News, People

The Last Word: Nadia Zohhadi, President of the Forest Hill Women’s Institute

 

How long have you lived in the area?

I moved to Forest Hill almost four years ago – on my first child’s due date! Luckily she was late, and all went well.

What do you most value about the area/street you live in?

We moved here from Southwest London, where I had lived my whole life. What I immediately noticed was just how much more of a community spirit there is here. Maybe it’s also because when you have kids you get more involved with local events more, but I feel like everywhere I go I bump into a friendly face. It’s really nice.

What one thing would you change?

More clothes shops, so I don’t have to trek to town.

What’s the one thing you couldn’t do without?

Blythe Hill Tavern – simply the best pub in London. Amazing staff, and a really warm atmosphere. Importantly it’s also really welcoming to kids, which is a rarity in London. Cracking garden too!

The most famous person you’ve seen or met? 

I once helped Kylie Minogue find a pair of jeans in the shop I used to work in. She was tiny, none of them fit her!

Do you belong to any groups?

Yes! The Forest Hill WI – in fact I am the recently appointed president. I joined just a couple of months after moving here, looking to meet new people and it was a real turning point – I felt so welcome and made my first friends in the area. I also now know how to crochet, make clay jewellery and Christmas wreaths and how to line dance, amongst many other things! We always welcome new members, so here’s a cheeky plug to anyone curious about what we do – we meet the 2nd Monday of every month at All Inn One pub at 8pm. Also another great pub, they’re lovely in there! Look up Forest Hill WI on Facebook for more info.

I also belong to Hummy Mummies; an adult choir with locations all over SE London, where you can bring your baby. I’m on maternity leave at the moment and it’s just great to sing actual adult songs. The babies love it too! Check us out at our end of year concert on Saturday at St Hilda’s Church, Crofton Park at 11am.

What is your favourite place to eat?

For casual food with the kids, The Chandos is great – delicious pizza and great gins (for me!). For a night out with adults, Babur Indian is my favourite, their flavours are amazing and they do great cocktails.

Coffee or tea? Where?

Coffee – at No.41 or Ground and Grapes.

Cafe, pub or bar?

Pub! See answer above!

Where’s your favourite place to walk?

Locally, I love Hilly Fields or Sydenham Woods. A bit further into London, nothing beats the backstreets of Soho, there’s so much life and soul there. Love it

The book I’m reading at the moment..

The Patrick Melrose series. Intense, but so good.

My secret ambition.

I’ve always wanted to open a pub in the countryside. But not actually work in it, just sit on the end of the bar and chat to locals. What can I say, I’m a dreamer.

Find Forest Hill WI on facebook and Instagram.