-Thames (and the surrounding area). Unfortunately I did not manage to whisk myself away to a hot Mediterranean country, but I did manage to beat the Summer blues by visiting this beautiful and quintessentially British area of South West London.
I began my adventure in Teddington, a town that is a stones throws away from Hampton Court. Keenly investigating Tripadvisor’s top picks for brunch I stumbled upon The Fallow and Deer Café. With brilliant reviews I made the journey down quicker than you could say scrambled eggs. With parking often costly and difficult in London, luckily enough I found parking down a residential road; obviously it was destiny that I too should be a happy and satisfied customer. Instantly I knew that I had made the right decision when I spotted the clever and witty caption outside the Fallow and Deer, a guaranteed way to make you chuckle.
The Fallow Deer Café has the hipster vibes you would expect to appeal to a young generation of hungry millennials, appropriately balanced with modern decor and a very friendly service, of hard working staff with a smile on their face. At midday the café was bustling with customers, nonetheless within minutes a table became available. I began my Surbiton retreat with a Buck’s Fizz and a pot of early grey (Top combo btw. For those cocktail lovers you can also treat yourself to a Bloody Mary and a Bellini.) For brunch I ordered poached eggs with halloumi, on an english muffin with avocado. For all avocado lovers, this dish certainly echoes the glowing reviews of those on Tripadvisor. Teddington is also great to the aspiring homeowner and recent graduates to dream big, as you window shop your future £1.5 million home, seamlessly forgetting that Student Loan debt. The town is full of quaint shops, a mix of wonderful charity shops and designer interior design stores, as well as your chain café’s and some top pubs. The Teddington Arms and The Old King’s Head are my top picks for your Saturday afternoon pint. They are also dog friendly which is a plus, as you can spot cute dogs. I came across some sweet French bulldogs – pretty sure one of them was Stella from Modern Family on a quick filming break.
Next I ventured to Kingston. Somehow in my 22 years I had never shopped at Kingston, a crime I regret to admit. The town centre is a dream to all shopaholics, with the treat of Bentalls department store to lose yourself in planning your dream house, stocking up on your make up collection and browsing the latest fashion trends. Along with this, it was the journey over the Kingston Bridge that left a lasting impression. I noticed the passerbys on this sunny Saturday September afternoon. I watched the happy mums and dads, the smiling elderly couples and the young love birds walk by. The Thames has been the backdrop to some horrific Terrorist attacks particularly over the last year, yet the spirit of Londoners remains strong. Although the UK may be known for their tea obsession and conversation about the weather (ironically I have already discussed both in this blog post) but the British saying, ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ aptly suits the atmosphere in and around London. As I am sure many of you too may feel, my sense of appreciation of this city is greater than ever.
After my afternoon of shopping I finished my day with a relaxing dinner at The Wheatsheaf in Esher. A classic British favourite of Sausages and Mash was had, whilst I happily reflected upon my very British Autumnal day. I encourage you to go and explore the city beyond central London and enjoy the smallest of things such as tea served in matching China (see above) to the spirit of Londoners (beyond weather talk!)