South West London

News, events, tips and advice on SW London

Archive for November, 2012

What’s in store for South West London in 2013?

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Next year promises to be a fruitful time for change in South West London, with developments in Wandsworth Town, Clapham Old Town, Battersea and Fulham set to redefine the skyline of Wandsworth and Lambeth.

For full details of the changes coming to your neighbourhood, please visit our Estate Agency News blog post.

Abbeville Road: a local history

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The popularity of the area fondly known as Abbeville Village is largely due to its close-knit, nostalgic feel coupled with excellent transport links and amenities. The beauty of the area surrounding Clapham Common lies in its delightful pairing of old and new, and when it comes to finding estate agents in Abbeville Village it is well worth asking not just about Clapham Common tube station proximity and schooling options but also about the rich seam of history which lies in the brickwork of every building.

As the obvious icon of the local area, it may surprise you to learn that Clapham Common originated as a reject! From its origins in the ninth century, the village of Clapham gradually grew and wilderness was slowly converted to farmland-with the exception of a large unkempt area which was left untouched due to poor quality soil. This scrubland is now far more fertile but more importantly has survived in all its greenery to become the present day Common around which Clapham as we know it has grown.

Abbeville Road itself first appeared as part of the Roman Road known as Stane Street, which had to take a detour from its route from London to Chichester due to a boggy stream. Until the mid 18th Century the area served as part of the grounds of the fine mansions lining Clapham Common, by then a hub for wealthy Victorians looking for clean air close to the city. Cheapening transport links gradually brought the middle classes to the area, paving the way for the Abbeville Road we know today.

What sets this street apart now as it did a century ago is its community feel and in the early 1900s Abbeville Village really came into its own with a splendid array of local businesses producing everything from bread to boots on site. Nowadays the stores here do a little more outsourcing and a few high street brands make their presence felt but by and large Abbeville Road is still a bastion of independent trade with many and varied small businesses preserving the legacy of Clapham’s busy history.

As the established local property experts in Wandsworth and Lambeth, the James Pendleton team are well known for their unparalleled knowledge of the local area. Drop in to their Clapham Common or Clapham South offices to learn more about the local area and if you have a viewing in SW4 don’t forget to ask your estate agents about Abbeville Road past and present.

Best Local Businesses: Meza

Meza

Meza

Nestled mid-way down a row of shops on Trinity Road, Tooting, Meza only has five tables but more than compensates with a long and varied menu of traditional Lebanese specialties.  Freshly prepared and bursting with flavour and texture, the food on offer here is spectacular value and it’s no surprise that the only way to guarantee a seat here is to book ahead.  Meza is highly recommended by our Battersea office manager Max Green and is a real hidden gem; proof that it’s always worth asking the James Pendleton team about the best local venues – we live here and we are in the know!

  1. How long have you been based in Tooting and what’s your experience of living/working in the Trinity Road area?

We have been here for a year and a half now, though have lived in the area for much longer.  This is a fantastic place to live: there is so much variety in this area, from the leafiness of Wandsworth and Tooting Bec Commons to the energy of the high street.

2.  Who visits Meza and has your clientele changed over the years?

We have a wide range of customers and quite a few regulars.  Visitors come in from Clapham, Balham, Battersea and sometimes further afield.

3.  Which of your dishes/which meal is your personal favourite?

I would recommend both the Baba Ganoush (charcoal grilled aubergine with tahini, olive oil and lemon) and the chicken livers cooked in garlic and coriander.

4.  What is your favourite aspect of your job?

The best aspect of this job is communicating with the many different people who come through our door.  My mother opened Meza with me and many of the recipes are her own so it’s brilliant to be able to share them.  Meza’s focus is the home and particularly the kitchen, we are always talking about the food we make with our customers.

5.  Is there anything people are surprised to learn about Lebanese cuisine?

Many people have never tried Lebanese food or have limited experience of it so coming here is often a learning experience as everything we make is exactly as it would be in Lebanon (apart from the weather!).  People are often surprised, too, that Lebanon produces wines.

6.  Which of your dishes do you feel best illustrates where you live?

It couldn’t be anything but a Meze platter to represent the variety of cultures and experiences to be found in Tooting and Wandsworth.

An incredible Halloween for the LivetoGive fundraising team!

An air of austere Victoriana seems to surround Wandsworth’s Alma tavern at the best of times.  So it is no surprise that the pub proved the perfect venue for LivetoGive’s spooky Halloween fundraiser on November 1st!

LivetoGive Halloween Decorations at the Alma

LivetoGive Halloween Decorations at the Alma

The LivetoGive team had spent weeks previous to the event arranging music, decoration, activities and prizes and on the day the Alma’s function room was decked out to the rafters with candles, cobwebs and skeletons.  Two hundred deliciously creepy cupcakes lined tables on one side of the room, buckets of apples stood ready for alcohol apple bobbing in another.  A further corner of the hall was prepared for Wandsworth musical regulars Nico and Nathan to play their spooky set list.

As the guests arrived, it was evident early on that the evening’s costume competition was going to be extremely close.  Authentic and grisly, costume themes on the night ranged from mummies to giant babies and from the Addams family to the (dead) Pink Ladies.  The effect was diverse and dramatic and spirits well and truly soared as the music kicked in and candles flickered shadows across the walls.

The LivetoGive (dead) Pink Ladies complete with zombie Danny Zuko

The LivetoGive (dead) Pink Ladies complete with zombie Danny Zuko

Throughout the evening the LivetoGive team collected raffle tickets, sold cupcakes and manned the competitive (and messy) apple bobbing stand.  The raffle proved extremely popular, with prizes including vouchers for a stay at the Crazy Bear Hotel, fine wines, massages and car audio vouchers (for a full list of prizes click here).  By the end-of-evening prize draw hundreds of tickets had been sold and the lucky winners beat fierce odds, as did the mummified winner of the costume competition who walked away with a luxury camper van trip for two worth £750!

The winner of the LivetoGive Halloween costume competition!

The winner of the LivetoGive Halloween costume competition!

We are delighted to report that the evening raised a total of £1214 for LivetoGive’s four charities: Action for Children, Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, Perthes Association and Trinity Hospice.  The LivetoGive team would like to extend their thanks to everyone who supported and took part in this outstanding event with such energy and enthusiasm.  Bring on our next event!

Some of the costumes on show at the LivetoGive Halloween Ball

Some of the costumes on show at the LivetoGive Halloween Ball

The Ship's resident band, Nico and Nathan, took to the Alma!

The Ship’s resident band, Nico and Nathan, took to the Alma!