South West London

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Archive for battersea

Best Local Businesses: Cake Boy

At the heart of Battersea and with a fantastic view over the Thames, Cake Boy has brought sophisticated baking to SW18 and combines delicious treats with practical advice.  Cake Boy is the place to go for wedding parties, group outings and one on one baking tuition, and our Wandsworth Town team have been known to pop in for lunchtime coffee and cake!  Eric Lanlard, master patissier and owner of Cake Boy Eric Lanlard has kindly agreed to answer our questions, and the interview below will also be appearing in September’s edition of Village magazine.

Eric Lanlard, owner of Cake Boy

1.       What two tips would you offer the aspiring patissier?

You must approach baking in a completely different way –  as we say in France “Pastry is like chemistry”.  Everything must be weighed precisely and you must follow the recipe for best results.  Start by learning the basics like sponges, pastries and creams before going straight in to making anything too elaborate –  such as wedding or birthday cakes.  A cake must taste as good as it looks!

2.       A difficult question but: which of your delicious desserts is your favourite?

My juniper tarte tatin – I adore everything about this recipe …the golden flaky pastry, the caramelised pears with the juniper.   I love the drama – I bring it straight form the oven and then tart it out of the pan at the table with the delicious steam and juices pouring out of the pan.  A spoonful of crème fraiche is the only thing that is needed and it’s the perfect accompaniment.  

3.       You’re bringing a fantastic range of baking ideas and events to South West London-what has South West London brought you?

I arrived from France and went straight to South London and  have never really left!  I like the village atmosphere and yet it is so close to the City.  The huge, green spaces.  I live between the commons and am spoilt for choice with a great selection of local restaurants, pubs, boutiques and food shops.  It’s a hub and is full of creative and inspiring people.

4.       What are your favourite Battersea hangouts?

For my French fix I go to “Gazette” bistro.   I enjoy their proper French cooking, quirky serving ideas and their wine list is great.  My favourite pub is The Ship – everything from the delicious food, beers, friendly and unpretentious staff – you never know which famous face  you are going to bump into. For the best fish and chips in London you cannot beat Brady’s – fresh fish that is  lightly battered and perfect chips.  Luke Brady, the owner is the perfect host

5.       If Battersea was a cake, what would it be like?

Battersea would be a Croquembouche – a traditional French wedding Cake.  As visually it is different and very attractive.  You have to break through to discover he amazing delicious creamy centre  …and it’s addictive!  Which very much sums up Battersea to me!

Cake Boy Lounge

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Northcote Road in Battersea – a culinary paradise

As any South West London resident will know, the area is home to a real wealth and range of inimitable eating experiences.

The streets of Clapham, Battersea and Wandsworth are lined with restaurants, delicatessens, cafes and farmers markets, and the energy and sense of community that surrounds streets bustling with such establishments brings plenty of inspiration.

 

Max Green, our Associate Director and Sales Manager at our Battersea office, knows the Northcote Road area well and heartily recommends it as the perfect weekend destination for those with a fondness for gastronomy.

“Northcote Road is a food lover’s dream.  There is no shortage of places to pick up your weekly stocks. We have two terrific butchers, a quality fishmonger and a very handy cheese shop. To name just a few local food hotspots:

 

The Breadstall – Always good for an early morning coffee and croissant. And when lunch time comes, there is a huge choice of sandwiches, pizzas, soups and or stews to choose from.

 

La Cuisinière – A strange choice for someone who isn’t blessed with remarkable culinary skill, but wandering through the incredibly well stocked shelves looking for an exciting gadget is something I can often be found doing.

 

The Northcote Road Market – This brilliant market sells everything from fruit to wedding photography. It’s well worth a visit if you are at a loss for what to do on a Saturday morning!”

 

What is your favourite place in Battersea?

South West London Icon in jeopardy? The uncertain future of Battersea Power Station

Battersea Power Station, Wandsworth

Battersea Power Station, Wandsworth

We took to the streets of Battersea in South West London this weekend to photograph the stunning industrial riverside panoramas the area has in abundance.

The wharf-side landscape of modern and period buildings is a rich and poignant one, the scenery telling the story of a region historically subject to huge and frequent change. A once heavily industrial area is now dominated by luxury apartments and award winning architecture.

Lodged incongruously amongst steel spires and glass turrets is the iconic Battersea Power Station.  Built between 1929 and 1953 and designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, the brain behind the red telephone box, the site revolutionised power supply in the UK and is the largest brick building in London.

Quick fire technological advances and pollution concerns led the station to cease all production by 1983.  Since then, a tug of war has been taking place between developers keen to clear and rebuild on the site and those campaigning to protect and maintain the listed building.  Numerous plans for redeveloping the site have fallen through for a variety of reasons.

With the Olympic year upon us, the ecological concerns ever present and the debate still fresh, what will become of the station? 

Here are some of the rumours and plans currently connected with the site.

  1. 1.       Luxury apartments

Probably the most lucrative venture would be to demolish Battersea Power Station in order to build and sell luxury apartments on the site.  The region is highly desirable and there are numerous similar developments on the banks of the Thames.  However, the cultural and historical value of the site has led to widespread opposition to such ventures, and the Station’s Grade II* listed status prevents the site from being completely cleared.

  1. 2.       Affordable Housing

The space created by the station’s demolition would also in theory provide space for a large number of affordable homes, thus easing the strain of overcrowding in London.

  1. 3.       A state of the art football stadium

Chelsea FC are rumoured to be interested in purchasing the site and building a state of the art stadium with retractable roof.  The rumours are as yet unconfirmed, and it is also uncertain whether the station building would be retained or demolished.

  1. 4.       An iconic new rail terminus and shopping centre

Under a series of proposed extensions to the London Underground’s Northern Line, Battersea Power Station could become the terminus of a new extension of the line into South West London.  Under this scheme, the station building would be kept intact and redeveloped, and a local shopping and recreation centre would be created.

  1. 5.       A cultural centre

Reincarnations as a shopping centre, gallery, venue and cinema have all been mooted.  The Battersea Power Station Community has suggested a local hub comprising all of the above along with parkland and plazas.

  1. 6.       Allotments

A number of eco-friendly proposals have been made, including turning the space into a park, allotments or a renewable energy plant.

Can you suggest a new use for the emblematic South West London site?  Post your ideas here or on our Facebook or Twitter sites.

 

South West London, home of excellent schools

South West London Super Schools!

South West London Super Schools!

Great news for South West London residents as Hurlingham School on Putney Bridge Road was rated as Outstanding by Ofsted.  According to the Wandsworth Guardian the school received a brilliant report during their last inspection.

Every single category of Hurlingham’s Ofsted inspection report was graded at either outstanding or excellent; a rare and impressive feat.  The school has made significant improvements in the last ten years which the report has recognised.  This undoubtedly comes as excellent news for not only the school and its current pupils but also for South West London residents, particularly those with plans to start a family.

Clapham, Balham, Wandsworth and Battersea are areas well known for their wealth of quality schooling options.  Allfarthing Primary School, Hollywell Juniors and Infants, John Burns Primary School and Clapham Manor Primary School are just a few of the many schools in South West London currently graded as Outstanding.  Moreover, the area plays host to a variety of specialist schools such as Wix School, a bilingual French and English primary, and the Dominie School for dyslexic and dyspraxic children.  With the amount of choice on offer, it’s little wonder that the region is known as Nappy Valley!

Whether a resident or a house hunter, you can search for schools by rating at this useful website.

Good luck and happy searching!

South West London and Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is like Marmite: while some people immerse themselves in hearts and roses on February 14th, many others are filled with gloom at the appearance of entirely pink and often tacky romantic merchandise.

That being said, whether you are cynical or starry eyed, there’s nothing wrong with doing something a bit different, going somewhere unusual.  On Valentine’s Day most establishments pull out all the stops to produce an experience that, whatever your attitude toward the day itself, is bound to prove memorable.  Where gastronomy is concerned, the memories are usually good.

We’ve scoured South West London and brought you some of our Valentine ’s Day food and drink recommendations.  Hopefully there will be something here for all-traditionalists, explorers and cynics alike!

For Traditional Foodies:

For a refined and possibly aphrodisiac experience, try the oysters at Bennetts.

Le Bouchon Bordelais in Battersea provides an intimate French setting for the most romantic meal of the year.

Lily’s in Clapham Old Town is the go-to place for a traditional meal on a budget. Well prepared British classics are available for under £15 a head.

For Modern Diners:

For a stylish international fusion menu with a view over the river visit Banyan on the Thames in Battersea.

A more affordable international food experience can be had at The Chutney in Wandsworth.

Trinity in Clapham provides a romantic modern European dining experience.

For every loved up couple filling up South West London’s restaurants next week there will be as many party goers filling up local bars.  Here’s a snapshot of what’s on offer:

Visit Dukes bar in St. James’ Place, the bar said to have inspired James Bond’s immortal line…The place to be if you like your martinis shaken, not stirred!

A little closer to home is Adventure Battersea; popular with professionals and renowned for its excellent cocktails and equally great atmosphere.

For Stay-at-home Valentines:

It’s February, and as usual the temperature is low, the sky is grey, and according to the newspapers Britain has once again descended into cold snap chaos.  Why on earth would you want to go out?

Local restaurants such as Del Aziz and Fish Club can deliver romance direct to your door-order now in time for the 14th!

For Craft Lovers:

Whether in a couple or with friends, learning new cookery skills is always entertaining.  What’s more, a cookery workshop with a Valentines twist is the ideal way for romantics to coerce their pragmatic partners into enjoying a coupley outing-after all, you never know when chocolate or cupcake making skills might come in useful…

For all our readers:

Whether you are eating out, staying in or partying this Valentine’s Day, we hope you’ve found this article useful and that you will very soon be treating yourself to a visit to one of the amazing venues South West London has to offer.