SPOTLIGHT ON

SPOTLIGHT ON: A mod­ern blend of in­dus­trial cool and chic river­side liv­ing, this district has plenty to write home about

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bat­tersea – in­dus­trial cool meets chic ur­ban liv­ing

THE AREA

What’s the scoop? this south-west lon­don neigh­bour­hood was once famed for its fruit and veg­etable gar­dens. in­dus­try ar­rived in the 19th cen­tury with the power sta­tion and gas­works trans­form­ing the land­scape. th­ese days, a mix­ture of cre­atives, ar­ti­sans, pro­fes­sion­als and fam­i­lies oc­cupy smart Vic­to­rian ter­races, park­side apart­ments and new builds on the banks of the thames.

Is this south-west Lon­don’s an­swer to Not­ting hill?

Bat­tersea Park, some in­dus­trial hous­ing stock and prox­im­ity to the river make this area unique, though you will find a smat­ter­ing of pas­tel-coloured homes and some art­fully ren­o­vated Vic­to­rian cot­tages on the shaftes­bury es­tate. Can I tube it? the district is served by three train sta­tions: clapham Junc­tion, Bat­tersea Park and Queen­stown road. But look out for Bat­tersea tube sta­tion, a pro­posed north­ern line ex­ten­sion set to open in 2020. What about schools? near the park, new­ton Prep and thomas’s Bat­tersea are pop­u­lar pri­vate op­tions, while the highly re­garded Belleville Pri­mary and honey­well Pri­mary state schools are off north­cote road. the harris academy on Bat­tersea Park road has re­cently been recog­nised as out­stand­ing by of­sted.

PROP­ERTY

If I want to go tra­di­tional, where do I start? ‘Prince of wales drive and al­bert Bridge road of­fer up­scale, lat­eral man­sion flats over­look­ing the park,’ says John d wood’s Fred Pon­sonby. ‘the ter­raced homes of a small en­clave called lit­tle in­dia are a pop­u­lar choice for fam­i­lies due to their prox­im­ity to clapham Junc­tion and Bat­tersea Park road.’ and if I want to be a city slicker? there’s no short­age of cool, ur­ban river­side de­vel­op­ments here, not least the apart­ments, restau­rants and shops on of­fer at the newly ren­o­vated Bat­tersea Power sta­tion. go­ing east, a new district has mush­roomed in nine elms, par­tic­u­larly fol­low­ing the re­lo­ca­tion of the Us em­bassy. For some­thing a lit­tle more low-key, look out for the up­com­ing res­i­den­tial con­ver­sion of the former royal academy of dance close to Bat­tersea square, while its new home, coda at avan­ton, prom­ises a num­ber of new-build lux­ury apart­ments. how much cash must I splash? it varies from street to street. you can snap up a two-bed flat on sheep­cote lane and Bat­tersea Park road for un­der £500,000, but ex­pect to spend north­wards of £1,000,000 for an apart­ment over­look­ing the park. Prices for a four-bed house start at around £900,000.

LIFE­STYLE

I need a hip­ster cof­fee. that won’t be a prob­lem. the ’hood is heav­ing with ar­ti­san cof­fee mak­ers. Flour to the Peo­ple! of­fers ex­cel­lent sour­dough along with a morn­ing in­jec­tion of caf­feine, while so­cial Pantry café pro­vides hit-the-spot brunches. and for a side of green, head to Pear tree café in the mid­dle of Bat­tersea Park.

and eat­ing out? Queenswood on Bat­tersea square is a laid-back neigh­bour­hood spot where the ta­bles spill out­side – ideal for ca­sual din­ing, shar­ing plates and late-evening cock­tails. on vibrant Bat­tersea Park road, the Farmer’s Mis­tress serves colour­ful, nu­tri­ent-bal­anced dishes, while close to the river at ran­some’s dock, the brothers be­hind chelsea’s rab­bit have opened nut­bourne, whose menus are pop­u­lated with in­gre­di­ents from the fam­ily’s sus­sex farm. home­ware, please! head to Queen­stown road for un­der-ther­adar of­fer­ings such as angie Pinkney’s de­cara home, which sells elegant fur­ni­ture and ac­ces­sories, or un­earth an­tiques, tex­tiles and French-in­spired pieces at les sar­dines. on Bat­tersea Park road, circa is great for orig­i­nal mid-cen­tury pieces. and the park it­self hosts a thrice-yearly dec­o­ra­tive an­tiques & tex­tiles Fair. af­ter all that shop­ping, where can I let my hair down?

it might not be party-cen­tral, but the area still has a hip vibe. check out tongue-in-cheek pizze­ria, bar and late-night karaoke haunt Bunga Bunga, a stone’s throw away from the royal col­lege of art on Bat­tersea Bridge road.

[ In the know ]

Bat­tersea res­i­dent, stylist, food blog­ger and cook Alice Wro­bel (th­elon­don­pantry.word­press.com; @th­elon­don­pantry) opens her se­cret ad­dress book

* Bat­tersea Flower Sta­tion is a pocket of tamed wilder­ness carved out of an un­used space be­side the rail tracks. Great for gar­den­ing essentials and Sun­day brows­ing. I also love

Rocco Flow­ers, run by über-cre­ative Becky Tay­lor.

* Pump House Gallery, next to the lake in Bat­tersea Park, is a beau­ti­ful Vic­to­rian build­ing that is home to a con­tem­po­rary vis­ual arts space, which runs a year-round pro­gramme of events.

* Don’t miss the weekly Farm­ers’ Mar­ket at Ran­some’s Dock ev­ery Satur­day, laden with free-range poul­try, or­ganic eggs, cheese, herbs, flow­ers and jams.

* Bat­tersea Yoga is a great in­de­pen­dent stu­dio tucked away in a mews on the cor­ner of Bat­tersea Park, of­fer­ing a host of restora­tive classes and re­treats.

CLOCK­WISE FROM TOPThe iconic Bat­tersea Power Sta­tion has been newly ren­o­vated; the beau­ti­ful Over­strand Man­sions on Prince of Wales Drive, which over­looks Bat­tersea Park; and Al­bert Bridge, link­ing Chelsea and Bat­tersea

CLOCK­WISE FROM THIS PIC­TURE Nut­bourne restau­rant cham­pi­ons lo­cal and wild Bri­tish sea­sonal pro­duce on its menu; the spa­cious Bat­tersea Park, com­plete with pic­turesque boat­ing lake; and Bat­tersea’s leg­endary Bunga Bunga, fa­mous for its week­end Party Brunch and Metro piz­zas

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