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Ten things for children to do in London this summer

If you’re wondering what to do with your family this summer in London but don’t have the time to spend scouring the events lists don’t worry – London estate agents James Pendleton have done it for you.

Here’s the company’s run down of the top ten must-visit family events and attractions in the capital in the coming months.

Back to nature

Battersea Park Children’s Zoo

More info: http://bpzoowww.visitlondon.com/things-to-do/place/238193-battersea-park-and-childrens-zoo
When: Open every day from 10am. Closes 5.30pm.
What’s on offer: Lots of animals including monkeys, snakes, pigs, donkeys, ring-tailed lemurs, rabbits, emu, chipmunks, coati, wallabies and chickens.
Kids can enjoy feeding the farm animals in the Barley Mow Farm or spying on the meerkats in the secret lookout tunnel.

 

 

London Wetland Centre

wetland

 

More info: http://www.wwt.org.uk/wetland-centres/london/
What’s on offer: The London Wetland Centre has been voted the UK’s Favourite Nature Reserve and is a children’s favourite – let them roam the walkways, see the rare birds from around the globe as well as otters, or watch wild birds from our numerous hides or from the comfort of its heated observatory.

 

Indoor and outdoor sports

Tooting Bec Lido
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When: Main pool is open from 6am to 8pm, paddling pool from 10am to 6pm.
What’s on offer: One of London’s best known open-air pools, Tooting Bec Lido has a 90m pool which played a starring role in Guy Ritchie’s movie Snatch and is the oldest purpose-built open-air pool in London. The lido is open to the public from 19 May until 30 September, with club swimming all year round. There is a grass area for sunbathers, a paddling area for children and a café.

 

 

Brockwell Lido
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When: Opens from 06:30 to 22:00, Monday to Friday; 07:30 to 21:30 on Saturday; and 07:30 to 21:00 on Sunday.
What’s on offer: Brockwell Lido has a sunbathing area, cafe and changing facilities. The lido first opened in 1937 and retains many of its original features, including an impressive square clock, art deco lettering and Grade II-l¬¬isted pavilion buildings. The lido is situated in Brockwell Park, perfect for a post-swim stroll. The Lido is open all year-round, along with an indoor hydrotherapy pool, gym, cycling studio and cafe.

 

All Star Tennis coaching on Wandsworth Common

allstar

 

More info: http://www.allstartennis.co.uk/
What’s on offer: All Star Tennis offers a fun and active learning environment where children can enjoy developing their tennis skills and learn to play and compete. Courses are for all abilities and are based on the nationally recognised LTA Mini Tennis Scheme.

 

Climbing in Parsons Green

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More info: http://urbanascent.co.uk/
When: Open from 2pm to 10.30pm, Monday to Friday, 10am to 8pm Saturday, Sunday.
It’s time to get you children roped up! Urban Ascent is a state of the art indoor climbing centre in Parsons Green. Kids’ clubs are run on Saturdays and Sundays.

 

 

Cinema clubs
The Exhibit cinema in Balham
exhibit

More info: http://exhibitcinema.com/
The Exhibit Cinema provides an afternoon of cinematic fun for children including a packed lunch, film screening in the luxury private cinema, and dancing and music fun afterwards. Its Kids’ Club runs from 1pm until 4pm and costs £15 a child. All children must be aged between 5 and 12 years old.

 

 

Picture House in Clapham

clapham picture

 

More info: http://www.picturehouses.co.uk/cinema/Clapham_Picturehouse/
Join the family-only matinee every Saturday for a children’s film plus activities all charged at prices that would normally barely buy you popcorn. For children aged 3-12 year old. Membership is £4 a year, including the first visit free.

 

For young foodies
FEAST @ Battersea Park

feast

 

More info: http://foodiesfestival.com/event/feast-battersea-park/
When: August 15th-17th (weekend)
What’s on offer: A huge food festival in Battersea Park featuring every culinary and drinks delight you can imagine including a ‘Chocolate, Cake, Bake and Preserves’ theatre and dozens of stalls. Kids can learn to cook in the Children’s Cookery Theatre.

 

Lick an artisanal ice cream

gelato

 

More info: http://www.oddonos.com/index.html
What’s on offer: You can get an ice cream anywhere in London but then there’s Oddono’s Gelati Italilani in Bute Street, South Kensington, the best place for artisanal, home-made Italian ice cream and you’re spoilt for choice – they’ve got 130 flavours should your children be the picky types.

 

Circus skills

Visit London’s puppet shop

puppetplanet

 

More info: http://www.puppetplanet.co.uk
What’s on offer: See and buy puppets on strings, rods as well as glove puppets from across the globe. A magical shop with its own puppet theatre so visitors can put on a play and, for a really unique gift, commission a “lookalike” marionette.

 

 

Learn how to juggle and high wire

youthcircus

 

More info: https://www.nationalcircus.org.uk/experience-circus/experience-days/youth-experience-days
What’s on offer: Although this is really a circus university (based in Hoxton) it does offer a Youth Circus Experience Day for 8 to 18 year olds including trapeze and high wire for £50 a head.

 

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Best Local Businesses: Bloom and Wild

Our best local businesses series is back with its first installment in 2014, and we’re delighted to be featuring a much loved local innovator, Bloom and Wild, which in our view would be a great first port of call for Valentine’s Day!

Bloom & Wild is the UK’s first letterbox florist. They make online flower buying a simpler and more rewarding experience by offering a subscription or gift service which delivers beautiful, longer-lasting flowers through the letterbox.

Bloom and Wild Bouquet

The company has accrued an impressive list of endorsements from Elle Decoration, Stylist, the Evening Standard, the Daily Mail, the Daily Telegraph, the Guardian and BBC Radio 2.  Closer to home, James Pendleton Angel Zara Salih highly recommends Bloom and Wild for “gorgeous, carefully wrapped bouquets which still looked fresh after a week”.

We spoke to co-founder Aron Gelbard about what drives Bloom and Wild.  “We’re working hard to create a fantastic experience for people who love a life filled with flowers. Our luxurious whole bouquets are designed and curated by our Claridge’s-trained in-house floral designer, Vanessa Birley.

We cut all our flowers to order, meaning not only that the flowers last longer, but that none of them go to waste along their way. Bloom & Wild flowers are sent in a bespoke box, specifically designed to fit through regular letterboxes and protect the delicate blooms inside, meaning they’ll be waiting on your doormat when you get home, and are guaranteed to lift any home with a burst of colour.

Bloom and Wild Letterbox

If you’d like to make your Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day gift last longer this year a Bloom & Wild 3-month mini-subscription (they start at just £34) makes a refreshing change from the usual red roses!”

As London Estate Agents we spend our working days visiting properties and there’s certainly truth in the idea that fresh flowers can lift a home, particularly in cold winter months.  For busy vendors a bouquet through the letterbox is a convenient way to bring extra vivacity to a property’s presentation.

Bloom and Wild have kindly offered an exclusive 15% discount on any gifts (including gift subscriptions) to James Pendleton clients and friends (use the code James3 when checking out).  To give this innovative service a try visit bloomandwild.com.

 

James Pendleton raise £125.85 on Christmas Jumper Day

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With the festive season well under way and trees lighting up front windows across London, 13th December saw large numbers of the city’s population head to work festooned in Christmas jumpers.  From muted to garish and from fashionable to deeply, deeply unfashionable, the range of woolly outfits on display certainly added colour to a chilly December Friday.

The team at James Pendleton Estate Agents, whose nine offices cover Clapham South, Fulham, Wandsworth, Clapham Common and Battersea, took part in Christmas Jumper Day with gusto.  Evidence of this can be found on the company’s Social Media platforms, which show a friendly office rivalry resulting in some truly spectacular creations.

Particularly striking was the offering of the estate agents’ New Homes office in Wandsworth Town, whose team managed to temporarily recruit none other than London Mayor Boris Johnson to star in their photos as he passed to introduce the new cycle ports which have now been installed throughout South West London.

Another fantastic photo came from the Property Management office in Clapham Old Town: team manager Simon Quinn took on the role of Santa for the day in the company of three reindeer and a very stylish elf.  The overall winner of Most Christmassy Jumper was Marion Fulton from the estate agents’ Clapham South office  whose handmade tinsel accessories earned her £50 John Lewis vouchers from Lee and Lucy Pendleton.

With Christmas around the corner and the days nearing their shortest the jumpers were a welcome cheerful addition to the calendar.  What’s more they raised money and awareness of the company’s charity initiative, LivetoGive, which supports Action for Children, Trinity Hospice and Battersea Dogs and Cats Home. The total raised on the day came to a fantastic £125.85 which brings the year’s total raised for LivetoGive to £4118.82, excluding the funds raised during Movember and on Jeans For Genes day.

christmas jumpers cssm

“Our offices have once again done a fantastic job of heightening awareness of some incredible charities” said Managing Director Lucy Pendleton. “We’re very lucky to have an energetic and thoughtful team who continue year on year to invest time and care in the areas where they live and work”

Look out for a Christmas Jumper Day update on the company’s LivetoGive website and on this blog for upcoming South West London news updates.

 

A sparkling bonfire night in South West London

It’s no surprise that Bonfire night is a firm family favourite.  The 5th November sees people of all ages flocking to local green spaces to see in winter with a night of entertainment, pyrotechnics and an abundance of sugary treats.  This year South West London residents will be treated to a choice of several excellent fireworks displays and to save you time we’ve put together a list of them.

Battersea Park

Battersea Park Fireworks

The annual Battersea Park extravaganza promises a lavish display, bonfire, mulled wine and roasted chestnuts in one of the most striking settings in London

Saturday 2nd November, adults £6.50-£10, children free with booked ticket

http://www.timeout.com/london/things-to-do/battersea-park-fireworks-2013

Bishop’s Park

Bishops Park Fireworks

Bishop’s Park in Fulham is this year home to a superhero themed display suitable for all the family.  The main display takes place at 8pm but families with young children can enjoy a special children’s display at 7:15 without having to worry about being home late.

Friday 1st November, from £5

http://www.timeout.com/london/things-to-do/bishops-park-fireworks-2013

Brockwell Park

Brockwell Park Fireworks

This year Lambeth Council’s display is taking place at Brockwell Park as opposed to Clapham Common and will be accompanied by stalls and entertainment in four zones representing the seasons.  The display itself is at 8pm but events run from late afternoon to early evening with children’s favourite Fireman Sam making an appearance bound to please the youngsters.

Tuesday 5th November, free

http://www.visitlondon.com/things-to-do/event/33334753-fireworks-display-at-bishops-park

Vauxhall Trust Fire Festival

Vauxhall Trust Fireworks

A more quirky take on traditional displays, Vauxhall Trust is running a calendar of events for all age groups celebrating the origins, history and all round awesomeness of fire.  Culminating in a display on 1st November the festival is within walking distance of Battersea Park and offers an interesting array of shows and activities from vintage horror cinema screenings to a ‘haunted tea house’.

Until Sunday 3rd November

http://vauxhalltrust.wordpress.com/

Or…watch fireworks from home!

Property for sale SW12

Many of our properties for sale and properties to let in Clapham Common, Battersea and Wandsworth boast views worthy of the finest fireworks displays.  To find out more about properties with London views contact South West London Estate Agents James Pendleton by clicking here.

Ancient Roots: acupuncture in South West London

Ancient RootsFor our Best Local Businesses series we find and report on great local enterprises many of which are recommended by the team at James Pendleton Estate Agents in Balham. This week’s blog focuses on Ancient Roots, an acupuncturist and healer based in Balham and with ties to Central London.

Melanie Hackwell started Ancient Roots after years of training in Chinese Medicine taught her the value of this ancient practice in a society which values chemical remedies above their herbal counterparts. “Acupuncture has been practiced in China for over 2000 years and comes from a time when people understood the world through interpreting nature; when someone was sick it was understood to be caused by one of the elements, often wind which was associated with cold.”

In modern China, Melanie says, the medical profession still has tremendous respect for the lessons learned by their ancestors and you have to be a trained doctor to administer acupuncture and related therapies. As Melanie explains “the skill lies in reading the body as a network of energy channels, identifying where energy is blocked or lacking and applying thousands of years of skill and observation to identify a solution. Chinese medicine very successfully combines analysis with intuition, something which Western medicine often fails to do.”

So where does the name Ancient Roots come from? Melanie’s studies taught her the disciplines of acupuncture and Tui Na massage, which along with knowledge of herbal remedies make up the three roots of Chinese medicine. She has built up impressive experience of two of the three roots during four years of study and over 18 months of practice.

Melanie Hackwell

Melanie Hackwell

A member of the British Acupuncture Council, Melanie is an assured, qualified and fully certified practitioner and recommends that those who are considering or curious about acupuncture or Tui Na find a practitioner with the right level of training. “There is a lot of scepticism surrounding acupuncture in particular in the UK which is mainly due to improper training; one year of study isn’t enough. A good practitioner has learnt not only to apply the techniques correctly to the right part of the body, but also to look at the body as a whole and in doing so to identify imbalances.”

Melanie’s own interest in Traditional Chinese Medicine stems from a lifelong interest in alternative therapies and a pivotal moment in her personal life. “My dissertation was on the success of acupuncture as an IVF treatment; I studied this area because my own treatment was instrumental to the success of my own IVF course.” Melanie was advised to undergo acupuncture while undergoing IVF and found the approach both relaxing and invigorating. “The practitioner was committed not just to resolving my problem but to treating me as a person, which led to an improvement in my overall health as well as the quality of my eggs and ultimately to conception”.

The key, Melanie says, is to give acupuncture or Tui Na a try; to hold back on misconceptions until you’ve seen a well-qualified acupuncturist. Medicine doesn’t have to revolve around chemistry and appointments; with practices such as Melanie’s it can revolve around your life.

Our Social Media & Marketing Manager, another Melanie, who is working from our Balham office has met her and tried Melanie’s treatment so watch this space to find out more about her great experience!

Melanie now collaborates with her fertility doctor who is the Medical Director of Concept Fertility in Putney. You can visit her website at www.ancient roots.co.uk or email her at melhackwell@ancientroots.co.uk

Best Local Businesses in Battersea: V Clarke Makeup Artistry

 

V Clarke Makeup Artistry

V Clarke Makeup Artistry

We are always on the lookout for exciting new local businesses and James Pendleton  Estate Agents’ Battersea team have heartily recommended V Clarke Makeup Artistry. Providing skilled makeovers and friendly informed advice in a fully mobile service, Clarke’s 17 years’ experience with make-up has given her real expertise, which is backed up by an engaging, helpful and enthusiastic approach and a genuine desire to build a business which fits around her clients’ lives.

Vanessa has lived in and loved the Northcote Road area for over ten years and has worked with make-up since the age of 16.  While working full time as a teacher she often spent evenings and weekends helping friends, family and an increasing network of contacts to prepare for special occasions, and her eagerness to meet and help people has stood her in good stead in establishing her business.

“I launched V Clarke Makeup Artistry three months ago and while I have a huge amount of makeup experience I have found the administrative side of setting up a business a real learning curve” says Vanessa of her experiences so far.  “I knew I had to hit the ground running so I researched extensively before the launch but nothing can prepare you for the adrenaline and pace of the work itself.  While setting up the company has been a challenging experience it has also been immensely rewarding: I’ve met so many people who’ve shown real support and have found that if you work hard and with a positive attitude others will react in kind ”

Vanessa’s focus is on the needs and wishes of her clients and V Clarke Makeup Artistry is most definitely designed to fit around a lifestyle.  While visiting a salon is undoubtedly pleasant, a mobile therapist provides an added level of convenience and intimacy.  Having worked extensively with a wide range of products and brands, Vanessa is perfectly placed to make a recommendation and a convivial, relaxed setting means freedom from some of the pressures of salon life: you can relax, chat and test different products in the knowledge that the next client isn’t waiting in the foyer.

Having worked with wedding parties for years Vanessa is adept at handling the many small crises that can affect a bride’s big day.  Delayed deliveries, late arrivals and high expectations can make a wedding morning as tense as it is exciting and having a dedicated, experienced beautician on hand can make all the difference. That said, V Clarke Makeup Artistry is not solely tailored to wedding parties; working collaboratively with a freelance photographer as well as with numerous other independent local businesses, Vanessa’s network of contacts and eagerness to learn means she is uniquely placed to handle projects large and small.  Whatever your makeup needs you will surely benefit from a conversation with this thorough, experienced and thoughtful new business.

Parents in particular find V Clarke Makeup Artistry a breath of fresh air; with two small children herself, Vanessa appreciates the importance of time out, pampering and conversation, and as a mother and former teacher has a healthy respect for learning, teaching and the holistic approach to make up. “When people aren’t comfortable with the make-up they’re using they can feel both uncomfortable and overwhelmed.  It’s my job to remove doubts or worries and to use each client’s style and personality to inform their make-up choices.”

The female contingent at James Pendleton Estate Agents in Battersea branch have worked with Vanessa and don’t hesitate to recommend V Clarke Makeup Artistry.   The future most certainly holds exciting things for this energized, enthusiastic and ambitious new business.  If you would like to find out more about this beauty therapist in Battersea take a look at her Facebook page or contact her on 07834 835 462.

For more information on James Pendleton Estate Agents’ South West London property and community expertise visit their website and Social Media platforms.

A successful cycle ride for the LivetoGive team

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As fundraising teams go, James Pendleton Estate Agents’ South West London charity organisation LivetoGive is certainly active.  Since winning Trinity Hospice’s Best Charity Partnership with a Local Business award in December the team has plans aplenty in the pipeline and has organised a number of exciting events and initiatives in 2013 that you can discover here.

The latest of these was the long anticipated London to Brighton cycle ride, which saw ten representatives take to the streets on two wheels in the name of charity and raised a phenomenal £1657!  As ever, the team was fundraising for three causes with very strong local and company bonds: Action for Children, Trinity Hospice and Battersea Dogs and Cats Home.  These three charities hold very great importance for this Estate Agents’ South West London team and LivetoGive has proactive links with all three: the charity organisation holds regular meetings with all three with fundraising innovation in mind.

Sunday’s 54 mile journey passed through James Pendleton Estate Agent’s South West London base, leading through Clapham, Tooting and Wandsworth on its way to the M25 before breaking out into open countryside on the way to East Sussex’s most famous destination, sometimes known as ‘London-By-The-Sea’.  The route includes some formidable hill climbs as well as many spectacular views and in LivetoGive’s prior experience of the ride there is no greater feeling than catching a first glimpse of the sea at the end of a day’s cycling!

The team are glad to report no injuries and a relatively incident free cycle.  Differing levels of training and ability meant a staggered finish for the ten but all were delighted to spot heart shaped James Pendleton balloons scattered through the crowd, one of which made it to the finish line on the back of a tandem ridden by two Blues Brothers!  As the photos show the team had a fantastic time and as the fundraising totals show they were amply supported by friends, family and well-wishers!  The team send their thanks to all who donated; if you’d like to contribute just pay a visit to LivetoGive’s JustGiving page.

To find out more about the latest and upcoming LivetoGive initiatives keep checking James Pendleton’s homepage: this Estate Agents in South West London posts regular news and updates on their charity organisation’s activities.  Alternatively visit the LivetoGive website.