Voted The Best Place To Live In London
Voted The Best Place to Live in London, Crystal Palace has a lot to live up to! In this guide we look into the history, the houses, and the local pubs.
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Crystal Palace has been named the best place to live in London
Crystal Palace has a lot to offer (and a lot to live up to!) as the best place to live in London.
This decision, made by The Sunday Times, has been based on a lengthy assessment of factors. Considered in the process are schools, transport and broadband to culture, green spaces and the health of the high street.
They look to celebrate improving towns, villages or city centres and locations bursting with community spirit. Which, after a global pandemic, is more important now than ever!
A history of the best place to live in London
The Crystal Palace was a beautiful grand structure made of glass and iron, originally built in 1851 for the Great Exhibition in London's Hyde Park. Prince Albert wish to hold the exhibition to impress the world with Britain's industrial achievements. The Palace was designed by Sir Joseph Paxton and after the Great Exhibition, he had the idea of moving it to Penge Place Estate in Sydenham as a 'Winter Park and Garden under Glass'. The Crystal Palace was re-opened in June 1854, by Queen Victoria.
The palace and the grounds became the world's first theme park offering education, entertainment, a rollercoaster, cricket matches, and even 20 F.A. Cup Finals between 1895 - 1914. The site attracted 2 million visitors a year and was also home to displays, festivals, music shows and even to soldiers during the First World War. However, Crystal Palace was cursed by bad luck and financial crisis. The sheer size meant it was impossible to maintain financially and it was declared bankrupt in 1911.
Then, in 1936, a huge fire broke out across the building, whereby sadly most of the Palace was destroyed. Although rich with Victorian history, Crystal Palace has a welcome urban edge.
Crystal Palace Park
The best place to live in London would be incomplete without a large London park! Crystal Palace Park is a welcoming place for all complete with fun resources for learning, playing and training. Not to mention endless recreation and enjoyment, activities and events. It's even the perfect location to just find a quiet spot for a picnic or to read a book. At the top of the Crystal Palace Park is where the original Crystal Palace stood between 1854 and 1936.
The park is also home to a lake, a children's farmyard, a fantastic playground, a maze, an outdoor concert stage and open green space.
The park also features London's very own Jurassic Park. Large model dinosaurs were created by the founder of the Natural History Museum and have been in the park since 1854. They were the first life-sized dinosaurs in the world! The creatures are dotted around the lake and amongst the trees and plants. This makes them appear like they are in their own wild natural habitat.
The commute into central London
What are the pubs like in the best place to live in London?
Every Londoner needs a local pub, it's a part of London life! We've looked into the best boozers available in Crystal Palace.
The Faber Fox
The Faber Fox has all the best aspects of a lovely neighbourhood pub. The large bar & dining space serves pub classics with some modern twists, alongside local gins & beers.
There is a stunning outdoor terrace and garden with unparalleled views over London and a glimpse of Canary Wharf in the distance. This makes the pub an ideal location for an afternoon/evening of enjoying the sunshine. To cater for all the local sports lovers, the pub has giant screens showing all the latest sports. There's even regular live music, a resident DJ, roast dinners on the Sunday menu and a Sunday night quiz.
This beautiful glass-fronted Victorian pub is an instagammer's dream, with soft green decor, exposed-brick walls, mirrors and iron columns. The Alma has been at the heart of the famous Crystal Palace triangle for many years. Built in 1854, it is now a well-established part of the Crystal Palace eating & drinking scene.
They're a relaxed and friendly pub with an amazing outside space, famous reputation for quality food, craft beer, ales and wines. Tucked just behind the pub is a huge all weather beer garden and bar. They serve a contemporary menu which changes on a regular basis. The menu is cooked fresh and to order using only the best fresh British seasonal ingredients.
Plus, The Alma is seriously dog friendly.
The White Hart
Known for its amazing service and food, The White Hart is renowned in the area for having a welcoming and wholesome atmosphere. They offer seating both inside and outside, which makes it perfect pub rain or shine!
Located in an ideal just a stone's throw from Crystal Palace train station, The White Heart is charming and traditional, boasting plenty of period features and a roaring open fire in the winter months - bliss! The classic British menu stays in keeping with the venue, there's a regular quiz, and a spacious beer garden for summer. This classic pub doesn't show sport on a weekly basis, but is sure to show the biggest games of the year.
What's the cafe culture like?
Bloom cafe is a family run business in the heart of Crystal Place. They specialise in fresh food every day of the week, serving breakfast and brunch. You can find fresh pastries, a lunch menu of gourmet sandwiches and afternoon teas and fresh cakes. They are now open for dinner with a fantastic menu!
Cafe St Germain
The Café St Germain is a Crystal Palace icon. Located directly opposite the famous Crystal Palace park, it provides welcome local alfresco dining for locals and visitors. It's also become a real hub of the community. It's even got a view of the famous Crystal Palace antenna, which many visitors to London mistake for a poor man's Eiffel Tower.
Last but not least... The best place to live in London has a food market!
A fun Crystal Palace Transition addition is the Crystal Palace Food Market. The market is run as a local non-profit. Any earnings are invested in charities, small local companies, and helping local, environmentally friendly farmers who raise their animals naturally and use no hazardous chemicals in their farming practises. Most are small farms in Kent & Sussex that depend on farmers' markets for revenue.
You can buy fish, meat, veg, fruit, bread, pastries and pies from the wholesome food market. Specialities often include raw milk, biodynamic fruit, Sardinian cheese - and even oysters! Be sure to bring your own containers so you can buy organic unpackaged grains, cereals and dried fruits from The Store Cupboard.
How much does it cost to buy a home in Crystal Palace in 2022?
The average house price: £526,000
Growth since 2020: 17%
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