Cool People: Laurence Grant

Laurence Grant
Co-Director AKA Co-Captain at Shaking Hands
Follow Shaking Hands on Twitter @CroydonSHIP

Where do you live?/How long have you lived in Croydon?
Saaaf Croydon, having been born and raised in West Cronx, formerly known as Crooklyn or West Croydon, I climbed the social ladder to become a pseudo-yuppy with roots in the real world of Broad Green and Thornton Heath. Born in Mayday, or May Die, Hospital, so a Croydon boy through and through.

Where’s your favourite place to eat?
Spoiled for choice really, aren’t we? Since becoming vegan (or social vegetarian when the going gets tough!) I have to say that YUMN Brasserie and Bagatti’s do a stellar job of catering to the needs of annoying customers like me. For lunch, I can’t beat a solid Zabardast Wrap, or a Crushed Bean freshly prepared toasted sandwich!

Where’s your favourite place to drink?
Coffee is a staple part of my diet when doing business in Croydon, so I’ve got to pop Smoothbean! Café at the top of the list. For something a little harder on the tastebuds, again YUMN makes a cracking cocktail, and Urban Xchange Craft beers on draught are something to behold… That said, I quite regularly (and happily) commit to a crawl from The Oval Tavern, down to Dog & Bull, Art and Craft, and the Green Dragon.

What’s your favourite thing to do in Croydon?
To be honest, even when I’m working it feels like a day off; you just bump into so many Cronx faces when you’re out and about! I have a bit of a habit of dropping in on some of the Shaking Hands family like Saima’s Tea Room in the bottom of House of Fraser; John and Pauline at Smoothbean; Nick at Ludoquist; the babes at TMRW Byte Cafe; Pam, Acalco and Ant at Crushed Bean; or Neelofar at Zabardasts. Beyond that, I don’t have a great deal of time, but I’d like to get myself down to see Crystal Palace FC a bit more; as well as a trip to Croydon Football Club, “The Trams”; enjoy a race day down at Lingfield; or see the team down at De Vere Selsdon for a cheeky dip in the pool/round of golf (note: I don’t play golf well)!

What’s the coolest thing about Croydon?
I’ve probably alluded to it in the answers above, but aside from the community feel that Croydon retains despite being larger than most cities, the people make Croydon the place to be… If you’re not from Croydon, you probably think there’s a million Vicky Pollards and Danny Dyer wannabees walking around… which isn’t true. There’s probably only a couple of hundred. Aside from that, everyone is pretty sound, creative, talented, and generally lovely! #CronxLife

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