A couple months ago one of my good friends in Hampstead sent me a Washington Post article about off-the-beaten-path neighborhoods in London. Now that it’s summer and the tourist crowds are beating the usual paths in Soho and Westminster, my boyfriend and I decided it was time to explore another non-touristy neighborhood in our new city.
To that end, the other evening we headed off to explore Crouch End, an area to the east of Hampstead and its sister neighborhood, Highgate.
Before starting at Brown I spent a semester learning French at a language school in Nice. The night before I left, my family went for dinner at an Italian trattoria where the owner came by to say hello.
My grandmother grew up in Glasgow. When she was just a wee lass, Glasgow was an important industrial hub and the River Clyde buzzed–quite literally–with industry and growth. Culture flourished as Scotland’s most famous architect, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, designed the likes of the Willow Tea Rooms and the Glasgow School of Art. The city was on the up and up.
I have had a five-weekend hiatus from traveling outside of England. That’s not to say that I haven’t been busy with moving into a new flat, winning a modeling competition, and exploring more of the English countryside. But. It still feels a little strange to have been in town for such a long time.
In an attempt to combat cabin fever, my boyfriend and I decided to check out a new neighborhood on Sunday. One of our good friends in Hampstead sent us a recent Washington Post article entitled “A Londoner’s London,” which detailed several neighborhoods that Soho-weary London dwellers could explore on their weekends at home. The #1 neighborhood was Hampstead (done!), so we looked further down the list for somewhere we had not yet visited. The winner was Muswell Hill, a land not far from home.
After last weekend’s otherworldly experience of winning a modeling competition, I needed a trip that would bring me down to earth. And what better place to come down to than the beautiful English countryside? Yesterday my boyfriend and I set out to enjoy the charming towns of the Cotswolds.
This week has been a very surreal one. After getting scouted for a modeling competition for the Face of Ascot on Tuesday and selected as a finalist on Thursday, I headed back to Royal Ascot on Saturday for the judging.
The morning was filled with champagne receptions and meetings with the judges. In the afternoon we were taken to a photo shoot, a fashion show, and a lunch. We had time to watch some of the horse races before heading down to the catwalk area for the televised announcement of the winner on the BBC. I was a little nervous, but mostly just freezing cold.
I love to people-watch. I do it at restaurants, sidewalk cafes and airports. I do it at events, parties and conferences. I do it wherever and whenever I can. On Tuesday afternoon my boyfriend and I headed out west to watch the horse races at Royal Ascot, the most famous horse racing venue in the world (according to the English, who can be trusted when it comes to such things, as they ruled most of the world for a time).