Inside Zendaya and Tom Holland’s low-key London life

Pain au chocolat? Pistachio rose cake? A couple of puff pastry cheese straws? Or perhaps those obscenely addictive olive and feta cheese borekitas (that, admittedly, work out approximate £1 per bite?) Folks, gather round! Settle in for this week’s pop culture quiz you never thought you needed: what treat to-go did Zendaya purchase from GAIL’s Bakery this weekend?

The mystery remains unsolved — sadly. Still, there was something sweetly arresting about the image, nonetheless. The Emmy award winner with a net worth of a reported $20 million, someone whose reached such a stratospheric level of fame she’s referred to on a first-name basis only, mooching around South West London pavements amongst the other locals hoping for a hit of caffeine and sunshine. Clutching an iced coffee, two San Pellegrino’s and a brown takeaway box…it all looked so normal. So distinctly un-Hollywood. Not a green juice, nor a yoga mat, in sight.

Even more joyfully? For those of you like me who’ve been playing virtual eye spy in recent months, curiously inspecting the former Disney star’s footprint in the capital with her Marvel man (officially they’ve been dating for over two years) — Spiderman star Tom Holland, also 26-years-old — this is not some isolated intermission from the pair’s excessive, wealth-displaying, day-to-day life. Uh-uh!

Tom Holland and Zendaya at Hampton Court

/ Tracy Borman

In fact, mounting evidence would suggest quite the opposite for the power couple, currently refurbishing a £2.5million six-bedroom property they bought together in Richmond last year. When they’re off the clock, in-between blockbuster film and TV projects, on paper they consistently prefer the lo-fi life. Simple pleasures. Over the long Easter break, for instance, instead of booking a grandeur great escape, they opted in for wholesome and historical geekery near their home. Paying a relatively modest £26 to play tourists for the day, sightseeing at Hampton Court Palace; listening to a guided tour before exploring its undeniably romantic (if ludicrously capacious) grounds. “One of the most special moments working at the palace being part of my phenomenal friend @tracy.borman smashing tour for @tomholland2013 and @zendaya, who were just the most lovely and down to earth people,” historian James Peacock wrote on Instagram. “[A] moment to treasure forever.”

Historian Tracy Borman shares photos with Tom Holland and Zendaya

/ Tracy Borman

There’s other stuff too. You know, just average Londoner-stomping-around stuff. Running errands to afternoon dates in the capital. Holland taking huge bags of pre-loved clothes and shoes into a Cancer Research UK branch, say, or instead of partying in La La Land on Oscars night last month roaming around rainy Richmond Park. A personal favourite: mid-week Waitrose shops.

We see them in New Malden Waitrose from time to time, they’re both very casual

“We see [them] in New Malden Waitrose from time to time,” my colleague, who lives in the area, tells me. “They’re both very casual.” What’s the reception been of late? “Generally, the locals love him, his mum still lives in New Malden. He seems very grounded…although some people on the (New Malden Neighbourhood) Facebook group are a little moany and dismissive when their local appearances have made it onto MailOnline.” What’s their favourite aisle? Snacks? Condiments? Frozen goods? “No idea.”

Zendaya and Tom Holland at a photocall for their new film, Spider-Man: No Way Home

/ PA

I wonder, why is it that we lock in on, devour so readily, extraordinarily public figures acting (perceptively, at least) ordinary? Remember the media frenzy surrounding Pete Davidson taking Thee Kim Kardashian out for pizza and ice-cream dates? Are they, underneath it all, just like us? Would we, crucially, want them to be? Of course, celebrities cannot wholly function to mirror our lives: they’re too distorted by intense scrutiny and status, money in the bank and billboards with their faces on them for that to ever really be the case. As the author and journalist Jia Tolentino wrote in Trick Mirror: Reflections on Self-Delusion: “there’s a limit, I think, to the utility of reading celebrity lives like tea leaves.”

Yet, one cannot deny how softly soothing it is to visibly witness that, sure, you can have all the awards, all the glory, all the money, in the world. And still the thing that thing that clearly brings you the most joy is wearing your comfiest, most unglamourous, outfit to hand; blissfully bobbing around your local supermarket holding hands with someone you love.

If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.

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