A case of love with southwest London

Brasil Observer - May 04 2016
Battersea Park (Photo: Herry Lawford/Flickr)

(Leia em Português)


Roberta Calabro explains why she felt in love with southwest London, a region with lots of green, culture and good taste


London, even though it is a city that keeps its secular characteristics, can be considered one of the world’s capitals of technology and innovation. Only London can refer to the past and the future simultaneously. Despite its diversity and 300 nationalities, each person will find its own London. I say that you can move and be in many countries in this city, because each neighbourhood-area has a different characteristic and, in the end, it defines your lifestyle, habits and routine.

Three years and some months ago I had my first contact with the southwest London, when the black cab stopped at 11am in front of the luxurious set of glazed buildings Battersea Reach, on the edge of the River Thames in Wandsworth Town (home to some Chelsea players, by the way). I arrived dividing the apartment with five other people, thanks to Cortisso Accommodation. The views from the apartment, the tranquillity and beauty of the area made me fall in love. My life is until today (house and work) linked to this area of ​​London as well as my habits and customs. I have already moved three times, all with a distance of five minutes’ walk of each other.

In addition to Wandsworth, the districts of Victoria, Chelsea, Clapham, Earls Court, Fulham, South Kensington, Battersea, Barnes, Putney and Wimbledon are part of southwest London. According to opinions of Londoners themselves, the region is identified with words such as “chic”, “clean” and “family”, linked to high society and considered “fashion”, but “pretentious”. For me, intellectual, cosmopolitan, cultural, trendy, suburban.

South Kensington and Chelsea are very beautiful areas and some of the richest the city, where I fill my cultural soul in museums such as Natural History, Science and Victoria & Albert. East Putney, Putney Bridge and Wandsworth Town are very quiet neighbourhoods and with a choice of bars, restaurants and cafes, from elegant and sophisticated to more “affordable” ones. Wimbledon, meanwhile, has more than tennis courts. With residential and fashionable trends, it is home of relaxed pubs, theatres and parks. Clapham Junction and its buzz, filled with bars and restaurants contrast with the huge green space of Clapham Common. The Battersea area is an old pier (with the Battersea Power Station) that now houses apartments, restaurants and bars, plus the incredible Battersea Park, one of the most interesting green areas of the city, next to my favourite bridge, the Albert Bridge, that during the night gets completely illuminated.

National History Museum (Photo: Boris Dzhingarov/Flickr)

National History Museum (Photo: Boris Dzhingarov/Flickr)

Albert Bridge (Photo: DncnH/Flickr)

Albert Bridge (Photo: DncnH/Flickr)

Wandsworth Town, the name of the train station operated by South West Trains and whose nearest underground station is Fulham Broadway, is only 15 minutes from Waterloo Station by train. Among my favourite things to do, I recommend a brunch at delicious Brew, or the natural Planet Organic, next to the Southside Shopping (ideal for shopping or a cinema). But if you come here, be sure to ride a bicycle around the edge of the River Thames, moving both toward Chelsea (through Battersea Park) and towards Hammersmith Bridge. Here is the charming Waterfront. Leaving Wandsworth Bridge and riding through the river on the way to Putney, you reach the well-known pub The Ship, which during the spring and summer is quite crowded. The brand new Riverside Quarter and its houseboats lavish taste, and the giant and beautiful trees of Wandsworth Park mingle with the family atmosphere of the tour with children and dogs, among the games of teenagers. Before arriving at Putney Bridge, always by the river, I love the Spanish bar called Alquimia, which has excellent paellas and gin and tonic. The Putney High Street is hectic and crossing the bridge you come to Parsons Green (expensive and with very good bars and restaurants, such as the ones in the New King’s Road) and Fulham (home of the famous football stadium of Fulham and Chelsea, or the popular bar the Slug). Pedalling a little by the river in Putney you see the starting point of the traditional rowing race between English universities Oxford and Cambridge. Later, you can ride through the green corridor to Hammersmith Bridge (through the former warehouse of Harrods) or extend to Barnes or Richmond. I just love it.

You choose your area according to your personality or create your character around the neighbourhood you pick. In a cosmopolitan and bustling capital like London, the southwest is my haven of peace and tranquillity.


STEPS TO FLY works in the preparation for those who have the dream of life experience abroad through comprehensive guides and individual and corporate coaching. It offers receptive lectures and care for those who are coming up and need to adapt to the new country, in Portuguese, Italian, Spanish and English. (www.stepstofly.com)

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