By Sarah Pylas

And, breathe.

As much as I look forward to the start of the school summer break, my enthusiasm certainly starts to wane around week-5 after I have exhausted every park, museum, pool, sandpit and bank account within reach. Although this year, I devised a genius plan to escape the inevitable ‘last-week’ meltdown and jetted the family off to sunnier climes. There is nothing quite like a Greek island and an ice-cold carafe of wine to reinvigorate a work-from-home parent towards the end of the summer holidays.

Back on home turf, we had a marvelous time exploring the local amenities. The Horniman Museum is always a firm favourite. We just missed out on tickets for pond dipping, so instead spent the day wandering the gardens and admiring the landscape. On one of the wetter days, we took a trip to the East Dulwich Picturehouse to see Inside Out. I had heard mixed reviews about the film but we all really enjoyed it! So much so, my son went to see it twice… not on the same day, OBVS!

We took a pedalo tour of the lake at Dulwich Park before cycling a few laps of the periphery without stabilisers! My 5-year old is still a bit shaky on 2-wheels but he is really starting to get there. If you happen to see a Spiderman bike veering towards you on any of the local paths, I hope you are wearing shin pads!

There is something about the start of a new school year that makes me want to start afresh in all aspects of life. Maybe because it coincides with when my son and I both celebrate turning another year older, always bringing with it a moment of quiet contemplation. Or, perhaps it is the arrival of a shiny new school-year calendar providing an opportunity to neatly enter important term dates, inset days and birthdays for the year to come. September is also when I plan to return to my local Slimming World group in Honor Oak after my home scales short-circuited under the weight of summer holiday excess – 10lbs and counting. TEN POUNDS!

It is also a time for new starts on our high street. Everyone’s favourite Italian Coffee House, La Scala, will return from their Tuscan vacanza to reveal exciting new plans for the autumn. Already up and running is frenchcafebistro, occupying new premises on Forest Hill Road and now open Thursday – Saturday evenings until 10pm. Toasted have many new wine tasting events on the menu. Recent themes include ‘Rosé-mania’ and ‘Sherry tasting’ – all details can be found on their website. New to the high street is permanent pop-up restaurant, Pussey Liquor – don’t Google it! Chefs will rotate every 4-months and although I have not personally visited, I have heard many great things about the food, if not the name…

Under new management, the refurbished Cherry Tree near East Dulwich station was due to re-open at time of press.

This month, we are eagerly anticipating the first Dulwich Literary Festival. There are many more details about this in the magazine; and as one of the official Festival Partners, Around Dulwich will be bringing you exclusive news and features throughout.

Our events page has full listings of all the local news, events and ticket information. Just visit our website for more details or follow us on Twitter @arounddulwich.

This feature first appeared in the September issue of SE22 magazine.