Liz Sheppard- Jones

Associate Editor of The Croydon Citizen

Click Here for more info on Liz


Where do you live?
Broad Green since 2011. Before that, I was a Waddonian

 
How long have you lived in Croydon?
Nearly 17 years (incredibly) 

Where's your favourite place to eat?

Kalpa West Croydon in St James's Road. Nowhere beats your local curry place and we're super lucky with ours.


Where's your favourite place to drink?

Outside Smoothbean cafe in Dingwall Road during their Friday jazz sessions, enjoying the view of the fantastic Seifert building (known as Number One Croydon).


What's your favourite thing to do in Croydon?

Watch outdoor theatre in the bandstand in Wandle Park on a summer's evening 

What's the coolest thing about Croydon? Croydon Saffron Central - the world's largest urban saffron farm which grows our namesake flower*, the crocus,  right in the heart of the town centre
*'Croindene' or 'Croh-denu' are Anglo-Saxon for 'the valley of the crocus' - the origin of the town's name. 


Leah McKenzie
Singer/Songwriter
Click Here for more info on Leah

Where do you live?
Addington

How long have you lived in Croydon?
The majority of my life

Where's your favourite place to eat?
The Dutchie, the vibe is amazing and they give excellent service. I eat there at least 3 times a week. Amazing.

Where's your favourite place to drink?
Boxbar in Boxpark

What's your favourite thing to do in Croydon?
Eat, Drink and Play

What's the coolest thing about Croydon?
The diversity, the ever-evolving culture representing fashion, music and food. Just over all coolness.

Wesley Baker

Photographer and Founder of CDN
Click here for more info about Wes


Where do you live?
Thornton Heath

How long have you lived in Croydon?
I was born in Lambeth but have lived in Croydon for the past 30 years.

Where's your favourite place to eat?
My new hangout for food is Bobski’s, I 1st met Rob through Matthews Yard and his food is great, the building has the same relaxed feel Like M.Y. (Matthews Yard) and Rob the owner has been a friend for the past few years. 

Where's your favourite place to drink?
I like going to Matthews Yard for a drink not necessarily just for the drink but Matthews Yard to me was the beginning of the change in Croydon. I met Alice Cretney of Turf Projects through M.Y. (Matthews Yard) and ended up working on a project with her. When you take people there for the 1st time they’re always pleasantly surprised and I felt it was like I’d walked through a wormhole into east London. It created a home for the creative community in Croydon that never really existed. Bicycles and dogs are welcome as well as all age groups, you can dress up or be as casually dressed as you want. 

What's your favourite thing to do in Croydon?
I like cruising around on my bicycle with a nice bit of music photographing the architecture, landscapes and street art.

What's the coolest thing about Croydon?
I think there’s a lot that’s really cool about Croydon but if I have to say one thing its the people. Especially in the last five years people have stopped waiting for the council to do the things we’ve been crying out for and decided to start festivals dedicated to craft beer, theatre, music and various other things.

Jennifer Corcoron
Social Media Consultant

Click Here for more info on Jennifer


Where do you live?
I live just opposite the lovely Lloyd Park in South Croydon on Croham Park Avenue. 

How long have you lived in Croydon?
I have lived in Croydon (East and South) for about 10 years in total.  I'm originally from Dublin and have been living in the UK for the last 15 years.

Favourite place to eat?

This is a tricky one as there are lots of amazing places on Southend and now we have Boxpark too.  I've had some great meals with family and friends at Yumn Brasserie, The Tree House and Alberts Table.  You also can't beat The Chateau for a Sunday roast dinner. It's old school but the food and service is brilliant and the setting is really peaceful.  Myself and my husband Mike had a great reception there following our wedding in 2014!

Favourite place to drink?
I'm a massive coffee drinker so love places like Park Life Cafe which has opened just opposite me at Lloyd Park, Byte Cafe at TMRW (I work remotely from this fab Tech Hub) and Matthew's Yard.  Smoothbean is great for a smoothie and owned by a lovely Irish man! Keeping with the Irish theme (it's Paddy's Day after all) The Baskerville is our new local since it opened and is ran by a fellow Dubliner (we get everywhere).  Myself and Mike also love a tipple at the Spread Eagle before we hit the cinema at either the Clock Tower or Grants Vue.  

Favourite thing to do in Croydon?
I love to take a stroll up to Coombe Wood Gardens.  They are so picturesque and calming.  I especially like taking a hike up Croham Hurst Woods.  Both of these are only a 10 minute walk from our home.  It's fab - within minutes you are literally transported into the countryside.  

The coolest thing about Croydon?
It's a cliche but the variety.  Everything goes in Croydon - people are accepting and there is a great mix of cultures.  You have the shops, restaurants, nightlife, college, cinemas, theatres, comedy nights and then a few minutes down the road you have amazing natural green spaces, parks, golf courses and woods.  Croydon is synonymous with being a concrete jungle but I particularly love all of the street art which has been popping up.  It's mind blowing.  I can't wait for the new Fairfield Halls to be rebuilt.  I saw the late Joan Rivers there as well as Omid Djalili and Dara O'Briain.  Lots of laughs! Ultimately it boils down to the people who are authentic and down to earth.  What's not to love?

Jo Irwin
​Lifestyle Blogger and Time Out & Metro contributer
Click Here for more info on Jo

Where do you live?
I live right in the middle of town, a stones throw from Centrale and right on a tram line (like literalJly right on one, our flat shakes!).


How long have you lived in Croydon?
I've lived here with my best mate for 2.5 years. I went to school down the road, so it feels like I've been here a lot longer than that! 

Where's your favourite place to eat?
Matthews Yard. The brunch at Hoodoos (is that right?) is insane. That hash brown and bean thing they do blows my head off every time I eat it. And you can't beat a night down at Brgr & Beer. The lads are lovely, the food is on point and the beer hits the spot. 

Where's your favourite place to drink?
I'm a pub bird, through & through, and luckily we've got quite a bit of choice. It's got to be the Dog & Bull in the summer, sitting out in the garden with a cold beer is the best way to spend a Saturday. The Treehouse is another firm fav, bit of Sunday lunch or a candlelit Friday night in there always goes down a treat. 

​What's your favourite thing to do in Croydon?
Because it's home, you can't help but get bogged down with the boring stuff when you're at home. Gym, food shopping, running out because you need to panic buy shampoo. But when I've got the time to actually do some fun stuff, I like being down in South Croydon, going for a few drinks or a bite to eat. And to be honest with you, since it opened, Boxpark has become a firm favourite hangout. It's just nice to be able to listen to some live music, have a coffee or a glass of wine and hang out with your mates. 

What's the coolest things about Croydon? 
It's sense of community. It and it's inhabitants have always got a bit a bit of stick, but there is real vibe that everyone's in it together. Yes, it's on the rocky road to becoming a little bit gentrified, but a lot of it's involving local people. The street art, the tech city, the fact that there are local businesses in Boxpark. And people from Croydon love a Croydon success story so they want to help all these people out. Having each other's back is pretty cool, in my book. 

Adam Jackowski
​Co-Founder Brgr&Beer and Wine&Deli
Click Here  for more  info about Adam


Where do you live?
South Croydon

How long have you lived in Croydon?
All my life. Coming up to the grand old age of 29.

Where's your favourite place to eat?
Working at Boxpark most of time now means I’ve got a lot of choice at my fingertips. I’ve got to say that my current favourites are: Nanny Outars for their banging Guyanese grub, Kothu Kothu for the Sri Lankan flavours and Mud for their bad boy brunch. Oh, I can’t forget our boy Bobski on Exchange Square – best jerk in Croydon.

Where's your favourite place to drink?
We don’t get much time to venture out, but I love a nice pint after work at The Green Dragon.

What's your favourite thing to do in Croydon?
This probably sounds sad, but currently my favourite thing is working. It’s great creating and building things in Croydon and meeting new people along the way.

What's the coolest things about Croydon? 
The people. The diversity. You meet so many people from all walks of life.


Jonny Rose

Founder of Croydon Tech City and Croydon Vs The World

Click Here for more info about Jonny


Where do you live?
I live in Purley which in the South of the borough

How long have you lived in Croydon?
I moved to Croydon with my parents when I was 7. I've now reached the ripe old age of 30 - so I've been proudly reppin' Croydon for a good twenty-three years now!


Where's your favourite place to eat?
There are so many interesting and novel eating places spring up around town now but - despite it all - it would have to be KFC in Purley. 

Where's your favourite place to drink?
Matthews Yard!


What's your favourite thing to do in Croydon?
I spend my days (outside of work) thinking of new ways to improve the area and make it a better place to live - whether it's through rebranding it as a technology ecosystem, writing about it in The Croydon Citizen, launching fashion labels or out on the streets serving with my church. My favourite thing to do in Croydon is always whatever I'm thinking about doing next for Croydon! 

What's the coolest thing about Croydon?
There is so much but if I had to reduce it to one thing it would be The Croydon Citizen: a citizen-driven paper where locals can write and contribute their ideas and plans for the area. I've known the founding team since the beginning and I'm so proud of seeing how a bunch of proud locals came together to build a media organisation with no expertise or funding and have grown it into a proper paper that I believe one day will be read around the world.


David Robinson

Head of Operations for Supported Accommodation Services at Evolve

Click Herefor more info on David


Where do you live?
The cool bit of South Croydon, near the Restaurant Quarter
 
How long have you lived in Croydon?
I moved to Purley 6 years ago and have lived in South Croydon for the past 4 years.
 
Where’s your favourite place to eat?
Probably Bagatti’s. The lamb ragu is extra special and the way the staff are with children make it a perfect place for a family meal.
 
Where’s your favourite place to drink?
In the summer – Dog and Bull
All other times – The Royal Standard. About as cosy as you could be under a flyover!
 
What’s your favourite thing to do in Croydon?
The Parkrun in Lloyd Park, which according to the Londonist magazine is the most challenging of all the London Parkruns. I love the fact that it feels like a country run, even though it’s just outside the town centre, which along with the commitment of the volunteers make it a  great event to be part of.
 
What’s the coolest thing about Croydon?
It’s architecture – It’s a good job 60s architecture is back in vogue and with buildings like Lunar and Apollo House built to reflect the age of the space race, Croydon should be ready to embrace its cool concrete.

Jo Smith
Lash Artist
Click Here for more info about Jo

Where do you live?
Croydon

How long have you lived in Croydon?
23 years

Where's your favourite place to eat?
Nandos hands down, there's always time for a cheeky Nandos.

Where's your favourite place to drink?
I'm not much of a drinker but my favourite Coffee shops are Caffe Nero on George Street, and Beanies in the Whitgift Centre. Both great places to catch up with friends.

What's your favourite thing to do in Croydon?
Retail Therapy always makes me happy, especially buying new beauty products. I love department stores as they have everything in one place. House of Fraser in Centrale is my favourite place for checking out the latest make up and skincare products. 

What's the coolest thing about Croydon?
It's such vibrant and fun place, I love both living and working here; there is never a dull moment!

Ediz Ibrahim AKA TheBrandAnalyst
Digital Marketeer
Click Here for more info on Ediz

Where do you live?
Selsdon, South Croydon

How long have you lived in Croydon?
27 years

Where's your favourite place to eat?
I have a whole list of favourite places to eat and a mixture of different cuisines and tastes. There is a guy called Bobski who does amazing Jerk Chicken (actually had this today) I love the Chicken Burito from Chilangos (Boxpark) there is also a small Vietnamese place I rate highly down Surrey Street market they are called Viet2Go and have the best Pho....I can go on forever. Oh no can't forget a little gem of mine down West Croydon that do great Lahmacuns (Turkish Pizzas)

Where's your favourite place to drink?
I am really digging the Rum Punch from Fish, Wings & Tings in Boxpark, but my local always used to be The George down George Street. This was a long long time ago as the vibe in there has changed.

What's your favourite thing to do in Croydon?
It has to be eating...for a long time we were very limited for decent food in Croydon but now the variety is amazing. So much to try!

What's the coolest things about Croydon?
Croydon is just so different to all the other towns in and around London. The multicultural feel it has, the mix between old and new it's great. I still feel we are undervalued a little here as people tend to judge Croydon based on the things they have seen or heard on the news.


Leslie Lewis-Walker

​Singer/Songwriter/Musician/Poet

Click here for more info about Leslie


Where do you live?
Norwood Junction, right on the door step of Crystal Palace FC!

How long have you lived in Croydon?
All my life, but had brief spells away in Watford and High Wycombe. However, I couldn't keep away!

Where's your favourite place to eat?
I can't pick one, i have to mention two... I love the food at the Dutchie restaurant which is a real hidden gem. I also adore the Pho, Cat Ba Island Vietnamese Restaurant in south Croydon. The food there is class!

Where's your favourite place to drink? 
St Matthews Yard. During the summer days and the warm nights you can't  beat that spot. If I feel a little classy - the smoothbean! They sometimes have an ace jazz band playing that are a delight to listen to! 

What's your favourite thing to do in Croydon? 
I love to people watch so I can happily sit outside Caffe Nero (East Croydon ) with my peppermint tea and watch time go by. Those moments are golden when writing new songs.

What's the coolest thing about Croydon?
Croydon is home! One of my first memories as a child was looking up at the 50p building, trying to understand why it was shaped like that. You can walk less than a mile from West Croydon to East Croydon and feel like you're in a completely different space. I also think there is a real creative energy that is spreading, which I think is a sign that people feel free and happy to express themselves in this town.

Hazoe

Graffiti artist

Click here for more info about Hazoe


Where do you live?
I live on the outskirts of Croydon

How long have you lived in Croydon?

Nearly 27 years

Where's your favourite place to eat?

There are so many good places to eat in Croydon, especially now Boxpark has arrived. So far for lunch I have hit up the tai place, which I had the red tai curry with prawns, which was banging and plus they give nice portions! Arancina is also a must if you fancy a real margherita pizza or a fried aranccini with spinach and ricotta is what I had! And last but not least I gotta big up the cook daily vegan place at the end keeping it fresh and healthy.

Where's your favourite place to drink?

Has to be Matthews Yard as I can drink and stare at art work there

What's your favourite thing to do in Croydon?

My favourite thing to do would have to be painting! I love finding new spots and areas to paint in Croydon, since last year I have noticed a more positive perception and attitude on graffiti.

What's the coolest thing about Croydon?

The coolest thing about Croydon must be the diversity of ranges of people living in the area and the amount of talent that actually lives and breathes the Cronx. From Chefs to DJ's, Graffiti Artists and much more, Croydon has so much to give and its only going to get better! 

Mark Sarfo-Kantanka

Director of The Croydon Creative and Cellardoor (who run Lost Format Society)

Click Here for more info about Mark


Where do you live?
Norwood


How long have you lived in Croydon?

I am born and bred in Croydon. I remember when there used to be a cinema (Safari) on London Road, C&A used to be a shopping destination, Valley Park first opened, Pals / Blue Orchid / The Cartoon were symbols of how varied a nightlife you used to get in Croydon. 


Where's your favourite place to eat?
Roti Island on Portland Road followed closely by The Gold Coast.


Where's ypour favourite place to drink?
​Lost Format Society Rooftop Bar of course ;-)


What's your favoruite thing to do in Croydon?
Meeting new people doing great things – I’ve had some cool conversations with people down at Smoothbean on Dingwall Road.


What's the coolest thing about Croydon?
The strong ethic of the Croydon community who don’t sit on the side lines and act like keyboard warriors, but rather go out and do their best to make a positive contribution to their local area. Along the same lines it’s also impressive to see local people go out and support local initiatives. Without the desire to put on cultural events coupled with people supporting these initiatives, Croydon would end up looking like Canary Wharf – a concrete jungle with no soul.

Giselle Rambaran
Co-Founder of IvyRose London
Click Here for more info about Giselle


Where do you live? 
We (Giselle lives with partner-in-crime and IvyRose co-founder, Johnny Henry-Large) live next to Wandle Park.  

How long have you lived in Croydon? 
We moved here from Brixton three years ago and are here to stay. 

Where's your favourite place to eat? 
Carioca at Boxpark has some pretty spectacular dishes! 

Where's your favourite place to drink? 
We rarely drink, so don't have a favourite, but we did recently visit Lost Format Society's pop up bar. It's a shame they aren't a permanent feature of Croydon. 

What's your favourite thing to do in Croydon? 
Wandering around admiring all the wonderful street art and installations in the Croydon Arts Quarter. 

What's the coolest thing about Croydon? 
Croydon has so many inspiring creative and entrepreneurial people. CDN Zine, RISEgallery, Devoland, Victor Rose Media, Rich Simmons, Croydon Vs The World, Kate Marsden, Skye Baker, Croydonist...We could carry on all day!

Croydon has seen it's fair share of cool kids over the years. Tracey Emin, Kate Moss, Krept & Konan, Section Boyz, Stormzy, Derren Brown and Noel Fielding have all got links to the area; from being born and growing up here to studying or working locally.


​Cool People takes inspiration from Croydon's current locals, getting insider info direct from those in the know about the best things the area has to offer.

Dee Lennon
Founder of Bump Dance Fitness and I AM Bellis
Click Here for more info on Dee

Where do you live?
New Addington

How long have you lived in Croydon?
4 years

Where's your favourite place to eat?
Cook Daily in Boxpark...#VeganLife


Where's your favourite place to drink?
In winter, I love being at the Boxpark bar and in summer,  Lost Format Society...the rooftop bar is amazing!

What's your favourite thing to do in Croydon?
In the day, when the children are at school, a bit of shopping but at night; shaking my stuff to some old school garage  in Boxpark bar!

What's the coolest thing about Croydon?

I love the tram...gets you to Croydon in super set speed....
I love the sense of community...big or small businesses support and big up each other....(Thank you Mark at  Lost Format Society,  Project B and Matthews Yard)
I love that Croydon has so much to offer it's residents 
I love Surrey Street Market....best place for plantain fresh fruit, veg and ital Jamaican soup essentials ....yaaaasssss!!!!

Aurélien Farjon

Set Designer/Props Stylist

Click Here for more info on Aurélien


Where do you live?  

Addiscombe

How long have you lived in Croydon?

4 years


Where's your favourite place to eat?

Brgr & Beer (at Matthew’s Yard)


Where's your favourite place to drink?

Matthew’s Yard


What's your favourite thing to do in Croydon?

Going for dinner down by the Restaurant Quarter


What's the coolest things about Croydon?

Boxpark, Street Art, Restaurant Quarter, Matthew’s Yard, but hopefully lots more soon, we need more independent boutiques and cafes.

Devlin (Devo) Stephenson

You Tuber promoting London's entrepreneur community
Click here for more info about Devo

Where do you live?
South Norwood.

How long have you lived in Croydon?

On and off since summer 03 

Where's your favourite place to eat in Croydon?
I have to say I recently took my gf to mud cafe at Boxpark and it was absolutely delicious, also big shoutout to the monster chef guys down on Surrey Street market.

Where's your favourite place to drink in Croydon?

The dog and bull is a awesome little pub with a really cool beer garden on the odd occasion that we get some sunshine. Also Matthews Yard is a brilliant place to hang out and grab a coffee, great chilled out vibe.

What's your favourite thing to do in Croydon?

I really enjoy just walking around Croydon taking in the various pieces of street art that adorn our buildings. I'm a massive fan of street art.

What's the coolest things about Croydon?  

It's People, so many people here with extraordinary stories. The Croydon spirit is most definitely one of the coolest things about Croydon, I love the positive vibes that are emanating from the town at the moment. Lastly the creativity, there's so much creativity here in Croydon and the fact that it's now starting to be showcased more and more on a much larger scale is definitely cool.

Tobrise Chinosa

Videographer

Click Here for more info on Tobrise

Where do you live?
Selsdon

How long have you lived in Croydon?
13 years

Where's your favourite place to eat?
Bagattis

Where's your favourite place to drink?
Txt Bar

What's your favourite thing to do in Croydon?
Going to Surrey St Market the buying different ingredients from all across the world and then trying to cook a Michelin star meal.  

What's the coolest things about Croydon?
I love going to Matthew's Yard and feeling the creative electricity in the place. It’s an environment where I can indulge in my work 100%