Merveilleux News for Battersea's Northcote Road

posted 11 Apr 2014, 12:54 by Love Battersea   [ updated 11 Apr 2014, 13:13 ]
Heavenly 'Aux Merveilleux de Fred' does a quick SW11tch Back to Battersea 😍

Local residents of South Battersea have been astonished to see what has arrived inside what was the old luggage shop on Northcote Road - a marvel to beat all marvels, a foodie's heaven called "Aux Merveilleux de Fred", selling exquisite meringue delights and more.

A French phenomenon, originally setting up in London in South Kensington on Old Brompton Road, Aux Merveilleux de Fred has brought added French glamour to Battersea by erecting a beautiful chandelier that sparkles through the large windows well into the night!

But its arrival didn't originally begin with much sparkle for Battersea.

The company thought that Northcote Road was in Clapham, which as we all know is in Lambeth Borough and not Wandsworth, where Battersea is.

Alerted by sharp eyed residents who spotted this before we knew anything, we stepped into action and wrote to Aux Merveilleux. It was clear that they were confused, like so many before them by the name of the local railway station - Clapham Junction!

This is what was seen on their website:

This was a bit of a disappointment, but we were not to be deterred.

We and supporters tweeted them and we got the following reply:

This seemed...well....'Merveilleux' ! But at head office there wasn't alignment with what their tweet promised, and we had to have another conversation with them.

The following explanation was given to us:

"The address we put is the legal one and we name the address Clapham for practical reasons.  Because we love Battersea we want to keep an option to have a shop in the middle of Battersea area and we would then name the address Battersea" and later "I am really sorry, but I cannot help you. The policy of the group is to classify our address accordingly to the closest and more relevant tube station name."

They had a dilemma, to which our solution was easy - label the store "South Battersea", and please don't mix-up 'Clapham' with "Clapham Junction'. Just as everyone knows that the addition of "Square" changes the geography of "Leicester" in a very important respect, for Battersea the addition of the word "Junction" after "Clapham" is of crucial importance in ensuring our local railway station and town centre, known as the 'Heart of Battersea' is not placed geographically as part of Lambeth. Clapham in Lambeth is quite another place, we believe its a lovely place and we're very lucky to have it as our neighbour, but it has its own unique and special characteristics, history and identity which need to be equally appreciated and respected without being mistaken for somewhere else.

Just when we thought we wouldn't achieve a breakthrough, Aux Merveilleux de Fred have changed their website and have even adopted our suggestion of referring to the place as South Battersea.

If only their email was

But sadly they haven't quite got away from Clapham - funny how they don't label Old Brompton Road as "South Kensington-Knightsbridge" but insist on giving our beautiful and much loved Northcote Road a slightly split identity. What we need is for them to open up in Clapham itself and then they'll have to change the description below...we hope 😃

However, we do very much appreciate the gesture made by Aux Merveilleux, and understand how easy it is for a company from abroad which is not familiar with the history, geography and identity of this part of South Battersea, to be confused - after all, its not their fault that the railway companies misnamed Battersea's central railway station 150 years ago! We're sure we'd easily mix up arrondissements in Paris.

So a big hearted loving THANK YOU from Battersea to Aux Merveilleux de Fred!!!

BTW - Does anyone actually know who 'Fred' is?!?