Before I start exploring South London I thought it only fair that I review the area in which I currently I live, Clapham.
We were briefly introduced to Clapham in 2012 when viewing rental properties close to the Old Town. The area seemed very lively and we liked the open space of the common so when we started our property search in 2013 it felt natural to include this area. Property prices meant that we didn’t venture to Clapham South during the initial stages of research, instead we spent time considering the area beyond Clapham North towards Wandsworth Road. This area was within budget but soon we discovered that it lacked the amenities we craved, yes we were within walking distance of Clapham High Street but there was nowhere in the immediate vicinity for us to enjoy a coffee or beer so it was quickly discounted.
After a summer of failed offers we were becoming jaded, Zoopla searches were expanded and to our surprise we found ourselves in Clapham South. With a break between viewings there was enough time to grab a coffee and we stumbled across Abbeville Road. With its busy restaurants and cafes serving brunch, independent shops and a pub I fell in love instantly. As we sat outside in the early autumn sun eating pastries and drinking coffee whilst scribbling thoughts about the flats we had just viewed I knew this was where I wanted to live.
We moved into the flat on December 12th and settled into the local area very quickly. Brunches were eaten, restaurants and pubs were discovered but to our dismay the closest pub to our flat closed in the spring of 2014. We were hopeful it wouldn’t become another Tesco. Thankfully it didn’t, instead reopening as the King & Co, and quickly establishing itself as a firm favourite with both Mr B and I. They introduced us to the band who played at our wedding and expanded our taste buds with regularly changing craft beer and food menus. In my opinion the King & Co is what every pub should aspire towards with its friendly staff, vintage décor, quiz nights and live music. They have regular ‘tap takeover’ evenings with local craft breweries and have a selection of board games for rainy afternoons. What more could you want from your local?
The high street is very vibrant with a mixture of young professionals and young families. On Fridays and Saturdays evenings it’s very busy with people coming to party however the Old Town and side streets have a far more relaxed vibe, most pubs are dog and family friendly especially in the afternoons. There are too many places for me to review individually so here are a few of my top recommendations:
Brunch – Brickwood / Bistro Union
Restaurants – The Manor / Boqueria
Pubs – The Calf / The Stonhouse / Craft Beer Co
Shops – Sass & Belle / Bottle Apostle / Piccoli & Co
On Saturday mornings Venn Street has a lovely farmers market with a variety of stalls. The common is rarely quiet with exercise classes, dog walkers and sports games co-sharing space in the mornings before the afternoon picnics begin. The small café is popular with families, however I recommend grabbing a coffee pre-walk from either Fields or Black Lab.
A mention also has to go to the very dog friendly Rookery, a great little neighbourhood bar and restaurant overlooking the common. The outdoor terrace is south facing so it’s perfect for summer days and the open fire makes it cosy option for colder winter evenings. Many a summer Friday evening have been spent here devouring bar snacks post dog walk.
I’ll miss my Saturday morning strolls to Abbeville Road to buy supplies from the Ginger Pig. The Friday night wine tastings in Bottle Apostle will be no more. And we’ll have to find an alternative to the King & Co. I will mourn for Clapham when moving day finally arrives, however I’ll leave with everlasting memories knowing that I fully embraced my time here.
Mrs B xx