And so the pavement pounding begins! One of the very first areas we looked at in 2012 was Earlsfield, having been discounted then it’s a surprise addition to the list this time around. It appears that a lot has changed in the prevailing years plus it is still affordable by South West London standards so we decide to give it another chance.
From the property itself we require a decent sized garden but given we are nearing the end of long renovation project, during which time we also planned a wedding, grubby interiors don’t faze us. However, having lived in two well established areas since moving to London location is very important so before we commit to an area we want to spend time exploring the local amenities. I enjoy long brunches, Mr B likes a cosy pub that serves craft beer and Flo (our 18 month old border collie) needs a park where she can run freely. On paper Earlsfield ticks all of boxes, so it’s time for a visit.
Our first outing is on a dank grey Sunday afternoon; I often find it’s a good type of day to explore as if you like somewhere when it’s grey and miserable outside then you’ll love it in the sun. After a quick drive around a few residential streets to suss out the local housing stock we head to King George’s Park for a walk with Flo. She enjoys being let off her lead to chase tennis balls and heads home exhausted. We like the park with the Wandle trail running through and it’s lovely to see early daffodils in full bloom. In addition to the open areas there are tennis courts, sports pitches and a play park however it does lack a small café to grab a coffee whilst walking.
The next time we head back is on a bright spring afternoon, the park is busier but we’re still able to let Flo off the lead. Today it’s warm enough to sit in a beer garden so we head to the Park Tavern afterwards for refreshments. Inside the pub is welcoming with an open fire for colder days and both the wine and craft beer lists are extensive although the latter is generally bottled rather than on tap. Flo is happy and sleepy in the beer garden and both Mr B and I conclude that we’d happily return in future.
As Saturday evening approaches we decide to make the trip across to Earlsfield for the evening. We start in Bean and Hop where the friendly team are very accommodating finding us a window seat so that we can enjoy excellent sourdough pizzas washed down with local beers. I leave satisfied, keen to head back to try the brunch menu.
A short walk down the high street our next stop is the Halfway House. The pub itself is welcoming with a beer garden to the rear however it appeared that the afternoon had been a busy one as lots of the beers were off. After a short deliberation we decided to move on to the Earlsfield. Mr B isn’t happy at the range of beer being served as its mainly continental lagers but they had a decent selection of wine for me. The atmosphere was buzzy without being over bearing for early Saturday evening drinks and the food on surrounding tables looked wholesome. Next we crossed the road to the Wandle, which having recently benefited from a refit, has a very modern feel with a large landscaped terrace to the rear -perfect when summer arrives. Most of the tables had been moved out for the evening meaning there was little space to sit giving the pub more of a late night bar feel, the music is very loud and it’s clear that everyone is up for a party. There was a great range of craft beer on tap and whilst being served the barman explains that there’s going to be live music coming on later which explains the lack of tables and atmosphere. It was a bit rowdy for us at 830 in the evening so feeling old we took solace in hard liquor a few doors down in Bar 366. The short cocktails are experimental but delicious and the music level is much better for those who want to converse, we end up staying for more than just the one!
So in reality how many boxes does Earlsfield tick and would I be happy living here? Well King George’s Park is a great local park which is a real bonus for us. Secondly there’s the variety of pubs, bars and coffee shops on the high street that we desire and given the young feel of the area I wouldn’t be surprised to see more new business popping up in the near future which is another positive. The high street is also home to a small selection of shops that would suit our day to day needs given that Southside shopping centre is only a short distance away with its high street chains and two supermarkets. Excellent train links into central London mean that commuting shouldn’t be an issue either with trains running frequently into Waterloo with a journey time of less than 15 minutes.
There are some slight negatives, but overall yes I would be happy to live here.
Mrs B xx