There is a divide in London between North and South, the East and West, each with its respective positives and negatives. Greenwich, south of the river is a tourist hot spot for the lush, tree filled Royal Park and the Observatory which marks where world time starts. It is well worth heading to this gem of a location for the day and as it is my backyard I thought a few tips wouldn’t go astray.
SHOP There are plenty of independent boutiques here situated in the main undercover markets and the surrounding streets. For French and Nordic inspired homewares and gifts I love Cedarlia stocking all sorts of pieces including handpainted enamel cups and vintage bird cages. If vintage is your bag then head into the markets and visit 360 Degrees Vintage for your clothing and accessories. Remember the crochet squares blanket you nana had? Well they sell them here upwards of £60 – my nana could be rolling in it! Papercut craft is currently on trend and paper moon within the markets has some of the best quality and emotionally charged images I have seen. I could stare at the butterflies all day. The stock rotates regularly so if something takes your fancy grab it whilst you can.
EAT Many options are on hand for your trip to Greenwich. You can purchase basics from M&S and Sainsburys or grab a coffee at Starbucks. I implore you to support the independent stores and try any of the offerings within Greenwich markets where you can get food from all over the world for your main and dessert! Go slightly off the beaten track for a casual coffee and cake at Al Pancino which has a Italian pastry chef to fatten you up. If you want something a bit fancier try a steak at Rivington who pair each dish with seasonal produce and will have you impressing the inlaws in no time. If you want to go to one of the pubs there are two that locals like; Trafalgar which has appeared in the US version of Sherlock and right next door, down a laneway, is The Yacht which is cosy and if you want the best river view take a table at the window and chow down on classic pub grub. If you are wandering through the park and have worked up an appetite climbing the big hill then try The Pavilion Cafe that has a mix of hot and cold food and icecreams in summer.
PLAY Greenwich is a great wandering area of London. As well as three markets (undercover, vintage and clocktower) you can explore the park which is massive. There are deer here like in Richmond but they aren’t allowed to roam free and you can observe them from two vantage points. It is easy to find the first area in The Flower Garden however the deer don’t tend to go near that spot so head to the left and look for a gravel path that seems to disappear into the woods. Follow the path like Hansel and Gretal and you will find a second viewing area where the water is for the deer and you are guaranteed a closer view! The Greenwich Picturehouse cinema is a great little gem with each screen having only forty seats and showing all the latest releases. It is a perfect place for a first date with their bar upstairs and ability to take any drinks including a bottle of wine into the cinema with you.
Have you been to Greenwich? What was your favourite place to see?