South West London

News, events, tips and advice on SW London

Archive for December, 2012

A very special Bellevue Road Christmas

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The holiday season is well and truly upon us, and a South West London Christmas would not be complete without a street party.  We were lucky enough to take part in this year’s Bellevue Christmas fair, a splendidly festive occasion marking the illumination of Wandsworth Common’s first ever Christmas lights.

TV chef Ainsley Harriot was on hand to switch on the lights and Father Christmas was also seen to make an appearance during the evening.  The street was lined with stalls set up by Bellevue Road shop owners, which catered for parents and children alike with offerings ranging from face paints and sweet treats to gift ideas and mulled wine.

In addition to the stalls were a number of exciting competitions including James Pendleton Estate Agents’s Candy Cane Raffle.  Free to participate, the contest drew in the crowds and saw three Wandsworth youngsters adding £100 to their Christmas money (Jacob, Oscar and Barnaby plan to spend the lot on Lego!)

Crowds, carols and the scent of spices filled Bellevue Road on 6th December, reinforcing the area’s already strong community spirit and promising a wonderful Christmas and New Year for Wandsworth!

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Elixir Wines – Fine Wines in South West London

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For a comprehensive directory of wines from across the world you need look no further than Elixir Wines, London’s Online Wine Shop which delivers free to addresses across the capital.  With full and varied wine lists, unparalleled sommelier expertise and fantastic deals, the site makes browsing for wine simple and informative.  Zara Salih, Manager of the James Pendleton Angel department highly recommends Elixir Wines’s carefully compiled wine hampers and Christmas gifts and James Pendleton are delighted to be in partnership with this thorough and locally focused company.

Enter the code “JamesPendleton” to get the best prices and a special prize.

Jacques Pechereau, founder and CEO of Elixir Wines, shared some of his knowledge with us.

1. Tell us about your wine knowledge and sommelier expertise

After many years in top restaurants in France (Le Richelieu, Paul Bocuse, Alain Chapel etc) and England (Waterside Inn, Bray and le Gavroche, London) I have spent all my life in the wine industry.  In addition to my restaurant experience I was sales director of a major UK wine importer for ten years.

2. Which wines would you recommend for a cold winter’s evening meal?

For the lovely wet English weather I would recommend two superb red wines from the Languedoc region.  First a lovely rich Minervois (AOP) chateau Maris 2009, an organic red bursting at the seams with prunes and figs, black plums coated in chocolate and a rough rasp of herbs mellowed by the bright freshness of blackberries.  Second is Ribera del Duero (2009) from North West Spain.  This smooth and fruity 100% tempranillo made by the famous Torres Spanish wine making family is a wine to remember and savour slowly.

3. Is there a type of wine you feel is overlooked despite being fantastic?

Chardonnay is very overlooked despite being the most recognised grape in the world.  Wine lovers should explore all the time and discover new tastes.  For example the lovely unoaked chardonnay from domaine de Grauzan in the Côtes de Thongue near Beziers in the Languedoc is a really delicious white, this wine teases the palate with soft and subtle aromas of bananas and guava.

4. How do you put together your hampers (could you tell us more about pairing wines)?

A hamper must be a discovery box full of goodies and should offer pleasure after pleasure.  A good hamper should allow you to enjoy wine in all its glory as well as tempting you to discover new tastes and countries all the time.

5. Do the people of South West London have a favourite wine?

My customers in South West London have a favourite white from Gascogny: Domaine de Saint Lannes 2011.  This is a vin de pays from the South West of France made with ugni blanc and colombard and is full of tropical fruit flavours.  It’s delicious as an aperitif or with scallops, beurre blanc and a touch of lime.

6. If you could compare Clapham, Battersea and Wandsworth to a wine, which would it be?

It’s a difficult question but it would be a diverse and universally pleasing wine such as a stunning Château Couronneau organic Bordeaux 2010 (an excellent vintage).  This wine is made with 100% Merlot and has the flavor of ripe black summer fruits, a creamy texture and a soft and full palate.

LivetoGive awarded charity accolade from Trinity Hospice

LivetoGive's Trinity Hospice Star Award

LivetoGive’s Trinity Hospice Star Award

The LivetoGive charity organisation is renowned for its original and successful fundraising events, which in 2012 have included two extreme endurance challenges, a long distance cycle challenge and numerous vibrant local events.  On 6th December 2012 the tables were turned as LivetoGive were invited to a stellar ceremony hosted by one of its four charities.

The Trinity Hospice Star Ball is a spectacular annual celebration of the South West London charity’s fundraising community.  Held in the plush Planit venue in Embankment, the evening’s entertainment included a giant human sized snow globe, a lively disco and a hotly contested charity auction.

The highlight of the night for the LivetoGive team came at the annual Star Awards ceremony, where the organisation’s fundraising efforts were rewarded with the Best Charity Partnership with a Local Business’ Award.  With a diverse and successful 2012 behind them the LivetoGive team have high hopes for next year and look forward to a wonderful future with Trinity and its other charity partners.

To find out more about LivetoGive’s 2012 successes, visit livetogive.org.uk or make a donation via the team’s Justgiving page.

James Pendleton: A Mo to Remember

The James Pendleton team joined thousands across the UK in an attempt to keep their upper lips warm in the name of charity.  You can read the full story on the LivetoGive website, but while you’re here please feast your eyes on the efforts of our nine valiant colleagues: