…picked by Jenny Conlon, 31, from Colliers Wood.
Don’t get me wrong, I adore London. If London was a man, I’d marry him (if I wasn’t already married). But most of the time, this city is a rat race. Everyone is always in such a rush to get from A to B, so it’s really invigorating to stop and talk to an actual human sometimes. That’s why a jaunt down Northcote Road is good for the soul.
I like to run – I’ve completed the London Marathon twice – and for me, running is the best way to explore London. You see things you wouldn’t normally see from public transport. A couple of times per month, I run from my home in Colliers Wood (aka Collywood) to Battersea to visit the independent businesses of Northcote Road.
Despite a good few chain restaurants and bars creeping in, it’s a rarity to find so many indies on one street in London these days. Some have been there for well over 30 years, and I love speaking to the owners: they’ll tell you fascinating stories and reveal knowledge that you’d never find on Google, and most of the time they’re genuinely happy to stop and have a good old chat. It makes me sad to think they might not be there in another 30 years. So I urge you: pay a visit to Northcote Road and give the independents your support. Here are a few of the places you need to go.
Sticky sumac chicken wings, then boneless sea bream cooked in the charcoal oven, and harissa ice cream with apricot and saffron for dessert at Jan. It’s all about the Caspian flavours here.
Over 120 cheeses from Hamish Johnston. This little independent gem is the dream for any cheese lover out there. I almost get weak at the knees when I step inside because I want everything!
Beautiful wines at Philglas & Swiggot. Not only do they have the best vino and the most welcoming and knowledgeable staff (Peter and Thierry), they also work with local restaurants to host pop-up food events. The next one is a truffle dinner on Wednesday November 8.
Unlimited frozen margaritas during ‘power hour’, all weekend at Bababoom (just round the corner on Battersea Rise). They put an alarm clock on your table, counting down 60 minutes of frosty tequila bliss.
Discover the Northcote Road Antiques Market, which has been there for 31 years. According to Johnny, the owner, it was once a lumber yard and had a boxing ring upstairs. There are stories for days in this place!
Decorate your own delicious handmade biscuits at Biscuiteers – or just indulge in the pre-iced biscuits all over the shop, each of which is decorated by hand. They also do a mean afternoon tea.
Meringue delights from Aux Merveilleux de Fred. You can even watch them make their signature cakes through the glass window. This isn’t just baking – this is art.
Fresh meat from Hennessy’s, an old-school butcher that has been in the family for generations. There’s even a piano in the shop, in case you’re bored in the queue and fancy a little sing-song.
Snapper or turbot (from Rye) and so much more from The Fish Stall, another family-run business that has been going for more than 20 years. Visit Toby at Northcote Road Market from Tuesday to Saturday and buy some of the finest fish you’ve laid eyes on.
And if you only do one thing…
Pay a visit to the Hive Honey Shop, run by fourth-generation beekeeper James Hammill. All their honey is handmade, and with 20,000 resident bees in the shop’s five-foot glass hive, the place is always buzzing!