My name is Alex and I run Tappy Toes Forest Hill, a baby and toddler dance class. I live in Honor Oak Park with my husband, our one year-old son and Roxy the chihuahua.
How long have you lived in the area?
I’ve lived in the area for two years, however I first lived here about 12 years ago. So I’ve returned and I am so glad to be back.
What brought you here?
I loved this area so much when I lived here many years ago and always planned to come back. Having lived in Soho for 10 years in the hustle and bustle of theatreland, I crave space, fresh air, amazing parks, and the incredible sense of community. As a performer and creative this space is just magical. I am so glad I came back; it is even better than I remembered. The moment I stepped off the train I could feel my shoulders simply relax. It just feels like home. I must say there is something in the water here as within a year of living back in SE23 I was married with my first baby on the way! It’s a sign you have found your perfect neighbourhood.
What has changed most during that time?
The community aspect I feel has really emerged since I lived here last. Being a new mum, I found so much support and incredible baby groups and facilities on my doorstep. It’s been amazing and I’m so thankful for it.
The transport connections (which was just one train when I lived here before) are far more reliable and the Overground opens up so much more of London.
What do you most value about the area/street you live in?
My neighbours – we have a really close relationship with our street residents, we even have our own WhatsApp group and regular street gathering!
.What is your favourite place to eat?
As a family we love Canvas and Cream. Friendly staff, great with the baby and lovely food. It’s a regular haunt
Coffee or tea? Where?
Coffee – decaf these days, at Two Spoons on Honor Oak Park
The best meal I’ve ever had.. That has to be Sushi Garden on Dartmouth Road. I still have dreams about their Lemon press gourmet rolls.
What’s your favourite place to go for a drink?
Going out for a drink I love going to The Honor Oak. However as my husband is a bar tender, I have to say our back garden on a summer evening. His Negroni’s are one of the many reasons I married him
The best kept secret…
Albion Millennium Green, only just discovered this little oasis
Where’s your favourite place to walk? The nature trial by Horniman Gardens
What is your favourite shop?
The Small Print Bookshop. Amazing children’s bookshop which is a delight for grown-ups too.
My secret ambition..
To get all children dancing from the moment they can move. I’m passionate about helping children express themselves through physical movement and music.
Baby and Toddler Dance Instructor
Tappy Toes Forest Hill
This article first appeared in the October issue of SE23 magazine.