lifestyle

Escaped to the country? This is what you’ll miss most about living in the city


Jenny Stallard’s got FOMO when it comes to nights out in London (Picture: Getty Images)

This week I’m writing to you from the Premier Inn on the Euston Road. I know, hold back on the glamour envy!

But, actually, I’ve rather come to love a London Premier Inn.

The view from the window spans across the British Library, to the St Pancras ‘Harry Potter’ Hotel beyond. The air con is peacefully purring away, I’ve made a cuppa and hung up my outfit.

Tonight, I’m going out-out, and where better than in London?

It’s got me thinking about a part of moving to the countryside — whatever the city you leave — that will happen to everyone, and is something you have to juggle, not an instant ‘fix’, in my experience.

There will be FOMO. So many people, from London and in Chipping Norton ask, ‘Do you miss London?’ My answer has always been ‘no, but I miss my friends there’.

There’s not much nightlife in idyllic Chipping Norton (Picture: Getty Images/EyeEm)

That was all very well when there was a pandemic and forms of lockdown. We moved between lockdowns, and our grand plan for a big leaving do in the local pub (shout out to the GNRT in Hornsey), drinks, dinners and trips to landmarks were all curtailed by the restrictions.

Instead, the night before the removal men came, I stuck a note to the wall by the flat asking people not to park, and we went to bed in the quiet we’d got used to. There was nothing in London to miss — nobody was going out. Now, though, there is — and I do get FOMO, even a year on from moving.

One thing I loved about London was eating out — I actually wrote a lot of restaurant reviews for this very newspaper and have eaten in some of the fanciest places in town. I know! I’ve also got my favourite kebab places (hello, City Kebab in Stoke Newington and Angel Kebab, Islington), and am partial to a Sunday roast in a London pub, like the Old Dairy in Finsbury Park.

Where better to while away a Sunday afternoon than a traditional boozer with a Yorkshire pudding the size of your head, good friends and a glass of wine?

So, moving to the countryside wasn’t so much about missing London but missing what it offered. I’m not a Londoner, or from London originally.

Jenny misses a proper roast in a London pub (Picture: Getty Images)

I was born in Lancashire, lived in Yorkshire (including Hull for University), Berkshire, Sussex, Essex and Surrey, which I called home from the age of ten. I lived in a market town not dissimilar to the one I live in now — I was used to commuting when I got a job in London, and I liked the mix. That’s what drew me back to ‘out of town’.

Living in London came with my rise up the media career ladder, jobs on magazines and newspapers, freelancing for different publications.

The life in London went with the job — late night launch parties followed by night buses home to Wood Green or the Bakerloo line back to Queen’s Park. I’ve lived in North, South, East and West London, and I’ve enjoyed and hated it in equal measure.

For me, the best part about leaving is coming back — that’s the point here. As I listen to the hum of the traffic on the Euston Road, the odd siren, I don’t feel overwhelmed or pressured, so much as nostalgic. These are the temporary sounds of the city for me, as a tourist now.

I get to stay in hotels, and to see friends for nice dinners or cocktails — the biggest thing I miss is the thing I can still do, without the higher mortgage, crowded train to an office or compromise on green space. And back at home, our two dogs, who we could never have had in London.

I can still see the people I love without worrying about whether our stuff is OK in the storage unit we were paying £200 a month to rent, or indeed where a certain handbag is in the said storage unit.

When you leave, there will be FOMO. You will feel like the rest of the city is having a way better time — that they’ve moved on. You’ll see posts from new restaurant openings, cool bars you didn’t go to, updates to the life there.

Remember, you’re updating your life, too. And that there’s always a Premier Inn cuppa to help with the FOMO.

Do you have a story to share?

Get in touch by emailing MetroLifestyleTeam@Metro.co.uk.


MORE : Everything you need to consider before you move from the city to the countryside


MORE : What it’s really like to escape to the country



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