South West London

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Archive for Food and Drink

An incredible £5330 raised at St. Faith’s Christmas Fair!

James Pendleton balloons at the Winter Wonderland Christmas Fair

It’s that time of year again!  The thoughts and calendars of families across London are filled with everything festive and local communities are pulling together to showcase and share the best of the Christmas season.

On 30th November St. Faith’s school Parents Teachers Association organised the marvellously festive ‘Winter Wonderland’ Christmas fair, which was sponsored by Wandsworth estate agents James Pendleton.  The fair was a tremendous success and raised a phenomenal £5330 towards the development of a new school library.

The school was packed with parents, teachers, and local residents enjoying a fun packed festive celebration featuring stalls, refreshments, fairground rides and a bouncy castle.  Children had a fantastic time visiting the real fire engine, playing ‘Beat the Keeper’ and seeing Santa in his grotto. Meanwhile parents were entertained by Christmas stalls with contributions from local businesses.

The afternoon culminated in a very successful silent auction and raffle, prizes for which were supplied by James Pendleton estate agents who have two local offices on Old York Road.  Raffle prizes included a Wii U, £300 cash and £100 John Lewis vouchers.

The PTA did an incredible job of organising an interesting and varied event in support of the future education of St Faith’s pupils.  James Pendleton’s support was also invaluable to the success of the event and the sponsors were delighted to receive a wonderful branded cake and card from the organising team.

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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.

Amazing kitchenware shop on Northcote Road, Battersea

kitchenware shop battersea

La Cuisiniere: Kitchenware shop in Battersea

As Northcote Road institutions go, you can’t do much better than La Cuisinière.  Owned by French native Anne Blackie, this popular kitchenware retailer has been a much loved Battersea stalwart for over twenty years.  As well as stocking near enough any utensil or cooking tool you might think of, La Cuisinière also leases cake tins and offers a wealth of cookware expertise via a very helpful website.  Of course, the best way to get to know La Cuisinière is to spend a while exploring its shelves and corners.  The store compares itself online to an Aladdin’s Cave and a better description could not be found.

Before you spend an hour pottering at La Cuisinière on Northcote road, take a moment to read our interview with Anne Blackie and find out what makes the store so special.

  1. Could you give us a taster of some of the cookware you have in store?

It’s hard to know where to start!  As a taster, our most popular brands are:

  • Le Creuset (Cookware)
  • ScanPan (Cookware)
  • Joseph Joseph (kitchen Accessories)
  • Global/Wusthof/Robert Welch/I.O. Shen (Kitchen Knives)
  • Good Grips (OXO gadgets)
  • Silverwood (Bakeware)
  • Nespresso (Coffee machines)
  • KitchenAid/Dualit/Magimix/Cuisiniart small electricals

The following types of item also prove popular:

  • Cake decorations and candles
  • PVC table clothes
  • Ceramics and glassware
  • Silicone tools
  • Children lunch boxes
  • Barware

2. How has La Cuisinière changed over the past twenty five years?

We haven’t really changed that much from the original concept of being a Cookware and Tableware outlet.  The only major change was when we opened La Cuisinière Too in 2003 due to the fact that we were desperate for more shop space.

The current set up was established in 2012. With the ever growing popularity and increased demand for home baking, our bakeware section was moved lock, stock and ‘rolling pin’ into La Cuis Too. The main shop of La Cusinière has always and still provides the best range and quality of all types of cookware.

3. Have you seen a big change in how much people enjoy cooking over the years?

Not really! Residents of Battersea have always enjoyed cooking and entertaining at home providing great meals for family and friends. As mentioned in the previous section, we have seen a steady growth in baking product requirements in recent years.

Trends: The last few years have seen a definite increase in simple and earthy types of cooking. (Pie dishes and casseroles sell well).

4. How long have you been in Battersea and why did you choose to open a store along Northcote Road?

Annie Price was the founder of La Cuisinière and she was the one who discovered Northcote Road and saw its potential. Not only did she open the shop in 1988, she also moved from Fulham to Hendrick Avenue at the same time. She sadly died in 2004. I was Annie’s first manager and have been here ever since!

5. Do you have a favourite eatery or food supplier along Northcote Road?

Over the years, we have often enjoyed going to Buena Sera and Lola Roja.  We regularly use the fishmongers in Northcote Road and for a treat, we buy our cheese and deli produce from Hamish Johnston.

6. Which are your favourite items that you have in store?

My recommended brands are:

  • Laguiole knives – beautifully hand crafted knives from France. Not particularly well known in the UK, but not many Frenchmen would sit down to a “steak frites” without one!
  • Le Creuset “buffet” shallow casserole. To my mind, one of the most versatile cooking implements in the kitchen.
  • Glover and Smith pewter tableware – handmade in England.
  • Ecozone –  a planet-friendly cleaning range.
  • Tala and Silverwood bakeware – Tala is deliciously retro in design and has hardly changed since the fifties! Silverwood’s tinware is made for the British market and made in Britain!

7. Could you offer our readers a cooking or baking tip which you couldn’t do without?

One of the most important tools in the kitchen is the kitchen knife. But it’s got to be of good quality and kept sharp! So my tip is to have a quality knife sharpener to hand where you prepare your food.  Each time you use the knife give it a swipe or two through the sharpener and you will always have the sharpest of knives.

Easter Activities in South West London!

'Rose' the bunny, winner of the James Pendleton Easter Bunny Drawing competition 2012

‘Rose’ the bunny, winner of the James Pendleton Easter Bunny Drawing competition 2012

Easter is fast approaching (though the weather would have you believe otherwise) and James Pendleton Estate Agents’ South West London team have been scouring the area for top seasonal family activities.  As spring begins to enliven green spaces and young faces alike, keep a look out for pastel colours, cute creatures and holiday activities at a park near you.  Alternatively, just take a quick look at our following top recommendations for Easter in Clapham, Wandsworth, Lambeth, Fulham and Battersea:

The wristband-entry theme park that is Clapham Common’s Easter Funfair attracts visitors for miles around and features rides and activities guaranteed to delight children and adults alike.  When you’re done enjoying the fair you’ll be able to walk off your candyfloss with a stroll around the Common.

Fulham Palace’s Easter Egg trail takes place on 30th March and 1st April and takes the form of a fun and informative children’s tour of the Palace with a chocolate reward at the end, all in one of the most beautiful settings in London.

Battersea Dogs and Cats Home will be joining the Easter fun by holding an egg hunt with a twist: the team will hide carob and catnip eggs inside the pens and release for pets to sniff out.  You can support the charity’s Easter cause by donating an egg.

A host more animal themed activities are set to take place at Battersea Park Children’s Zoo over the Easter break.  From 29th March to 1st April children and families are invited to search for colourful eggs hidden in animal enclosures with the promise of a sugary treat on completion. For the rest of the Easter break a Golden Rabbit hunt and animal feeding activities are bound to bring a smile to local children’s faces!

Wandsworth, Lambeth and Hammersmith and Fulham councils have a range of activities available for young people of all ages, and local web stalwarts mumsnet.com and nappyvalleynet.com will be on hand to advise on local events.  Whether interested in sport, craft or learning there is bound to be something for your child in South West London this Easter holiday!

 

 

 

Boma: Our recommended restaurant in Fulham & Parsons Green

Boma Restaurant Wandsworth Bridge Road

Boma Restaurant Wandsworth Bridge Road

A vibrant meeting place along the pretty Wandsworth Bridge Road Boma can be distinguished by its sunny terrace, elegant bar and friendly staff.

Popular with residents and the team at James Pendleton Estate Agents’ Fulham & Parsons Green office alike, Boma caters for all occasions from breakfast meeting to evening soiree and boasts a diverse and well researched list of wines and cocktails to suit every occasion.  What’s more, Boma is an active and enthusiastic contributor to local events and offers its clients a variety of exciting offers: currently visitors to Boma on Sunday or Monday night will receive 50% off their food bill with a new ‘BFF’ scheme!

We spoke to Kieran, the manager of Boma restaurant on Wandsworth Bridge Road, about life in Fulham.

  1. What’s your most important ethos at Boma?

We’ve turned away from the expensive and overcomplicated cuisine for a drinking and dining experience that is accessible to everyone. Informal yet refined.

2.  Could you tell us more about the inspiration behind your food and drinks menus?

The design of the menu is based upon crowd pleasing classics as well as what we love to eat ourselves. We change the menu with the season and source all our produce locally. As for drinks, we all love cocktails and wine so we try and target likeminded people with our offerings. They tend to go down a bit too well!

3.  What is your BFF scheme and could you tell us more about the special promotions you offer to your customers?

BFF – Boma Friend Forever – is a scheme we launched to reward our loyal customers after 2 years of business. A £2 donation to breast cancer research gets you a BFF key ring. This allows you to get 50% off your food bill on Sunday and Monday evenings from 6pm. No questions asked!

4.  Do you have a favourite Boma dish?

Starter wise, our hand dived scallops are always a winner and for mains, I struggle to choose between the steak tartare and the rack of lamb.

5.  How do you feel about working on Wandsworth Bridge Road and do you have any favourite local haunts?

I love Wandsworth Bridge Road. The community spirit is so locally driven and hard to find elsewhere in London. If I wasn’t involved in Boma, it would be without doubt the kind of place I’d frequent. However with bias aside, I’m a huge fan of Thaiphoon and The Greedy Buddha is also a wonderful example of Nepalese cuisine.

6.  Do you have a favourite Boma story / which event at Boma has gone particularly well?

Boma tends to make people do some pretty funny things. What happens behind our doors tends to stay there but there are always the moments we fondly like to recant. Inebriated girls designing their own cocktails around their friends nicknames, wine tasting evenings, live music nights and people dancing to Meat Loaf like there’s no tomorrow. All in a Saturday night on Wandsworth Bridge Rd!

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.