Hi everybody, hope you enjoyed this weekend at least as much as I did! It’s already been two weeks since I moved in Reading, UK so I’m really excited to share with you how it has been so far.
If you are a traveller or you have moved to a new place for a couple of times, you know the mixed feelings you get when you find yourself in a new place, quite contradictory I might say. There’s the past, with your old habits, favourite people and places, and then, there’s a new chapter, where you get to paint on a blank canvas, filling it with a new favourite restaurant, weekend activity, acquaintances, and even the way you make your breakfast will be different. There’s the nostalgia of who you used to be and do, and there’s the excitement of an alternative lifestyle.
For me, some of the most mixed feelings I got were when I packed my bags to move to a different city, country, continent?! All of your life has to fit in one or two suitcases, so you have to prioritize. And you’re getting better at it with every relocation. When you first move, you get the full album of memories with you, the second time, you get just your favourite framed picture, then, just a couple of pictures of the loved ones, and later you end up just with your camera, while all the other memories fade, replaced with new beginnings. Live in the present they say, right?
Leaving all the nostalgia apart, these last two weeks have been better than expected, I got to discover a bit more of Reading than what I’ve used to know before, and we actually got good weather, which is surprising for England right? Couldn’t be better, since I will get to have 500 Days of Summer this year! I spent last Autumn in California, later we moved to the sunny Australia, then Spring in Romania and now Reading, UK! Damien has been playing the perfect guide (as always, soon enough I will make him share some stories as well on my blog), taking me to beautiful places, good restaurants, charming little streets, as well as to some hidden gems.
Reading is definitely an underrated city, and few know that, after London, it holds most IT and Technology companies. Theresa May and George Clooney live just nearby, and it’s only 30 minutes away by train from London Paddington, making it the perfect place to commute, since the housing market in London is sky-rocketing these days. It’s also the perfect place for families, with a lot of parks and activities for kids.
What I like most is that here you can find so many international restaurants and pubs, so the food scene is really on point in Reading. My favourite restaurant in Reading is definitely House of Flavours, an Indian restaurant that finds itself easily among my all-time favourite places to eat. Some other good places that I recommend would be:
- Bill’s – Delicious brunch and they have a lovely terrace;
- Bluegrass BBQ Smokehouse – For when you feel like eating that mouth-watering burger;
- The Purple Turtle – Perfect for a crazy night out;
- Smash – Good place to eat, drink and play ping-pong, this place has a great atmosphere;
- Allied Arms – Typical British Pub, with good atmosphere and good beer;
- Revolucion de Cuba – Social club, good cocktails and charming Cuban decor;
- Itsu – Mostly for takeaway sushi&co, they have really good food, and everything is 50% off for the last 30 minutes before they close.
Some other interesting things that are happening in Reading regarding the food scene, are the Food Festival that took place this weekend, with food trucks and stands invading the city with smells and flavours, as well as the Forbury Gardens, where you could chill on the grass with your favourite food, be that Greek, Indian, German, and so many others. Another thing would be the weekly vegetables market that takes place right next to the intersection of Castle St. and Bridge St, every Wednesday, and I couldn’t be more excited for it, as the prices are excellent, and there’s a lot of variety.
That being sad, I conclude (for now) with the conclusion that Reading is a very livable city, with a lot of stuff happening around, good shops, good restaurants and loads of parks, rivers (Kennet and Thames), with many opportunities and it a city that is continuously developing.
Hope you guys enjoyed my story and that I made you find out more about Reading, which so many people don’t know about, being outshined by its proximity with London. As we decided to settle here, I will share more about it with you very soon, that way there will be a retrospective from a newcomer to a local!