Make space on your phone!
Never underestimate the fun that can be had walking around London and snapping away. It’s free, it gets your step count up and really helps you to see an area in a different light. I personally love spotting all the blue plaques highlighting notable people and admiring the mix of architecture. I’ve lived in London for most of my life and have so many non-photographed memories (such as watching Destiny’s Child at Notting Hill Carnival in 1999), so I guess I’m making up for lost time now.
As I mentioned in my travel goals post, I’m really trying to make an effort to have more photowalks and spot any new locations for shoots. It’s such a nice thing to do with a friend or a way to clear your head if you need to work through a creative block. Since I find any sort of guide so useful when I travel, I thought I’d list a few pastel spots in London just in case you’re yet to visit. Blossom and wisteria season will be coming up soon, so I bet that some of these streets will look even more beautiful.
Originally an area for piano factories, Kentish Town also boasts a mix of colourful Georgian and Victorian houses. I definitely prefer it to the slightly more hectic streets of Camden. You’ll probably spot me having a last minute photoshoot by the pink wall (I shot my Nude Tights For Darker Skin Tones post here), as the roads are usually quite quiet. According to Natasha’s post, the reason why the rainbow houses of Kelly St exist is because Dulux painted each one for an advert.
Nearest Tube: Kentish Town
Head to: Falkland Road, Leverton Street, Kelly Street, Hartland Road.
If you want to edit your photos somewhere cosy: Try Saint Espresso & Kitchen for coffee, Beef & Brew for steak lunch deals, Lazy Hunter’s hearty brunch, Mamason for Filipino ice-cream or Ladies & Gentlemen for drinks in an underground bar (that was previously a public toilet). Hampstead Heath also isn’t far if you fancy a scenic walk, just head up Highgate Road and through Parliament Hill Fields.
I need to have lunchtime walks in this area more often. You may remember Chalcot Crescent from the Paddington film but the square is also famous for being the home of Sylvia Plath and other literary types in the 1960s. Now it’s a haven for families and bloggers despairing at having planned their shoots on bin day (like yours truly). Console yourself with beautiful views of London from the park.
Head to: Regent’s Park Road, Chalcot Crescent/Square and Fitzroy Road.
The residents of these Chelsea streets are used to photoshoots happening (apparently Burberry used the area as the backdrop for one of its campaigns) and the cul-de-sac of Bywater Street is a perfect detour. Turn the lack of Tube stations into a positive, by wandering up the Kings Road and exploring the streets you like the look of (Royal Avenue has beautiful doors). St Leonard’s Terrace is also worth a visit during Wisteria season (Ghenet even has a video and Google Map to help) plus the Ivy always tends to have a floral display.
Nearest tubes: Sloane Square
Head to: Burnsell St, Bywater St, Smith Terrace
This is probably the most well-known area for colourful architecture, filled with tourists, yummy mummys and a carnival that transforms the neighbourhood every August. It’s crazy to imagine that it used to be one of the worst areas in London (this post explains a bit about the history prior to 1980s gentrification). Now there seems to be a high percentage of celebrities setting up home here (some builders pointed out that we were near Ed Sheeran’s house whilst we were snapping). The streets closest to Portobello Market can get pretty hectic, but there’s plenty of other gems to be found closer to Ladbroke Grove and Uxbridge St.
Head to: Holland Park, Pottery Lane, Rosmead Road, Clarendon Road, Elgin Avenue, Uxbridge St, Hillgate Place, Portobello Road (near Chepstow Villas), St Lukes Mews, Ledbury Road, Kensington Park Road.
If you want to edit your photos somewhere cosy: The food at Egg Break is consistently good and you’ve probably seen the pastel tables of Farm Girl all over Instagram. Pedlars also has quirky homeware in the front and strong coffee in the back.
If you fancy eating in pastel surroundings…
Although these places are dotted around, it’s well worth visiting and absorbing the pastel goodness. Pop in during the week to get the best seats.
Sans Pere (Broadway Market)
Let me know if you’ve written any foolproof guides to your area! I’d love to finally visit Bristol for the first time, as I’ve spotted some cool houses on the gram (plus I’m keen to learn about the Jamaican history).