Shall I tell you a secret? I wrote this post about six weeks ago and I was SO proud of it. I declared it a ‘brilliant writing day’ as I wrote two posts that day and I was as smug as if I’d penned a best-selling novel.
Squarespace lost them. LOST BOTH POSTS. I cried, then promptly moved back to WordPress before breathing a sigh of relief. But I couldn’t face re-writing such a perfect post so that’s why it’s taken me over a month to put digit to keyboard and tap it out once more.
But here goes……because in all the questions I get asked, this one is VERY high on the list. Why I left London and moved to Brighton despite the fact I know approximately three people who live here.
In the two months, I’ve been living in Brighton what always surprises me is not how quickly I’ve adjusted, but how little adjustment was necessary. And I’m still waiting for the FOMO to hit every time I’m invited to something in London, something that would have taken me twenty minutes to get to once upon a time but would now (god-willing) take approx 3 million years on a stuffed train packed with cross commuters.
Obviously, that’s a huge exaggeration but Southern rail isn’t known for its efficiency and although I am really close to London and have a direct train in easy reach, it’s still quite the faff to travel up and down to the Big Smoke so I’m rarely in a rush to do so.
Even if I wanted to. Which, realistically, I very rarely do.
Tired of London, tired of life
Because the truth is, I don’t. I spent my entire adult life in London, not really knowing how to be an adult outside of the hustle and bustle of a capital city. I know nothing of renting somewhere where you might pay less than 1000 per calendar month to share with 17 Australians and I don’t know how I’d cope if my nearest shop was a twenty-minute drive from my house. In fact, until now, I can’t remember the last time I lived in a house. Before I lived in London I guess!
I’m used to not worrying about travel times and train timetables. I lived in zone two the majority of my time in London so it was twenty minutes from anywhere I wanted to get to anyway. I had a nice little community, cool cafes and Oli and I went to our fave pub regularly. There were nice spots for me and Anaïs to go and everything felt quite…..safe? Convenient? I dunno. Maybe boring?
Yep. Boring. I was SO BORED.
London is lively and exciting and busy and, YES, ‘the Queen lives here!’ But did I enjoy living in a city home to over 8 million people, most of whom I didn’t know, care about or want to cross paths with?
I guess I did once upon a time. But after taking a big break from London life when Oli and I travelled long-term my priorities changed. I no longer craved nights out each week or going to new pop-up restaurants that I had to queue for because booking is passé.
Left my soul there, down by the sea…..
Anyone who knows me knows I love being by the sea. Not on top of the sea so much….because I hate boats. But under the sea for sure. And definitely strolling by the sea too.
I always knew I’d move my family back to the seaside because that’s where I grew up too. But I didn’t want to go back ‘home’ to Kent and longed for more of a city vibe (sorry, ‘vibe’…. really Lucy?)
I spent many a Saturday down in Brighton in my youth, and a few with Oli too. But I wouldn’t say I knew it well at all. So I can totally understand why people thought it was a snap, rash decision to up sticks and move further away from our family to a place we’d never lived before.
But I don’t really care what people think, do I?
In lieu of a real reason, I can offer you this: It just felt right.
That’s all! I go with my gut on most decisions and this was no different. It just felt really right.
Was I scared of not having a Pret on every corner? Or of being away from a gazillion tube lines? Nope.
Scared of missing out? Yeah, a bit.
Worried I’d become irrelevant at work and never be invited to another blogging party again? I mean…..after having a baby I was pretty much kicked out of the travel blogging community I was in anyway, so…nope, not really.
If you’re thinking about leaving London and moving somewhere else know this; when the time is right you WILL know. And you’ll never regret it because guess what? Living in my dream house by the sea trumps anything else London could ever offer me.
Hooray, it’s March! I actually recorded this way back in January when I was simple dreaming of Spring weather……
Anyway, I LOVED chatting with the wonderful Jen of A Beauty Junkie in London blog. I’ve followed her blog since way back when I was also blogging about beauty and have seen her blog grow and change into the awesome space it is now. We had a really honest chat about what it feels like to lose your blogging mojo, how rejection is crap and why it’s SO important to follow your own path.
If you’re sick of blogging or have lost your blogging mojo, this is the episode for you.
What a FUN chat!!! This week I chat with the effervescent Jess Dante of Love & London.
Jess was really cool to talk to because she’s doing such different things than anyone else out there in the blogosphere. She has a super tight niche, and sells really cool products to her HUGE YouTube audience. We chat about her journey to success, and touch on the importance of email lists too.
If you’ve been worrying that working with brands is the only way to make money in blogging, this is the episode for you.
Where you can find Jess:
Her Blog: http://loveandlondon.com
Her YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/loveandlondon
So, you’ve decided to go all plant-based for Veganuary and after the first, smug, five days where you feel radiant, are excited about making your own houmous and the joys of Holland & Barrett it’s date night and you are PANICKED.
Because you normally go to Nandos. Or Le Relais de Venise. Or Meat Liquor.
Where the fudge do you go when you want to carry on with your vegan diet BUT you really can’t face another night in cooking from Lucy off of Made in Chelsea’s cookbook.
DON’T PANIC. An adopted Londoner since 2003, I’ve been vegan since 2015 with one chunky break while preggo (I know, I know…..) and I am seriously lazy. Which means I like to eat out a fair amount (yep, I know this is why us millennials can’t afford bigger houses so shush.)
Here are my favourite vegan restaurants in London. Some chains, some indie, some east, some west. But all, hopefully, will help you have a dreamy night out while staying vegan (if you want to, obvs, no judgement here.)
I feel supremely lucky I live within walking distance of this awesome restaurant. Although it’s called ‘Veggie Vegan’ all the dishes are vegan, and some are even raw!
Although the restaurant is quite small, and gets booked up easily, we’ve always managed to get a spot and eat until we pop. The drinks are divine, the desserts BIG and plentiful and the lunchtime buffet (all you can eat yo!) is SUCH good value at £5.50 per person.
South Indian Restaurants
Okay, okay I know this isn’t a definitive restaurant but if you don’t know already, South Indian food is hella vegetarian.
And therefore you can also expect to find stacks of vegan options. Obviously, Indian food is traditionally cooked in ghee but not all dishes are so I find this to be the easiest option when eating out or ordering takeaway.
Despite having lived approximately 15 minutes walk from the Gate for about six years now, I only deigned to visit last week. LAST WEEK people!!
I’ve been missing out, because it’s bloody delicious. Not for those on a tight budget this is definitely a special occasion restaurant but the food was divine, and the service excellent.
There’s also branches in Finsbury Park and Marylebone.
I must admit, one of the things I really miss is eating curried goat and jerk chicken (which i basically do annually at Notting Hill Carnival) so I was happy to discover this little gem serving vegan and vegetarian Caribbean food!
Although this is in south London (Tulse Hill), don’t hate on it because it’s worth a visit.
Another east london stalwart, the Black Cat Cafe is a co-operative as well as being 100% vegan. So you can feel all warm and fuzzy while you enjoy a giant portion of fishless chips (the insta-famous dish).
AND, it’s super good value too. But it’s in east London…..ahhh man, I have to break my own rules and trek east sometimes 😉
The cafe is currently closed for refurbishment but will reopen in February 2018.
If you missed the news, this pub is the VERY first vegan pub in London! Maybe the UK?! Anyway, I haven’t visited yet…..because it’s new (as of January 2018) and it’s in Homerton, in the depths of East London (which, as you know, I rarely visit).
Opened by Club Mexicana owner Meriel Armitage, the food is probably gonna have a Mexican vibe. But you know what? I vow to test it out for you guys. I’ll trek to fudging Homerton for you…..gah. I will. Promise.
I just love the name! And it’s pizza. One of my favourite foods in the universe……Located out in Fulham (the other end of North End road to 222 Veggie Vegan), Pickywops serves delicious, creative pizza and does takeaway too.
What do you think? Have I saved your date night?! Let me know in the comments.
Isn’t it a truth universally acknowledged that you will never appreciate everything the city you live in has to offer? I’m yet to meet anyone who lives in London who actually manages to explore hidden gems, cool new spots and, of course, hit all of the top sights too.