Each month we feature a local mum who tells us what she loves about her corner of London. This time we talk to Alyson Melody, a nurse, blogger and mum-of-two who lives in Forest Hill. She gives us the low-down on the best bits of her hood.
Tell us a little about yourself.
I’m originally from the United States and am celebrating ten years in the UK this summer! I work as an intensive-care nurse in central London but am currently enjoying maternity leave with my baby girl, Lyla, and her big brother, Ronen. During my free time (funny, right?) I run a blog and a feminist book club.
Which area do you live in, and what do you love about it?
I live in Forest Hill. It’s been an underrated part of London for too long but is starting to gain traction due to its convenient location, great schools, green spaces, and cultural offerings.
Where do you like to hang out as a family?
My husband and I like to take our kids to the Horniman Museum and Gardens, to a spacious and low-key playground just across the road from it known as the Horniman Triangle, and to Dulwich Park. The area is so lush and leafy. We really appreciate having safe green space on our doorstep.
What are your favourite family-friendly eateries?
Canvas & Cream on London Road is a wonderful café and restaurant. The setting is cosy and comfortable. The staff go out of their way to accommodate children, including large groups of mums! There’s also an art gallery in the back, a garden for al fresco dining, and weekly poetry readings and other performance art events hosted in the evenings.
A few doors down is The Teapot, which is equally family friendly and delicious but smaller and quieter.
What local activities do you and your family take part in?
The Horniman regularly offers free activities in the museum for children and families, including reading circles and exhibitions just for kids.
Energie—the local gym—is small and less intimidating than other gyms I’ve been to.
Where’s your favourite place to escape in your area for a little me time?
Escape is often needed as a busy parent! I frequent The Hideaway on Dartmouth Road for beauty treatments like waxing and manicures.
Where’s the best place for date night? Mums’ night out?
There’s a big, gorgeous pub across from Forest Hill Station called The Signal that has a drag night called The Pink Walrus. If you’re looking for a calmer evening, The Signal regularly has live music, which you can enjoy from their beer garden.
Is there a little hidden gem in your area you’d like to share?
The Horniman has the loveliest farmers’ market every Saturday morning. It gets set up by the gazebo, so you can enjoy the most impressive view of London while you browse local fare.