South West London

News, events, tips and advice on SW London

Archive for summer

The Battersea Park Jubilee Festival: Celebrating South West London


As many a South West London resident knows, Battersea Park will play host to a The Diamond Jubilee Festival on Sunday 3rd June 2012.  The festival promises to be a no holds barred homage to Britishness, celebrating and modernising national traditions from boot sales to big bands.

As our job is to scour South West London for key events and hot topics, we thought we’d use the festival’s time travelling theme to bring our readers the top generation-hopping events and destinations in Clapham, Wandsworth Town, Wandsworth Common, Balham and Battersea.  Read on for our reasons for loving London!


The Jubilee has encouraged local music, theatre and cinema groups across the UK to celebrate all things British.  In South West London the focus is on pearly kings, great British creatives, flights of storytelling fancy and a good pinch of tongue in cheek humour.

Wimbledon theatre will celebrate the life of Charles Dickens in A Dickens of a Life

White Rabbit’s amazing storytelling cabaret act comes to Battersea Park Road as part of the Wandsworth Arts Festival.

If you don’t get chance to meet real life Pearly Kings and Queens at the Jubilee Festival, they can be found at events across London including this community Thames boat party on 9th June!


Though the queen may not have been best pleased by the Sex Pistols’ take on the National Anthem back in 1977, we’re sure she’d concede that, in 2012, the punk movement has become as British a cultural institution as baked beans, and arguably more revolutionary.

Why not pay a visit to the exhibition of Punk vinyl records in Chelsea throughout June

A punk ukulele anti society playing at venues across London, you say?  Whyever not…


…unfortunately in London that wish can’t always be granted, but besides hopping on a fast train to the coast from Clapham Junction there are some delightfully tongue in cheek ways to bring the traditional British seaside holiday to the SW postcodes.

Bringing the summer spirit to Clapham Common, no summer is complete without South West Four.

If your sea legs need stretching, head out to Battersea Park lake to while away a summer’s afternoon

Get a taste of the seaside with Clapham’s finest Fish and Chips.


A combination of afternoon tea and ballroom dance, nothing sums up the romantic side of the United Kingdom like a traditional tea dance with a modern twist.  Battersea Park will host a jubilee tea dance their 1950’s bandstand on June 3rd, and we’ve found a few more for locals and visitors to make a day of.

Head to the Bedford in Balham for a raucous summer Swing Dance

For a gentler tea dance experience, head to Battersea’s beautiful period town hall on 29th May

Or for a tea dance with all the trimmings, book a place at the Waldorf hotel for big bands, formal dancing and afternoon tea combine dancing with afternoon tea at the Waldorf hotel.


An ever evolving British institution, the summery garden party has breezed back onto the social calendar after a few decades’ absence, bringing with it a haze of cotton printed dresses, Pimms and barbecue smoke.  This year, street parties up and down the country will offer up home-grown jubilee festivities, but for those who prefer full board to self-catering we’ve rustled up a few local garden gatherings. Let’s hope the rain stays away for these top summer parties!

A community expanding idea from the Eden project, coming to a garden near you

Balham’s Hildreth Street market will play host to a Jubilee vintage clothing extravaganza this June 3rd!

Clapham’s Gigalum bar promises to ‘bring Ibiza to London’


From real ale to roast dinners, the homely British pub is a true cultural institution and encompasses such timeless traditions as darts, battered board games and the humble pork scratching.  Here are a few of the best South West London watering holes:

Visit Clapham’s Windmill on the Common for a reminder of just how green South West London is.

Alternatively, take a look at this homage to this Battersea nod to the 1930s.

Finally, for fine ales and a view of the river head to The Ship in Wandsworth


Since the Queen’s coronation UK cities, and London in particular, have become fantastically diverse, and traditional rural-urban divides have dissolved.  In today’s London, market stalls offering farm and organic produce, handicrafts and bespoke products spring up beside supermarkets and sprawl along high streets.  We’ve found a few of the best in Balham, Battersea, Wandsworth and Clapham.

Northcote Road Market is a South West London stalwart known for selling a vast array of fresh produce, crafts and interesting bric a brac.

Visit Balham’s Hildreth Street for an authentic local market selling quality produce since 1903

Clapham’s Venn Street Market offers local fine foods, crafts and specialist plants, and feeds revellers at London festivals such as Field Day.

We hope our handy list has helped you plan your own Jubilee celebrations and given you yet more reason to explore South West London!