With apologies to Noel Coward and his poem ‘There are bad times just around the corner’.
They’re miffed at the Nine Elms intersection
They’re vexed in Vauxhall, outraged at Oval
And Fentiman Road, so I’m told, is on the verge of insurrection.
The President of the United States has been at it again and people round our way are not happy. First, when commenting on the new US embassy, he called our neighbourhood ‘off location’ – bloody cheek. Now at a rally in Michigan over the weekend he ramped up the war of words calling our locality ‘lousy’ and ‘horrible’ ahead of his planned visit to the UK in July.
Time to fight back south London and extol the benefits and merits of life (just) south of the river. So, with my Tourist Authority of Lambeth (unofficial) hat screwed firmly on my head here is why you, along with the most powerful man in the world, should take a stroll round our manor. Dodge the deadly bullets of Madame Tussauds, the London Dungeon and M&M World and take a trip to Lambeth.
- First up there’s Battersea Park, perhaps the best park in London, which now boasts an excellent restaurant, the Pear Tree Cafe. You can go boating on the lake or dangle from a zipwire, play football and marvel at the remnants of the Festival of Britain.
- There’s a thriving gay scene headquartered at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern just south of Vauxhall Station.
- There are so many bonkers buildings along Nine Elms Lane, including the new US Embassy, perhaps we should be marketing ourselves as the New Dubai.
- We have art galleries: Tate Britain and Damian Hurst’s Newport Street Gallery that was designed by the same Swiss architects that brought us Tate Modern.
- Then there’s Little Portugal spread out along South Lambeth Road which includes the Estrella Restaurant where you can sit outside and enjoy the sun, while sipping hot chocolate and nibbling on a nata. A little further along is the local favourite, the Canton Arms, a gastro pub of note. I’ve not tried it yet, but we have a new place on Clapham Road: 24 The Oval which looks promising.
- People are raving about Wright Brothers Seafood Restaurant at Battersea Power Station. They specialise in oysters, in case a basket of bi-valves is your thing. While there, you’ll also be able to take a look at the Battersea Power Station restoration; one of the biggest housing developments in Europe.
- There is the huge Nine Elms Sunday Market, which can be a little on the scummy side, but if you want to indulge your inner Martin Amis you might want to give it a go. Close by is the newly located New Covent Garden flower market, but for this you are going to have to get up early. It opens at 4am. Come Christmas, it’s fun to pick up your Christmas tree there for a fraction of the normal London price.
- Underneath the railway arches and strictly for the more adventurous we have Urban Axe Throwing and you can get to grips with the VauxWall climbing centre.
We should encourage Donald Trump to come to our neck of the woods and see what he’s missing. I’m sure we can assure him of a rousing reception.
(Now it’s over to you, local inhabitants, what have I missed?)