South West London

News, events, tips and advice on SW London

Archive for Culture

Bellevue Fair’s giant Operation game: will you beat the clock?

James Pendleton Bellevue Fair Giant Operation

A sneak preview of James Pendleton’s Bellevue Fair Giant Operation game

The annual Bellevue Road Summer Fair is nearly upon us and promises entertainment, refreshments and excitement for all the family!  This year’s fair will take place on Saturday 7th September and local businesses along the picturesque local thoroughfare are busily setting up stalls which promise to make this year’s event particularly thrilling!  The team at James Pendleton Estate Agents’ Wandsworth Common office on Bellevue Road are no exception as this year they will be inviting local visitors to compete for a fantastic property prize in a scaled-up version of a challenging family favourite: Giant Operation.

A gigantic buzzer board game will be constructed outside the Estate Agents’ Wandsworth Common office on Bellevue Road for the duration of the day.  Visitors will have the chance to compete against their rivals and the clock in a contest that sees the person completing the challenge successfully in the quickest time walking away with an exciting prize!

The winner will receive a cash prize while runners up will walk away with bottles of bubbly.

Beside fun and games outside James Pendleton Estate Agents’ Wandsworth Common office there is a lot to keep visitors to Bellevue Fair occupied.  A dog show with special judge has been arranged to take place on the Common itself (to the delight of the area’s large dog walking contingent) and children’s fun centre Bertie and Boo will provide entertainment and a selection of local musicians will provide a perfect backdrop to stalls bustling with local wares.  For the celebrity spotters of Wandsworth, look out for property expert and television personality Phil Spencer who will be announcing the fair’s raffle winners.

James Pendleton’steam have provided a very useful money saving prize to the draw, allowing one lucky local to benefit from an ‘Angel for a day’, £250 worth of property maintenance costs covered by the company’s pioneering Angel department.  In short summary, this department is here to help homeowners by taking care of keys, organising home repairs and acting as an emergency point of contact, and the winner will be able to take advantage of the full service whether a property owner or not.  In addition the Angel department will recommend contractors for a range of jobs, on which the winner will save £250.

The company are delighted to be a contributor to the Fair, which has been carefully planned for several months by the Bellevue Road Residents’ Association.  The Association is made up of, and jointly run by, a number of local businesses and each month representatives including from James Pendleton Estate Agents’ Wandsworth Common team are able to have their say on how the local area operates.  Groups such as these do a huge amount for the community, representing local needs and using the power of numbers to make important changes.

To find out more about Bellevue Fair contact James Pendleton Estate Agents’ Wandsworth Common office on 020 8673 7777; to learn more about the James Pendleton Angel department call Zara Salih on 020 7501 1045.



Our Recommendation: Restaurant in Clapham: Bistro Union on Abbeville road

Bistro Union in Clapham

Bistro Union in Clapham

Abbeville Road in Clapham is a quintessentially traditional corner of London which has long exuded a slightly nostalgic British charm from its tree lined pavements, sash windows and rustic eateries.  However, the street is certainly no little-visited rustic bolthole: in fact, as Clapham Common Estate Agents James Pendleton can attest, Clapham is a magnet for professionals and families looking for a vibrant, well connected neighbourhood with character.

It is this combination of modernity and appreciation of the classics that makes Bistro Union stand out.  The latest venture from Adam Byatt of Trinity Restaurant Clapham fame, this local eatery successfully combines the quality of Trinity dining with the neighbourhood ambiance of Abbeville Road.

Bistro Union, like its Clapham Old Town counterpart, comes highly recommended by James Pendleton Estate Agents’ Clapham Common team and is firmly established as the place to go for British food with a sophisticated twist.  Don’t hesitate to head to Abbeville Road for a superb weekend Brunch or relaxed evening meal!

We spoke to Assistant Restaurant Manager Craig Gordon about what makes Bistro Union tick.

  1. How long has Bistro Union been in Abbeville Road and do you feel you’ve settled in?

We’ve been open for just over a year,we opened in February 2012 and have settled in well.  I think that’s primarily because our ethos reflects that of Abbeville road as a whole: a respect for quality, local food and a dedication to community is what separates us from national chains and Abbeville road residents really appreciate the difference.

2. How far did Trinity Restaurant’s successes inform the ethos and design of Bistro Union?

Our sister restaurant, Trinity, has been locally established since 2006 and chef and co-owner  Adam Byatt’s food is nationally acclaimed.  Bistro Union was created to combine the quality of cooking established at Trinity with hearty, comforting British staples in a relaxed and friendly setting.  A lot of the retweets we get on Twitter come from well fed people happy to have tried one of our traditional-with-a-twist dishes, such as our shepherd’s pie which is served with a bone marrow and rosemary garnish which is set alight for serving.  Everything our team have learned at Trinity feeds into Bistro Union and vice versa.

3. Describe a typical day at Bistro Union

No two days are the same – that’s why I love this job, but it makes describing a typical day difficult as there isn’t one!  The most important parts of any day are the team meetings.  We set up as a team in the morning and before every service the entire team meets to discuss the day’s menu.  This not only ensures we provide a harmonious seasonal menu but also gives the chefs a chance to describe the menu in their own words to Front of House, who can then properly explain to our guests what goes into every dish.

4. What is your favourite meal of the day and which meal would you choose from your menu?

My favourite meal at Bistro Union is the staff dinner, which the entire team sits down to share at around 5pm.  It’s usually fairly quiet at this time of day (post lunch, pre evening meal) and if you visit us while the team are eating you may well see some of the team eating and talking together around one of our tables-there’s a real ‘family’ atmosphere at Bistro Union.

5. How often do you change your menu?

Our snack menu changes daily and our à la carte menu changes according to what’s in season.  We also make our own flavoured spirits and offer seasonal drinks such as our current rhubarb Bellini (fresh pureed rhubarb with rhubarb infused gin and Prosecco).  We’re currently offering both our seasonal drinks and our daily snacks free to new home buyers in conjunction with James Pendleton Estate Agents’ Clapham Common and Clapham South offices.

6. How would you describe the character of Abbeville Road?

Abbeville road has a particular reputation as a corner of South West London with a village character and an emphasis on quality food.  In fact, the area has become so synonymous with good places to eat that we get quite a few ‘food tourists’ at weekends looking to sample both the food and the atmosphere.  All the local businesses know each other and will happily pass on tips and recommendations to visitors, which adds to the ambiance.

Local residents are also out in their droves at lunchtimes, weekends and evenings, and we’ve just introduced a take away coffee service (all drinks £2) which is making our mornings busier!  At weekends we offer a full cooked breakfast, fresh orange juice and hot drink for £12, which proves popular with locals and visitors alike.

7. What advice would you give to people moving to the Clapham Common area?

My advice is: walk as much as possible!  Exploring the area on foot is by far the best way to discover what Clapham really has to offer and you’ll be surprised how quickly you can walk to Wandsworth, Battersea and Tooting from Abbeville Road.

Craig Gordon, Manager of Bistro Union Clapham

Craig Gordon, Manager of Bistro Union Clapham

Bistro Union are kindly offering free drinks and bar snacks to new home buyers alongside James Pendleton Estate Agent’s South West London based after sales care department.

Find out more about the James Pendleton Estate Agents Angel service.

Fulham Estate Agents proudly sponsor local music open day

Music School in Fulham

Music School in Fulham

On 18th May 2013 from 10am to 3pm Lady Margaret School in Parsons Green will play host to the Music’all Open Day, which will be sponsored by Fulham Estate Agents  James Pendleton.

Established in 2008, Music’all is a charity run extra-curricular music school.  The dedicated team of tutors and musicians provide a fantastic opportunity for local children to develop their skill and awareness of music in a vibrant and welcoming environment.  Lady Margaret School, one of the schools highlighted as outstanding on James Pendleton Estate Agents’ Fulham local area guide, has hosted the school’s Saturday classes since 2011.

Music’all offers classes for both musical beginners and those with advanced levels of skill, and develops young people’s musical ability and awareness via a range of teaching techniques from one-on-one tuition to full orchestral rehearsals.  One of the most exciting aspects of the programme is that children progressing beyond foundation level are given the chance to test a range of instruments before choosing their own specialism. Besides improving musical proficiency, a Music’all child will have a great opportunity to make friends and develop social skills.

The Music’all open day is a chance to introduce your family (and yourself-the school also runs an adult choir) to the team and discuss the music education options best for you.  The school is a great way to introduce children and families to music, and is home to a thriving community.  Look out for advertisements for the event James Pendleton Estate Agents’ Fulham and Parsons Green billboards, and if you’d like to find out more about the event or the school don’t hesitate to contact us at

Music’all Open day – Lady Margaret School, Parsons Green SW6 4UN

James Pendleton to help Wandsworth athlete fulfilling his Olympic dream

Aaron mcKibbin at JP websize

Wandsworth born and bred Table Tennis champion Aaron Mckibbin is set for great things: following a Bronze medal victory in the London 2012 Paralympic Games, he is now ranked 14th in the world and aims to reach the lower single digits by the next Games in 2016.  Aaron is a brilliant example of an inspirational Wandsworth resident and soon you will be able to catch up with his training news on a regular basis thanks to James Pendleton Estate Agents’ dedicated blog.

Born with bilateral talipes which affects his ankle mobility, Aaron’s skill, drive and sheer hard work have seen him transform from school lunchtime table tennis player to consummate professional in a few short years.  He describes his experience at the 2012 Games as perhaps the most incredible experience of his life:

“Usually we play in front of audiences of a few hundred people: I was one of the first to play at London 2012 and when my name was called thousands of people stood up and cheered for me as a member of the GB team.  I’ve never experienced anything like it”

The London Games redefined standards of Paralympic media coverage and increased global audience figures by a staggering 1 billion.  Suffice it to say that the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games have a lot to live up to, and that the Paralympics, and Aaron, had better get used to taking centre stage.

James Pendleton Estate Agents’ Wandsworth connections make the company the ideal sponsors for this local figurehead, and he can now be seen sporting James Pendleton branded kit at tournaments across the UK.  The company’s dedicated blog will feature videos, clippings and interviews with Aaron as he journeys toward Rio.

James Pendleton Estate Agents are absolutely thrilled to be helping a local talent with high Olympic hopes.

Keep a look-out for the latest news on Aaron on the James Pendleton website and email for more info.

Abbeville Road: a local history


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



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.

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