Where I live… Octavia O’Donovan on Bermondsey
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Where I live… Octavia O’Donovan on Bermondsey

OCTAVIA O’Donovan comes from Drimoleague in West Cork, but lives in London. Her greeting cards and homeware business Be-Bop-a-Lula is inspired by her love of stationery, design and sewing.

With a degree in graphic design, her work has been sold at The Fashion and Textiles Museum, Liberty and The Designers Guild...

Where do you live?

Bermondsey, South East London.

I moved to this area because…

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Bermondsey has outstanding restaurants, bars and independent shops and there are some great parks. It’s like a village in the heart of the city.

One of the best things about living here is… 

Being within walking distance to the White Cube Gallery and Fashion and Textile Museum for whenever I need some creative inspiration.

One restaurant I love to go to is…

Tanner and Co, for comfort food and decor inspired by an old-fashioned gymnasium. The restaurant’s name and the leather aprons worn by staff are a nod to the area’s past as the location of many of London’s tanneries.

My local is…

The Victoria on Pages Walk and I love it because the landlord Pat and his family love giving you free roast potatoes, which obviously goes down well when drinking at your local. There is sign above the bar saying ‘No bloody swearing!’, which always reminds me of my mum.

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On my downtime I love to go to…

Shortwave, an Independent Cinema in Bermondsey Square. It’s like sitting in your granny’s sitting room and you can take your drinks in with you from the bar.

An insider tip on my area would be…

Check out Bermondsey Street Festival — a celebration of art, music, swing dancing and cuisine, there’s even a dog show!

be bop-n A few of Octavia's Be-Bop-a-Lula products

Best place to go for a first date would be…

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Casse Croute, a beautiful, tiny French restaurant. It really is like sitting in a little Parisienne bistro in the heart of London. Then to art-deco, speakeasy BAC for cocktails, which is built in a disused public toilet!

One place not many people know about but I love is…

Hej! for my coffee addiction — a Swedish coffee shop with lovely views of Bermondsey Square.

The place that I love to bring visitors is…

Maltby Street Market, a fabulous food market every weekend under the railway arches near Tower Bridge. It’s a 20-minute walk from Borough Market but is a lot more intimate and laid back. I always finish off with cocktails at the pop-up Sparrow Bar run by London gin distillers, Little Bird Gin.

If you try one thing in Bermondsey it should be…

Tanner and Co’s signature black pudding Scotch egg. It is to die for!

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What do you collect?

Anything vintage from the 1920s to 1950s. Bermondsey antiques market is on every Friday where traders have been selling their antiques for years.

My favourite shops are…

Lovely & British and Bermondsey Fayre, both for beautifully crafted handmade items.

Biggest extravagance?

Probably going out to eat, as I love eating but not cooking.

If there was soundtrack to my area it would be something by…

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Wee Willie Harris because he was from around here and I love his music. He performed all over the world with some of my favourite artists including Buddy Holly, Gene Vincent and the Big Bopper.