Favorite place to wander: We live by the Thames river in the Hammersmith neighborhood, so we are very lucky to have a beautiful river path right at our doorsteps. My favorite route involves crossing the Hammersmith Bridge and walking up the river’s bank towards Barnes, then crossing the Barnes Bridge and walking back the other side through Chiswick Park. Nothing beats it on a sunny day!
Go-to spot for a bite: There are plenty of lovely local restaurants including the incredible River Cafe (which is just a 10-minute walk from our home), but our favorite is The Carpenter’s Arms for an al fresco lunch on a sunny afternoon—delicious food in what feels like the perfect English back garden.
Neighborhood shop: The colorful local Turkish supermarket. We cook very Middle Eastern at home (thank you, Ottolenghi!), so it’s amazing to have such great produce (lots of it organic) at our fingertips.
Best kept secret: Hammersmith is a very underrated area, which makes it great for exploration, with plenty of gems still to be discovered by most Londoners. Our pick however is the quirky Hammersmith Club. A private club of working class stock, it has that amazing atmosphere that only the most authentic places offer, in stark contrast to the many posh private clubs that abound in London’s West End.
A view of the River Thames from the the Dove’s sunny terrace.Courtesy of The Dove
Where to head for a pint (or a cup of tea!): The Dove is our favorite watering hole. A very old pub indeed (it dates back to the 1700s) it is tucked away in a narrow alleyway on the river’s edge. All original features, it has a lovely terrace overlooking the river and Hammersmith Bridge, and it boasts the smallest bar in London – you’d struggle to fit three people in its cupboard-like dimensions to the right of the main entrance! Great local beers, and the Sunday Roast is not at all bad!
A red-roofed cottage overlooks Laich Shieldaig in the Wester Ross region of the Scottish Highlands.Courtesy of North Coast 500
Ultimate escape, farther afield: We have a huge soft spot for Scotland, whose landscape casts a long spell on us. We have explored it extensively in many road trips over the years. We love the northern stretch from Argyle to the Highlands, with it’s wonderful open Lochs and Islands, as well as the mountains and valleys everywhere, everything peppered with ruined castles, Angus cattle and moss. Our favorite beauty spot is Wester Ross from Achnasheen to Gairloch and Ullapool and everything in between.
What the Brits do better than anyone else: More than anything, we really appreciate Brits’ ability to laugh at ourselves. It is a blessing not to have to take oneself too seriously. We laugh our differences off with wit and banter—and rounds of beer.