Page 1

Battersea, Clapham B Cl h & B Balham lh • IIssue 3 37 7

Reality bites

with literary legend Dame Jacqueline Wilson

Moving on up the changing face of Balham

Summer in SW London where to go, what to do

Your Local Letting & Management Specialist For an honest & reliable service For more information or a market appraisal contact your local office today: Balham: 80 Balham High Rd SW12 9AG 020 8675 5050

Battersea: 134 Northcote Rd SW11 6QZ 020 7978 4404

Clapham Common: 1 The Polygon SW4 0JG 020 7720 5588

Earlsfield: 370 Garratt Lane SW18 4ES 020 8879 6205




Local lowdown Events, entertainment and community news for Battersea, Clapham and Balham


What’s new A Latino restaurant; ½tness facelifts; St John’s Way apartment living; caring concepts; and a cookery school on wheels


Thrill of the chase Comedian, quizmeister and former St Georges medic Paul Sinha gives us the inside track


Summer sorted Girl Meets Dress founder Anna Bance advises on summer fashion



Make the outdoors greater Amanda Russell and Juliet Bawden on how to make your garden space your own


Off the Cuffe comments Local veterinarian David Cuffe delves into the animal mind


Review The Wellness Centre in Battersea

Feeling hot, hot, hot Tooting Bec Lido – like a trip to the coast, without the traf½c jams or train delays Keep ‘em busy Your guide to free local activities that will keep babies and toddlers occupied this summer Keeping it real Author Dame Jacqueline Wilson is a literary legend with no affectation, says Ruth Wyatt


The changing face of Balham Café culture; new independent businesess; a £2m town centre redesign – it’s come a long way


This summer, try... A free local workout, a travel adventure or perhaps a professional workspace?


29 31

Spotlight on... Local entrepreneur Sam Clark


The A to Z directory Find the local business you need


Spending a day with... Battersea mum, personal trainer and singer Susie Morgan

Publisher: Richard Chumbley 07985 642245 - Editorial Director: Ruth Wyatt 07885 585 901 - Director, Client Support: Alicia Stewart 07970 428 980 - Designer: Monika Orman - Cover Image: ‘Our Lovely Lido’ by Johny Midnight (*) Advertising/Editorial Enquiries: 020 8432 3441 Email: Twitter: @essentiallocal W:,, Whilst every care has been taken to ensure that the data in this publication is accurate, neither the publisher nor its editorial contributors can accept, and hereby disclaim, any liability to any party to loss or damage caused by errors or omissions resulting from negligence, accident or any other cause. Advertisements are published in good faith and neither the publisher nor its editorial staff endorses any advice, advertisers or advertising material included within this publication and cannot accept, and hereby disclaims, any liability to any party to loss or damage caused by errors or omissions resulting from negligence, accident or any other cause.Any suggestions made by contributors to this publication should not be undertaken without seeking appropriate professional advice. Essential Local, the Essential Local Directory,We Choose Local and Essential Local Events are trademarks owned and controlled by Richard Chumbley. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in any retrieval system, or transmitted in any form–electronic, mechanical, recording, photocopying, or otherwise–without prior written permission of the publisher. All in-house artwork and editorial in this publication remains the copyright of Essential Local. ©Essential Local. All rights reserved 2015. *Original modern art and limited edition prints, 12 Ritherdon Rd SW17 8QD


news & events

Battersea Arts Centre

entertainment Tooting Foodival


Ickle Pickles Summer Party Saturday 18th July 12-5pm

Raising funds for Neonatal Units, this annual jamboree takes place on Wandsworth Common. With famous characters, face painting, rides, inÁatables, food & craft stalls, a BBQ and more.

Tooting Foodival

Saturday 12th/Sunday 13th September Locally grown produce donated on Saturday will be cooked up by local restaurants, groups and individuals, and served to visitors on the Sunday, alongside entertainment and activities for all.

Bellevue Road Fair

Sunday 20th September 11-5pm Offering local residents another great day of family fun, with numerous stalls and entertainments alongside shops, restaurants and traders running special events and games.

Balham Food Festival Sunday 27th September


The visual, aroma and taste sensation of Balham Food Festival returns, celebrating the food and drink shops, cafés, bars, pubs and restaurants of Balham. Groups/businesses interested in taking part, contact asap.

Battersea Arts Centre

Despite the awful Àre that destroyed its Grand Hall in March, the Centre continues to run shows and projects within the building and beyond.

The Exhibit Cinema

Balham’s boutique cinema screens Mon/Tues/ Wed, 8.45pm + Mother & Baby shows Tues/Wed, 11.30am. On soon: While We’re Young & Mad Max

Money Womb 3rd - 8th August

Comedy theatre group Velvet Trumpet present a play at Battersea’s Theatre 503 about a man in crisis: ‘an earwig latched into London’s armpit’.

Bedford Rocks 21st - 23rd August

The Bedford in Balham has announced its Àrst ever rock festival! An exciting and eclectic mix of rock across all genres under one roof.

Thoroughly Modern Milly 18th August - 13th September

Clapham’s Landor Theatre hosts the return of the Tony award-winning musical comedy that has all of New York dancing the Charleston.

Mr Maker at Sacred Heart


Mister Maker in Battersea

CBeebies megastar Mister Maker and friend Mr Pritt recently visited Sacred Heart school in Battersea to host a fun-Àlled crafting day. The school was the third and Ànal school in the UK to win an exclusive competition that saw the stars host a fun crafting session making pupils into ‘Mini-Makers’ for the day.

Toby’s Memorial Evening Saturday 17th July 7pm til late

Everyone is welcome to an evening raising funds for the charity CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably) at the Clapham Grand this July for a £5 entry fee. Organised by former local resident Mark Parson’s in memory of his brother Toby, Mark will also be climbing Kilimanjaro to raise further funds for the charity and to highlight the shockingly high incidence of male suicide. Donate at

A Formula for Controversy

Argument still rages over the recent Formula E event at Battersea Park. A petition asking the council to employ the break clause in their 5-year race contract has received over 2000 signatures. See and Andrew English at

For updated local news and event listings, visit or

What’s New? in your neighbourhood Clapham North goes South... American

You’ve been to plenty of Mexican restaurants and Argentinian steak houses, even perhaps a Colombian cafe, but you’ve never been on a culinary journey through Latin America like you will Ànd at Mendoza Square next to Clapham North tube. “We created the bar and restaurant because of our passion for Latin America; for its cultures, its music, its lifestyle,” says owner Afroza Begum. “Our aim is

to reÁect this vibrancy and diversity: to convey the region’s taste sensations, Áavours of spices, culture, fragrances and styles in our menu, and through the warm Latino welcome you will receive here.” Mendoza Square serves a huge variety of Latin American street food, including new weekend brunch options such as ‘Huevos Rancheros’: chorizo sausage, peppers, potatoes, salsa and eggs; and ‘Toastados de Pollo’: crispy tortilla, refried beans, chicken, lettuce, sour cream, topped with pico de gallo and cheese. It’s also a great venue for those with an eye for an offer. Don’t miss ‘Taco Tuesdays’, when they offer Tacos half price all day long, or their ‘Mid-Week Treat’ – a free beer with any burger. All courtesy of a Clapham North venue offering a true taste of Latin America.

Mendoza Square 3 Bedford Road, Clapham SW4 7SH 020 7274 2624

Coming soon to a kitchen near you

Ramsay Group alumnus Chris Jarman has just launched a cookery school with a difference. Old Town Cooks comes to your kitchen bearing all the equipment and ingredients you might need, to teach you anything you might want to cook. From Àne dining to quick and tasty basic suppers, Chris tailors his eight core courses – ‘3 Quick Meals’, ‘Dinner Party Menu’ and ‘Dessert Masterclass’, to name a few – to your skills, dietary preferences and the dishes you’d like to perfect. You can even make a


party of it with a special tailormade group class. Chris, who has ten years’ experience working for some of Britain’s top chefs, including time in senior roles at Maze and London House, says: “It’s not like other cookery schools. I come to your home and can teach you to cook anything. There are lots of tricks of the trade, so I share a lot of these as we go and I can cover everything from butchery and Àsh preparation to the creation of colourful desserts – you just need to ask. There’s no restriction on what we can prepare and cook together.” Classes are fun and relaxed and tend to last a couple of hours, while Chris is approachable and patient – nothing like some of his more explosive mentors. He’ll even clean your kitchen before he leaves! Sounds like it’s time to get cracking, poaching, soufÁéing…

Old Town Cooks Bespoke Cookery School... with Wheels! 07729 968704

sponsored business news Local leisure centres given a multi-million pound makeover

Five of Wandsworth’s leisure centres have been given a serious facelift thanks to a £3.5m investment from Wandsworth Council into their facilities, including the latest gym equipment, new workout studios, swish new treatment rooms and smart new changing areas that would give a private health spa a run for its money. There are even new saunas and steam cabins. Since the beginning of the year leisure centre operator Places For People Leisure, has been upgrading facilities across the borough. Latchmere, Balham and Tooting Leisure Centres have been completed, while the refurbishment of changing rooms at Wandle Leisure Centre is near completion and the improvements to Putney’s swimming pool will be Ànished in September. Different centres have had different improvements, but each of the four swimming pool sites has beneÀted from the total redevelopment of their changing villages. Take a look at the pictures to whet your appetite or why not pop along to your local centre to see the improvements for yourself.

The new look gym at Putney Leisure Centre

All areas have been refurbished to the same high standard

The new steam rooms and saunas echo the design shown

Perhaps the biggest change is the complete refurbishment of each of the changing villages

Balham Leisure Centre 020 8772 9577 Latchmere Leisure Centre 020 7207 8004 Tooting Leisure Centre 020 8333 7555 Putney Leisure Centre 020 8785 0388 Wandle Recreation Centre 020 8871 1149 Roehampton Sports & Fitness 020 8785 0535 Tooting Bec Lido 020 8871 7198


sponsored business news

What’s New? in your neighbourhood Sourcing companionship – GreatMinders think alike The founders of one of the UK’s most successful childcare agencies LikeMinders, are now applying their considerable expertise to bring thoughtful care to elderly people in need of support. The brainchild of Georgie Jones and Bryony Sullivan, Putney-based GreatMinders is a web-based platform that enables elderly people – and their loved ones – to Ànd local carers who suit their individual needs and characters. In many cases there may even be funding available (they recommend AGE UK as a Àrst stop for Ànding out more about this). Georgie comments: “We understand what people want in a carer and how to build up a trusted database

of carers. [Bryony and I] both have elderly relatives who live far away and this was a great way to Ànd trusted local care and companions for them. Before GreatMinders there was nowhere to source local carers unless you already knew someone.” Georgie sees GreatMinders as an opportunity to help elderly people who are self-sufÀcient, but need a little extra help with some tasks, so they can remain independent longer. The carers you’ll Ànd on their website, all carefully screened by GreatMinders, offer a range of services, such as gardening, dog walking, help with computers, cleaning and personal care, and – importantly – companionship. “One of the biggest problems for elderly people is loneliness, which can lead to other illnesses. That’s an area that GreatMinders can really help with,” says Georgie (#combatloneliness).

GreatMinders, 1 Linstead House, 9 Disraeli rd Putney, SW15 2DR • 020 8780 9146

A new way of life in Battersea Computer generated and indicative only

Situated in the bustling heart of Battersea, opposite Clapham Junction Station and close to St John’s Hill and Northcote Road, St John’s Way is a fantastic new development from Peabody bringing a range of one, two and three bedroom apartments to this lively part of South London. St John’s Way provides residents with stunning, luxurious and spacious properties, the perfect solution to modern city living. Surrounded by niche boutiques, one-off restaurants and specialist food shops including Doves butchers and Breadstall bakers, St John’s Way is a central part of dynamic Battersea. The development boasts 13,600 square metres of open space, high quality landscaping, a wildlife garden and a play area with a new pedestrian walkway connecting Clapham Junction Station and Wandsworth Common. With fantastic transport links into the city and beyond, it is the ideal destination for those looking for a practical and quality designed home. Andrew Peglau, Peabody Marketing Manager says, “This is an exciting development for both Peabody


and Battersea. We have brought all the qualities people have come to expect from Peabody; quality homes in thriving communities giving residents a real sense of purpose, to this vibrant and engaging part of London.”

St John’s Way, Peabody Sales: Register your interest on 020 7346 5804 or via stjohnsway@ Prices start from £530,000 for a one bedroom apartment

d noticeboar

The wine tasting shop in Hildreth St, Balham now has jazz nights.

Ben’s Canteen in bot h St John’s Hill and Earls Àeld have some great off ers on this summer. Check out their website for detai ls.

Fab’ summer organic re’s baby products @Natu oo mb ba : m) lha (Ba t res Pu te ula reg p hel blankets to ly ral tu na • p. tem by ba tog coloured sun hats • 1 for gs ba ng epi sle 0-6mths. Facebook: am /NaturesPurestBalh

Comensal, the authentic Mexican Bar/Restaurant on Abbeville Rd is now open 7 days a week.

y Wandsworth Local charity Oasis has just funded a new computer rehabilitation suite for people affected by HIV.

Balham’s Polly Hand of Hand has y by Chiropraactic rest in all a special inte cy & baby an things pregn so a doula. al ’s he S related. ticby


Great exhibitions at Oil & y in Old York Rd: Water gallery Animal, Vegetable, Mineral Aug; Emerging y 16th July–9th Artists 10th Aug –6th Sept

Monday Special Meatless arrison’s, H at y ly dishes all Ju all in e lg du In am Balh ie. things vegg


After the budget, look out for tax/business advis oory service Zarkava’s posts on LinkedIn. V useful . arkava

sport & leisure

Feeling hot, hot, hot


With Wi thh ttemperatures empe em pera pe rattu ra ture ture ress fo fforecast fore ore reca castt iinn th the he 30 330s, 30s 0s , there’s to cooll offff than h ’ no bbetter place l h the iconic Tooting Bec Lido this summer

Take a dip in the 1m gallons of water contained in the UK’s largest open-air pool, while soaking up its gorgeous architecture and vintage charm – and catching a few rays, of course. Open from 6am-7.45pm daily, it is a great place to while away a hot day without breaking the bank. All day entry costs just £6.70 for adults and £4.10 for under-16s (plus a £1.10 admission charge for non-members). Children under Àve swim for free. Alongside the football pitch-sized main pool, there’s plenty of space for sun-bathing, a paddling pool for the under-8s to splash about in, a café serving hot and cold food and drinks, and a picnic area. The Lido, which was opened in 1906, is situated on Tooting Bec Common and is easily accessible by car, public transport, or, better yet, on foot.

Tooting Bec Road, Tooting, SW16 1RU For further information go to:

families Keep ‘em busy – Rebecca Mills suggests free activities for summer I love summer – light evenings, picnic lunches and paddling pools – but it also means nursery is closed for eight long weeks in which I need to keep my extremely active two and a half year-old entertained and exercised. I’m naturally delighted to be spending all this time with him, but with a new baby in tow, I need to be more imaginative than a daily trip to the playground. Here’s my round-up of the best free (or cheap) local activities for babies and toddlers this summer… • Clapham Omnibus’ Grasshopper Festival 23-26 July at The Bandstand • Vauxhall City Farm Weds-Sun 10.30am-4pm. • Story Time at Battersea Library Weds 4-4.30pm 020 7223 2334 • Story and Rhyme Time at Clapham Library Tues 10-11.15am (£1 per family) 020 7926 0717

• Clapham NCT Play Group St John the Evangelist Church Weds 10am-12 pm (£2 per child, £3 per family) • Bolingbroke One o’ Clock Club Chivalry Road. Mon-Fri 10am–4pm school holidays only (£3.75 per morning /afternoon session) 020 7738 1958 • Arts and Crafts at Clapham Manor Children’s Centre Mon 10-11am. 020 7627 9917 • Little Diggers Fri 10am-12pm and Stay and Play Weds-Fri 1-4pm for outside fun exploring nature and gardening. Both at The Spinney, Windmill Drive 020 8673 5736 PS Free events are sometimes subject to change so it’s best to check before setting out.

Rebecca is Editor of which provides up-to-date information for local families. @claphammums

local hero

D Dame Jacqueline Wilson is a living legend in children’s ½ction, but you’ll ½nd no affectation, as Ruth Wyatt reports a

Tracy Beaker. © Nick Sharratt

“Modest, but very good” is how local children’s author Dame Jacqueline Wilson describes her favourite Battersea café. She could be talking about herself. Certainly for the modest part. Wilson is an incredible talent. One of the greatest living children’s authors, she has sold more than 38 million books in the UK alone and is the most borrowed children’s author of the decade. But the long-time Kingston resident is a study in self-deprecation. Asked about the process and research that goes into creating narratives that deal with children’s innermost feelings in an authentic tone of voice, she says: “Well I check concrete facts, but mostly I just imagine what it must be like; I pretend and that seems to work for me.” Seems to work? She is a goddess to girls aged seven and up, although oddly she is a fairly well kept secret outside her readership. Her characters may not be the blockbusting headlinegrabbing Harrys and Hermiones, but they connect with children at visceral level. Forget witches and wizards,


local hero Wilson remarks. “And there she was on Strictly with tattoos.” She feigns a sharp intake of breath. “I must admit I felt a bit like her mother at that point,” she adds, laughing.

Wilson’s children deal with altogether more realistic experiences. “I remember reading books in the 50s and 60s that didn’t reÁect the problems around me,” she explains. “No one had money worries or parents that argued or anything like that and it just didn’t ring true.”

Bright spirit

“I remember reading books in the 50s and 60s that didn’t re¾ect the problems around me... it just didn’t ring true.”

©Nick S


Wilson’s characters are abandoned, abused, bereaved and bullied; exposed to divorce, alcoholism, cancer, homelessness, poverty and mental illness. But that’s not to say her work is gloomy – far from it. Her books are funny and uplifting, written with a light and remarkably deft touch that demonstrates children’s ability to adapt to what life chucks at them. Her heroines are quirky, spirited and intensely likeable and, like real children, they are fundamentally optimistic. Tracy Beaker, who spends much of her life in children’s care homes due to her mother’s appalling taste in boyfriends, is probably her most famous character thanks to her longrunning and hugely popular adaption on CBBC: The Story of Tracy Beaker. Hetty Feather, a Victorian foundling, is likely second – the critically acclaimed stage adaptation is back for a second West End run and UK tour this year and its TV adaption is currently on air. You may have also heard of Tracy Beaker via Strictly Come Dancing. The actor who portrayed her on CBBC, Dani Harmer, came fourth on the 2012 run of the show. “She was only ten or 11 when she started [playing Tracy], she was practically born for the part and it’s been wonderful seeing her grow up,”


Hetty Feather is Wilson’s favourite character: “She’s spirited, interesting and fun. She goes through some horrible, difÀcult things but she never lets life get to her.” Again, she could be describing herself. Wilson suffered heart failure in 2010 and subsequently kidney failure. Now 69, she is on the waiting list for a kidney transplant along with 7,000 other people, but don’t for a moment believe that it has dented her spirits or slowed her output. She continues to publish roughly two books a year and has used her dialysis sessions to research her historical novels and indulge in her lifelong passion for reading. She writes every day of the week, come what may. The author of 102 books, she says she has never had a good idea sitting at her desk. “Often my ideas come completely out of the blue. Sometimes they’ll be there in my head for two or three days and if I remember them vividly, I might think about working them up or I might note them down in the back of my diary for later,” Wilson reÁects. “Happiness is having three or four ideas ready to be worked on and to go from one book straight to another – then you know you can make a secure living.” Her days follow the same routine: “I get up, feed the cat, let the dog out into the garden and, still in my pyjamas, I write for a couple of hours, seven days a week.” She shares her Victorian villa with 20,000 books; Jackson, a Áuffy black terrier cross who “particularly likes pubs and can’t bear foxes”; and Jacob, her “beautifully elegant” cat whose life now is very serene, but who had a horrible start, she says. Both pets are Battersea boys as Wilson is a patron of Battersea Dogs and Cats Home. While she loves going there

she says “it’s fatal – you just want to adopt every animal you meet”. And that favourite café of hers? The one in the dogs home itself. “It’s a very good, old-fashioned, down to earth café and if I’m in the area, that’s where I go.” How very unstarry of her. How very appropriate. She may be a giant in children’s Àction, but the only ‘out there’ thing about this indomitable and extraordinary talent is a penchant for statement jewellery.

Jacqueline Wilson’s new book, Katy, a reworking of the classic Victorian novel What Katy Did, will be published by Puf½n on July 30th priced £12.99.


The changing face of


Jennifer Elly reports on the recent developments in Balham town centre and why the “gateway to the South” is no longer a gate but a prime destination Public art in Balham High Street

Café culture is adding to the town’s existing boutique shopping and restaurant scene. Below: the new paving of Hildreth Street.


There’s a buzz about Balham these days. On a hot summer’s evening the town centre is thronging. Shoppers bustle around Waitrose and Sainsbury’s. The ample selection of bars, restaurants and pubs is doing brisk trade, the odd café is still open – including the very odd café that is Lavish Habit, a quirky mash-up of coffee, cakes and vintage retail. Meanwhile the emergent al fresco culture in the recently beautiÀed Hildreth Street is evident: drinkers sup craft beers and sip wine outside We Brought Beer and The Wine Tasting Shop over quiet conversation. It’s been a long road from Balham’s old reputation as the “gateway to the South” to being one of the most desirable places to live in the UK, but the number of independent shops, great restaurants and cool bars have made Balham a sought-after location. Last year it ranked as one of Britain’s best places to live in a survey by The Sunday Times. And if people want to live here, interesting businesses want to be here. Over the last few years dozens of new businesses, such as baby shops Nature’s Purest and JoJo Maman Bébé, Brickwood Café, Blackbird Bakery, Sam Ubhi jewellery, The Treehouse workspace and Chestnut Café have opened their doors in Balham (and a 24-hour gym is on its way), while some old favourites have been given makeovers. Milk, the brunch mecca at the corner of Hildreth St and Bedford Hill, has just reopened after an expansion. Turn the corner and you’ll see The Exhibit with its spectacular facelift and plethora of events and spaces. Even McDonalds on Balham High Road has had a major reÀt. Balham has also beneÀted from the industry of The Bedford pub. The Banana Cabaret is now 30 years old and remains one of the best UK’s best comedy clubs; while The Bedford’s festivals – the Balham Comedy Festival and London Folk Festival to name but two – continue to enhance Balham’s reputation London-wide.


The bench in Bedford Hill Place features the same green tiles that have been used elsewhere in Balham to create a visual identity. For example, underneath the Balham High Road railway bridge (left).

It is hard to imagine how an area once immortalised as a place where nothing interesting happened in that Peter Sellers sketch, could be home to such a rich and interesting mix. From hot yoga and organic butchers to treatment rooms, eclectic design shops, upmarket delis and seriously good coffee shops, there’s something for everyone. And it’s well worth exploring beyond the centre, for example along The Boulevard to the quirky independent shops and cafés of Ritherdon Road. There’s much on offer for foodies – check out Volker & Quinn, described as like having a corner of Borough market in Balham, the Chicken Shop, an offshoot of the Soho House Group, Harrison’s, Franco Manco, Lamberts and Thali & Pickles to name but a few. The Balham Food Festival returns in September and promises to be a gastromic treat. Lots for those who like drinkies too – in addition to those already mentioned, there’s Hagen & Hyde and other venues for craft beers, while the Balham Bowls Club has a louche charm all of its own.

Looking good, feeling good


Business is booming, but that’s not the whole story. Almost £2m has been pumped into improvements, with £1.44 million coming from the Outer London Fund, set up by Mayor of London, with the rest from Transport for London, Wandsworth Council, Balham Parnertship and local business. The objectives were to encourage people to explore, enjoy and invest. Hildreth Street has been a major recipient. The space has been decluttered, opened up, repaved and pedestrianised – to brilliant effect. A new lighting system is apparent at night, including pretty blue and green lights which occupy trees at each end of the

street – two of which are newly planted. The vast and visually arid expanse of wall next to Waitrose car park – known locally as “the ugly wall” – has been suitably clothed in a bespoke artwork: the ‘music of architecture’ (see image on previous page). The formerly dank, dirty and slightly forbidding space under the railway bridge on Balham High Road has been brightened up with excellent lighting and green tiles featuring similar architectural motifs. These green tiles are now part of the visual language of the area, alongside new signage that brings Balham into line with central London wayÀnding. Finally the ‘community space’, Bedford Hill Place, which frankly few residents realised was anything other than an adjunct to the car park, has been repaved, with improved pedestrian access. A canopy and kiosk for community use are also being constructed. There’s never been a more pertinent time to say “watch this space”.

To receive Balham news and local offers by email, send your name to


THIS SUMMER, TRY. . . A FREE LOCAL TRIAL WORKOUT with beFresh If you’ve ever wanted to get away from crowded gyms and prying eyes, you’ll be pleased to know you have a quality personal training studio right on your doorstep. beFresh, a family-friendly private studio with both indoor and outdoor areas and including a fully equipped gym space, offers a great environment for providing individual focus and privacy. They also have a unique approach centred on obtaining a healthy lifestyle through bespoke training programmes and delicious food packages. Particularly popular are beFresh’s pre and post-natal packages, run by trainers holding specialist qualiÀcations in these areas. Says founder Joe Haynes: “We make our clients’ bodies work hard so it’s important to replenish the muscles with the right food after training. Our packages do this perfectly by nourishing the body with essential proteins, low GI carbs and good fats.” Contact Joe directly by phone or email if you’d like to take advantage of his free Àrst session trial offer this Summer.

Be Fresh - Clapham Common West Side (double white gates on Broomwood Road), SW4 9AU 07999 085 133


Reproduced by permission of Geographers’ A-Z Map Co. Ltd. ©Crown copyright and database rights. 2015 Ordnance Survey 100017302...


@theexhibit Visiting the boutique cinema lts @cuffevets resu Abbeville pet photo comp. @thebedfordpub Catching a night of comedy enscanteen Enjoying DIY doughnuts @b ewoodenfloors Choosing new flooring @th @randbdesigns Learning to make things with @mendozasquare sday 1/2 price tacos on Taco Tue a friend @npbalham Buying a baby gift card for rsea_arts Visiting a local show @batte e503 @landortheatre or @theatr yledb @poeprojects Get a building quote @lifest remarkLtd Exploring care options @ca yoilwater enn Catching an exhibition @p @taxassist_SW17 Saving money on your tax lexanderhair Salt-infused styling spray @fa tates l_es Valuing your house @samue balham Eating al frescoe @harrisons s ting Renting your home @pgLet fmotorworks_ Getting your car checked @gs sis Volunteering @wandswor thoa akes Making cupcakes @ladybcupc mensalgb @co Scrumptious Mexican food inetastingshop Experiencing a tasting @w @exptrav Following travel experiences


PLANNING AN ADVENTURE with Experience Travel Group Experience Travel Group, based in Clapham, is the UK specialist in distinctive, personalised and experiencebased holidays to Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, Burma, Laos, the Maldives, Indonesia and Borneo. Co-Founders Tom Armstrong and Sam Clark became frustrated at the conventional holiday information available from companies and guide books whilst living in Sri Lanka, so decided to set-up Experience Travel Group and use their intimate country knowledge to create extraordinary holidays. A third partner, Melissa Nicholas, joined in 2007 and the company recently relocated to Clapham from its original home in St John’s Hill, Battersea. Whether your interest is in Asian street food, obscure wildlife, architectural gems or gorgeous boutique hotels, the Experience Travel Group team has the passion and know-how to make sure your holiday strikes the perfect balance for you. Get in touch to Ànd out more or drop by their new ofÀce to discuss your next adventure.

Experience Travel Group - 7 Prescott Place, Clapham SW4 6BS 020 3355 5669

THE BRAND NEW CO-WORKING CREATIVE HUB IN BALHAM No more struggling to work from home or a café. Less than a minute’s walk from Balham stations, this light and leafy space offers desk space and meeting rooms on a low-cost, Áexible basis.

The Treehouse, 2-10 Balham Station Rd SW12 9SG 020 8675 4779


Thrill of the chase Self-described gaysian comedian, quizzer and doctor Paul Sinha talks Tooting, telly and bananas to Richard Chumbley. Paul Sinha has been a stand-up comedian for 16 years and has been appearing as one of the four ‘Chasers’ on TV quiz show The Chase since 2011, but fame is a curiously changeable commodity. “I can spend all week in South London, where I live, not being recognised at all, but I can’t spend an afternoon in Liverpool without being recognised,” he observes. “It’s quite a regional thing; it keeps you on your toes and funny things happen as a result.” Some of those funny things, of course, make great material. Sinha’s appearance at The Bedford’s Balham Comedy Festival allows him to indulge his two great passions: running a quiz night and, secondly, performing a preview of his Edinburgh Festival show Postcards from the Z List. “If you haven’t seen me before I’d like to think you’d be pleasantly surprised that the guy on the telly is a very experienced comedian,” he says. “Telling tales of being of a former doctor, a gay man and one of the world’s top quizzers; and of the weird little things that make up my life.”

Centre of the known universe


Encouraged by his parents, Sinha originally trained to be a doctor at St Georges Hospital and for a number of years Tooting became the centre of his universe. “Everybody lived this relentlessly Tooting-based social life,” he recalls. “We could only really afford to go out to the curry houses. Any ventures outside of that for food and drink were seen of as somewhat exotic. It was my love of stand-up that got me and my mates to go to The Banana Cabaret comedy night [at The Bedford]. It was only two stops, but at the time it felt like an epic adventure.” He retains an obvious affection for The Bedford and recalls the Àrst act he saw there. “Mark Lamarr. He just blew my mind with his ability to riff off the audience in a smooth way. To my untrained eye it felt like magic.” Later in his career, The Bedford would also become the only venue where he would ever experience being booed off stage. “It was in 2002; the second of two shows in separate rooms. The Àrst went so well I think my complacency was visible for the second? The audience hated me from the off.” St Georges has quite a pedigree for turning out comedians, although perhaps that’s not what you

entertainment want to hear if you’re reading this in A&E. Says Sinha: “There’s me, Harry Hill, and also the last doctor to be nominated at the Edinburgh festival, Mike Wozniak. Perhaps there’s something in the water.” It’s okay, he no longer practises medicine. “I’d never felt the right man in the right job in medicine,” he muses. But perhaps it was as a result of being in a job he didn’t love that he decided to give comedy a go. His Àrst gig was in 1995 and his initial instinct was to write about his sexuality and his heritage: “Comedy should be about honesty,” says Sinha. “And a new act tends to have to focus on what makes them different. I used shock tactics: when you are Asian with my accent people expect you to be respectable, so it shook them out of their complacency if I started with a rude joke.”

Answering the call

Despite what has become a very successful stand-up career, he doesn’t feel pressured to be funny in the role of ‘Chaser’ on TV. “I could tell no jokes in the course of an hour and it would still be a decent episode,” he says. “My job is as a quizzer Àrst; anything funny I come up with is a bonus.” Apparently, the show is not always as enjoyable as

one might think, because someone always has to lose: “At the end, either four people are utterly dejected or one person is utterly dejected,” explains Sinha, who nonetheless adores the show. In addition to his clear passion for the camaraderie and competition involved in quizzing, his credentials are impressive. In this year’s World Quizzing Championships he came 17th out of 2000+ entrants, and he consistently ranks amongst the best in Britain. Indeed it was his quizzing – taking part in tournaments since 2009 – rather than comedy that got him the role of ‘Chaser’, having been recommended by the other chasers, who knew him from quizzing. “It was the Àrst time in my life when I thought there was a job I was the best person for,” he says. “So... you need someone to answer quiz questions and tell jokes?... Okay – I think that’s my very reason to be.”

The Festival runs at The Bedford until 18th July: Banana Cabaret runs at The Bedford year-round:

style counsel Samantha Sung/Audrey Paisley

Summer sorted Girl Meets Dress founder Anna Bance shares her secrets for dealing with the not so great British weather We’ve all been there, the “I have nothing to wear” stage. Exhausted by busy lives and daily activities it’s easy to run out of ideas for what to wear to summer occasions. And living in London means seriously changeable weather, from sunny to rain in a blink of an eye, whilst a location event, such as a wedding, can go from outdoor drinks to inside dinner and ever-changing temperatures. Choosing what to wear, and then what to bring just in case, takes outÀt planning to another level.

A vibrant summer dress (top right) makes fantastic all-round summer occasion wear and can be worn with nude tights or bare legs. (I often keep a pair of tights in the car when I go to outdoor events). Play around with accessories and layers; take a matching thin knit sweater or a light scarf that can be worn round the neck, draped over the shoulders, or placed over the knees under the table at dinner. A trench coat is a classic for food reason and its lightweight material makes it perfect for summer.


Chi Chi London/Alyssa Pansy

Summer is full of social events, such as the polo or the races, that demand a certain dress code. When it’s over 20°C outside we suggest a short-sleeved dress to keep you cool. Be aware that synthetic materials can aid perspiration, perhaps have a jacket on top of the dress. Add a pair of sunglasses to make a statement and Ànish the look with a hat (the most elegant accessory for protecting one’s face from the sun.)


style counsel For a sophisticated look for a wedding or christening, and to be prepared for any weather, add a short jacket or pashmina in the same tone range as your dress.

Beulah/Sabitri Dress Navy

Stella McCartney/Ridley Woven Dress.

A light long-sleeved dress is perfect if awake to ½nd the temperature below 15°C on the morning of your event. Add some nude tights and heels or wedges to achieve a comfortable but elegant style, as worn very well by the Duchess of Cambridge.

home & garden

Make the outdoors greater Amanda Russell and Juliet Bawden talk about making your space your own manufacturers sell match pots. Summer is at last truly Another instant change and a great way to make a here, so it’s time to get out small garden look big in a shabby chic kind of way, is into the garden. We are to paint a wall white and then lean a large old mirror up talking design of the actual against it and surround it with pot plants, space rather some of which are arranged to trail over than garden the mirror. design here. And when it’s really hot out there who Read on to Ànd some simple garden Àxes. wouldn’t want to catch any gentle breezes. Make a sunny corner yours by The simplest project has got to be making stamping your personality on your a swing to hang from a favourite tree outside surroundings. There are so many If life is too short and you want to ways to make it individual and it doesn’t spend as much time as possible relaxing have to cost a fortune. what could be better than swinging in a For a near instant change and to stamp Cacoon in the summer breeze. your mark, painting has to be the easiest It’s time to do as we are so often told, solution. The beauty is you don’t need to take our foot off the gas and get out be an expert, it’s easy enough to make a Top: there and enjoy moment. Bring on the feature from a collection of planters by Above: summer. freshening them up with a lick of paint. Choose hot clashing Mediterranean colours to go with bright summer Áowers, such as Interior Designers R&B Consultants are marigolds, pansies, geraniums and hollyhocks. If Amanda Russell, formerly Linda Barker’s bright is not your thing, choose more subtle soft right-hand woman, and Juliet Bawden, greens and blues to Àt in with your English garden. author of 70+ books. You don’t need to spend a fortune – most paint 27


Off the Cuffe comments Abbeville Road’s eponymous vet David Cuffe delves into the animal mind. But ½rst... the trouble with Ella My dog is a Lurcher. In theory half Greyhound, half Wolfhound. In reality with bits of Springer and Beddington. But she looks like a Lurcher, and therefore should be a ‘sighthound’. The problem is that Ella is almost registerable blind. She has to be within ten paces to recognise someone she knows, and even then we think she does it by scent. She can recognise friends coming in through the front gate without seeing them, but if it’s not someone she knows well, she’ll growl and hover until they disclose themselves, and often hides if she doesn’t know them. She is reliable with other dogs, but very wary of people. Many people think her beautiful and seem to think that she will recognise their admiration and reciprocate. They are wrong. She backs away, and if they keep following, she growls and moves off. On the other hand if it is someone she knows she jumps up and down and is all over them. Like most people, I can talk for hours about my dog. I have a family about whom I talk little and write less, but about my dog, I can go on, for ever. I generally regard her as being moderately stupid, even by dog standards. That said, she understands a pointed Ànger as suggesting direction – as in “the oxtails are over THERE.” – and this is regarded as quite a mental feat. Many other animals, even primates, don’t “When I started in practice over necessarily understand the 40 years ago, the view was that all gesture. animals were pretty stupid” This begs the question: does she have a sense of ‘self ?’ Does she understand that she is an individual? I think she does, but then I would. I’m always amazed at a Yorkie taking on a Rottweiler, seemingly unaware that they are a tiny fraction of the size. So if the Yorkie has a sense of self, it must be Rottweiler-sized. There are obvious drawbacks to such a sense of self. When I started in practice over 40 years ago, the 28 view was that all animals were pretty stupid, relatively 28

Sponsored by

unable to suffer pain, and totally unable to suffer or enjoy ‘human’ emotions. Fish were regarded as all but insentient and birds as, well, birdbrains. Over these years we have learned that these concepts are all wrong. Fish can learn, and have long memories. Birds don’t have the same frontal lobe that we do, but they have cerebellar development that we don’t. It’s pretty hard to outwit a crow. We now know that cows are bereft when their calves are taken away, and that just about all caged animals are miserable; very much as we would be. Of course it suited the dogma that animals were there for our use, and it beneÀtted us to regard them as essentially unfeeling and undeserving of any higher regard; but if we remove the biblical justiÀcation, it is unavoidable to acknowledge that animals have rights and that most don’t enjoy them. And now, I have to go for a run. With the dog.

Cuffe Vets is a friendly, independent practice providing ethical veterinary care to local clients 52 Abbeville Road, Clapham SW4 9NF 020 8772 9922


The Wellness Centre by Monika Orman The Wellness Centre is the place to go for a fuss-free massage that leaves you feeling relaxed and refreshed. Located just off Northcote Road in a cobbled courtyard in Croosh Alley (the same building as Fybre Fitness), The Wellness Centre offers a variety of massage types from ancient to modern and Eastern to Western styles of massage and pressure point bodywork. I liked their single-minded approach; it’s all about wellbeing and health – no fancy candles, oils or the rest of the unnecessary fuss that’s usually associated with massage. I also really appreciated the fact I didn’t need to undress. I was asked to wear comfortable, loose clothes, which made it much easier, less intimidating and less time-consuming. I was eight and a half months pregnant and suffering lots of back pain when John gave me my shiatsu massage. He was conÀdent and extremely able, and I felt very comfortable during the whole process.

Shiatsu is a non-invasive, gentle form of massage and I felt wonderful afterwards. Happier too. I’d deÀnitely go back to The Wellness Centre; perhaps to try one of their other types of massage, although I suspect that shiatsu will be my favourite.

The Wellness Centre at Fybre Fitness Hub, 25 Northcote Road, Battersea SW11 1NJ 020 3637 1370

essential local community

Spotlight on: Sam Clark co-founder, Experience Travel Group Sam Clark is Clapham born and bred, in fact, he’s only ever lived in three places: South London, Bristol (at university) and Sri Lanka. The last is what gave him the determination to set up Experience Travel Group (ETG) with partner Tom Armstrong. “We spent a lot of time there and we wanted to provide the kind of holidays we believed in. Experiencing the real country is what makes it interesting and that wasn’t available from conventional travel companies,” says Sam . Their Àrst attempt in 2004 was scuppered by the devastating effects of the tsunami in Christmas of that year. The pair took an extended break from business to take part in the aid effort and started again in 2007, with a third partner, Melissa Nicholas, joining them. Now a team of 19, the Àrm moved from its ofÀces in St John’s Hill to a larger location near Clapham High Street last September. ETG offers holidays across Asia and promises that whatever your interest, it will provide an original and authentic way to see the destination – from street food tours, art tours or walking trips and almost anything you can imagine. “We had one client with a passion for rail transport who wanted to see and travel on speciÀc models,” Sam says. “The logistics involved in that were almost military and not exactly in step with the local laid-back attitude, but we made it happen.” Sam believes in putting his money where his mouth is and is shortly testing out a new holiday experience in Rajasthan, India with his own family. His seven and nine-year-old sons are furious: “They wanted to go to Eurocamp,” he smiles. Sam now lives in Streatham but remains a big fan of his old stamping ground. The best thing about being based in Clapham, he says, is that all his staff want to work in the area: “It’s lovely around here: you can cycle to work, you don’t have to Àght your way into the city on a hot Tube, there are loads of p places to eat, drink and socialise and it To request information about the Essential Local Community – open only to local organisations of four branches or less – contact

has a great atmosphere.” His favourite drinking haunt is the Rose and Crown in Clapham Old Town (“a proper pub”) and favourite restaurant the Banana Leaf in Tooting (for the best Sri Lankan cuisine: “wonderful food, authentic décor”). Food Àgures a lot in the ETG experience. For one thing its creative team occasionally organises a supper club that’s a good way to get people excited by Asian travel and to educate them about the region’s authentic culture. For another, when asked what he misses about working in St John’s Hill, he rattles off a list of places – all eateries. “We had to move, though, we were creaking at the seams with far too many people crammed in and we’re hugely better off in the new ofÀce, but...” he drifts off wistfully, no doubt thinking about The Deli Boutique. If he ruled the world, this passionate, environmentally driven yet laid-back 38-year-old would make it easier for local businesses to work together and to share their experience. The same purpose in fact, that brought the Essential Local Community – of which he’s a member – into being.


a-z directory Follow @essentiallocal for LOCAL business news and offers If you’d like your business or organisation to be included here and on our online directory at Essential email Listings in white are members of the Essential Local Community


Builders (Design & Build)

Zarkava - Tax and Business Advisory Services Free consultation and summary of that meeting 020 8675 0399

Lifestyle Design + Build All building inc. loft conversions, basements, refurb and extensions. Unit 20, Abbeville Mews, 88 Clapham Park Road, SW4 7BX 020 7720 3082


For emergency assist, call 999

Art Galleries & Antiques Oil & Water Contemporary Art Gallery 340 Old York Road Wandsworth Town SW18 1SS 020 8704 4327

Babysitters - see Childcare Bars - see Restaurants & Bars

Beauty Salons/ Treatments Francesca Alexander Hair & Beauty 53 Webbs Rd Battersea SW11 6RX 020 7585 3330 B&B - see Hotels;

Bicycle Sales & Repair Psubliminal Expert advice, sales & repair 17 Balham High Road, SW12 9AJ 020 8772 0707

Business advice – see Accountants


Caremark (Wandsworth) Part or Full-time home care service. Culvert House, Culvert Rd SW11 5DH 020 3542 1255

Carpentry and Cabinet-makers

Simply Construction Building and roo½ng contractors. 172 Clapham Park Road Clapham SW4 7DU 020 7498 6696

West London Carpentry and Decoration Bespoke Fitted Furniture & Decorating Services 07795 411 400

Poe Projects Project management specialists: design, build, electricals & interiors. 0808 235 3635

Spaced In Spray ½nished, bespoke furniture. Beautifully built in. 07734 203 911

Angel Home Improvements Paving, patios, fencing, tur½ng, roo½ng, pressure cleans, guttering and more. 020 8485 7734

Cars - see Garages

Cafés see also Restaurants & Bars

Wandsworth Oasis Charity shops and fundraising to help support local people affected by HIV. 020 8769 3845

The Chestnut Café Balham’s Garden Café, with WiFi 9 Chestnut Grove, Balham SW12 8JA 020 3674 2141

Facebook: The Chestnut Cafe

Charities & Volunteering Wandsworth 020 8870 4319

Care Services


020 8780 9146

Likeminders Battersea based babysitting and ¾exible childcare agency 0844 879 7189

GreatMinders Online resource for securing care and /or companionship for the elderly.

The Essential Local Directory is designed to allow small businesses to promote themselves cost-effectively and it costs just £120 to appear in both these listings and online at for 12 months

a-z directory Childrens Activities/Courses


Domestic Appliance Repair

Yoga Bugs The one bug your child should catch. Call Francesca on 0845 899 7173 or email

The Exhibit 12 Balham Station Road, Balham SW12 9SG 020 8772 6556

MK Repair Centre Dishwashers, washing machines and electric ovens 19 Cobham Close, SW11 6SP 020 7223 6529

Lady Berry Cupcake Courses Cupcake decorating classes and

Cineworld Ltd Wandsworth High St, SW18 4TF 0871 200 2000 Clapham Picturehouse 76 Venn Street SW4 0AT 0871 902 5727

Cleaners & Cleaning Services

Blue Ribbon DomesticCleaning Weekly, fortnightly or monthly cleans with the same vetted cleaner. 020 8328 3096 07702 793 623


birthday parties for children. 07985 245 674 Hartbeeps Exciting, interactive and fun baby and toddler classes. 1st class £5! Battersea, Clapham, Balham & others 07588 324 161

Tutoring by GAW Advance through achievement From age 6 for Key Stage tests, GCSE and up to A level. 0844 357 9472 Monkey Music Music classes: babies of 3mths-4yrs Balham, Tooting, Streatham, Wandsworth and South½elds 0208 699 0977

Children Natures Purest Organic and naturally dyed baby gifts, bedding, clothing and furniture 78 Balham High Road SW12 9AG 020 8673 2672 @NPBalham

Education and Tutoring Tutoring by GAW Advance through achievement From age 6 for Key Stage tests, GCSE and up to A level. 0844 357 9472

MK Repair Centre 19 Cobham Close, SW11 6SP 020 7223 6529

Emergency Services Call 999 OR 112

Estate & Letting Agents Palace Gate Lettings (ARLA Licensed) Of½ces in Balham, Clapham Old Town, Northcote Road & Earls½eld 020 8675 5050

Complementary Therapy – see Healers, Massage, Therapy


(ARLA & NAEA Licensed)

Courses/Parties for Adults

Tooting Bec Dental Same day appointments available. Examination £18 (inc. 2 X-rays)

Old Town Cooks Individual bespoke tuition or parties held in your own home. All equipment/ingredients provided.

020 8772 7708

SW London 07729 968704

For NHS contact: 0845 46 47

Lady Berry Cupcakes Cupcake decorating classes and

Decorators – See Painters Designers – see Printing Services Dishwasher Repair. – see Dom’

hen/baby shower parties. 07985 245 674 Little Aid - First Aid for Children and Babies Perfect for new parents & childcarers.

020 8772 3595

DIY, Paint & Hardware Force Homecare DIY/Paint Specialist: Keys cut. 020 8675 9866 22 Bedford Hill, Balham SW12 9RG Doctors - see Medical

Samuel Estates (sales/lettings) 38 Balham Hill SW12 9EL 020 3411 0633

First Aid Little Aid - First Aid for Children and Babies Courses for everyone. Perfect for new parents, nannies & babysitters.

020 8772 3595

Fitness beFresh A quality personal training studio with both indoor and outdoor areas, located off Broomwood Road. FREE TRIAL 07999 085 133

visit for rewards you can receive for to support local independent businesses If you would likechoosing to be included contact us at or on 020 8432 3441


a-z directory Wandsworth Council The Town Hall, Wandsworth High Street London, SW18 2PU

020 8871 6000

Town Hall Brixton Hill London, W2 1RWU



Wooden Floor Specialists Suppliers, Installers & Renovators 302 Cavendish Rd Balham SW12 0PL 020 8675 2431

Francesca Alexander hair & beauty 53 Webbs Road SW11 6RX 020 7924 3459


Hair Masters 020 7228 1520 88 Battersea Rise SW11 1EJ


Oil & Water 340 Old York Rd Wandsworth Town SW18 1SS 020 8704 4327

Garage/Motor Repairs GSF Motorworks Car servicing workshop. Unit E & F London Stone Biz Estate, Broughton St, Battersea SW8 3QR 020 7819 9555 Gardens - see Builders

Gifts Natures Purest Organic and naturally dyed baby gifts, bedding, clothing and furniture 78 Balham High Road Balham SW12 9AG 020 8673 2672 @NPBalham Graphic Design - see Printers


See also Meditation Pippa Neve Healer & Indigo Essence Practitioner Eswyn Road, Tooting, SW17 8TN 020 8767 1292/ 07932 697938


Lambeth Council

Hotels & Bed & Breakfast Balham B&B 28 Old Devonshire Road Balham SW12 9RB 020 8673 7179

020 79261000

Latchmere Leisure Centre 020 7207 8004 Burns Road, Battersea SW11 5AD Tooting Bec Lido 020 8871 7198 Tooting Bec Road SW16 1RU Tooting Leisure Centre 020 8333 7555 Greaves Pl, Tooting SW17 0NE Battersea Park Mill’ Arena 020 8871 7537 Albert Bridge Road, SW11 4NJ Clapham Common Facilities 020 7223 9837 Windmill Drive, Clapham SW4 9DE

Live Music


The Bedford Live music, Club Nights, Comedy, Food, Drink and Events 77 Bedford Hill Balham SW12 9HD 0208 682 8940

Also see Therapies Keith Bibby (UKCP Psychotherapist)

49 Klea Avenue Clapham Common SW4 9HG 020 8673 6311

Interiors & Design R&B Consultants Amanda Russell and Juliet Bawden

Key Cutting - see DIY Kitchens - see Bathrooms/Builders

Leisure Centres & Facilities Balham Leisure Centre 020 8772 9577 Elm½eld Rd, Balham SW17 8AN Battersea Sports Centre 020 8871 8529 Hope St, Battersea SW11 2DA

The Exhibit 12 Balham Station Road, Balham SW12 9SG 020 8772 6556


Also see Therapy The Wellness Centre Ancient, modern, Eastern & Western massage/pressure point bodywork. @ Fybre Fitness Hub, 25 Northcote Rd, Battersea SW11 1NJ 020 3637 1370

Meditation Guided Group Mediations with Pippa Neve, Tooting Bec 07932 697 938

Support local businesses and please let them know you found them in Essential Local

a-z directory Medical Services For urgent but non life-threatening conditions call 111. For lifethreatening conditions call 999. Chiropractic by Hand Chiropractic and Sports Therapy services for all the family at Movers & Shapers in Balham 07847 202365

Tooting Walk-In Centre Treatment & emergency contraception. 7am-8.30pm. Clare House, St George’sHospital, Tooting SW17 0QT 020 8700 0505 Kiki’s Clinic Paediatric Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy and Osteopathy for babies and children. 124 Thurleigh Road SW12 8TU 020 7450 1708

Simply Construction Friendly building and roo½ng contractors based in Clapham 172 Clapham Park Rd SW4 7DU 020 7498 6696 Poe Projects Interior design projects and painting/decorating jobs of all sizes 0808 235 3635

West London Carpentry and Decoration Bespoke Fitted Furniture and Decorating 07795 411 400

Photographers Emanuel Redaschi Photography Maternity, New-born and Baby specialist. Studio based between the commons. Of½cial photographer, St Thomas’ Hospital, Westminster Suite. 07775 681191

Painters & Decorators Paintcraft Professional interior decoration, external decoration and building. 020 7064 5284

Battersea Police Station 112 -118 Battersea Bridge Rd Wandsworth Police Station 146 Wandsworth High Street Lavender Hill Police Station 176 Lavender Hill Clapham Police Station 51 Union Grove

Balham Hill Westbury Parade, Balham Hill SW12 9DZ Cedars 41 Queenstown Road, Battersea SW8 3RE Clapham Common 161 - 163 Clapham High Street SW4 7ST Alfriston Road 99 Alfriston Road; Battersea SW11 6NP; Battersea 202 Lavender Hill, SW11 1AB St Johns Hill 7 The Parade SW11 1TG.

The New Hurleys 9 The Boulevard Balham High Rd SW17 7BW 020 8772 8223

Force Homecare DIY & Paint Specialist. 22 Bedford Hill Balham, SW12 9RG 020 8675 9866


Of½ce Supplies & Furniture

Paint Specialists and DIY

Metropolitan Police 0300 123 1212

Post Of½ces

Motor Repairs - see Garages Nannies & Nursery - see Childcare Of½ce - see Workspace

For emergency assistance, call 999 OR 112 or for general enquiries contact:

Personal Training – See Fitness Pets – See Vets Healthchem Pharmacy (KDS) 4-5 Station Parade, Balham SW12 9AZ 020 8673 8351 Cospharm Pharmacy (KDS) 281-283 Mitcham Rd Tooting SW17 9JO 020 8767 6005


Faby & Carlo Selected photography services and ‘A day in the life of...’ speciality. 07952 984207

Plumbers & Heating Engineers Poe Projects Interior design projects and maintenance jobs of all sizes 0808 235 3635

08457 223344

Printing & Design Services Essential Local Flyers, brochures, letterheads, business cards, photography. Balham/Streatham HIll 020 8432 3441

Follow @essentiallocal for LOCAL business news and offers

If you would like to be included contact us at or on 020 8432 3441


a-z directory Support Helplines Age UK 0800 00 99 66

Heart Helpline 08450 70 80 70

Info and advice on topics affecting older people

British Heart Foundation information of½cers

Breast Cancer Care helpline 0808 800 6000 Learning Disability Helpline 0808 808 1111 Information and support on breast health

Advice for individuals, families and carers

Brook Advisory Centres 0808 802 1234

Marie Stopes Abortion Help 0845 300 80 90

Sexual health advice and services for under-25s

24-hour abortion information service

Cancerbackup 0808 800 1234

Mind Info Line 0845 766 0163

Support from nurses concerning all aspects of cancer

Help for people with mental health problems

Carers Direct 0300 123 1053

NHS111 111

Advice for anyone looking after someone else

24-hr service for non-999 urgent medical help

Childline 0800 1111

Sexual Health Line 0300 123 7123

Support and information for children on any topic

Information and advice on sexual health issues

Cruse Day by Day 0844 477 9400

Shelter 0808 800 4444

Help and support for people who are bereaved

Advice from the homelessness/housing charity

Domestic Violence Helpline 0808 2000 247

Smokefree 0300 123 1044

24-hour line for urgent response or in-depth support

Get help to stop smoking and stay stopped

Drinkline 0300 123 1110

Stroke Helpline 0845 303 3100

For callers or families/friends worried about drinking

Support for stroke patients and their families

Frank 0300 123 6600

The Samaritans 08457 90 90 90

Straight up, unbiased information about drugs

Non-judgemental emotional support, 24 hours a day

Restaurants, Pubs & Bars The Exhibit All day drinking and eating hub with numerous events & spaces for hire. 12 Balham Station Road Balham SW12 9SG 020 8772 6556

Mendoza Square Latin American cuisine and lifestyle. See website for Tues & Wed offers. 3 Bedford Road, Clapham SW4 7SH 020 7274 2624

Addomme - Pizzeria&Trattoria Neopolitan cuisine, including sour dough pizzas (delivery to some areas). 17 Sternhold Av, Streatham Hill, SW16 020 8678 8496


Comensal An authentic Mexican Bar and Restaurant 32 Abbeville Rd, Clapham SW4 9NG 020 8673 7272

Harrison’s Neighbourhood brasserie and cocktail bar 15-19 Bedford Hill, Balham SW12 9EX 020 8675 6900 The Bedford Music, Club Nights, Comedy, Food 77 Bedford Hill Balham SW12 9HD 020 8682 8940

Ben’s Canteen All-day neighbourhood hangout 140 St John’s Hill, Battersea SW11 422 Garratt Lane, Earls½eld SW18 020 7228 3260

McDonald’s Balham A franchise owned locally, employing locals and supporting the community. 159 Balham High Street, SW12 9AU 020 8675 4520

Amirah’s Kitchen ‘View’ Top Ten Indian Restaurant. Takeaway/Delivery Available 356 Old York Road, Wandsworth Town, SW18 1SS 020 8874 8008

Support local businesses and please let them know you found them in Essential Local

a-z directory Rick’s Restaurant Tooting’s Modern British & European Restaurant 122 Mitcham Rd,Tooting SW17 9NH 020 8767 5219 Roofers - see Builders

Schools & Colleges Ernest Bevin College School plus sixth form Beechcroft Rd, Tooting SW17 7DF 020 8672 8582

Solicitors & Legal Advice Battersea Legal Advice Centre Free legal advice. 125 Bolingbroke Grove, SW11 1DA 020 7585 0716 Spas - See Beauty

Sports Shops & Activities Also see Leisure Facilities Capstick Sports 91 Northcote Road SW11 6PL 020 7228 7814 Stationery - See Of½ce Supplies Swimming - See Leisure Centres Take-Aways - See Restaurants


For details for forthcoming shows see our regular theatre preview feature elsewhere in the magazine Battersea Arts Centre Lavender Hill, SW11 5TN 020 7223 2223

Theatre 503 Above Latchmere Pub 503 Battersea Park Rd SW11 3BW 020 7978 7040

Landor Theatre 70 Landor Rd, Clapham SW9 9PH 020 7737 7276

Richmond Theatre The Green, Richmond TW9 1QJ 0844 871 7651

Therapy Chiropractic by Hand Chiropractic and Sports Therapy services for all the family at Movers & Shapers in Balham 07847 202365

The Wellness Centre Ancient, modern, Eastern & Western massage/pressure point bodywork. @ Fybre Fitness Hub, 25 Northcote Rd, Battersea SW11 1NJ 020 3637 1370

Kiki’s Clinic Paediatric Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy and Osteopathy for babies and children. 124 Thurleigh Road SW12 8TU 020 7450 1708

Travel Agents Experience Travel Group Sri Lanka and South East Asia

020 7924 7133

7 Prescott Place Clapham SW4 6BS

Windows – Sash Wandsworth Sash Windows Traditional timber, double-glazed, draught proo½ng, overhaul, sliding 125 Lavender Hill, Battersea 020 7924 7303

Wine The Wine Tasting Shop Independent Tastings and Sales 18 HIldreth St, Balham SW12 9RQ 020 8616 8658

Workspace/Of½ce The Treehouse Offers desk space and meeting rooms on low-cost, ¾exible basis 2-10 Balham Station Rd, SW12 9SG 020 8675 4779

Yoga Bugs The one bug your child should catch. Call Francesca on 0845 899 7173 or email

The Essential Local Community is a network of around 40 independent local organisations and businesses who receive priority support from Essential Local and aim to ½nd ways to support one another through the ‘We Choose Local’ campaign.

Tutoring - see Education

Vets Cuffe Vets Friendly practice providing ethical veterinary care to local clients 52 Abbeville Rd, Clapham SW4 9NF 020 8772 9922

Website Design Essential Local Cost-effective website design and e-newsletter marketing. Balham/Streatham Hill 020 8432 3441

Follow @essentiallocal for LOCAL business news and offers

If you would like to be included contact us at or on 020 8432 3441


Spending a day with

You need a lot of puff to keep up with this Battersea-based mother, personal trainer and professional singer

Susie Morgan

Like mothers the world over, Susie’s < day starts early, with Barclay, eight, and Milla, five. If a client wants a 7am training session, the juggling starts early too.


After the school run, it’s straight off to Wandsworth Common to conduct a group training session.


Accounts, admin and business planning has to fit around her clients’ and her childrens’ schedule. And then there’s singing, her original profession…



With the children fed, bathed and in bed, and a babysitter at home, Susie and husband Jules head off for a glass of wine. Luckily their favourite pub, The Bolingroke, is just a stone’s throw from their house. Photos: Faby and Carlo at


Essential Local magazine is distributed four times a year to 15,000 households in Balham, Clapham and Battersea


Essential Local magazine is distributed four times a year to 15,000 households in Balham, Clapham and Battersea