South West London

News, events, tips and advice on SW London

Archive for October, 2012

Autumn evenings in South West London

South West London Autumn

South West London in Autumn

Autumn has rolled around again and as the days grow shorter the way we spend our leisure time shifts gradually from grassy walks to bright-lit pub evenings.  With the air chilled and the weather harsh the thought of sitting in a warm cinema, bar or café is more and more appealing and the colourfully lit chocolate box window displays of in South West London truly leave locals spoilt for choice.  We bring you our team’s pick of the best evening venues in Wandsworth, Clapham and Battersea!

For Fine Dining

With a Michelin star to its name, Chez Bruce consistently meets expectations. With carefully crafted menus, a cosy atmosphere and exemplary service, a meal here is the perfect antidote to a chilly evening and Wandsworth Common is a Christmas-card worthy backdrop.

With Monday evening music and a menu which brings the flavours of Argentina to your table, Santa Maria del Sur in Battersea Park guarantees an inspiring and aromatic evening a short walk or drive from the Thames.

Clapham’s Trinity restaurant combines sophisticated flavours of unusual origins in new and inspiring ways in a modern and elegant setting a stone’s throw from the Common.

For Stylish Lounging

Souk in Clapham is a versatile bar and eatery which allows for a smooth transition from evening meal to no-holds-barred night out.

The Lost Angel is similarly diverse, offering a fantastic array of live music events, drinks and food in the heart of Battersea.

For those of you searching fruitlessly for a Japanese fusion pub in your area, look no further than The Duchess and Mihara in the Nine Elms area of Wandsworth.

For Cosy Evenings in your Local

A delightful mix of elegance and cosiness, the Alma in Wandsworth is perfect for a sit down meal or a round of drinks and has a great function room for private parties.  Head over this November 1st for LivetoGive’s Halloween extravaganza!

Balham’s Avalon comes complete with leafy beer garden, squishy leather sofas and plentiful food options; what more could one ask for from a local?

Another home from home, this time in the heart of Clapham Old Town, The Frog is cosy and welcoming, boasting authentic Sunday Roasts, yet more squishy sofas and a Sunday evening quiz night.

For Getting Your Hands Dirty

Get stuck into olives, cheese and charcuterie and test your tastebuds at The Wine Tasting Shop in Balham.  Previously selected as one of our Best Local Businesses, The Wine Tasting Shop offers daytime and evening wine tasting tutelage and is the place to go to brush up on your sommelier skills.

Doodle Bar is a bright and bustling Battersea Park haunt where visitors are free to revisit their wall-scribbling childhood days.  Grab a cocktail and a marker and decorate to your heart’s content whilst waiting for the next performance to start at the arts centre next door!

Battersea Arts Centre might not entirely be about getting your hands dirty, but with such a range of distinctive and experimental performances you’re never quite sure what to expect in this venue.  Take part in an immersive theatre show, join a vintage dance class or simply relax with a drink in the BAC’s colourful café space.

Wandsworth and Lambeth boroughs are awash with amazing venues that can match any autumn mood and craving. Find out more about other great South West London venues here


Best Local Businesses: Victoria Thomas

Massage and Holistic Treatment Clapham

Tucked away along Clapham’s pretty Abbeville Road, The Awareness Centre is home to Victoria Thomas, a fully qualified holistic therapist based at the Awareness Centre, a renowned local counselling and well-being centre.  We met on a rainy September morning to find out more about Victoria’s ethos and what she can offer to her clients.

1. What inspired you to train in holistic therapy?

I have always been interested in the mind: I studied psychology at University and more specifically I’ve always been aware of the connection between physical wellbeing and the mind.  I think this interest stems from when I was young; I was often unwell as a child and have seen and experienced the effects of various treatments.  My job allows me to pass that knowledge and experience on for the benefit of others.

2. How long have you been practicing in South West London and how would you sum up the area as a place to work (and live?)?

I’ve lived in Clapham for three and a half years and absolutely love it; it’s where I started practicing and I have never really stopped working locally.  Abbeville Village has a unique rural-yet-cosmopolitan feel and is a wonderful place to practice.  People here have a real interest in wellbeing and an openness to holistic therapies that is both healthy and refreshing.

3. Could you tell us more about the therapies you offer?

I am trained in a number of massage types including deep tissue, Swedish, Indian Head massage and lymphatic drainage and I’m currently training in reflexology.  As a holistic therapist, I am able to assess each of my clients and offer them a combination of treatments tailored to their individual issues.

4. Are there parts of the body or aspects of health which you often see neglected?

Many people spend hours every day in front of a computer screen so it’s not surprising that I encounter plenty of posture related problems.  What people don’t realise is that a twinge in your neck can be connected to other parts of the body and that neglecting or ignoring pain will not only make it worse in the problem area but also elsewhere in the body.

5. How important is conversation to your work?

It’s an essential part of what I do.  A lot of my clients come to me with a partial or limited understanding of holistic therapy, so my role is in part educational.  What’s more, talking to my clients gives me a fuller picture of their overall health, which helps me to treat them more effectively.

6. What is the most important piece of advice you can give to clients about maintaining everyday health and wellbeing?

My biggest piece of advice is to report and resolve your health problems as soon as they arrive-as I’ve already said, a problem ignored will only get worse!  Having regular massage treatments is a great way to do this; after massage you are more aware of your body and it’s easier to identify and locate niggling pains sooner rather than later.

7. Is there any piece of healthcare advice that people are often surprised by?

One thing which often surprises my clients is the fact that digestion and lower back pain are connected.  The digestive system is closely linked to nerves in the lower back, as is the uterus.  If the hip and back muscles are tight they can pull the uterus out of alignment, resulting in period pain.  Similarly, digestive problems such as constipation can put extra pressure on surrounding muscles, resulting in lower back or abdominal pain.

8. Which of your treatments is your personal favourite?

I find it very fulfilling to work out someone’s unique combination of health issues and work out the best way to deal with them.  Each treatment is different and each client unique, and a lot of thought goes into finding the right treatment for every person.  For example, a recent female client with back and shoulder pain mentioned that she’d been having headaches-the two problems were in fact interconnected and I was able to soothe both with a combination of treatments.

9. Does your own wellbeing benefit from what you do for a living?

Yes it does and the benefits are reciprocal.  I need to be healthy to do my job well and what’s more my job keeps me healthy.  It’s a win win!

Jeans for Genes day – the James Pendleton team show their support!

The James Pendleton team are kitted out in (smart) casuals today in honour of Jeans for Genes day and in support of our charity organisation, LivetoGive.  Each of our seven offices has replaced black suits for blue jeans and power dressing for pedal pushers, all in the name of charity!

£1 of every £3 donated will go directly to LivetoGive’s four charities, while the rest will support children’s medical research.  Look out for our team today on the road and in the office and don’t forget to take a look around the LivetoGive website for updates on our current and upcoming fundraiser events, our fantastic Halloween party is just around the corner and promises some incredible prizes!


Fundraising in Style: James Pendleton's Clapham Common office dressed for the occasion

Fundraising in Style: James Pendleton’s Clapham Common office dressed for the occasion