Many can argue that a suburb is a suburb but it takes a bit more reflection to see that an area is not just a perimeter outline on a map to identify an area.
All of us have our favourite areas in London and each area might have its own significance to you hence you feeling the way you do about it.
But what makes an area stand out, you can instantly ‘feel’ what a place feels like when you first immerse yourself in the space. Your decision is based on several factors and depending on what is important to you you will judge a place accordingly.
Visiting Portobello Market in Notting Hill might elicit a feeling that the place is trendy and slightly eccentric due to the market stalls you see selling objects like silver spoons, old clocks, pearls from the 20’s and hair brushes that were part of someone’s belongings on the Titanic apparently. Somehow Notting Hill might be a romantic place from your point of view as you recall the moment Julia Roberts bumped into Hugh Grant in the movie Notting Hill.
Others might have a polar opposite point of view about Notting Hill but what is clear is that we all decide within moments what a place is like.
If you allow your instinct to guide you when you visit different areas you will unearth something spectacular. Put aside what others say, what is trendy and what is not and by removing that clutter from your mind you will be able to see a place for what it is.
A classic example is Ealing, anyone I come across aged 19-24 seem to think that Ealing is filled with station wagons and tree lined streets. But Ealing is so much more.
When I first came to the UK I had no concept of what area was popular, what area had the best shops and best restaurants but I allowed my intuition to guide me and Ealing was an area where I felt at home immediately before I even knew the name of the area. There was a ‘vibe’ that I was drawn to and to this day I can’t tell what elicited that feeling.
During the years living in Ealing I have seen it transform more and more and can simply not think of going anywhere else.
If the theatre is what you are after I will chose Questors theatre in Ealing, the productions are fun and the space is small enough to make the experience feel intimate and those are moments you will remember forever.
If you want to experience the quintessential W5 life then lunch or dinner at The Grange is a must – a secret treat for those who know the area.
The area is indeed getting more ‘trend factor’ with drawing cards such as Wagamama, Pret and the new Filmworks Cinema that is due to open in due course.
But an area is not always just defined by the shops on the high street, it is defined by the people who live there and Ealing residents take it upon themselves to make the area special and welcoming. The Jazz festival takes place yearly in Ealing and draws thousands of spectators from across the country.
Festivals and fetes take place in the parks and every year thousands more are drawn to Ealing to run the Ealing Half Marathon which is organised and hosted by local Ealing residents.
A suburb is not just a suburb.