Visit London Blog » battersea park Enjoy the very best of London Fri, 18 Apr 2014 09:00:30 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Top 5 Things to See And Do In Wandsworth, London Tue, 25 Mar 2014 10:44:16 +0000 The London Borough of Wandsworth in South London extends southwards from the River Thames. Geopgraphically, it includes the towns of Clapham, Balham, Tooting, Wandsworth, Putney, Battersea and Earlsfield. It is also one of the most lush boroughs in London, boasting 670 hectares (1,700 acres) of green space.

The famous towers of Battersea Power Station stand at the water’s edge of the river. The iconic structure is currently under redevelopment with lots of exciting prospects planned to emerge, so watch this space (and the video above). Meanwhile, here are five more things to do when exploring Wandsworth.
Battersea Park Pagoda
Battersea Park and the Thames Path
Situated on the banks of the river Thames, the 200-acre Battersea Park has a variety of activities on offer. Families are entertained at the Battersea Park Children’s Zoo and the children’s playground. Cyclists, runners, and skaters utilise the circular road around the park and as well as the sports fields, tennis courts and athletics stadium. For a slower pace of London life, check out the Buddhist Peace Pagoda, water fountains, and Pump House art gallery. The park is connected to the Thames Path which is well worth following for as long as your legs can handle.
Tooting Lido
Tooting Bec Lido
At 91.5 metres in length, Tooting Bec Lido is England’s biggest fresh water, open air swimming pool. The multi-coloured changing cubicles offer a glimpse into what leisure time was like for London’s ancestors. The pool is open for public use from late May until the end of September. There is a children’s paddling pool and a café onsite making it a great day out for families.
Chez Bruce
Chez Bruce
There are many beer garden pubs, cocktail bars, and Indian curry houses in Wandsworth. However, Chez Bruce takes the top spot in Wandsworth’s eating and drinking guide because it’s one of the best restaurants in the UK. The casual, Michelin-starred French restaurant can be found just across the road from Wandsworth Common, one of London’s many green spaces. Prices are of Michelin standard too, so if you’re on a budget, maybe opt for a lunchtime booking and only order a glass of wine.
The Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race
The beginning of the Oxford Cambridge Boat Race takes place on the river Thames at Putney on Sunday 6 April 2014. As this is one of the world’s oldest and closely contested rowing races, the atmosphere is excitable, to say the least. It’s therefore worth arriving well in advance of the actual start of the race in order to get a good spot either on Putney Bridge or along the Thames Path on Putney Embankment. The Dukes Head pub is a good places to station yourself for the action.

Battersea Arts Centre
Wandsworth’s beating heart of culture can be found at the Battersea Arts Centre in Clapham Junction. The diverse range of events taking place at the “BAC” include cabaret, poetry, interactive theatre, spoken word, comedy, workshops, talks, classes and debates. The space is seen as a place to nurture new, unfinished theatrical and musical works. This means that whatever performance you see, it will be creative and probably unconventional. There’s also a cool bar and café onsite which makes for an interesting place to simply hang out and soak up the atmosphere.

Images courtesy of Flickr users Ndecam, Bod, Rolyatam, Nevalenx and squeezeomatic.

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The Best Places to Picnic in London Sat, 25 May 2013 09:00:33 +0000 When the sun is shining, there are fewer more pleasant ways to relax than by having a picnic in one of London’s public spaces. We’ve rounded up 10 of our favourite spots below – grab a blanket, pack a hamper and stretch out on the grass for an afternoon to remember.

Hyde Park

Hyde Park has many attractions that make it a perfect picnic spot – not only is there oodles of space in which you can stretch out to enjoy some nosh, but you can also go roller-blading, play numerous sports and go boating on the Serpentine. Hyde Park is also the venue for fantastic events at which picnics are welcome – September’s Proms in the Park is just one of the great options. The wonderful Kensington Gardens is just a short stroll away, why not spend a day exploring both?

Ham Polo Club

Serve up some high-octane sporting action with your picnic on Sundays at Ham Polo Club, when spectators can lounge by the side of the pitch and watch London’s only polo team compete, whilst munching on sandwiches and scotch eggs. Entry to matches, which take place until 29 September, is £5 per person, or £20 for a car of up to four people.

Highbury Fields

If you like your picnics sizzling, head to Highbury Fields where you can BBQ in the park. As well as a warm welcome for your disposable barbecues, the park offers a children’s playground, sports facilities and a dog-free picnic area.

St James’s Park

Situated next to Buckingham Palace, St James’s is one of London’s prettiest parks. Not only can you have a picnic whilst admiring the surrounding architecture, the park’s foliage and the stunning expanse of water, but you can also see the park’s famous pelicans when they’re fed every day at 2.30pm.

Lincoln’s Inn Fields

Lincoln’s Inn Fields, which adjoins one of the four Inns of Court at which all barristers are members, is the largest public square in London. It’s a peaceful place for a picnic in between seeing the sights of central London – both Covent Garden and the British Museum are less than 10 minutes away.

Hampstead Heath

At 790 acres, you’re truly spoiled for choice as to where to picnic on Hampstead Heath. You could head to Parliament Hill, from which you can get an unrivalled view over London, sit in the grounds of historic Kenwood House or picnic next to the lido if you feel like an afternoon swim.

Greenwich Park

It’s not often you can picnic in a World Heritage Site, but London’s Greenwich Park allows you to do just that. Situated by the river Thames, the park offers stunning views of both the water and central London. Closer at hand are the magnificent Royal Maritime Museum and the old Royal Observatory, which provide a dramatic backdrop as well as the perfect post-picnic activity.

Victoria Tower Gardens

Picnic next to the Houses of Parliament in this riverside park, which gives you a chance to study the historical palace of Westminster up close. The park itself also contains a range of interesting features, including a replica of Rodin’s The Burghers of Calais and the Buxton Memorial Fountain, commemorating the emancipation of slaves.

The Regent’s Park

The stunning Regent’s Park is a wonderful place to have a picnic, especially if you’re having a relaxed meal before you see a production at the park’s Open Air Theatre.  Picnic-ers can enjoy views over the lake, the glorious expanse of roses in Queen Mary’s Gardens or even the entire city of London from the heights of the park’s Primrose Hill.

Battersea Park

South London’s Battersea Park is full of picturesque picnic spots, as well as a host of attractions. Explore the children’s zoo, float on the boating lake or see an exhibition at the striking Pump House Gallery.

Where’s your favourite place to have a picnic in London?

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Shopping News: & Other Stories, Selfridges Shoe Carnival, Vintage Fashion Fair, Boxpark, The Vogue Festival 2013, Affordable Art Fair Wed, 06 Mar 2013 15:55:34 +0000

Swedish retailer Hennes & Mauritz’s latest venture & Other Stories is opening its doors on Friday (8 March) on Regent Street. The much-anticipated new launch is a one-stop shop with lingerie, shoes, bags, jewellery, skincare products and make-up as well as clothes. There are four different clothing collections, from feminine and glamorous styles to tailored looks. This is the world’s first-ever & Other Stories store, showing that London is leading the way in the fashion stakes once again.

Put your best foot forward at Selfridges this month. The store is paying homage to fabulous footwear by hosting a Shoe Carnival. Shoppers can expect an in-store installation of a yellow brick road, as well as a slew of exclusive designs by Charlotte Olympia, Nicholas Kirkwood and Rupert Sanderson. Also on display will be the entire archive of shoe designer extraordinaire Salvatore Ferragamo. The luxury department store shifts a staggering 10,000 pairs of shoes a week.

Rummage for retro at the Vintage Fashion Fair, which will take place from 11am-5pm on 17 March at Cecil Sharp House in Primrose Hill. Load up on unusual and stylish clothes for Spring, including affordable pretty dresses and skirts, unusual vintage scarves and jewellery. For those with cash to splash, the fair is also a treasure trove of stunning designer pieces, including Ossie Clark, Chanel, Dior and more.

In-the-know fashion blogger Nhuc Tran is opening a pop-up boutique for three months in East London’s hip Boxpark, the world’s first pop-up mall. China Doll Boutique will stock delicate dresses in chic prints and pastel shades. Set within stripped and refitted shipping containers, Boxpark is a small mall housing 40 retailers, restaurants and galleries.

Rub shoulders with the fash pack by snapping up a ticket for The Vogue Festival 2013 which takes place at the Southbank Centre from 27-28 April. Guests can enjoy cover-shoots, makeovers and workshops. The festival boasts a glittering array of A-list speakers including pop-star turned award-winning fashion designer Victoria Beckham, model and presenter Alexa Chung, model du jour Cara Delevingne and photographer Mario Testino. Tickets cost from £30 for each individual talk.

Finally, if you’re itching to flex your credit card this weekend, snap up a piece of art at the Affordable Art Fair at Battersea Evolution in Battersea Park (7-10 Mar, 11am-6pm). Priced from £40 to £4,000, there are paintings, prints and sculpture to suit every budget.

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Bonfire Night in London: Plan a Sparkling Night Out Wed, 17 Oct 2012 09:30:39 +0000

By Amanda Craighead-Wheeler

Bonfire Night is a great way to experience London after dark. The Houses of Parliament are where the traditional began – and almost ended – in 1605. As well as over a dozen firework displays in the week around 5 November, London has a wealth of themed parties, gigs and club nights over the weekend where you can get the most bang for your Bonfire Night.

Battersea Park fireworks are one of the biggest displays. As well seeing them on the ground, there’s also the chance to see them on the river and even in the air. Thames Dinner Cruises are offering a Bonfire Night special, with drinks, live music and a special cruise letting your enjoy London at night and alight. The EDF Energy London Eye is offering 30 minute flights, giving you the chance take in not just one display but as many as the eye can see.

There are more unusual ways to remember the gunpowder, treason and plot, too. Club de Fromage at the O2 Islington is a club for those who like to wear silly outfits and party hard, playing all kinds of pop from the last 40 years. The club’s Neon Night special takes place on 3 November with upbeat cheesy tracks, bright lights, friendly faces and fancy dress.

If you want something more erudite, try the Midnight Apothecary on 3 November, a pop up cocktail bar on the roof gardens at the Brunel Museum. Five pounds will get you entry to the opening of the first tunnel under a river, the chance to try cocktails with ingredients handpicked from the museum’s gardens, and of course a bonfire and sparklers.

Have we missed any? Tell us if there’s somewhere you know that paints London red (or green, or gold with sparkles…)

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What’s On This Weekend in London: 20-22 July 2012 Thu, 19 Jul 2012 11:30:11 +0000

This weekend is the last before the Olympics begin – make sure you soak up all the culture London has to offer before the city goes sport mad.

BT River of Music
The BT River of Music is a huge weekend music festival is a one-off to welcome the world to the Olympic city. Six stages – each hosting music from a different continent – will be set up along the Thames at venues like the Tower of London and Battersea Park. Artists representing every Olympic and Paralmypic nation will perform, including the Scissor Sisters and Noisettes. Tickets are free but you’ve got to book them in advance: at the time of writing, there are still some left for Asia Stage at Battersea Park and Oceania Stage at Old Royal Naval College, and for Africa Stage at London Pleasure Gardens on Sunday only.
21-22 Jul

Blue Peter’s Big Olympic Tour
Catch Blue Peter presenters Helen and Barney this weekend on the kids TV show’s Big Olympic Tour. They’ve been following the Olympic torch on its journey around the UK for special live programmes and events, and will touch down in Central Park in East Ham this Saturday and Sunday. From 10am to 4pm, there’ll be free family activities like Olympic sports, learning about the history of the Games and having a go at being a sports commentator.
21-22 Jul

Shakespeare: Staging the World at The British Museum
The British Museum has teamed up with the Royal Shakespeare Company for this major Shakespeare exhibition which explores the playwright’s London through his plays. It gives a taste of what going to the theatre was like 400 years ago, and how it connected London with the rest of the world as international trade, colonisation and diplomacy increased. The exhibition includes performance and objects from paintings and rare manuscripts to everyday items like maps and coins, all piecing together the world of the famous dramatist and his characters.
Until 25 Nov

Floating Market on Regent’s Canal
From tomorrow, a magnificent floating market will moored in Mile End near the Olympic Park. A collection of narrowboats and barges will be selling everything from books and hats to vintage frocks and handicrafts. If strolling along the official Olympic walking route makes you peckish, you can sample various foodie delights on offer, including sausages from a barge called “Marilyn”, Slovakian delicacies from “Vareska” and a selection of candyfloss, popcorn and other fun-fair based treats from The Zebra Boat.
20 Jul-16 Aug

What will you be doing this weekend? Let us know by commenting below.

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Scissor Sisters to Perform at London 2012 River of Music Thu, 27 Oct 2011 10:22:55 +0000

The Scissor Sisters will perform at the BT River of Music festival in the run-up to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The two-day celebration on 21 and 22 July 2012 will feature free concerts along the banks of the river Thames, starring musical talent from Olympic countries around the world.

Six stages will host music from the major continents: Asia in Battersea Park, Africa in Jubilee Gardens, Europe in Trafalgar Square and Somerset House, the Americas at the Tower of London, and Oceania at the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich.

Confirmed artists include Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis, Naturally 7, Baaba Maal, Angelique Kidjo, Zakir Hussain and Andy Sheppard.

To find out how to get your hands on free concert tickets, sign up now at Ticketing information will be released in May 2012.


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Chef Paul Merrett’s Foodie Gems in London Fri, 29 Jul 2011 09:00:20 +0000

Any self-respecting food-lover will be heading to the Foodies Festival in Battersea Park this weekend to taste and buy delicious locally-sourced food and drink. Chef Paul Merrett gives us his London foodie highlights to celebrate.

Foodie Festival, 29-31 July
“I am unveiling a giant edible art installation, by Seriously® Strong Cheddar, on the first day of the Foodies Festival.  Who says there is no such thing as a free lunch – passers by at the festival will be able to enjoy a taste of the World’s Largest Ploughman’s record attempt as it will be broken down into 1,000 personal ploughman’s platters for spectators to enjoy and share the intense taste experience.”

Inamo in Wardour Street
“OK, this is really my kid’s favourite restaurant. The tables are simply big computer screens and you each have a mouse and click on what you fancy. You can watch a web cam of the kitchen, change your virtual tablecloth and even play electronic battle ships. Inamo would leave my dad feeling very old! The only downside is that you have little say in what other people order. The last time we went, a bowl of seared scallops turned up after dessert – I was about to explain the mistake when my son sheepishly admitted he’d placed a sneaky order!”

The Princess Victoria in Acton
“I have been lucky to have employed many a talented sous chef (second in command) over the years and The Princess Victoria is owned by one of them. James Mclean and his team have done great things at this fantastic gastro pub. I’m proud to see him do so well.”

Charlotte’s Place in Ealing
Charlotte’s Place is a real local restaurant. Great food, sensibly priced and an excellent celler too. This is where we go to celebrate birthdays!”

The Brilliant in Southall
“How could a restaurant with this name be anything other than brilliant! Southall is where you go when you want a real curry and The Brilliant do it every time. Definitely try the biriyani.”

The Victoria, near Richmond Park
The Victoria is situated close to Richmond Park, we are a restaurant, pub and a hotel. Next time you are in West London and feeling peckish make sure you pop in and try us out – I’m in the kitchen most days so do say hello!

Foodies Festival, Battersea Park, 29-31 July 2011. Book tickets

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Gorilla Circus Flying Trapeze School Mon, 16 May 2011 15:30:39 +0000

Since seeing Les 7 Doigts de la Main at the Peacock Theatre last year, I have had a burning desire to run away and join the circus.

This Sunday, I got as far as Walpole Park in Ealing and spent an afternoon flying upside down at the Gorilla Circus flying trapeze school – one of the only two flying trapeze schools in the UK that are open to the general public, and the only circus school in London that takes place outside.

A quick warm-up on the practice bar and we were up the ladder ready to have a go. Under the instruction of Erza and Debs, who have 20 plus years of gymnastics and circus performance experience between them, the group were ready to fly within minutes.

The below video shows my final attempt, where you get the opportunity to be caught by Debs who is on the other trapeze. As you can see, it’s all about the timing, which wasn’t my strong point on this attempt!

The classes are a really fun couple of hours and open to people of all ages and sizes. With a maximum of 10 in each group, you get a good few flights in each session. Flying trapeze classes this summer cost £22.50 per person and will be held at Acton Green, Regent’s Park and Battersea Park – booking essential.

See for more information.

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What To Do This Weekend: Birthdays and Football Fri, 18 Jun 2010 16:01:51 +0000

This weekend promises to be an exciting one with both Covent Garden and London Transport Museum celebrating their birthdays, and of course, England’s big game tonight:

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A Night at the Pestana Chelsea Bridge Hotel and Spa Wed, 10 Mar 2010 12:40:47 +0000 The bed The view of Battersea Power Station More of the view

I’m lucky enough to have been shown round many of London’s hotels. I’ve nosed round suites, inspected toiletries on offer and nodded approvingly at iPod facilities. But last night, the Pestana Chelsea Bridge Hotel topped them all and let me stay overnight and experience the hotel first hand.

First off was the delicious food in the hotel’s restaurant. We were treated to a selection of tasty Portuguese tapas (the Pestana group is Portuguese) including lamb meatballs, tomato and mozzarella skewers, sweet potato and squid, and mussels. For a main course, I had chicken and chunky chips with a specially made piri-piri sauce that we all agreed should be bottled! And dessert didn’t disappoint: chocolate soufflé with fruit skewers (perfect for dipping into the melted chocolate centre.)

After marvelling at the view from Swissotel The Howard last week, I was also hugely impressed at the view of Battersea Power Station from the Pestana. You can also see the London Eye, Battersea Park and even into the trains running alongside (but the windows are triple-glazed, so you don’t hear them.)

Staying in the hotel made me appreciate London in a new way. It was an evening of pure relaxation, secure in the knowledge that my laundry, washing-up and household chores were miles away and there was happily nothing I could do about them!

The room has all the amenities you’d expect from a four-star hotel including an iPod dock, big bed, huge shower, safe, and tea and coffee making facilities. It also has an interesting design feature: a window between the bedroom and bathroom covered with a blind. The control for the blind is on the bedroom side, so you can peep into the bathroom if you’re curious as to what your partner/roommate/colleague is getting up to!

After a lovely breakfast, I headed to the office (covered in fluff from the brand-new towels), thinking I could get used to this executive lifestyle!

The Pestana Chelsea Bridge Hotel and Spa is open now

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