We are West Dulwich residents, Matt and Ubie. Matt moved to Dulwich back in 2001. We had a whirlwind romance having met in Hong Kong. We got married in 2017 and Ubie moved over permanently then. Matt has worked in investment in London for many years. Ubie is an artist and teacher. We have been really enjoying getting our different skills together and launching our art class business in the local area!

What brought you here?

We don’t have roots here, but Matt has worked in London for many years. So, it was all about getting on the housing ladder! Believe it or not, back in 2001, West Dulwich seemed very good value for money. It probably still is, albeit relatively speaking, compared to other London suburbs of course!

How long have you lived in the area?

Over 15 years. When I bought my home here I didn’t foresee living here quite this long! But, Dulwich surroundings are so great, with proximity to London and all its attractions, but also a sense of leafiness and calm too! We are very happy here!

What has changed most during that time?

I am not sure too much has massively changed overall, in West Dulwich anyway. It seems to go in waves with new businesses replacing older ones, but overall the vibe stays similar which is fine by us. We do like being near to East Dulwich and Crystal Palace though, with East Dulwich definitely having developed massively since Matt moved nearby.

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

We live in a great quiet road with some lovely grown up trees and shrubs so it feels spacious, green and safe which we love. There is also a great community feel and a caring residents’ association.

Where are you likely to be found on Saturday?

Matt is a keen cyclist, so out and about pounding the pedals especially out in the Kent hills not that far from Dulwich. Ubie loves all things creative so will typically be drawing or crafting in some shape or form.

The best kept secret…

Well, not sure they are too ‘secret’! But two great venues locally where we run our courses are the Paxton Centre in Crystal Palace and Fifty Seven by Suzanne James in East Dulwich. Both really nice warm environments managed by inspiring local businesswomen.

Where’s your favourite place to walk?

Dulwich Park! Absolutely beautiful, well managed and we love how it changes with the seasons. It’s a real local oasis. The woods opposite Sydenham Hill train station are also great for a short stroll.

The book I’m reading at the moment…

Matt is reading The Art of Happiness which sets out some of the Dalai Lama’s suggestions for living a full and happy life. Some great tips in there! Ubie is engrossed in all things Zentangle at the moment and designing a new course for later this year.

Our perfect holiday…

Travel is a passion for both of us! I would say something very similar to a recent trip to Sri Lanka and the Maldives. A great adventure travelling around Sri Lanka, experiencing new places, people, wildlife and flavours and a couple of days of luxury basking in the Maldives to top it off!

Our secret ambition…

We are really enjoying building our art class, UbieDesign. We have got off to a great start, but we would love to build it up, teach at more venues and maybe even franchise our teaching methods one day!


This article first appeared in the April 2018 issue of SE21 magazine.