23rd Sep 2012 12:03pm | By Jade Bremner
The gritty truth: how people perceive you and your postcode
Just got to London or looking to move area codes? Nigel Lewis, property analyst for Prime Location, reckons we should consider who else lives in an area before signing on the dotted line, because London is swamped with stereotypes. Here’s our guide to London’s clichés…
The Stereotype: The people who live here pronounce it ‘Chelski’. It’s so expensive that ‘Hooray Henrys’ and ‘sloaney ponies’ have been priced out of the area.
The area: Filled with glitzy trustfunders and designer shops. The kind of place you might see Will Young buying a vacuum cleaner in his pyjamas.
Price: £££££ A drop in the ocean if you’re mates with Richard Branson’s daughter, otherwise look east.
The stereotype: Film students riding around on fixie bikes or some kind of emerging fashion designer wearing a kettle tied to her head. Plus, it’s the best place in London to go for a kebab.
The area: “Dalston is for people who can’t afford Hackney,” says Lewis. “People here are first- and second-job media types who are on not-so-massive salaries. They settle into their first apartment here after spending years in single wilderness.”
Price: ££ Dig deep, be hip.
The stereotype: The Aussie community is shrinking as neighbouring Nappy Valley is expanding, but you’ll still find a few well-heeled ex-ravers here.
The area: “To be quite frank, Clapham is getting so public schooly now, it’s ridiculous,” says Lewis. “Balham is now exactly the same as Clapham. Same restaurants, same chains, same style.”
Price: £££ At a high.
The stereotype: David Cameron’s old stomping ground has become a bit of a hub for art and business students with loaded parents (“usually new Chinese money or old French money,” according to Lewis).
The area: “You’ll get a room in a house here for £650-700 [a month],” explains Lewis, ”probably with people who are called ‘Boris’ and ‘Chantelle’”.
Price: ££££ Damn that soppy Hugh Grant movie.
The stereotype: Big on quinoa.
The area: There’s some kind of weird hippy force field around Church Street, the café and organic grocery hub of London, yet walk a few blocks and your bullet-proof vest no longer works.
Price: ££ Has a great village feel, but no Tube.
The stereotype: Tourists, Amy Winehouse fans and ageing former members of Nineties Britpop bands.
The area: “People hanging on to the sad remnants of London’s 1990s culture live around here,” says Lewis. “Anyone with any street cred has long gone. They’re now in Hackney or Dalston.”
Price: £££ Overpriced. Which, like seeing your mum dancing to Prodigy, is just a little bit wrong.
The stereotype : Ravers and rioters.
The area: “It’s south London’s living-it-large capital,” claims Lewis. “It’s got so much from a music and clubbing point of view that the well-paid Australians are leaving Clapham and graduating here.”
Price: ££ Good value, good times.
The stereotype: Actual poor people, who can’t afford its newer digs.
The area: Up-and-coming, but be warned it’s still rough around the edges. “However, further into Stratford is a good place to invest,” reckons Lewis.
Price: £££ The newly developed areas are pricey, but bargains can be found.
The stereotype: Boring. Where rich people grow children.
The area: “The place where south Londoners want to live when they settle down, it’s full of yummy mummy bloggers and families that are fed up of the urban grind,” reckons Lewis.
Price: ££££ City suburbia is not cheap.
The stereotype: London’s kinky capital consists of sex club workers, media workers and successful gay men.
The area: “There are two types,” reckons Lewis, “one is West End media agency owners or senior partners who pay £500k for a fashionable rooftop one-bed or two-bed apartment. The other is the extremely underpaid serving staff who work at the nastier clubs.”
Price: ££££ Bright lights and very big bank balances.
The stereotype: Nobody actually lives in the City, not even bankers.
The area: “There’s a small arts community in the teeth of the capitalist lion who work at the Barbican,” says Lewis. “Otherwise, it’s considered a rotten borough.”
Price: £££££ Ouch! And the pubs aren’t even open on weekends.
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