With Father’s Day on Sunday, this month instead of talking to a Mum in the ‘Hood, we’re featuring a dad. ‘Father of Daughters’ Simon Hooper lives in Crystal Palace with his wife and four girls. His highly amusing posts of family life on Instagram have earned him an impressive following of 660,000 (his wife, Mother of Daughters, has 350,000). We asked Simon what’s great about his part of London.
Tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Simon Hooper. By day I’m a management consultant for a global organisation based in London and by night I’m known as Father of Daughters on social media. I’m married to Clemmie, who’s a midwife, known as Mother of Daughters. We have four wonderful daughters, Anya 9, Marnie 6 and the twins, Ottilie and Delilah who are 16 months.
Which area do you live in, and what do you love about it?
We live in Crystal Palace in South London. We love it because it has a very independent feel to it. It’s full of lovely restaurants and bars, coffee shops and interesting interior design shops (right up our street—literally). It also has two great parks and the national sports centre and one of the best views over London you’ll see anywhere in the capital.
Where’s your favourite neighbourhood place to hang out as a family?
Walking around Crystal Palace Park is great. It has loads to do including a maze, a playground and a boating lake that’s surrounded by dinosaurs (statues, obviously!). After that we’ll go to a place called 400 Rabbits for some of the best pizza in London. The centre of Crystal Palace is all situated on a big triangle so you can do a loop and take it all in in about 20 minutes.
Where’s your favourite place to escape in your neighbourhood for a little grown-up time?
What local activities do you and your family take part in?
Anya does rock climbing and swimming at Crystal Palace Sports Centre. Marnie does gymnastics down the road in Dulwich. The twins go to lots of baby meet-ups in and around Crystal Palace.
Is there a little hidden gem in your area you’d like to share?
The old subway that was used to get to the actual Crystal Palace (which burned down) has recently been renovated. It’s beautiful to look at, but it’s hard to find unless you know where to look—here’s a clue: the entrance is opposite to the bus station, but it’s not open all the time so check before you make the journey.