Sitting along the River Thames, the town of Kingston Upon Thames is the perfect mix of old London and fresh creativity. At once a historic market town and University hub as well as my home for work and play, going on tour for Free People is just the opportunity needed to delve into its hidden treasures.
At the heart of the market square is Market House, a beautiful and intricate Grade II listed building and home to our own gallery space for artists from all over as well as unique and quirky pop up shops, there is always something new and exciting to be found here.
Market House and the golden statue of Queen Anne that perches atop. The town is a place of great history and it is thought seven Anglo-Saxon kings were crowned here.
Kingston has one of the best live music scenes in South West London with bars all over town hosting open mic nights and mini festivals for budding college bands and established artists of all genres as well as a host of talented buskers to serenade as you explore the cobbled side streets.
One of the best of these for me is Old London Road, tucked off the main high street it welcomes you with ‘Out Of Order’ an outdoor sculpture by David Mach; a row of the traditional fire engine red London telephone boxes falling into perfect domino effect. Commissioned by the borough and unveiled in 1989, loving restoration has kept it as one of our cutest quirks and a regular attraction for eager eyed bloggers.
Continue down Old London Road and you will find an antique store to while away time hunting out one of a kind pieces, a fabric emporium with roll upon roll of prints and colours perfect for picking out patterns for the new FP collection and corner cafes to quench your thirst in when you’re done. Stay out till the sun goes down and find yourself in the self proclaimed most notorious rock n roll bar in south west London or get a new ink at the accompanying tattoo parlour while in town.
One of my favourite new finds is a freshly opened independent hummus bar serving up home-made Mediterranean food that nestles adjacent to some of the commercial cafes, offering a more earthy and original approach to delicious snacking.
With our own theatre, plethora of bars and restaurants, quirky independents mixed with mainstream stores; juxtaposed with the calm of sitting on the river Thames with your favourite flavour ice cream or enjoying a chilled cider with friends while swans sail by, there really is something for everyone. Come and check us out!