We live in a lovely corner of London called New Malden. I have lived in New Malden since I was a teenager, for 17 years, give or take a few years here and there for university. Oh, and a brief fling with Colliers Wood during our courting years. (‘Courting’ – who says that?!).
I persuaded Mr C to move to New Malden shortly after we got married (and after a very bitter split with our flat in Colliers Wood – let’s just say we were virtually living in a swimming pool and leave it at that).
So we’ve been living in our current abode for just under three years, and through a few significant changes in circumstance, we are having to pack up and leave our beloved town. This is going to happen in a few weeks, and I am truly sad about it.
I absolutely adore New Malden. I really can’t quite put my finger on why that is, as it isn’t a trendy hotspot, nor is it filled with pretty boutiques or delicious cafes. But it is certainly unique, it feels safe and it feels like home.
If you haven’t been to New Malden before, you should. Among our neighbours are the largest population of South Koreans outside of Korea. As a result, we have a rich diversity of restaurants, food shops and cultures which are unlike that of any other town. I love cooking, and I will sorely miss having access to the wonderful array of ingredients in the local shops.
The array of shops and restaurants on the high street
In terms of shopping highlights, there seems to be an inordinate amount of charity shops on the high street. Great if you’re partial to rummaging through racks of vintage items for a piece of treasure. A particular favourite of mine is the British Heart Foundation (BHF). Being a (possibly soon-to-be-ex) cardiac nurse, heart health is certainly close to my heart. I have visited the BHF’s head office in Mornington Crescent, and they have a lovely ethos there. This filters down to the staff in their charity shops. Well, certainly down to my local branch.
In addition to the multitude of charity shops is the local department store – Tudor Williams. This is New Malden’s answer to John Lewis. And fitting it is. Very quaint, very dated, relatively small, but very charming. Their selection of clothes is shambolic (unless you’re over 75-years old). But they have a fab haberdashery department which I virtually lived in at one point. They have an extensive toy department which can be pricey, but very handy with the kids. They also have a café which sells lovely hot coffee and cakes, and is usually full of very little old ladies. My dad and I recently enjoyed a few mugs of coffee and a chat up there, and it was a nice change from the impersonal feel you get when you sit in the large coffee chains.
The quaint and interesting Tudor Williams
New Malden has numerous leafy suburban roads which are great for taking the kids for walks on. I always feel safe and never feel that I’m going to turn the corner and be faced with some undesirables. There is also a long pedestrian path called The Cut that runs alongside the railway which is a perfect place to let my toddler walk without the constraints of holding my hand. And great for seeing trains. The high street is pretty clean and it has a nice friendly feel about it. I see many local faces on a regular basis, which gives it a community feel. We’re even friendly with our postman who always stops for a chat if he sees us.
The station has a great connection straight into London Waterloo in under half an hour. We always seem to be in close proximity to trains, which is fantastic for my toddler – an avid train spotter (not unlike his mum!).
I guess New Malden has a charm about it that I have fallen in love with. I’m certain it isn’t to everyone’s taste, especially considering there is the far trendier Surbiton and very bustling Kingston just down the road. Maybe I see the place through rose-tinted specs because I’ve lived here for so long. Either way, there is no doubt that I love it, I am going to miss it and I will be returning.
The war memorial
A lovely footbridge over the railway where we wave to the train drivers (and they wave back!)
The Apex Tower
Before I go, I must also give a mention to Chiccos Café next to the station under one of the towers. Excellent service, Italian-influenced food, lovely friendly owner, great coffee. The Glasshouse pub restaurant near the station where I have had not quite enough lovely nights with my dear local friend J, sipping excellent wine and eating naughty food. Ha Ru restaurant, who are my neighbours and on balance serve the tastiest Korean food I’ve eaten. Waitrose with their very lovely staff who always talk to my kids and once gave me free shopping after I saved someone’s life on the street outside (that’s another story). Hermans pharmacy, who have always been way more helpful and friendly than Boots. Lal Akash Indian restaurant for their yummy, yummy food. Ohaio takeaway under the station for some delicious nights in, chomping sushi, Thai food and various other yummies from the Orient.
Hope you enjoyed!
Till next time.