Streatham High Road (the A23), all 1.8 miles of it, has been classed as the UK's worst high street and its most polluted; in fact it's more accurate to call it the most quintessentially 'London' high street. Along its length are specialist food shops and community meeting hubs serving a plethora of different nationalities – Brazilian, Somali, Italian, Polish, Romanian, Asian. Attractive cafés are beginning to intervene amongst the otherwise faceless shops, and there's a farmers' market at Streatham Green. Down at the southern end of Streatham High Road, where things are relatively green and pleasant, there's Streatham Common, the spankingly rebuilt Ice Arena (with pool attached), and the Hideaway jazz club.
Love London Awards: this year's winners
Jazz, funk, swing and soul club Hideaway won Venue of the Year in the 2011 Parliamentary Jazz Awards. They've recently opened a free Sunday jazz cafe (from 12pm) hosted by fine pianist Janette Mason. As well as live music, the venue has a lively comedy programme, adding to the venue's welcoming and laid back atmosphere.
Restaurants in Streatham
It's all about authenticity at this Streatham pizzeria. That means Neapolitan-style sourdough pizzas with traditional toppings, blasted in a red-hot wood-fired oven. There's delivery, too, should you want to eat in your pants, in front of the TV. And while pizzas such as the capricciosa (tomato, mozzarella, mushrooms, cooked ham, salami, olives and artichoke), the diavolo (tomato, spicy salami, mozzarella and fresh chilli) and the marinara (tomato, garlic, oregano and extra virgin olive oil) are the real draw, there's more to the food output here. There are olives, bruschetta, focaccia breads, salads, saltimbocca flat-bread sandwiches and various desserts - including tiramisu, Nutella sandwiches and pastiera - a traditional Neapolitan cheesecake here homemade.
Nineteen Restaurant and Bar
Nineteen is a chic and chilled restaurant in London's Streatham Hill serving Modern European cuisine. The lush warehouse-style interior – complete with dark leather sofas and exposed bricks – provides a buzzy, cosmopolitan atmosphere for fun nights out, and Nineteen's brasserie-inspired menu is sensational. Favourite dishes include homemade gnocchi with creamy mushroom & pancetta sauce; the crispy-skin sea bass with mash, ceps and parsley purée; Vegetables and Sea food Tempura. Whether you're after a long, lazy Sunday lunch, a stylish venue for a business brunch or a relaxed, intimate setting for a night out with friends – Nineteen is ideal. The bar is always filled with a stylish crowd, and is the perfect place for pre/post dinner cocktails.
Things to do in Streatham
Streatham Ice Arena
Streatham has long been a home of ice and all the fun that comes with it. The rink was first opened here in 1931, where it stood for 80 years before getting a much needed renovation in 2013. Now it is Olympic sized (that's 60x30m) with almost 1,000 seats surrounding it. Both pros and novices of all ages can use the rink, with classes in skating and ice hockey also vailable.
Bars and pubs in Streatham
Young's have been running The Bull in Streatham since 1832 according to their website and it has all the character you'd expect an old boozer to have, whilst maintaining a light and airy (and clean) feel. They have a burger shack out back, as well as a seasonal British menu, and they stock London brews Meantime and Camden Town, amongst many other beverages.