As you may already know, I absolutely adore London. I am pretty much obsessed with it and every single day I feel lucky to be living in this incredible metropolis. I genuinely still get butterflies in my tummy when I walk around it and love that I discover new things every day. Its fast paced, its exciting, its constantly evolving, it keeps you on your toes and its stunning…its like the best partner you ever had! In fact I do feel like I have an ongoing love affair with London and I reckon its been my most successful and meaningful relationship to date.
So when Time Out asked me to share the best parts of my neighbourhood as part of their Time Out Love London Awards, I jumped at the chance. Below, I have put together a list of my favourite foodie places in my little area of Putney and I’d love it if you could vote for your favourite haunts too.
I have lived in London for 18 years, mainly around the South West of the city. As a naive Scottish girl coming down fresh from University in Edinburgh, I had no knowledge of London at all. I knew I wanted to live there, there was no question about that, I just had no idea of the differences between North, South, East and West. My first flat was in Fulham as I had a friend of the family with a spare room. If you don’t know London, Fulham is located in the South West of the city. And South West is more or less where I’ve stayed, give or take a few years spent South East with a boy who broke my heart. I returned South West (primarily in Putney) and have been there ever since.
I love Putney. Its not the coolest or most exciting of places to live in London, but I work in Soho every day, and hang out in Soho most nights, so I have enough excitement during the week. My weekends are for chilling out and relaxing and Putney is the perfect place for that. Maybe I’m getting old but the highlight of my week is meeting my friend Milli at Putney Bridge early on a Saturday morning and walking along the river to Barnes and back.
Its beautiful and peaceful. The only sounds (apart from our inane chatter) are the birds chirping and the rowers speeding by on the river. Its such a perfect way to kick off the weekend.
As we start our walk towards Barnes, we often find ourselves grabbing a coffee and a pastry from Ground Coffee Society on the Lower Richmond Road. If you want proper coffee in Putney, Ground Coffee Social (formally Grind Coffee) is the best place to go. This Scandinavian-style cafe roasts their own coffee beans in batches for freshness. Their house blend ‘Caveman’ is used as the base to all their coffees. They also serve up fantastic pastries and cakes, really tasty snacks and a cracking brunch menu.
Ground Coffee Society, 79 Lower Richmond Road, SW15 1ET
After our walk, I tend to pop to Putney Market which is at the bottom of Putney High Street (next to St Mary’s Church) to stock up on bread, pastries, meat, cheese, fruit and veg and quite often, breakfast in a bun! It runs every Saturday 10am-3pm and brings the best local producers and traders together to offer the local residents top quality produce right on their doorsteps.
On the weekends that Milli and I walk in the opposite direction, towards Wandsworth, we inevitably find ourselves in The Ship. Now, The Ship isn’t technically in Putney, granted, but its in my borough of Wandsworth so I still think it counts. Its a fantastic pub situated right on the river by Wandsworth Bridge, and it is certainly somewhere I end up on a regular basis, especially in the summer months.
In the summer it is rammed full of beautiful people drinking Pimms in the sunshine and enjoying burgers from the outdoor grill, and in the winter months its rammed full of the same beautiful people enjoying their fantastic roasts, washed down with craft ales.
The Ship, 41 Jews Row, London, SW18 1TB
BIBO is an Italian restaurant just a stone’s throw away from my flat. I was so happy when it opened in 2014 and I have been a regular ever since. The brainchild of restaurateur Rebecca Mascarenhas (Kitchen W8 and Sam’s Brasserie) and chef Chris Beverley (Theo Randall at the InterContinental and Chez Bruce), it is a good staple neighbourhood resaurant serving up fantastic modern Italian food with terrific service. Its the perfect place to pop in for a quick bite to eat and a few glasses of wine (they have a cracking wine list) after work, or for a full on meal. I have eaten here a LOT, and have never been disappointed.
BIBO, 146 Upper Richmond Road, SW15 2SW
Just a little further along the Upper Richmond Road, just by East Putney tube station is Valentina, a family run and owned Italian deli selling meats, salamis, cheeses and traditional antipasti. Its great if you can’t be bothered cooking but fancy something homemade. I’ve often popped in on my way home from work for a big slice of Melanzane Parmigiana to heat up at home. Or sometimes a few bits of antipasti and some fresh bread which I’ll take home and dunk into some good oil and vinegar. They also sell a fab range of oils, including their own blended olive oil, fresh fruit and veg, pasta, olives, wine…you get the gist. Its just a great Italian deli. They also have a cafe downstairs and a restaurant upstairs.
Valentina Fine Foods, 75 Upper Richmond Rd, London, SW15 2SR
Another fantastic restaurant in Putney is Isola Del Sole. This is a gorgeous little Sardinian/Mediterranean restaurant on Lacy Road where I have enjoyed many a happy occasion. Its got a real neighbourhood feel to it, and the food whisks you straight to sunny Sardinia, even if its raining in Putney. The menu is fresh, authentic, vibrant and absolutely delicious, and on top of that, the staff are wonderful, welcoming and treating all their guests like a long lost friend. Its a real gem of a place.
Isola Del Sole, 16 Lacy Road, London, SW15 1NL
Voting for The Time Out Love London Awards runs until 31st October. If you want to champion your favourite bits of this amazing city, visit the Love London Award page on Time Out