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Battersea, Clapham & Balham • Issue 34

Bevin Boy Ortis Deley

Broomwood in Africa - founders Malcolm and Katharine Colquhoun It’s Playtime! - the importance of play in child development and therapy Home & Garden - design inspiration and making money from your home Plus… restaurant reviews, alcohol-free wines, events and local people

contents Welcome Whether it’s seen in the success of a Àlm about the beautiful area in which we live (pg 21), the fond memories of a celebrity former resident (pg 6), or positive answers on the subject of what it is that people like about living here (pg 38), our fortune at doing so is undeniable. It is a slice of geographical luck that has made us the ones able to help others less fortunate, such as the Ethiopian children that Broomwood Hall and its friends are supporting so passionately (pg 26), rather than the other way around. That said, we all have challenges of our own, whether it be working out a way of using our greatest asset to help pay some bills (pg 13); cutting back a little on those pleasures that aren’t quite as harmless as we’d like to think (pg 18); or the best way to ensure that our children live their lives more fully (pg 23). Whatever else, there’s certainly a lot to talk and read about. We hope you enjoy doing so. Richard Chumbley


Contents 5

What’s New? The perfect places for work and for meditation


Bevin Boy It’s a Gadget Show (and tell) with Ortis Deley

10 Trends and Textures Juliet Bawden and Amanda Russel on interior design 13 Making Money from your Home Photo shoots, holiday lets and the empty spare room 16 Small can be Beautiful How to make the most of your town garden 18 Friend or Faux Alchohol-free ‘alcohol’ – are any worth a taste? 20 Where we Live Quizzing, painting, building and writing poetry 23 More than a Game Is play an essential component of learning and therapy 26 Broomwood in Ethiopia Can a successful UK school be replicated in Africa? 28 Little Leisure Time Leisure centres are so much more than a pretty space 29 Essential Local Events What’s on locally in April and May 31 Reviews: Out & About in your local area – Burrito, Clapham Junction – Sabor!, Tooting Bec 38 Viewpoint Local people give us their opinions Editor: Richard Chumbley • Designer: Monika Orman Cover photo: Adrian Pegg, EBC Contributors: Henrietta Gentilli, Nitesh Patel, Julia Popova, Juliet Bawden and Amanda Russell.

Samuel Estate Agents

38 Balham Hill, London SW12 9EL Tel: 020 8673 4666

Advertising/Editorial Enquiries: 020 8432 3441 • 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 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 2014.






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what’s new

What’s New? in your local area Homeworkers get out of the house! Cost-effective it may be, but working from home and meeting clients in cafés can usually cost you in productivity. More importantly it makes your home feel less of a home, both for yourself and your family. Le Bureau, just off Queenstown Road, has provided a local solution for the last six years. A beautifully designed co-working space for individuals and small companies, a recent expansion means it will soon be the largest in London. “It’s for those who are tired of working from home or in dark, unimaginative of½ces,” says Member Services Manager Louise Reardon.“Now they can enjoy a dedicated desk in a ‘big of½ce’ atmosphere, complete with free meeting rooms, espresso and tea, WiFi, showers and secure storage.” The expansion has also added ‘siesta’ pods and a furnished lounge to the mix. “We get people from all ½elds taking a single desk to a multi-person pod for their business,” adds Louise. “From headhunters to designers, all the way to movie location scouts. What is nice is that younger startups and established professionals work alongside one another. We have a great community, and businesses


Guided Group Meditations Independent of any religion but welcoming to people from any or none, meditation is practiced by billions and is a proven way to relax and de-stress. Its bene½ts can include better sleep, self-con½dence, improved relationships and reduced anxiety. “It’s an opportunity to give yourself permission to let go,” explains Pippa Neve, who runs guided meditations on Tuesday evenings from 7.30pm in Tooting Bec. “To switch off from the to-do list, the shopping list, and to rediscover yourself and ½nd some inner peace.” Pippa, a quali½ed teacher and accredited healer, has provided one-to-one therapy locally for many years. She decided to start group meditation sessions after developing her skills further with a teacher training diploma in the ½eld. “For some the attraction of a group is the cost, while others just prefer them,” says Pippa. “In our group, no-one needs to worry about doing meditation ‘right’; it’s not about uniformity, it’s about a friendly atmosphere and feeling comfortable enough to explore.” “I effectively help to paint a picture in the clients’ minds,” explains Pippa. “There are many variations

often organically meet and end up working together. “If you want a beautiful of½ce without the hassle and high costs, where you can focus on your work and meet fellow professionals, we offer the perfect mix”,” says Louise. With desks starting at £79 per week plus VAT, including all facilities, no deposit and only a month’s commitment, Le Bureau could be just what you need for a great day at the of½ce.

Le Bureau Studio F7, Battersea Studios 80 Silverthorne Road SW8 3HE 020 7100 5666 but we might take a journey in nature, for example; other sessions go within the body to help release pain and tensions. I am always reassuring the listener that they are safe. But it’s key to the evening that my voice is a guide, not a rule – each individual follows their own way.” One client, TK from Earls½eld, describes the result: “After a meditation led by Pippa I invariably feel buoyant and positive yet wholly at peace. The bene½ts of my weekly sessions with her have been tremendous.” If you’d like to ½nd out more, get in touch.

Guided Meditations with Pippa Neve 07932 697938



Bevin Boy Born in Balham and educated at Ernest Bevin in Tooting Bec, TV presenter Ortis Deley tells Richard Chumbley he’s found it tough being typecast I’m a little surprised when Ortis Deley, the exuberant presenter of Channel 5’s The Gadget Show, picks me up outside Reigate station in an unassuming car. I was expecting a gadget-rich, futuristic style car with buttons aplenty, digital displays and quite possibly an ejector seat. But as we sit chatting in a busy cafe, where the two girls behind the counter are sneaking glances our way and whispering, it soon becomes clear that 40-year-old Ortis, outgoing and conÀdent though he is, is neither Áashy nor prone to taking risks. That said, his favourite experience on The Gadget Show has been learning to Áy: “I was only allowed to learn on simulators before having to Áy for real. Someone else was in there with me, but I had to take off, Áy a circuit and then land all by myself. It gave me a sense of achievement like you wouldn’t believe.” But another task was less enjoyable. He was asked to break the world speed record on an electric ducted fan powered bike. “It was very scary,” says Ortis. “The bike would get the wobbles at just 30mph and prior to the Ànal record-breaking run [when he reached 72mph] I really didn’t want to do it. I used to turn up to a shoot and they’d say, ‘This is what we’re going to do.’ Now I Ànd out beforehand and if I were worried about my safety I would pull the plug.”

Local memories His family lived off Garratt Lane and Ortis was born in Balham’s long-since demolished Weir Hospital. After attending Smallwood Primary School in Tooting, in 1984 he started at Ernest Bevin Comprehensive on Beechcroft Road. “My parents had wanted me to go to Emanuel and they were prepared to put in the overtime to pay for

it, but I managed to convince them to let me go to Bevin with the rest of my friends.” He has many fond memories of the school and recently had the opportunity to revive them when he was asked to open the school’s science labs after a £250,000 makeover (below). “It was an honour. I’d been waiting for that call for ages,” says Ortis, smiling. “I got to see Jeremy Day, my careers teacher, and Mr Chivers, who is now one of the principals but previously taught Computer Science. I didn’t like Computer Science at school – now look at what I’m doing!”

“I didn’t like Computer Science at school – now look at what I’m doing!” How has the school, now Ernest Bevin College, changed? “It’s so very different. The Bec school end has gone and the north block has been completely revamped. When we walked to the block which used to be the Craft, Design and Technology building, I got that smell of sawdust. I felt a little sad that it’s all changed, but I love what they’ve done. When I was there, they probably sent 12 children to university: last year they sent almost 100, which is brilliant.” Ortis spent his teenage years hanging out in places such as Amen Corner in Tooting, Summerstown or the Arndale (now Southside) Centre. He likes seeing places like Balham on the up, but he thinks towns have also lost something. “My wife Rachel loves the cool restaurants of Brixton Village but my mates hate it. Brixton used to have a real ethnic community vibe: you’d go there to get your soul food, your reggae, your hip-hop. The essence of Brixton has gone.”

Surprise, surprise


Ortis stayed at Bevin for his A levels and he began to consider studying pharmacy at degree level – “I wanted to be on the team that developed a cure for who knows what,” says Ortis – and on his second attempt, he passed his A levels and went to Sunderland University. But how did a pharmacy student get into television? At university he and his friends thought it would be a laugh to go along to open auditions for the TV show Blind Date. “I showed up, messed about and cracked jokes,” recalls Ortis, who was eventually selected and subsequently appeared on the show. The girl then


“I can remember throwing jokes out to the audience and joking with ‘Auntie’ Cilla. It just felt really natural.”

chose him and they went on a date to Seattle. “I had an absolute blast and the video they took was edited beautifully in my favour,” says Ortis. “By the time I got to the studio for the second show it was like hanging out with family. I can remember throwing jokes out to the audience, being playful with my date and joking with ‘Auntie’ Cilla. It just felt really natural.” The following Monday Ortis got a phone call from the LWT press ofÀce saying there had been some enquiries: stageplay auditions, screentests, a comedy agent. But Ortis remained cautious: “I was still in my Ànal year and my degree came Àrst – I wasn’t prepared to take a gamble. One thing I did do, however, was attend a presenting workshop for The Children’s Channel, which I very much enjoyed. Then, upon graduation TCC offered me a regular slot and I thought, okay, so my pharmacy degree is good for Àve years – let’s see where this goes.” His Àrst live show was in late 1994 and over four

years at TCC and Trouble he presented numerous shows and interviewed pretty much anyone who was about to become anyone: from Usher to Kylie Minogue. “My memories of this time are my fondest,” says Ortis. “I worked with some fantastic people and we were allowed to run riot creatively. From 1998 he started working at the stricter regimen of CBBC, where he remained for 10 years, hosting countless shows such as Live & Kicking, X-perimental and Short Change.

A grown-up career By now in his mid-thirties, Ortis was ready to move on from children’s television. “I was concerned that the kids would start to think I was fake.” Unfortunately, however, like many children’s TV presenters before him, Ortis was typecast. “From making the decision to actually getting my


entertainment Àrst non-children’s gig took Àve years. It was tough. I think my exuberance is youthful, and thus it’s easy to put me into that children’s presenter box. No one would give me a chance.” Then, in 2009 along came The Gadget Show. “It’s a family show and they wanted me to bring that same exuberance. Finally I wasn’t in children’s television anymore! It felt great.”

“I’m a nice guy so someday I want to play a really twisted psycho... someone really dark.” The technology subject matter suited Ortis, who grew up on Star Trek and Star Wars (and has a collection of about 6000 comic books). “Once I knew I had a career as a presenter, I really wanted to do Tomorrow’s World. I wish they’d bring it back; but perhaps I can push The Gadget Show in that direction.” He tells me that the buzzword in technology this year is wearable tech: “In years to come even my jumper will have some sort of connectivity.” In late 2010, Ortis also began a Sunday morning radio slot on London’s Choice FM. “Radio is a lot more intimate: you are effectively going straight into the ear of the listener. I found it quite difÀcult to talk positively about musicians who I wasn’t really that keen on. Moreover, when I talk I use my face, my hands... but you can’t use that on radio. I have a lot of respect for radio broadcasters.” In addition to his work in TV and radio, Ortis has dipped his toe into acting – appearing in the Àlms Kidulthood and Derailed; in stage productions and on television in Silent Witness and The Bill. “I’m a nice guy, so one day I want to play a really twisted psycho.” Like a Moriaty? I ask. He laughs: “Maybe not that intellectual, I’m not sure I could put that across, but someone really dark.”

Training for the future


When The Gadget Show changed its set-up in 2012, Ortis spent two years as a house-husband exploring his options. A martial arts enthusiast and avid sportsman, he seriously considered becoming a personal trainer. “I didn’t know if I was ever going to get back onto television screens,” he explains. But with the return of The Gadget Show and a reluctance to get up at 5.30am in the morning to lead intensive Àtness training, he’s decided instead to create a website offering Àtness and nutritional advice. “I can’t be sure more presenting jobs will come about, so I always want something solid beside it,” says Ortis. I wonder what the Ernest Bevin pupil of his early life would think of his work. “I would have been a fan

of The Gadget Show and Live & Kicking,” he says, “but I wouldn’t have watched the rest – I’d have been too busy running, riding my bike and climbing over roofs. I was always on an adventure.” Does he get much hassle from his celebrity? “Not at all, and I prefer it that way,” he says. “I’ve always operated beneath the radar.” As we leave the café, the girls behind the counter run after us and ask if they can get a photo. Where’s a jumper with integrated stealth-mode technology when you need one?

home & garden

Trends and Textures

Photo courtesy of

On the subject of the latest interior design trends, Juliet Bawden and Amanda Russell say there’s no time to hesitate, we must all patinate!

Con½dent classic mid-century modern furniture combined with vintage ½nds


To further whet your appetite for vintage design you should visit the Fashion and Textile Museum near London Bridge. Here you’ll discover a richly illustrated

exhibition that’s open until 7th May. Artist Textiles: Picasso to Warhol traces the history of 20th century art in textiles, with works by Delaunay, Calder, Hepworth and many more, as well as featuring key examples from European and American art movements. It’s a fascinating window onto the period, showing us how

Photo courtesy of

The current trend for design is inspired by both Àfties and Scandinavian ideas: the message is simple and the look is elegant and conÀdent. A quiet and considered style, it is by no means dull: it combines classic midcentury modern furniture with organic home wares including honest textures in ceramics, wood and glass. Until recently we’ve been more than a little shy of painterly pattern and homespun texture, instead sticking to tried and tested neutrals. Interiors have now picked up on Àfties design inÁuences, and elegant new designs with a sophisticated vintage feel are emerging. There is new depth of character and individuality being created through mixing contemporary with patinated (aged) vintage. With bold textured prints, the brave new trend of art textiles has been embraced by Designers Guild. Bang on trend for this season is their new design of a large leafy woodblock print Odhni from the Amlapura collection.

Bang on trend, Designers Guild’s large, leafy woodblock print Odhni, from the Amlapura collection.

Photo courtesy of Fashion and Textiles Museum,

Exhibition at the Fashion and Textile Museum, Artist Textiles: Picasso to Warhol.

ordinary people engaged with modern art through clothing and furnishings. If you are inspired by the Àfties vintage look there’s never been a better time to make the look your own by sourcing furniture and homewares from antiques emporiums, car boot fairs and online auctions. If you are inspired to create your own artist textiles, local interior designers R&B Consultants – Amanda Russell, designer, formerly Linda Barker’s right-hand woman, and Juliet Bawden, author of over 70 books – together run workshops on the topic and are available for more general interiors advice. Visit: Email:

home & garden

Making money from your home Times are tight and yet we still don’t employ our greatest asset. From letting a room to letting someone ½lm your house, we take a look at some of the best ways to turn your bricks and mortar into gold Your home is likely to be your most valuable asset but until you sell, it just sits there eating at your Ànances. Fortunately you live in one of the most desirable parts of London; so whether you choose to boost your income by renting out a room or the whole house for holiday lets or location shoots, there are plenty of people who would pay to be in your house.

A room with a view... to earning cash Renting out an underused spare room is a uniquely tax efÀcient way of increasing your income. Under the government’s ‘Rent a Room’ scheme you can earn up to £4,250 a year tax-free without telling anyone at all. However, many people who are considering this option want the reassurance and simplicity of working with a professional agency such as London Hospitality. Owner Sally Chilton started letting rooms in the early 90s when her marriage ended and she was left with two small children. “I needed work I could do from home,” recalls Sally. “I had a lot of space in my house so I thought, why not?” After hosting students for Àve years, she began offering bed and breakfast before eventually developing an agency which could deal with both those short-term and the long-term bookings. London Hospitality is now the number one agency for guests coming to London from German speaking countries. Sally acknowledges you don’t really know how you’ll get on with a guest before they move in, which is why they guarantee to Ànd alternative accommodation for a guest within 24 hours if necessary. “Most of the guests are considerate people from a variety of backgrounds and professions. They come to London for work experience or contract work, so they are out most of the day.”

When a local home-owner gets in touch with Sally, the Àrst step is a visit to see the available room before asking the host if they have any preferences – male of female guests only, professionals or students, etc. They then take the photographs for an online listing and the enquiries follow. “We employ expertise developed over 20 years,” says Sally. “Hosts receive an info pack; we deal with the money and pay the host on time; and we are always on call.” They also produce a newsletter featuring events, area proÀles and special features. So how much can someone earn from renting out a room? “B&B stays generate more money – up to £7080 a day,” says Sally. “But there’s effort involved, such as providing a daily breakfast, cleaning and spending some face-time with the guest. Longer-term bookings, which probably average about three months, are less proÀtable but you might earn about £120-180 per week and there is far less work involved. The beauty of either option is the Áexibility: over the year you can rent out the room for as many or as few days as you like. Even just a few weeks a year can top up the coffers.”


home & garden ‘Lets’ earn some extra income Another way to derive income from your home is to rent it out in its entirety. The strapline of lettings specialist Coach House Rentals’ is ‘Live Like a Local’ and that is the philosophy behind the business, both at its London ofÀce and in New York, Rome and Paris. Guests in private houses appreciate the freedom of being able to shop at the local market and cook for themselves, or perhaps hold a barbecue. Larger groups especially beneÀt from the lower cost of sharing a home when compared with hotel rooms. During a booking owners can leave all their belongings at home, they just need to ensure there’s enough wardrobe, draw, fridge and bathroom space for the visitors. “We explain to our guests, you’re coming into someone’s home,” says founder Harley Nott. “It’s not a soulless hotel room or a bare serviced apartment: the owner’s pictures will be on the wall, their CDs on the shelf. Likewise we say to our owners, imagine how you would like to Ànd the house upon arrival. “We have three main types of owner,” explains Harley. “Families who share time between London and a house in the country who want to let their house during school holidays; older owners spending more and more time in the country but who have kept their place in London; and owners who live in another country but return to London for holidays.” Coach House Rentals always see their guests’ passports and proof of address, as well as taking a

Location, Location, Location... Another way of earning money from your home is to offer it as a location shoot for television, ½lm or photography. And all properties could be of interest – you don’t have to own Downton Abbey! “You get to meet the cast and it can be great fun,” says Juliet Bawden who runs Dixcot Locations and has arranged shoots for Jonathan Creek, Brides magazine and Tesco. “If you don’t like your possessions moved about or strangers in the house, then this is not for you; but for others it can earn them thousands of pounds.”


020 8769 7144

sizable security deposit. In over 4,500 lets they have had only had two minor theft incidents but Harley points out that it’s clearly wise to take anything small and supervaluable or sentimental with you. “And if you’re the sort of person who would worry themselves sick over a potential spot on your carpet, this may not be for you.” To get on their books, a simple phone conversation will allow Harley to assess whether it will work and give you an idea of the potential income before visiting the property himself. “The owners tell us when the property’s available and when it’s not, so we don’t hassle them unnecessarily, we just get on with it and keep them informed,” says Harley. He suggests that owners need to be able to offer at least 12 weeks over the course of a year and that two bedrooms would be the minimum. As for the revenue, a well-booked property can bring in over £20,000 per year. Harley is conÀdent that lettings here will market well: “Many years ago, we told our Kensington friends we were moving to Balham. One said ‘I don’t know where that is’ and his wife stepped in: ‘Oh yes you do, Dear it’s on the way to Glyndebourne!’ Things have changed: the local area has good transport links, great restaurants and the commons are wonderful – the whole area is becoming known as a very desirable place to live.”

LONDON Hospitality 020 8835 0177 Coach House Rentals 020 8355 3192 For longer lettings:,,,,

home & garden

Small can be beautiful Local garden designer Henrietta Gentilli shows us why certain designs work and provides us with inspiration for our own town gardens Right: Pots or planters make excellent focal points.The three elegant tapered pots in dynamic red work well with ½ery foliage in autumn, with the red stems of the central pot in winter, and with the warm colours of summer ¾owers.They are placed against a smooth painted panel contrasting with textural brick all around. The all-weather wicker seating is light in colour which is uplifting and contemporary. Inset: A warm, pale blue panel sits within a wall of contemporary stained screening. In front, a slimline and unusual charcoal pot is planted with silver evergreen foliage.The serene, clean lines are enhanced by the open stretch of lawn. Low cost LED lights are carefully positioned to light the pot from below 365 days a year.

Left: A symmetrical garden leading from an elegant house.The large lawn allows for moveable furniture to be positioned and relocated so as to chase after the sun.The focal ornamental trees along the rear wall provide blossom in spring, berries in summer and vivid red foliage in autumn. Easy to maintain hardwood screening adds a contemporary contrast to the lovely old London stock brick walls.The planting is symmetrical on each side of the garden and con½ned to fresh colours of green, silver, white and limited blue, with plenty of scented climbers. Planters on each side provide a statement in the middle of the long beds. Inset: The elegant, clean steps are softened either side by the use of lush planting in the lower and upper beds. Designer lights add the ½nal touch.


Right: This design of this small terraced garden runs harmoniously from a newly designed kitchen.The same colours of walls/screening and pots were used inside and out; the green and silver foliage echoed the colour of the kitchen units; and the outside stone matched that indoors, thus creating a blurring between the inside and the out when the full French doors are open.The garden was made to look larger by careful design, particularly the creation of a raised rear bed and planting (providing healthy growth due to better light levels).This also allowed for a water feature to fall from the retaining wall to a small pool at ground level, creating movement and a gentle sound which helps to give a small hardscaped space extra life.The lighting, including pretty starlighters in the trees, makes the space seem even larger at night.

All the above gardens were designed by Henrietta Gentilli, who holds a diploma from the Inchbald School of Design and has specialised in London gardens and planting since 1998. For advice contact 07711 652992 or

food & drink

Friend or Faux? There are hundreds of reasons to reduce the amount we drink, but few decent replacements when we try. So we’ve researched and selected the faux alcoholic drinks that are the least likely to offend No one who likes a drink (and we do) can hand on heart say that ‘wine’ or beer with little or no alcohol tastes anywhere close to as good as the real thing, but that’s not the point: a low alcohol wine, beer or cider can help people who associate those drinks with relaxation and enjoyment cut down or give up. For some it’s a diet choice (lower alcohol generally means fewer calories), for others a legitimate concern about fertility or good parenting; and for still others it’s an essential health issue, perhaps even a matter of life and death. This being the case it’s shocking that so many offlicences, shops, bars and restaurants do so little to help. So we’ve done the research and tested our tastebuds on your behalf. Here’s our pick of the faux alcohol drinks available in the UK and where they can be found.

Bernard Free Alcohol-Free Beer 0.5% vol £34.49 per case of 24x 500ml,

A big hoppy smell and beautiful amber colour tempt you in before the rich taste of this ale-style beer absorbs you and then leaves you with an exceptional, long-lasting ½nish. It’s actually quite a revelation.

Krombacher Alcohol-Free Beer 0.5% vol £21.99 per case of 24x 330ml,


It’s a little ½zzy but there was a pleasant, hoppy aftertaste to this lager, a step up from the best of the supermarket options, Becks Blue. To go out for a drink, though, drop in at Harrison’s in Balham where they serve Bitburger Drive.

Waitrose Low Alcohol Cider 1% vol £1.15 500ml,Waitrose or

We think this fresh-tasting cider is the closest match to the taste of a fully alcoholic drink you’ll ½nd. With a golden colour, hint of ½zz and dash of dryness it’s surprisingly tasty. This is also our new best friend for late night deadlines.

Weinkonig Riesling 0.3% vol £6.89 750ml, min order 6 bottles,

We sipped this quite happily with a tomato and caper courgette pasta. It’s not watery like many of the other de-alcoholised wines we tried. It can’t get close to the depth of an alcoholic wine, but this dry white had a real lemony zing and re¾ected its Riesling badge well.

Eminasin Doce Meses 0.5% vol £9.99 750ml, min order 6 bottles,

Faux reds tend to have a slightly unpleasant acidic aftertaste that makes them less suitable for quaf½ng. But this oak-aged 100% Tempranillo still offers a good nose, colour, fruit and complexity. With plenty of tannins, it’s one of the few that could hold its own with a roast. Honourable mentions to: Brachetto d’Acqui DOCG – An enjoyable semisparkling sweet 5% Italian red. Sourced from The Wine Tasting Shop in Balham. Bonne Nouvelle Blanc – A great value dry white with hints of apple.

local interest



Let’s see how much you know about the local area? The clue is often in the question...

Balham to be transformed by June

1) What was the name of the pet belonging to the celebrity chef part-owner of Harrison’s in Balham? It was more Dover than Rover! 2) Which actor grew up on Clapham Common Southside and went on to star in a ½lm about Clapham Junction? We don’t mind a few guesses.

1) Hildreth Street

2) Bedford Hill Place

3) High Road Railway Bridge

4) Flank Wall (Waitrose)

3) Which local school links a wartime politician with a current Wandsworth MP? 4) He didn’t know my father but he did know Wandsworth Common. Which former prime minister once lived close by? 5) How many platforms are there at Clapham Junction station? 6) Which Balham company has a giant dog who almost certainly likes proper tea? 7) The Bedford in Balham was ½rst opened in the 1830s as what type of building? a) A courthouse, b) A theatre or c) A hotel 8) Battersea’s Clapham Junction station was misnamed back in 1863 to appeal to a ‘better crowd’ and has since caused years of confusion. Which mutually bene½cial Northcote Road store recently corrected its address to ‘Battersea’ following the efforts of 9) In which Balham road would you ½nd a mixed up radius bone? 10) Which sturdy novelist brie¾y lived on Trinity Road and also published a book with which a cafe in Clapham Old Town shares its name? Answers on page 38



We congratulate Falcon Road’s Providence House Youth Club on its 50th Anniversary. Providence House provides a safe environment where local young people can socialize, build relationships and improve their skills.

If you miss their open day from 2.30pm on May 10th, visit or read our full article at

Balham was recently once again named by The Sunday Times as one of the top ½ve places to live in London. With further improvements set to be completed by June this year, as a result of the Balham Partnership and Wandsworth Council’s success in securing of £1.9million to improve Balham Town Centre, life there is set to get even better! The improvements consist of 1) the decluttering of Hildreth Street; 2) the creation of a public space at Bedford Hil Place; 3) Lighting improvement and recladding under the High Road bridge; and 4) the installation of an artwork on the so-called ‘ugly wall’. For more info see

Carnival time! Make a note, the date has been announced for the Ritherdon Road Street party (below) as Sunday 8th June; for the Abbeville Fête as Saturday 28th June; and for The Northcote Road Summer Fête as Sunday 6th July.

local interest


Common People goes national In 2013, Common People, an independent British comedy ½lm directed by two local residents and set and ½lmed on Tooting Common, won The Independent Spirit Award at The Sedona Film Festival and was later nominated for a St Louis Film Critics’ Award. After sold-out showings at The Clapham Picture House, on Tuesday June 10th the ½lm will be shown across 17 cinemas nationwide. One of our local parks is going to be famous across Britain! For more information visit

Local artists It’s not just ½lm-makers that get inspiration from the delights of Clapham, Balham, Tooting and Battersea. Left: Tooting Bec Lido by Jonny Midnight. Below: Al Gusto Summer (Northcote Road) by Marcel Gatteaux. Webbs½

Groovy Art poetry winner To celebrate the launch of their new website, Essential Local Community member Groovy Art Workshops held a poetry competition for children over Christmas. Congratulations to the winner Lucy (16).You can read her poem ‘A reminder that Christmas can be bittersweet’ at


community & education

More than just a game Angie Clarke takes a look at the role of play and in a young child’s development. Is learning and therapy most effective when the child is having fun?

YogaBugs – having fun and stretching the imagination “Babies explore their world through play,” says Kiki’s Children’s Clinic founder Kiki von Eisenhart Goodwin. “They learn about their own bodies, social interaction and relationships, cause and effect and ‘how their world works’ through movement and play.” Play is also an essential tool in Kiki’s own work as a child therapist, but more of that later. According to the UK charity Family Lives, play helps young children of all ages to “build self worth by giving a child a sense of his or her own abilities and to feel good about themselves. Because it’s fun, children often become very absorbed in what they are doing. In turn, this helps them develop the ability to concentrate.” Francesca of Yogabugs, the popular fusion of storytelling and yoga-inspired postures for children, agrees: “Children learn better through play; when they are enjoying an activity they are more likely to put in maximum effort and pay full attention.” While Montania Saah of Balham-based Groovy Art Workshops, believes that learning is a creative process best achieved by making learning an ‘inquisitive adventure’. It’s important, however, to draw a line between fun and chaos: “There has to be structure and boundaries. Organised chaos takes a lot of planning!,” says Montania.

YogaBugs – The one bug your child should catch! In our increasingly fast paced lives, children are given less time to re¾ect and use their imagination. Add the constant use of technology and children are using imaginative play less and less. “This is having a negative effect on their attention span and ability to learn,” argues Francesca, the YogaBugs Director in South East and South West London. “Modern technology can be great but people forget that children learn through play. At YogaBugs we take children on wild adventures telling stories through yoga inspired postures. Our sessions are speci½cally designed to not only give children a good physical workout but also to improve their concentration and listening skills, which in turn improves their social interactions.” YogaBugs classes are fun, interactive and open to children from the moment they can walk to 12 years. For more information and to try a free taster, contact Francesca on 0845 899 7173 / francesca@yogabugs. com or visit to ½nd your local class.


community & education According to Kiki von Eisenhart Goodwin, play has an extremely important role in child therapy. “Babies will not do head circles and a push-up if you tell them to – they just won’t understand it. Babies will, however, reach for a bubble when they are lying on a ball. Lying on its back, a baby has little motivation to use their right arm to catch something on their left side – unless it is a game. The skilled therapist employs focussed and targeted play to get the child to do the stretch or exercise while having fun. Loud bright coloured toys are the essential support tools for paediatric therapy. “It can’t all be fun, of course,” says Kiki. “Some stretching and facilitation can be difÀcult; but in general the children have a good time and they can even be a little grumpy when it’s Ànished. In some occupational therapy (OT) sessions, for example, I’m not sure who’s having more fun: the child, the therapist or the parents enjoying their child!” We’ll leave the Ànal words to Caroline Henson and Virge Bisset, Joint Headmistresses at The Willow Nursery which has recently relocated to new premises in Grafton Square, SW4: “Learning should be a joyful and rewarding experience,” they say. “Praise in work and play are the absolute foundations for building conÀdence. Learning should, in short, be fun!”

Groovy Art Workshops A progressive education service provider of academic tutoring services, creative workshops and art events for children and young people, particularly between the ages of 5 -11. 0844 357 9472

Clear communication: “Messy play please!”


See sidebars for contact details and visit, and for further information. On page 28 you’ll ½nd more ideas for children’s activities.

OT and new ways of using Dad’s shaving foam!

Kiki’s Children’s Clinic Kiki’s Children’s Clinic (KCC) in Clapham South offers high quality Paediatric Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, Speech and Language Therapy and Osteopathy for babies and children. “Our fundamental purpose is to help children live their lives more fully,” explains founder Kiki von Eisenhart Goodwin, whose clinic treats an enormous variety of conditions including developmental delay, orthopaedic problems, cerebal palsy, poor coordination, autism spectrum disorders, learning dif½culties, speech problems and behavioural issues. Kiki and her husband Rupert consciously created a homely environment at the clinic so that children do not feel as though they are in a sterile, cold hospital environment. Parents will typically get the news that their child may need therapy from a doctor and most will begin by sourcing therapy from the NHS. Often, however, they may discover waiting lists – or are told to “wait and see”. “At which point many parents come to us,” says Kiki. “They believe, as we do, that early intervention is hugely bene½cial.” Kiki is clear that it’s not only children that need their support, parents do too: “The moment that you’re told your child has special needs can be devastating. It is normal to be upset, even overwhelmed, but action is required, and taking action helps you regain control. Get information, get advice, get an assessment and get therapy, if needed – the sooner you start, the better.” Kiki’s Clinic encorages parents to be involved in treatment sessions. Whatever the diagnosis, parents learn that their child can typically do a lot more than they thought or feared. As the parent sees, feels and experiences the positive results of therapy, they gain in con½dence and can enjoy the child they have. It is beautiful to see,” says Kiki. 124 Thurleigh Road SW12 8TU 020 7450 1708

local business

Nitesh Patel of Tax Assist Accountants takes us through the highlights of the recent budget statement Small businesses employing staff will be pleased to hear that from April 2014 all businesses and charities will be entitled to an employment allowance of £2,000 per year towards their employer National Insurance bill. Businesses looking to invest and grow will welcome the news that the annual investment allowance is being increased from £250,000 to £500,000. Low and middle-income earners will be delighted to hear that the personal allowance, which will increase to £10,000 this April, will further increase in April 2015 to £10,500. The new announcement that the Government’s help to buy scheme will be extended to 2020 is great news for local traders involved in the construction industry, including builders, electricians, plumbers and estate agents. From autumn 2015 a new tax-free childcare scheme will be introduced to support working families with the costs of childcare This will be worth 20% of childcare costs up to £10,000 per child each year. Finally, it was announced that fuel duty rates will remain frozen for the remainder of this Parliament, which will be a relief for many.

For a free no obligation quote on your accountancy and tax requirements please contact Nitesh Patel at 148 Mitcham Rd, SW17 9NH, call 020 7118 0402 or email


community & education

Broomwood in Ethiopia Following the opening of their school for orphans in Ethiopia, Richard Chumbley meets the charity’s founders and Broomwood Hall principals Malcolm and Katharine Colquhoun How did the idea for Broomwood in Ethiopia develop?

On Monday 3rd March this year, St George’s opened in Azezo, near Gondar, North West Ethiopia, an achievement made all the more extraordinary by the fact that it was accomplished by one of our own local schools as a result of just two years of fundraising by its pupils, parents and friends. Behind ‘Broomwood in Ethiopia’ lies the Northwood African Education Foundation, whose patron is Her Royal Highness Princess Beatrice of York. The charity will also be responsible for the ongoing running of the school, which will, it is hoped, eventually provide free education to around a thousand disadvantaged Àve to 18-year-olds who might otherwise not have received an education at all. Not only will these children receive a high quality education, but also two nutritious meals a day, clothing, shoes and comprehensive medical care, all funded by the continuing efforts of Broomwood Hall and its supporters. Over £260,000 has already been raised. Shortly after the opening of the new school I went to meet the charity’s founders, Malcolm and Katharine Colquhoun, principals and owners of local prepreparatory and preparatory schools Broomwood Hall and Northcote Lodge.

How do you feel now that the school has opened?


Katharine (K): It’s very exciting, a dream Ànally realised. Malcolm (M): We Áew out there last week to see for ourselves and it was incredibly emotional. K: When we arrived the children were having scrambled eggs and lovely soft rolls with tea. We’re trying to boost their diet, but carefully. Later we did some painting with them – they had never seen paints before.

M: About three years ago I got an email from a chap called Chris Grant who runs the Link Ethiopia charity. I asked him whether he thought it would be possible for us to start and run our own school there. He said ‘Yes, sure – why not? So we took the idea to the Broomwood Hall Parents’ Association, who were terribly enthusiastic. Years earlier we had decided the school should choose a speciÀc charity to fund each year, so it made sense to start our own. M: Normally, after fundraising you would simply hand money over to an existing charity. We did that ourselves for a school in India, but later discovered that the hall to which we had donated was never built. K: We wanted to able to see that the money we raised was making a real difference. M: What’s special about this project is that we’re not just building the school, we’re running it, and doing so very much in our own image. So when the children here have Skype conversations with their compatriots in Africa, they are actually seeing themselves. The idea is to have Broomwood Hall in Africa.

Why Africa, why Ethiopia?

M: Ethiopia is an English-speaking, stable and fundamentally Christian country, which ties in with our ethos here. Our children are exceptionally privileged and a huge part of this project is to give them exposure to other parts of the world where the children are not nearly as lucky.

Whom does the charity help?

K: We work with the local ‘kebele’ [council] to choose families to help on a needs basis. In Ethiopia, if you have lost one parent you’re an orphan, as it’s so difÀcult to support a family; if you’ve lost two you’re a double-orphan. To go to school in Ethiopia you have to be able to afford a pencil, an exercise book and basic materials, and many children simply can’t.

Do you believe that people have a responsibility to help others less fortunate?

M: It’s absolutely crucial to what we’re trying to do at Broomwood Hall: to teach children it is their duty to do precisely that. K: Yes, and we have Ànancially supported this project to a signiÀcant degree ourselves and will continue to do so – it’s something we believe in.

How have you found dealing with Ethiopian culture and government?

M: It’s been a huge challenge. One thing they are particularly determined to be is incorrupt, which means virtually everything we do has to go out to tender. K: We’ve had support at all different levels, which has been very encouraging. The local municipality gave us seven and half hectares of land. It’s been extraordinary getting to know the teachers working on the curriculum with Diana Mardon, our director of education and the former head of our Lower School [all the other staff are African]. They are very much open to ideas, but they’re also able to say, ‘what about this and what about that?’ on a very equal footing. The basic curriculum in Ethiopia is similar to our own but it’s more diadactic: talk, repetition and learning by rote. At St George’s, the children will do all the integrated learning that one does in England but we’ll also ensure their memories are being developed like that of their contemporaries.

How does the project involve the pupils at Broomwood?

K: The pupils at St George’s are now part of our own pupils’ lives and they will interact and learn from one another. Broomwood pupils will continue to be involved in the fundraising: they’ve already held cake stalls, sung in carol concerts and carried out sponsored readings. The parents have been particularly supportive, raising £10,000 from just one carol concert. More directly, there’s a party of 14 Broomwood 10 to 13-year-olds going to Africa to deliver equipment, take Àlm footage and teach the children little rhymes. More trips are planned. M: We’re going to establish a proper broadband connection so that the schools can Skype one another and potentially share assemblies. That’s very exciting.

HOW YOU CAN HELP • DONATE online at Broomwoodinethiopia. com/index.php/fundraising/donate or you can send a cheque made out to ‘Northwood African Education Foundation’ to Broomwood in Ethiopia, 29b Sudbrooke Road SW12 8TQ. Registered Charity No.1153346 • SPONSOR A CHILD for £21 per month, including the opportunity to follow their progress and interact. Email h.meyer@ Find out more at

need to construct more classrooms. Our vision is for a school that will go through from ages Àve to 18, but it’s rather exciting to be on a voyage where you don’t know where we’ll end up. The other thing is to build a guesthouse, an essential part of our concept is that gap students can visit and help out. K: Yes, and older people on gardening leave or taking time out of the city. Visitors can help just by speaking English. The children speak Amharic, the local language, but after 11-years-old all the instruction in Ethiopia is in English, so it is key to give them a head start. M: I’m very tempted by the idea of going there for a month myself and just sort of getting stuck in. Diana loves it out there and has asked to stay on another year. If she can do it, so can I.

Is there anything you’d like to add?

K: This is a wonderful opportunity to thank everyone for their help. When you’re used to doing things fairly quickly and something takes a long time, you really need that support.

What’s next for St George’s and the charity?

M: We will be having a formal appeal designed to raise funds. It should be easier to fundraise for something that exists than it was for an idea. In the short-term we


sport & fitness

Little leisure time Leisure centres are great for adult ½tness but also for our kids’ health too. Fortunately, unlike our reluctant selves, children almost always want to go

Swimming Academies at each of the local leisure centres offer lessons for children of all ages and abilities

28 28

Music and movement, for example, offers children from six months to Àve years 45 minutes of bouncy castle and soft play fun followed by 15 minutes of sing-a-long. Or there’s pre-school trampolining, which is great fun and builds both balance and coordination. Meanwhile, purpose-built play zones contain slides, ball ponds, climbing areas and more. There’s even a ‘Toddler’s Gym’, an instructor-led session involving soft play equipment, interactive games and the development of social skills. In addition to offering a great opportunity for a family swim (have you experienced Latchmere’s wave machine yet?), each centre boasts a Swimming Academy which offers Latchmere Leisure Centre group and individual lessons for ages six months and upwards. Lessons follow the ASA’s national teaching plan and parents can view their child’s

progress through an ‘on course’ online tool. During holidays there are Àve-day crash ‘learning to swim’ classes for children aged three and upwards at speciÀc sites with a teaching pool. Meanwhile bigger kids will love the InÁatable and Diving Board sessions at Tooting. The local centres also Fun, safe environments in which offer birthday parties. your children can play “There’s a whole range,” says Krystina. “From the Big Splash swimming party, the Trampoline party and the Football Party, to the Bouncy Castle Adventure Land party. There’s no mess, no fuss and we do all the work, whilst you, your child and their friends have all the fun!”

Sessions vary across centres so visit or contact your local centre for further details.


Wandsworth’s leisure centres offer a wide range of activities for under Àves which provide fun and exercise in a safe environment. “They help to develop social and physical skills, as well as encourage kids to keep Àt and healthy,” says Krystina GrifÀth of DC Leisure who overseas the marketing at Latchmere, Balham, Putney, Wandle, Roehampton and Tooting centres, plus the Tooting Bec Lido.

what’s on


April - June

Battersea, Clapham & Balham

Occupied - Theatre 503 Until 26th April Driven by a desire for belonging, two Romanian immigrants kidnap an Englishman to learn how to be English. Set in a derelict Victorian public toilet. A darkly comic play. Mon - Sat 7.45pm, Sunday 5pm Theatre 503, 503 Battersea Park Road 020 7978 7040 •

Natural Wine Tasting - The Wine Tasting Shop Tuesday April 15th Everything Organic and bio-dynamic There will be 7 different wines accompanied with ½ne cheese, charcuterie and speciality breads. £20pp in advance. The Wine Tasting Shop, 18 Hildreth St, SW12 9RQ 020 8616 8658 •

Orpheus – Battersea Arts Centre Until 17th May 1930s Paris: musician Django Reinhardt is the lead in a re-imagining of the Greek myth with a live score of hot club jazz, opera and French chanson. £15-£25 Battersea Arts Centre Lavender Hill SW11 020 7223 2223 •

Women Mean Business Wednesday 23rd April, 6pm to 9pm A business ‘speed-dating’ evening plus networking advice organised by the Wandsworth Chamber of Commerce. Booking essential. Women only. The New Bar,The Bedford, Balham SW12 9HD Contact Jane at or visit and search for women mean business.

Makers’ Market - Brixton 2nd Saturday of each month You’ll ½nd the street full of handmade crafty bits, contemporary art and new fashion from independent designers and makers. 10am – 5pm. Brixton Station Road, SW9

Best of Friends - The Landor Theatre Wednesday 23rd April - Sunday 27th April Music lovers Mike Chariot and Jim Ryan are brothers in every way but blood. In their twenties they use their passion to start a band. Music brings people together, it can also tear them apart. The Landor Theatre, 70 Landor Road, Clapham SW9 9PH 020 7737 7276 •

Clapham NCT Easter Party Saturday 12th April Photography Station, Easter Craft Table, Facepainter, Monkey Music class, Raf¾e, Easter Eggs and Goodie Bag. 2.30-4.30pm. £5 in adv, £7 on door. Broomwood Methodist Church, 155d Broomwood Road, SW11 6BD RSVP to Pygmalion - Richmond Theatre Monday 14th April - Saturday 19th April A major revival of one of the best loved plays of the 20th century. Alistair McGowan attempts to transform the manners of ¾ower girl Eliza Doolittle. Richmond Theatre The Green, Richmond • TW9 1QJ 0844 871 7651 •

Arnaud Ducret: the French comedy invasion Thursday 24th April French comedian and actor Arnaud Ducret brings his new stand up show to The Grand in Battersea, SW11 1TT. 7pm Doors. Tickets £25 on Ticketweb 0844 77 1000 or at Bolingbroke Academy Spring Fair Saturday 26th April, 12 noon to 3pm Help raise money for a school minibus. Performances by pupils, games, cake stalls, chocolate tombola and international food. £1 for adults and free for children. Wakehurst Road, SW11 6BF • 020 7924 8200


what’s on Seven Brides for Seven Brothers - Richmond Theatre Monday 28th April - Saturday 3rd May Richmond presents ‘Ultimate Feel Good Show’, according to the Manchester Evening News, and ‘A Real Heartwarmer’, says the Daily Telegraph. Richmond Theatre, The Green, Richmond • TW9 1QJ 0844 871 7651• P Monahan, The Matchmaker Wednesday 30th April An hilarious look at dating, plus the chance to win a date! 18+ 7.30-10.30pm. Adult £8 (conc £5). Also at The Bread & Roses Pub in Clapham on 28th May. The Bedford, 77 Bedford Hill, Balham SW12 9HD 020 8682 8940 • Fine Champagne Tasting - The Wine Tasting Shop Thursday 1st May In depth look at Champagne, with 7 top champagnes to try as we cover the history and development of Champagne. A very special tasting with cheese and speciality breads. £35pp in advance. The Wine Tasting Shop, 18 Hildreth St, SW12 9RQ 020 8616 8658 • The Balham Craft Fair – The Bedford Saturday 3rd May, 12-5pm Browse the stalls of local London designers and makers. After you’ve browsed the stalls, stop off for a cup of tea and some homemade cake at the pop-up tea room. On sale will be bags, clothes, homewares, jewellry and so much more… The Bedford, 77 Bedford Hill, Balham SW12 9HD 020 8682 8940 • Business Club – Honing your message Women’s Unlimited Worldwide Wednesday 14th May Wandsworth female entrepreneurs learn proven strategies to build their businesses and brainstorm ideas. Two hours; 9.30am start. Advance booking. The Northcote 2 Northcote Road, Battersea SW11 1NT Trinity’s Magnolia Walk Sunday 18th May Support your local hospice by taking part in a two,


½ve or ten-mile walks around Clapham and Battersea. Walk in memory of a loved one or simply support a great local cause before heading back to Trinity for a well-deserved BBQ. Contact 020 7787 1012 • The Ash Girl - Southside Players Wednesday 28th - Thursday 31st May A twist on the Cinderella story: ‘A mix of C S Lewis and Sondheim’s ‘Into the Woods’. £10, conv £7.50 Wed and Sat. 7.45 pm Wed-Fri, Sat at 5pm. Chestnut Grove School, Boundaries Rd, Balham SW12 8JZ 07914 657524 • The London Folkfest - The Bedford Thursday 5th - Sunday 8th June The London FolkFest returns to Balham for its 4th fabulous year. This year’s line up includes headline sets from The Dunwells and Beth Rowley (5th) Jon Gomm, Crowns and Polly Paulusma (6th) Emily Barker and Luke Concannon from Nizlopi (7th) Supporting St George’s Hospital FIRST TOUCH charity. The Bedford, 77 Bedford Hill, Balham SW12 9HD 020 8682 8940 • Ritherdon Road Street Party Sunday 8th June All of your favourite stalls and entertainers together with lots of new ones to make this party bigger and brighter than ever before. 11am -5pm Ritherdon Road, Balham, SW12 07808 174758 World Cup Wine Tasting/Quiz - Harrison’s Monday 9th June World Cup inspired wine and cocktail tasting with a ‘Group D’ quiz. Taste wines from Uruguay, Italy and of course, England, plus a Costa Rican cocktail. £25pp. Harrison’s, 15-19 Bedford Hill, Balham SW12 9EX 020 8675 6900 • Friends Barbecue – Battersea Park Zoo Tuesday 24th June, 6-9pm Children’s activites, tombola, live music, raf¾e, bar, silent auction. Tickets include exclusive access to the zoo, barbecue and puddings. Adults: £16 in advance. Children 6-16: £7 Under 6s: Free Battersea Park Zoo, Chelsea Embankment SW11 4NJ 020 7622 5199 •


Out & About in your local area Tortilla – Clapham Junction by Richard Chumbley

I love Mexican food – I love the smell of it, the ½eriness of it, the freedom of it and the mess of it. I also happen to think I cook it pretty damn well. So I didn’t have high hopes for my visit to Tortilla, the new burrito restaurant in Battersea (it’s not in Clapham, Mr Tortilla!) and I was pleasantly surprised to leave with smile on my face and a spicy tingle on my lips. Latin music, Corona bottles, cages of beer, enthusiastic staff and the look of an American diner – it ticked all the boxes. At the counter I was asked to choose between a Burrito (tortilla with rice and goodies), a Naked Burrito (carb-free goodies) or Dos Tacos (smaller tortillas with goodies but no rice). I chose a Vegetarian Burrito with guacamole, rice, beans, peppers and onions, salsa and cheese; plus side shots of tortilla chips and salsa. Meat-eaters can choose between halal chicken, Scottish beef and outdoor reared pork. The provenance, freshness and daily preparation of their ingredients is a strong point in their favour

Sabor! – Tooting Bec by Monika Orman

There’s always a Chinese, Italian or Indian restaurant around the corner, but Tooting Bec now claims a far less familiar eating experience – Columbian. Sabor! might look more like modern café but it’s also a great venue for a meal, whether at lunchtime or in the evening. The daytime menu offers both English and Latin dishes, from a full English to Columbian chorizo, kidney bean and corn bread. A customer told us they also do “heavenly” Latin smoothies. The evening menu is purely Latin and we began

and I could really taste that freshness. It’s true that the ¾avours inside the burrito were good rather than amazing, but the supplied hot sauces gave me the extra hit I needed. As a fast food option near Clapham Junction, Tortilla is a good one and pretty decent value. I’d de½nitely make a beeline for it after a night out.... even though my own salsa is obviously the best!

Tortilla Clapham Junction, Battersea SW11 1RU 020 7738 9755 with deep-fried cassava chips with guacamole, plus a ‘Platano Sabor’. The latter was my favourite dish of the night: ripe plantain with guacamole and grilled cheese – it was a new dish to me and utterly delicious. For main I had an ‘Arepas Rellenas’: a traditional stuffed cornbread dish with country cheese, plantain, avocado and coleslaw. It was like deconstructed burger and very tasty. My friend had the Colombian meat platter – beef steak, pork belly, minced beef, rice, egg, beans and more. She particularly enjoyed the shredded beef. The restaurant is unlicensed but they are enlightened enough to offer a range non-alcoholic wines, beers and ciders. The portions had been large but to ½nish we managed a traditional Columbian dessert of ½gs and caramelised milk. It was far too sweet for our taste but perhaps this was a good thing, else I may have become completely addicted to Colombian cuisine.

Sabor! 2 Tooting Bec Road, London SW17 8BD 020 8767 3222


a-z directory The Essential Local Directory is designed to promote the use of local businesses, primarily independents If you’d like your business or organisation to be included here and on our online directory at please email Accountants/Bookkeepers

Acupuncture – see Comp. Med

Force Homecare 020 8675 9866 22 Bedford Hill, SW12 9RG



B&B - see Hotels;

For emergency assist, call 999

Art Galleries & Artists

Andi Bunbury Original Watercolours for Children 07816 959179

Balmain London Ltd 020 7223 6333 59 Broomwood Rd, SW11 6HU

Bicycle Sales & Repair

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


Doc4PC Fast home internet up to 2Mbps. £15 per months. First month free! 08000 283 166 8 Lombard Road, SW19 3TZ

Babysitters - see Childcare Bars - see Restaurants

Builders (Design & Build)

Webbs Road Fine Art 020 7223 1733 1 Burland Rd (Webbs Rd) Battersea SW11 6SA

Beauty Salons/ Treatments Francesca Alexander Hair & Beauty 020 7585 3330 53 Webbs Rd Battersea SW11 6RX Lotus Spa Massage and Beauty Spa 020 8875 1199 535 Old York Road, SW18 1TG


Bathrooms & Kitchens

Poe Projects Project management specialists: design and build, electrical work and interiors. 020 7223 3286

Tax Assist Accountants Get in touch for a free no` obligation quote. 020 7118 0402

Battersea Basement Co. 59 Broomwood Rd (End of Northcote Rd) SW11 6HU 020 7223 6333

Sabor - The Latin Way Modern Latin American Bistro 2 Tooting Bec Road SW17 8BD 020 8767 3222

Under the Greenwood Tree Books, Toys & Child-friendly Cafe 020 7627 4557 11 The Polygon, Clapham SW4 0JG Cars - see Garages Carpenters - see Builders

Charities & Volunteering Wandsworth 020 8870 4319

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

Chemists - see Pharmacies

Simply Construction Friendly building and roo½ng contractors based in Clapham 020 7498 6696 172 Clapham Park Road, SW4 7DU

The Willow Nursery 020 7498 0319 Established for over 30 years and now moved to brand new premises Grafton Square, Clapham SW4


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 Nappy Valley Nannies 020 8946 5320 75 Swaby Road, Earls½eld SW18 3PJ

Childrens Activities/Courses 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 020 8764 5185 Balham, Tooting, Streatham, Wandsworth and South½elds

Under the Greenwood Tree Books, Toys & Child-friendly Cafe 020 7627 4557 11 The Polygon, Clapham SW4 0JG South Thames College Further and Higher Education at Wandsworth, Tooting, Merton. 020 8918 7777 Wandsworth High St, SW18 2PP


Cineworld Ltd 0871 200 2000 Wandsworth High St, SW18 4TF

Clapham Picturehouse 0871 902 5727 76 Venn Street SW4 0AT

Cleaners & Cleaning Services Time For You Vetted, police and referencechecked Domestic Cleaners. From £10.95ph. 0800 542 0920 Clothing - see Fashion Comedy - see Restaurants/Pubs

Complementary Therapies Also see Healers The Cleansing Place Colonic Hydrotherapy, Detox Plans, Re¾exology, Deep Tissue Massage, Reiki. Ear Candling 07881 425412 Chelsea/Balham

Computer Sales or Repair Computers Inc Laptop and PC repair, support and printer ink store 020 7099 4577 59 East Hill, SW18 2QE

Scooter Computer Ltd Friendly computer help, to your door 020 7384 5949

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 020 7223 6529 19 Cobham Close, SW11 6SP

Emergency Services Call 999 OR 112

Estate & Letting Agents Truepenny’s 020 8675 1762 29 Abbeville Road Clapham SW4 9LA

Counsellors – see Psychotherapists Decorators - see Painters

Samuel Estates (ARLA & NAEA Licensed) 020 8673 4666 38 Balham Hill Balham SW12 9EL


To ½nd a dentist: NHS Direct: 0845 46 47 Dishwasher Repair. – see Dom’

DIY, Paint & Hardware

Force Homecare DIY/Paint Specialist: Keys cut. Little Greene, Sanderson and Paint and Paper Library 020 8675 9866 22 Bedford Hill, Balham SW12 9RG Doctors - see Medical

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

Tate Residential (ARLA & NAEA Licensed) 020 7622 6914 16 Battersea Park Road Battersea SW8 4LS Currell Residential 020 3668 1000 205 Lavender Hill Battersea SW11 5TB

Premier Moves 020 7228 7240 527 Battersea Park Road Battersea SW11 3BN

Education and Tutoring

Fashion & Clothing

South Thames College Further and Higher Education. 020 8918 7777 Wandsworth High St, SW18 2PP

Tutto Tuscany Hand-crafted Italian jewellery in Palladium, Gold & Bronze. Sat, Northcote Road Market

If you would like 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

Bespoke Attire Made-to-measure Suits, Shirts, Trousers, Coats, Dresses, etc 07590 675 244

Financial Services

Tax Assist Accountants For a free no obligation quote please get in touch. 020 7118 0402

Fire Brigade

Call 999 or for non emergencies contact: 020 8555 1200½

Fitness 121 Personal Training Training and nutrition coaching in your home. Train with a family member or friend at no extra cost. 07881 884 738


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



The Flower Sanctuary Weddings, funerals, deliveries, gifts & cakes 020 8675 3799 8 Hildreth St, Balham SW12 9RQ



Webbs Road Fine Art 020 7223 1733 1 Burland Rd, Battersea SW11 6SA


Lambeth Council

020 8871 6000

Town Hall Brixton Hill London, W2 1RWU

Furniture & Antiques Criterion Auctions Buying, selling, valueing art, antiques and contemporary furnishings. 020 7228 5563 41 - 47 Chat½eld Road SW11 3SE

Garage/Motor Repairs

GSF Motorworks Car servicing workshop. 020 7819 9555 Unit E & F London Stone Biz Estate, Broughton St, Battersea SW8 3QR

Garden Centres

Battersea Flower Station 07811 334 908 16 Winders Rd Battersea SW11 3HE


Garden Design & Gardeners Henrietta Gentilli Garden Design. Specialising in the design of town gardens 07711 652992/020 8675 8411

020 79261000


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

Relax and Float Releve pain and reduce stress with three ¾oats for £95. Christian Fields, SW16 3JY



Francesca Alexander hair & beauty 020 7924 3459 53 Webbs Road SW11 6RX Zenobia 020 7350 2017 115 Falcon Road, Battersea SW11 2PE

Homeopathy – see Comp. Therapies

Gifts & Cards

Hotels & Bed & Breakfast

The Inside Man Luxury gifts for men 020 8682 3834 30 Bellevue Rd, Wandsworth

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

Andi Bunbury Original Watercolours for Children 07816 959179


Postmark 020 8675 7272 123 Balham High Rd, SW12 9AR 59 Nth Cross Rd, Dulwich SE22 9ET

Also see Comp. Therapies Keith Bibby (UKCP Psychotherapist)

020 8673 6311 49 Klea Avenue Clapham Common SW4 9HG

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

a-z directory Interiors & Design

Force Homecare Paint Specialist: Little Greene, Sanderson, Paint and Paper Library 020 8675 9866 22 Bedford Hill, Balham SW12 9RG


Guided Group Mediations with Pippa Neve, Tooting Bec 07932 697 938 Minicab – see Taxis

Internet - see Broadband Jewellery - see Fashion Job Training - see Training Kitchens - see Bathrooms

Medical Services

Language Classes

Friendly Spanish 020 7193 9707/079 0560 5513 Old Town, Clapham, SW4 0JY

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

For Doctor/Dentist/Facility visit the website below For urgent but non life-threatening conditions call 111 Tooting Walk-In Centre 020 8700 0505 Treatment & emergency contraception. 7am-8.30pm. Clare House, St George’sHospital, Blackshaw Rd Tooting SW17 0QT Motor Repairs - see Garages Nannies - see Childcare Nurseries - see Childcare Nutritionist - see Fitness

Of½ce/Desk Rental

Le Bureau 020 7100 5666 Studio F7, Battersea Studios 80 Silverthone Rd SW8 3HE

Of½ce Supplies & Furniture The New Hurleys 020 8772 8223 9 The Boulevard Balham High Rd SW17 7BW

Poe Projects Interior design projects and painting/decorating jobs of all sizes 020 7223 3286

Personal Training – See Fitness


Pawsome Puppies Puppy Training and Socialisation 07824 159 542

David Cuffe & Associates Veterinary surgery 020 8772 9922 52 Abbeville Road Clapham SW4 9NF


Healthchem Pharmacy 4-5 Station Prde, Balham SW12 9AZ 020 8673 8351 Cospharm Pharmacy 281-283 Mitcham Rd Tooting SW17 9JO 020 8767 6005


Paint Specialists and DIY

Plumbers & Heating Engineers

PA/Admin Services

Cobbold Locksmiths 24-hour Emergency Mobile Service 07769 690439/020 8395 6586 Southwest London

New Dawn Ventures 07940 525 915 SW London

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


Simply Construction Friendly building and roo½ng contractors based in Clapham 020 7498 6696 172 Clapham Park Road, SW4 7DU

Robbie’s Photographics Photographic art & studio: location shots, weddings, courses, portraits, portfolios & makeovers 020 8767 4222 8 Ritherdon Rd, Balham SW17 8QD

Live Music

Painters & Decorators Force Homecare DIY & Paint Specialist: Little Greene, Sanderson & Paint & Paper Library 020 8675 9866 22 Bedford Hill, Balham, SW12 9RG Hamilton Heating Balham-based ‘Gas Safe’ registered plumbers and central heating experts 020 8675 5745/07890 662 713

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


a-z directory Helplines & Information Wandsworth Careline: health/social services 020 8875 0500 NHS Direct: 24hour con½dential info & advice 0845 4647 Samaritans: con½dential 24-hour support 0845 790 9090 Patient Advice and Liaison Service: 020 8355 2980 Sexual Health and Information Line: 24-hour 0800 567 123 Childline: 24hour con½dential advice for children 0800 1111 National Alcohol Helpline 0800 917 8282 Stop Smoking Service (Wandsworth): 0800 389792 Frank – Drugs Advice and Information 0800 77 66 00 Relateline: relationship info & support 0300 100 1234 Parentline Plus: parenting help & advice 0808 800 2222 Gamcare: for those affected by gambling 0845 600 0133

Police For emergency assistance, call 999 OR 112 or for general enquiries contact: Metropolitan Police 0300 123 1212

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

Post Of½ces 08457 223344


Shelter: help with housing problems 0808 800 4444 National Debtline: free advice 0808 808 4000 SeniorLine: con½dential help for the elderly 0808 800 6565 National Domestic Violence Helpline 0808 200 0247 Rape & Sexual Abuse Support: con½dential 01962 848 029 NSPCC Child Protection: Suspect abuse? 0808 800 5000 Childcare Link: info on local childcare 0800 2346 346 Community Legal Service Direct: free info 0845 345 4345 Learndirect: info on learning and careers 0800 100 901 Disability Information and Advice Line (DIAL) 0130 231 0123 Citizens Advice (Wandsworth Advice Service) 020 8682 3766 (enquiries) Transport for London 0843 222 1234 www.t¾ AA Roadwatch: traf½c/weather info (non-free) 0906 888 4322

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.

Printing Services

Essential Local Flyers, brochures, magazines, letterheads, business cards. 020 8432 3441 Wandsworth Common

Property - see Estate Agents


Keith Bibby UKCP Psychotherapist 020 8673 6311 49 Klea Avenue SW4 9HG


Renting Out your Home CHS Rentals Letting underused London accommodation for its owners. 020 8355 3129

Renting Out a Room London Hospitality Earn £500pm from renting out your spare room to professionals. 020 8835 0177

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

a-z directory Restaurants, Pubs & Bars Mezé Kitchen Greek Restuarant, Bar and Grill 020 8772 9772 37 Bedford Hill, Balham SW12 9EY

Sabor - The Latin Way Modern Latin American Bistro 2 Tooting Bec Road SW17 8BD 020 8767 3222

The Bedford Live music, Club Nights, Comedy, Food, Drink and Events 020 8682 8940 77 Bedford Hill Balham SW12 9HD

Harrison’s Bar & Restaurant 020 8675 6900 15-19 Bedford Hill, SW12 9EX Indian Moment 020 7223 6575 47 Northcote Rd SW11 1NJ

Indian Room 020 8675 8611 59 Bedford Hill, Balham SW12 9EZ

Gurkhas Traditional Nepalese cuisine 020 8675 1188 1 The Blvard, Balham High Rd, Balham SW17 7BW Roofers - see Builders

Solicitors & Legal Advice

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

Sports Shops & Activities Also see Leisure Facilities

Capstick Sports 020 7228 7814 84 Northcote Road SW11 6QN

Job Training/Quali½cations

Stationery - See Of½ce Supplies Tailoring – see Clothing

Pitman Training Clapham Junction 0333 577 3035 1st Floor, 50 Northcote Rd Battersea SW11 1PA

Taxis & Private Hire

Travel Agents

Leo Private Hire 020 8682 4466 22 Trinity Road SW17 7RE


Richmond Theatre 0844 871 7651 The Green, Richmond TW9 1QJ Battersea Arts Centre 020 7223 2223 Lavender Hill, SW11 5TN

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

Landor Theatre 020 7737 7276 70 Landor Rd, Clapham SW9 9PH Experience Travel Group Sri Lanka and South East Asia 020 3598 2077 209 St John’s Hill Battersea SW11 1TH Tutoring - see Education Vets - See Pets Washing Machine Repair – see Domestic Appliances

Website Design

Essential Local Cost-effective website design for small businesses 020 8432 3441

Window Cleaners

Therapists - see Psychotherapis

Renee MG Window Cleaning Ltd 020 8676 4261/07951 321 563 South West London


Windows – Sash

Relax and Float Releve pain and reduce stress with three ¾oats for £95. Christian Fields, SW16 3JY



Under the Greenwood Tree Books, Toys and Child-friendly Cafe 020 7627 4557 11 The Polygon, Clapham SW4 0JG

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


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

For further information regarding Essential Local, please email or call 020 8432 3441 If you would like to be included contact us at or on 020 8432 3441


vox pops


All photos by Julia Popova

In the ½rst of a series of vox pops, Julia Popova asks local people what they like about the local area and what they’d like to change

Camel, (right) Tooting Bec

Jonas, Battersea

Christian, Wandsworth Common

“I like that there are a lot of families living around here and the parks are beautiful. If I could change something I’d probably want Tooting Bec to have more shops and cafes.”

“There are plenty of local shops and lots of transport links here. But it would be good to have a swimming pool closer to Queenstown Road where I live.”

“I really like Common, the country feel and the open spaces. If I could change something I would like to divert the Red Route somewhere else.” Paul, SW11

“I enjoy the Common, the bars, restaurants and the shops. I’ve lived here for 20 years. The area has improved. It would be good to make the Northcote Road pedestrian only on a Saturday.”

Marta, Battersea


Patricia, Balham

Joan, Works in Clapham

“I have been living here for 40 years and I just like the area: the people are really nice. The one thing I would change would be to have more shops nearby.”

“I like it because of the parks. Moreover it is cheap to live where I do (Stockwell). As for improvements, I wish there were areas locally where people could grow fruits and vegetables.”

Quiz answers: 1) Chalky; 2) Dennis Waterman; 3) Ernest Bevin College; 4) Lloyd George; 5) 17; 6) Samuel Estates; 7) A hotel; 8) The Cooperative; 9) Boundaries; 10) Thomas Hardy

Everything is really close. Everybody knows each other. But I’d like my area to be more protected. As you go under the bridge it’s a completely different world which is not safe enough.

Louisa, Wandsworth It is very child-friendly and green – it just has everything we need. Now I have a baby I’ve come to realize there’s a need for more primary schools: not everyone can afford to go private.

Essential Local - April 2014  

The glossy A5 publication supporting the local community and independent businessess, delivered directly to 15000 homes in Battersea, Clapha...

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