.......an outpouring of love for Battersea in SW11
14th February 2008
The SW11tch campaign team were out on the streets of SW11 on Valentine's night seeking out people ready to declare their love for Battersea.
.....we weren't disappointed.....passion for Battersea flowed out along Lavender Hill, Northcote Road, St. John's Road, Clapham Junction, Latchmere Road and Battersea Rise.
Some of the revellers we met during the night suggested we set up a Facebook group to "Love Battersea" - you can go and join it now!
Our night of passionate delight started where all good Valentine's start - at a top hairdressing salon....Anthony Laban's on Lavender Hill (where else?).
Anthony's girls were the first to get into the party spirit:-
Then it was off to visit restaurants that were getting ready for the Valentine crowds - first stop The Ceylon Tavern, 103 Lavender Hill, guided by Miss LavenderHill.co.uk herself....Emma Jane:-
Arriving at this great Sri Lankan bar and restaurant, located where the old Drawing Room used to be, we were greeted by some of the team. Featured left to right - Gawri, Raja, Nalin, Suthan and Anthony the manager. The restaurant exudes the warmth of Sri Lanka and provides a delicious range of food to heat anyone's ardour on Valentine's night or at any other time:-
From Sri Lanka we travelled further down Lavender Hill to Tumnan Thai Restaurant where Jim the manager (shown left) gathered his happy team to give them the chance to declare their love for Battersea before completing preparations for a spicy Thai Valentine night:-
Moving from Thailand, we arrived at at Donna Margherita (183 lavender Hill) where Italian passion for love and good food was preparing to combine with Valentine's night to cook up some suitable steam in the kitchens..... Gabriele the manager (2nd from left) managed to chivvy his munching colleagues away from their suppers to say THAT'S AMORE to Battersea:-
Continuing the Italian theme, who could resist a trip to the famous Pizza Metro Pizza Restorante Napoletano at 64 Battersea Rise - some Battersea folk first heard about this place in Perugia....when all they had to do was open their eyes walking down Battersea Rise. Many still remember the previous manager Alberto from Napoli who could wax lyrical about the New Year's Eve fireworks along the bay of Naples. For some years now the restaurant has been managed by Diego (featured on left of picture) - he and his staff are well known for the welcome they provide to guests:-
One of the happy Valentine couples dining at Pizza Metro Pizza:-
From Battersea Rise we turned into the much loved and well known Northcote Road - a lucky seven group of gorgeous girls were there to greet us and shouted out their love for Battersea (WE LOOOOOOOOVE BATTERSEA !!!) for all to hear up and down the road! After the pavement passion of these party girls we wondered if it would be possible to find louder expressions of joy in love for Battersea.......we did. But thanks must go to the game group below who raised the spirits in Northcote Road and gave us the momentum to keep going:-
To keep the tempo we picked up our stride with a flamengo flourish as we sought out the warm feel of Spain to chase away the chilly damp London night. With several shouts of Ole we headed into Lola Rojo, 78 Northcote Road, the Spanish restaurant and deli where we were greeted by manager Isabelle - she introduced us to one of the hot couples dining there on Valentine's night. We think we remember the guy (or was it the girl) in the picture below telling us he (or she) was from Clapham, but they were more than pleased to declare their love for Battersea to round off their evening with a high:-
Here they are again, with Isabelle, the manager of Lola Rojo (centre):-
As we progressed deeper south along Northcote Road we couldn't resist snapping this picture in the window of Kinleigh Folkhard & Hayward...... what a great headline "Completely London Completely Battersea". Obviously the KFH team were all away from the office celebrating....down Northcote Road somewhere naturally:-
And so to The Bank......the place that used to be the Bank, then became The Fine Line and is now THE BANK...again; but with the difference being that whilst it used to be a place to take money out, its now a place to give money out for sparkling drinks and eats. Tonight we heard they were holding a traffic light evening - green "I'm available", amber "I'm unsure" and red "I'm taken already bad luck". Outside we found some happy people lapping up the atmosphere who had clearly been waiting with pent up passion to declare their love for Battersea - see two pictures below:-
.......feeling that they had missed out on the chance to tell Battersea they love her, our original friends were joined by people at adjoining tables and revellers who were passing in the street:-
Keeping it to "B" we moved from the Bank to Babel....is there a connection (you be the judge). The Babel crowd were a great gaggle and quickly joined together unravelling the confusion of the babel to say in one single audible and loud cheer that they love Battersea - thank you Jenny, Bianca, Tory, James and friends (some of whom we were to meet again later in the night):-
How could we possibly leave Northcote Road without dropping in to the newly refurbished Northcote pub on the corner with Battersea Rise. The Northcote's barman Guy Cohen gave us a hearty welcome with the help of a colleague and two of his customers Judy and Jo. Guy called TIME....to say LOVE BATTERSEA:-
By this time we felt is was time to SOBA up (I know poor joke) with James and his friend who were full of love on Valentine's night - here they are outside SOBA on Battersea Rise:-
Crossing Battersea Rise for the second time that night we met Battersea's very own Three Graces on St. John's Road - Sophie, Ally and Sarah were quick to declare they were head over heals in love with Battersea and provided some of the night's warmest smiles....Antonio Canova will never know what he missed out on...... but visitors from Battersea to the V&A will from now on:-
At the end of St. John's Road we crossed Lavender Hill and found some hunks outside Revolution, on the corner with Falcon Road. We wondered what they could possibly be doing there when there were so many Valentines elsewhere in the area they could be meeting.....whatever with revolutionary spirit they boomed out their love for Battersea - thank you Jonathan, Paul and friends:-
Moving up Lavender Hill we met a group who came hot from the BAC where they'd experienced the incredible production The Masque of the Red Death - it seems that this was the first time that one of them had ever been to Battersea (2nd from left). Nevertheless she and her friends were full of the joys that Battersea had to offer, like the BAC, and were only too pleased to tell us they loved Battersea. Thank you to Sunnana, Illestlilah and friends:-
ALOHA....... at Sugar Cane, 247/249 Lavender Hill, we met these tempting sugar babes who put great passion into declaring their unending love for Battersea - Lauren, you definately won the award for "most passionate Battersea girl of the night", thank you for offering to provide a few more poses with your two great mates Lucie and L___? (she didn't give her full name):-
.......well aloha again:-
Moving further up Lavender Hill, we dropped in for some fish and chips at Munchies, joining the manager and some of his happy customers.... he served up Fish & Chips with dollops of love for Battersea all over (good place for Batter....see):-
Next we faced the descent of Lavender Hill, down Latchmere Road to one of the most characterful pubs in Battersea - The Fox & Hounds, run by George & Richard Manners. They were celebrating Valentines elsewhere but we were given a warm and hearty ale filled greeting by some of the jolly team who declared with one voice all ale to Battersea, we love you:-
Back in St. John's Road we came across a delightful lady and invited her to declare her love for Battersea before getting the bus home..... after missing the last one whilst the picture was being taken:-
To get one back on the photographer she took one of him, with some suitably attired friends:-
Outside Toni & Guy's the hairdressers in St. John's Road we found one of the staff with a Valentines balloon - she was more than ready to help us picture her shop whilst she gave her love to Battersea:-
........you know its that time of the night when the Connaught street cleaner man arrives. he was very kind to allow us a quick second to take his picture alongside our love Battersea sign - we appreciate the work that he and his colleagues do to clean up behind revellers in SW11:-
.........some of our Babel friends again, in St. John's Road on their way back home.......he looks as if his friend has just given him a pinch behind:-
Arriving at Battersea Rise we spotted this cheerful crowd and persauded them not to cross the road but stay with the chicken at Nandos and shout out their love for Battersea - they gave it their all, with hoots all round and some Can Can moves from the girl on the right.....these people were our wildest bunch of the night, and very entertaining:-
Up Battersea Rise towards Clapham Common, we met a Mexican decked out in full rig at Dos Amigos. Ignoring for a moment their address 35-37 Battersea Rise, Clapham SW11 (oh dear....its confusing down Mexico way), we listened whilst Mr Sombrero sang his heart out in his musical declarations of love for Battersea, accompanied by his guitar and friend:-
........joined by some romantic customers - he's from north London but loves Battersea and his companion, of course:-
........yet more romance down Mexico way - this couple were definately more than just amigos:-
By now the end of Valentine's night beckoned and it was time to round off with a shout of ALLEZ LES BLUES.......at Le Bouchon Bordelais, 5-9 Battersea Rise.
Well, at the end of the fairytale all Princes turn into Frogs don't they.....and then many people end up with the blues.......
At least this one was pleased as punch (or should we say Kronenburg) to say J'adore Battersea, bottoms up!
Until next year, we wish you all a love filled year and say au revoir and merci to all of the wonderful Battersea Valentines we met this year, on St. Valentine's Day 14th February 2008.
Le Fin of of our Fun tonight!