I’m Francesca Kastelanides and I own Beam Academy.  We teach yoga and mindfulness in schools and nurseries all around London and run Yoga teacher trainings.  I also teach adult yoga classes and am always on the lookout for another amazing location for my yoga retreats around the globe. 

How long have you lived in the area? 

 9 years 

What brought you here? 

 It was an area that was up and coming and at the time house prices were still within our budget.  My husband also had relatives that lived in the area. 

Do you know your neighbours?  

 We live on a very quiet road and are very lucky to have lovely and friendly neighbours. It’s like a little community and we love the fact that we know, talk and care about each other. 

The most famous person you’ve seen/met?   

Sunday lunch with Stephen Hawking, who I also happen to be related to. 

What is your favourite place to eat?  

 I love discovering new places to eat and it’s very difficult to name my absolute favourite, but when one of those are in your area then that is a bonus.  Yama Momo on Lordship Lane is one of those places. 

Coffee or tea? Where?   

I love both but I think coffee takes first place.  I’m always on the lookout for new coffee bars and Guava kitchen in Forest Hill, The Good Food on Sydenham High Road and Luca’s kitchen on North Cross Road are favourites.   

The best meal I’ve ever had… 

A meal is an experience and when it is tied in with another special moment it turns into an even better experience.  The best meal I had was in Rome on a roof garden for my first wedding anniversary.  The most amazing food and gorgeous wine, overlooking Rome by night. 

Where’s your favourite place to walk?  

By the sea.  I love the sea with a passion and the raw energy it generates.   Any season, any weather. 

When I want to relax… 

Doing yoga, reading and enjoying a glass of wine with friends. 

The book I’m reading at the moment… 

 I’m an avid reader and normally have two books on the go.  At the moment I am reading The Midnight Library by Matt Haig and the Henna Artist by Alka Joshi 

My perfect holiday… 

Would be somewhere close to the sea. Combining a bit of culture, good food, sun and sea! Perfect! 

If money was no object… 

I think by now it’s safe to say that I love the sea, so I would love to have a house on a beach or overlooking the sea. Then I’d be able to divide my time between London and the coast. 

My secret ambition… 

 It’s not very secret as I talk about it all the time, but I would like to travel the world.