London : A guide to Tooting

Ever moved to a new place and feel like you’ve lived in that place since forever … Hear me on this.

Tooting Broadway : From February 2015 till March 2016

When I first moved to London for University, I stayed at my uncle’s place in Chingford, that is North London. I spent 2 months at his place and eventually moved to a shared house in South London more precisely in Carshalton where I stayed for another 2 months. Travelling from Chingford to university in Kings Cross was not convenient as the former is on the border of London and Essex therefore buses were not regular. I found the area too quiet and slightly dodgy. Carshalton is a nice area but you have to travel a bit for shopping and food.

I finally moved to a student accommodation in Tooting Broadway. My accommodation was about 12 mins walk from the tube station. Five minutes were enough to make me fall in love with this little area. There’s a mix of people that lives in Tooting. So here’s a few reason to fall in love with Tooting too :

1. Travelling is easy (Great commute system) whether you are a tube/train/bus person. The fastest option for me is the tube taking me to Oxford Circus in 20-30ish minutes to Kings Cross. We all know how often tubes call for strikes, no need to panick, you can still take the train, bus or taxi. The bus routes are excellent too. I forgot to mention that Tooting is in Zone 3. The tube station is quite clean compared to many other tube stations in London.

2. Food/Restaurants
Did you know that Tooting got some of the best restaurants of London?

Whether you fancy a pizza, a coffee or curry, there is something for you. On that note, do try Papa John’s Pizza which is just two minutes walk from Tooting Bec tube station (I used to part time there), it is my favourite pizza shop. Head to Dosa and Chutny for their perfectly made Dosa and Sambar or try their chicken Korma. There’s a lot of options to choose from.

– Dessert/Ice cream : Pooja Sweets for some indian sweets, Afters or Kaspa’s

– Coffee break/Brunch : Starbucks, Graveney and Meadow etc

– Curry : I reckon Dosa & Chutny which is my favourite. You can also check out Spice Village, Lahore Karahi, Apollo banana leaf to name a few.

– Mcdonalds, Subways, KFC and a lot of cheap fish and chips shops where a lot of youngsters normally hang out.

If you just want to chill after work or on a Friday night, check out Tooting Tram and Social for a drink & live music. Entry is free, bonus!

3. Shopping

– Grocery shopping : there’s a big and modern Sainsbury next to the tube station. There are also 2 Iceland Stores, Tesco, Lidl, Poundland and many other little shops.

– Clothes/Beauty stores : You will find a big Primark opposite the tube station and New look, TK Maxx and hundreds of boutiques as well as Indian shops along the high street.

– Extra : Wilko, almost all the banks, Starbucks, Phone shops, Boots, Super-drug and what not.

Let’s not forget about the famous Tooting market for fresh vegetables and fruits as well as cheap food. Oh if you miss home food (Mauritian food), there is a little eating place inside the market for some yummy Dalpuri.

4. Is the area safe ?

Safety, one of the most important question when moving to a place. I promise this place is not dodgy at all. As a girl who never ever goes out alone in Mauritius at night, I walked the streets of Tooting almost everyday late in the evening around 10-11pm and I never felt unsafe. There’s normally a lot of people still roaming the high street at night meaning that you can always shout for help if something happens. I prefer such a place to somewhere quiet, of course, this doesn’t mean that Tooting is noisy. It is a low crime area, I did my research on that before moving in.

There’s a big library and gym plus parks to relax. One of my favourite places in Tooting is St Boniface Church where I would normally go whenever I used to miss home. You will find the Tooting Leisure centre and maybe you didn’t know that the largest open air swimming pool in the country i.e Tooting bec Lido as well as Gala Bingo Cinema which is the first cinema to be preserved and given a Grade I listing (strangely I never knew about this all the time I was there furthermore I used to walk by the building daily) are both situated in Tooting.

To conclude : I miss Tooting so much !

I hope this post is helpful to you if you are planning to move to Tooting or looking for moving alternatives.

 

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