What part of Croydon do you live in?
I spent the first few years of my life in West Croydon, but I’m currently based in New Addington.
How long have you lived here?
All my life. I was born in Mayday hospital just over 30 years ago. Aren’t you a real Croydon native if you were born in Mayday?
Where’s your favourite place to eat and why?
It was Brgr&Beer (RIP). Croydon is a hub of quality eateries, there’s just so much to choose from. I love Kothu Kothu at Boxpark Croydon. Zabardast makes a mean wrap. The Oval Tavern’s menu is delicious and fresh. The Crown & Pepper makes the best methi chicken I’ve ever had. Salve does a quality bowl of pasta. Anna’s Thai serves an amazing massaman curry. Nanny Outars is loaded with flavour. Triple Two is a great little lunch spot. The Dutchie’s entire menu is mouth-watering and their cocktails are banging, too. Oh, and don’t forget Croydon Food Festival! I could honestly go on and on and on.
Where’s your favourite place to drink in Croydon?
Again, Croydon is spoilt for choice when it comes to a decent hangout. It’s crazy how much the town has transformed in the last 10 years or so. We’ve moved away from the more club-y vibe in favour of quality bars, and I think it’s a nice touch. Although, I would argue that Croydon is in dire need of some late night events spaces in the vein of Peckham’s Bussey Building. Anyway, I digress. If I’m out for a drink, you’ll likely find me at Matthews Yard, Art & Craft, The Oval Tavern, the Crown & Pepper, the Green Dragon, or Mr Fox; I really love the atmosphere there.
What’s your favourite thing to do in Croydon?
I think that Croydon’s green spaces are criminally underrated. We have some of the most scenic parks in London. Park Hill is stunning all year round, but especially in the warmer months when everything blooms. Coombe Gardens is another beautiful hotspot to visit. We’re really lucky that we have so much on our doorstep. I still need to book my ticket for The Ends festival this summer, but I love that big music events are coming back to Croydon. My inner nerd also loves a trip to Heart of Gaming and Ludoquist. It would be sick if we had an arcade bar in town. There’s something so wholesome about getting some buddies together to play games.
What’s the coolest thing about Croydon?
The community. Croydon is bustling with energy and ambition but we’re fiercely protective of our identity. I remember the Evening Standard and Time Out running features on Croydon being the next Shoreditch, but I don’t think we want to be the next anything. I think Croydon just wants to be an amazing version of itself. A lot of the amazing arts projects, music events, restaurants, charities and activities that are popping up in town are started by people who are from Croydon or simply love Croydon. I think that shows. There’s a lot of passion and creativity and I think that whatever happens to the town in the future with all the developments taking place, we’ll still be Croydon.