London is one of the most multi-cultural cities in the world. It is full to the brim with every kind of person you could possibly imagine, and as such it is sometimes difficult to get a grasp on the authentic ‘English’ experience.
That is why Richmond is an area that is close to my heart. Although it is only a short Tube ride from the urbane Aussie strongholds of Hammersmith and Fulham, stepping through the barriers at Richmond is like stepping into that English village that you always imagined you would live in while watching Midsummer Murders with a bowl of popcorn on a Saturday night.
You never feel more English than you do when you are in Richmond. Head down to Richmond Green on a Saturday afternoon and you will find the good old chaps playing a lovely game of cricket while locals gather around with wicker picnic baskets. Take a stroll by the river and you will find couples rowing downstream on a romantic outing and may even spot deer grazing in the park. A walk down the high street will provide a multitude of options, from independent coffee shops to hole-in-the-wall pubs that have most likely been in operation for centuries.
Suffice to say that I fell in love with Richmond and its quaint, not-quite-London feel from the moment I discovered it. While I live within half an hour’s walk of the Richmond high street, I still felt like I had to follow my heart and move to this area that had captivated my attention.
It seems you have to pay for quality. One property that caught my eye happened to be on the market for a cool £10 million, which is a tidy sum for a riverside mansion with seven bedrooms to be fair. The price-tags of Richmond real estate suddenly put everything into perspective: it wasn’t a sleepy English village at all. The properties were immense, the clothing was all designer and the cars revving at the lights were all Ferrari.
Okay, so you might not be able to live out your English village fantasies in Richmond, but on a lazy summer’s day there is no better place to suspend reality for at least an afternoon.
TOP IMAGE: Deer in Richmond, London (Diego Torres/Pixabay)