South West London

News, events, tips and advice on SW London

Archive for August, 2012

Win up to £400 with James Pendleton at the Bellevue Fair!


James Pendleton's Wandsworth Common office

James Pendleton’s Wandsworth Common office

The streets surrounding Wandsworth Common are known locally for their picturesque beauty, benefiting as they do from the superb greenery and open space of the Common.  At the heart of the neighbourhood lies Bellevue Road, an attractive and bustling street lined with small independent local businesses which exemplify the local yet progressive character of South West London.

On 15th September 2012 Bellevue Road’s annual summer fair returns to SW17.  Organised by the Bellevue Road Resident’s Association, the fair will allow locals and visitors alike to sample the best of Bellevue.  The fair always creates a wonderful, neighbourly atmosphere and provides a great boost to local businesses.

James Pendleton Estate Agents will add their usual dash of colour to this year’s event by giving visitors the chance to take part in a real life game show! The crystal-maze style Cash Cube challenge invites participants to catch as many pieces of coloured paper as possible in 30 seconds.  The person who catches the most ‘fun money’ will win a £300 prize, with the two runners-up winning £50 each!  Adults and children alike are welcome to take part in the challenge, which will be taking place outside James Pendleton’s office at 4 Bellevue Road from 10am-4pm on the big day.

Other events on the day include circus entertainment from Bertie and Boo, a hog roast, baked treats from Youmakeacake, a dog show organised by animal charity Mayhew Animal Home and numerous other contributions from local businesses and community groups.

For any questions about Bellevue Fair and the cash cube, please contact , call 020 7501 1044 or visit our Facebook and Twitter pages.


Best Local Business-Orao Hair Studio

James Pendleton reviews Orao Hair Studio, Balham

James Pendleton reviews Orao Hair Studio, Balham

The James Pendleton staff have only good things to say about Orao Hair Studio in Balham. The team at Orao fuse modern styling with outstanding craftsmanship to produce a wide range of innovative and classical hairstyles.

The salon’s fusion of elegance and edginess perfectly suits the vibrancy and diversity of their clients. What’s more, the team are known for their friendly and considered customer service, and their thorough consultations help to make the styles their clients want become reality.

We interviewed Artistic Director Liliana to find out more about what motivates Orao Hair Studio:

  1. What would you say your Studio is best known for?

I’d say we are best known for styling hair for weddings both nationally and internationally.  In the studio, dip dying is very popular at the moment.  We provide our clients with all types of hair treatments from cuts to restyles and are known locally for our stylish elegance and honest, friendly approach.  

2. What advice do you have for someone who’s unsure of what hairstyle they’d like?

First and foremost we ask our clients what they absolutely would not like-this is the best way to find them a style they are sure to be happy with.  The hairstyle you choose will stay with you day in, day out, so it’s important to go for something you’ll be comfortable with and will find easy to maintain.  If you do want to go for something fashionable but high maintenance, we will gladly advise you on how to style it at home.

3. How have styles changed in Balham over the past years?

Recently, textured and voluminous hair has overtaken sleek, straight hair in the popularity stakes.  Our clients today favour curling tongs over straighteners, and we have seen fewer people asking for sharp lines-it’s all about creating an effortless and versatile style suitable for both home and work.

4. What is your experience of Balham and South West London?

Balham is getting funkier all the time-there is a great mix of young professionals and creative people in the area which means we see plenty of innovative styles pass through our door.  I’ve also noticed a lot more men experimenting with their hair in recent years, which is fantastic.

5. What one piece of haircare advice should everyone know about?

It’s vital to choose the right product-men should not wash their hair with shampoo every day as this removes protective natural oils from the hair.  Similarly, too many or the wrong type of product can damage the hair and accelerate hair loss.  For women, particularly those with long hair, I would recommend treating your hair as you treat your skin-moisturise and refresh regularly and trim off dead and dry hair often, just as you would exfoliate your skin.

6. If Balham was a hairstyle, what would it be like?

If Balham was a hairstyle it would be a combination of trendy and classic; a style that looks good without too much maintenance would be perfect for the busy and sociable people of Balham!

7. If you could sum up Orao in 3 words, what would they be?

I would say we are elegant, yet fashionably edgy.

Orao Hair Studio:
020 8675 9259
153 Balham Hill SW12 9DJ

Rainy Day Pursuits for South West London Children


James Pendleton “Live to Give” mascot, Rose the Bunny

As this summer’s weather rolls through Wandsworth and Lambeth with the standard unpredictability, local families are faced with the usual dilemma: where in South West London can kids be entertained and educated come rain or shine?

Children are full of energy at the best of times and being holed up at home on a rainy day can be frustrating for both parent and child.  A list of last minute weatherproof South West London activities is a must for busy parents and we have scoured the area for some of the best examples of part-time pastimes for children of all ages and temperaments.


  • Amanda’s Action Club welcomes children aged four months to five years and their parents to join her regular Action Clubs in Clapham, Wandsworth and Battersea for fun and varied exercise designed to help children develop both physically and creatively.  Children with special needs are always welcome and catered for.
  • Battersea Park’s Millennium Arena provides a range of children’s activities from athletics to tennis, perfect for aspiring Olympians!
  • For Olympic emulation with a twist, take your kids to Back Flip Performers in Fulham or Streatham.  Children aged two to 12 are coached to improve agility, strength and social skills.


  • Local libraries are a treasure trove of free local activity for children.  What’s more, the emphasis is on making education fun!  Libraries across the UK are challenging children to get to grips with reading through story lab, an interactive website offering interviews with authors, reading challenges and online games.  Closer to home, Potter fans can invent magical stories of their own on JK Rowling’s Pottermore website and both Wandsworth and Lambeth Libraries provide reading, craft and other activities for children of all ages.
  • With centres in Clapham, Brixton and Battersea, Kids Language Club uses fun and varied teaching methods to help children aged three to 11 progress with languages including French, German and Mandarin.  The club also provides activity days, parent-toddler classes, one to one tuition and trips abroad.


  • The fantastically named Artful Toddler encourages children aged 12 months and over to get creative (and messy) with craft materials.  Classes run weekly at Clapham Junction and don’t worry: overalls are provided!
  • Perform  runs both regular and holiday classes in Clapham, Battersea, Streatham and Fulham.  Babies and toddlers learn catchy tunes and gentle activities at ‘Mini P’ workshops, while older children train in acting, dance and singing with the end of term show in mind!
  • Tin Pan Annie is an innovative troupe of musicians, performers, music therapists and teachers providing classes and parties for children aged four months to six years across Lambeth and Wandsworth.  The group’s focus is on building confidence and breaking down social and language barriers whilst introducing kids to music in all its forms.
  • Studio Film School provides coaching in directing, shooting and editing movies and animations as well as acting for camera.  Children aged four to 16 can hone their media skills and awareness at regular workshops in Balham and the team are also available for children’s parties.

James Pendleton’s Olympic competition ends in style!

James Pendleton’s Olympic competition drew to a close last week with a fantastic response from entrants, the vast majority of whom found all six Golden Bats hidden throughout the company’s website!

Marianne I. van Abbe winner of James Pendleton Olympics Competition

Marianne I. van Abbe winner of James Pendleton Olympics Competition

Table Tennis Final - Photo © Marianne I. van Abbe

Table Tennis Final – Photo © Marianne I. van Abbe

Photo © Marianne I. van Abbe

Olympic Podium – Photo © Marianne I. van Abbe


Lee and Lucy Pendleton chose the winner at random from all correct entries on Friday and were delighted to name Marianne I. van Abbe of Battersea as the lucky winner!

Here is Marianne’s account of her prizewinning experience:


I was very pleasantly surprised at and really enjoyed the extremely warm reception and “standing ovation” I received at your Clapham South branch, on Monday, when I collected my prize.

Such a nice, spontaneous, reaction to my arrival at Balham Hill.

My guest, Cathy, and I, had a really great afternoon at the ExCel London North Arena 1 and the Table Tennis matches were extremely exciting.

The seats were fantastically well placed so our view of the T.T table was perfect, enabling us to follow the competition with ease, though there were also plenty of overhead screens, on which we enjoyed, close-ups, replays, and additional coverage and info, during breaks.

The position of the section, where we were seated also enabled us to see, face-on, the arrival of the athletes and officials, the introductions, the seated team members not in play, the team coaches and all athletes during breaks, not to mention the eventual Medal Ceremony.

One couldn’t have asked for much more…….

As it immediately appeared that the Chinese Team had the upper-hand in spectator supporter numbers, we decided to root for the “underdog”, Korea, who unfortunately were unable to conquer the superbly skilled and strong China contingent (they got all 4 gold medals in these 2012 Table Tennis competitions!).

James Pendleton would like to sincerely thank everyone who entered the Olympic Competition, and special thanks go to Marianne for her fantastic account of Wednesday’s events, she has really brought the spirit of the Games to South West London!

Best Local Businesses: Cake Boy

At the heart of Battersea and with a fantastic view over the Thames, Cake Boy has brought sophisticated baking to SW18 and combines delicious treats with practical advice.  Cake Boy is the place to go for wedding parties, group outings and one on one baking tuition, and our Wandsworth Town team have been known to pop in for lunchtime coffee and cake!  Eric Lanlard, master patissier and owner of Cake Boy Eric Lanlard has kindly agreed to answer our questions, and the interview below will also be appearing in September’s edition of Village magazine.

Eric Lanlard, owner of Cake Boy

1.       What two tips would you offer the aspiring patissier?

You must approach baking in a completely different way –  as we say in France “Pastry is like chemistry”.  Everything must be weighed precisely and you must follow the recipe for best results.  Start by learning the basics like sponges, pastries and creams before going straight in to making anything too elaborate –  such as wedding or birthday cakes.  A cake must taste as good as it looks!

2.       A difficult question but: which of your delicious desserts is your favourite?

My juniper tarte tatin – I adore everything about this recipe …the golden flaky pastry, the caramelised pears with the juniper.   I love the drama – I bring it straight form the oven and then tart it out of the pan at the table with the delicious steam and juices pouring out of the pan.  A spoonful of crème fraiche is the only thing that is needed and it’s the perfect accompaniment.  

3.       You’re bringing a fantastic range of baking ideas and events to South West London-what has South West London brought you?

I arrived from France and went straight to South London and  have never really left!  I like the village atmosphere and yet it is so close to the City.  The huge, green spaces.  I live between the commons and am spoilt for choice with a great selection of local restaurants, pubs, boutiques and food shops.  It’s a hub and is full of creative and inspiring people.

4.       What are your favourite Battersea hangouts?

For my French fix I go to “Gazette” bistro.   I enjoy their proper French cooking, quirky serving ideas and their wine list is great.  My favourite pub is The Ship – everything from the delicious food, beers, friendly and unpretentious staff – you never know which famous face  you are going to bump into. For the best fish and chips in London you cannot beat Brady’s – fresh fish that is  lightly battered and perfect chips.  Luke Brady, the owner is the perfect host

5.       If Battersea was a cake, what would it be like?

Battersea would be a Croquembouche – a traditional French wedding Cake.  As visually it is different and very attractive.  You have to break through to discover he amazing delicious creamy centre  …and it’s addictive!  Which very much sums up Battersea to me!

Cake Boy Lounge