Battersea's hidden gem kicks off Christmas in great style mixed with festive fun
Christmas festivities got off to a tremendous start on the 4th December thanks to the wonderful occasion organised by the shops and businesses in Webbs Road.
Northcote Road is well known to many people already, but a short walk up the hill towards Clapham Common lies Webbs Road. This is Battersea’s hidden gem which boasts a range of independent boutique shops and specialist businesses. Together they have produced a very special sense of community, which we had the opportunity to have a taste of on a wonderful Christmas evening of festive treats, delicious eats, late night shopping and caroling with the South Battersea Festival Chorus Choir.
The pictures below introduce the shops, the people that run them and some of their customers and give a flavour of the wonderful atmosphere in Webbs Road on the night.
First off we visited Lizzie’s – many people first knew Lizzie and her shop on Northcote Road. Up on Webbs Road Lizzie’s has been re-born.
Above: Lizzie at the door of Lizzie’s giftshop, 71 Webbs Road
.......some of the delicacies outside Lizzie’s
.......and an exquisite crib in the window of Lizzie’s
Above: Amco News, 69 Webbs Road, keeping local residents well supplied with daily news, magazines, food and much much more, including Dry Cleaning
Outside Amco News Aatish Patel offers the most delicious samosas to festive shoppers - they were definately the best the writer had ever tasted, with heart warming cinnamon
Left to right: the ever welcoming Jagrut, Aatish and Alka Patel, inside their shop - Amco News
Above: Sammy Duder, 67 Webbs Road - www.sammyduder.com, where aspiring pottery painters of all ages can design bowls, mugs, plates and more for themselves, family, friends....and even pets.
Inside the shop we meet Christy (left) and Sammy herself !!
Above: The Drawing Room, 65 Webbs Road. A place for a all sexes to have their hair dressed....but not by the time we arrived!
Above: Oranges & Lemons, 61-63 Webbs Road - www.oandlhifi.co.uk, London's most incredible HiFi specialists located in Battersea of course, where else. Evelyn McDermott founded the business in 1994 and he and his team help bring marvelous sound and melody to rooms anywhere in the house.....even the kennel, if your dog chooses!
Meanwhile at 59 Webbs Road we thought we had reached the site of the London Wedding Company but their website advertises that they have two locations - Wandsworth and Clapham ....no mention of Battersea - see: www.thelondonweddingcompany.co.uk.
Since we are celebrating Christmas in Battersea's magical Webb's Road we pass on quickly ........to where our next stop had some welcome advice to Battersea lovers....
Above: Webbs Road Fine Art, at No.1 Burland Road and on Webbs Road itself - www.thewebbsgallery.co.uk. This place is a treasure trove of artisic delight with views to feed the minds of art lovers galore.
Liz Cranwell-Ward, the proprietor of Webbs Road Fine Art shows us one of the pictures on view in her shop.
We were very lucky to meet artist Lucille Cranwell (no relation to Liz) with one of her creations - an uplifting painting of Battersea's most iconic building, Battersea Power Station which is famous across the world, particularly for flying pigs courtesy of Pink Floyd.
....talking of uplifting sights we crossed the road to visit yet another of Battersea's remarkable and creative specialist shops.
Above: Amelie's Follies, 34 Webbs Road - www.awareunderware.com.
This shop is an all-year wonderland of underwear for women with real style who know that what's worn underneath can be beautiful, exquisite, fashionable, uplifting ......and supportive
......all at the same time.
Above: Olivier Gazay (Managing Director) with Catherine and Lorraine, inside Amerlie's Follies, toasting a Happy Christmas.
Any men viewing this and thinking of making a purchase for their loved one should note that you will be safe in Catherine and Lorraine's hands - they will be able to tell you everything you need to know before you end up buying the wrong thing in the wrong size!
Above: Diving Leisure London, 36 Webbs Road -www.divingleisurelondon.co.uk.Yet again Webbs Road delivers, this time with London's leading PADI Dive Centre. From this shop in Battersea you can go on diving holidays around the UK or the Red Sea the Maldives and even ice diving in Russia!
Well, if you hadn't realised it yet we are pleased to let you in to one of Webbs Road's open secrets - it is the centre of the newest and most fantastique quartier Francais.....oh la la, and it even provides le chocolat as the next picture reveals (see the end of our Valentine's Night story for information on where to cheer on Les Blues: >>>)
....now on to that Chocolat we promised you.....
Above: the scrumptuous chocolate fountain inside La Maison des Roses, 48 Webbs Road - www.maison-des-roses.com.
Children were almost permanently glued to this all evening mmmmm!
Above: view of La Maison des Roses, at the corner of Webbs Road and Bramfield Road.
Levine Woods Dobricza inside her flower shop (La Maison des Roses), which was full of beautiful and wonderfully scented flowers.
.....even Rudolf with his red nose could not resist the flowers
One last look inside La Maison des Roses
Above: an artistic snowy frosty Christmas wreath
Above: a real favourite of the children, with the richest and most morish of hot chocolate drinks this side of La Manche.....
Couleur Cafe, 32 Webbs Road - "home decoration, tea room, coffee shop and french epicerie" all in one.
Well, of course, we could not have a great night out without some great tasting crepes courtesy of Couleur Cafe.....all the usual classic French ingedients were on offer - we lost count of the number that were consumed by tous les enfants
Above: Celia Vincent (proprietor) and Boris inside the shop surrounded by everything that is irresistable
Above: (left to right) Celia, Boris, Christine and Mme je ne sais qui (pardon mais we didn't get your name...but merci for the crepe)
.......thankfully this sign was found inside our next stop and not inside Couleur Cafe where one wants one's taste buds to touch everything
Above: Atelier Living, 26-28 Webbs Road - www.atelierliving.com
Inside we met Julie Gibson Jarvie, the proprietor of Atelier.
Our conclusion? Forget Chelsea or Pimlico, this is the place to come to if you wish to live in style
Ne pas toucher indeed.....
.....and now we came to the place that we should perhaps have started at if we wanted to go out into the night with great hair
Hedley Twist, 30 Webbs Road, where we met Rod, Karen and Malcolm
Above: Malcolm and happy customer......but what is going on at the front of the salon?
.....ah ha, we have found the centre of operations for the evenings entertainment and a stove to heat up muled wine (we think) is being prepared by two vets (we meet a lot of them on this night and visit their shop later), Karen of Hedley Twist (middle of picture) and Monsieur Dominique and his wife Sarah (left of picture).
In no time at all its hats on for Malcolm as he and his colleagues welcome the world into their shop, to which we shall return anon, but first it is time to check our backs.....
The Battersea Osteopathic Practices, 42 Webbs Road - www.tbops.com
Having mentioned backs we should point out that Naval Mair and his colleagues provide a service that tackles far far more than just backs, but if you are thinking of skiing this winter then you might just keep his card in your pocket!
Above: inside with the Osteopaths - (left to right) Naval Mair, Rory Cusack (....one of the Vets....they really know how to get about and party!), Rowena and Rosa (Naval's qualified associate)
.....apparantly Santa Claus comes here to be invigorated after his long night in the Sleigh
An Osteopath's answer to La Maison des Roses........
We'd better go and see where these Vets hang out when they're not drinking and eating elsewhere!
Westside Veterinary Clinic, 2 Burland Road on the corner with Webbs Road - www.westsidevets.co.uk
This is where Rory Cusack and Chloe Garwood provide a friendly and cheerful service for Battersea pets galore, including the writer's own new cat from Battersea Dogs and Cats Home (www.battersea.org.uk)
Well we told you they were cheerful and welcoming
Above: Louisa who organises the vets
Above: we think this is vet Chloe Garwood, inside Hedley Twist where the climax of the evening is about to begin with the arrival and sound of some special performing guests....
Members of the South Battersea Festival Chorus Choir, preparing to sing some well known carols - www.festivalchorus.cu.uk
The Festival Chorus was established by a group of friends in 1975 to contribute concerts to the local South Battersea Festival organised by local Churches. It now has as many as 160 singers and plays to audiences of over 400. David Fawcett has been the Musical Director. since 1988. The choir meets at Broomwood Parish Methodist Church Hall and has three concerts a year at St Luke's Church Battersea
The choir in full flow singing carols to a growing, appreciative crowd
Click on the following link to hear them sing "Good King Wenceslas"
Above: Rod of Hedley Twist
....a cheeky and happy little resident photograph's our photographer
Local dignitary, the Deputy Mayor of Wandsworth, local Northcote Councillor Peter Dawson turned up to support the occasion and is seen here entertaining the locals with his chain of office, accompanied by his wife the Deputy Mayoress Lynda Dawson
Whilst a local Battersea dog gets some love and attention!
And finally it came upon a midnight clear to for us to say Au Revoir to Webbs Road and to thank all of those terrific people, their shops, customers and local residents who organised and hosted such a fun and festive evening - no better way to start Christmas.....and if you still haven't bought your presents or got your home decorated or you need to look good at a party, or your pets just ate the entire turkey in one sitting, or you feel like diving away to a tropical sea, or want some great HiFi sound or have been diving already and need your limbs loosened up by a talented osteopath, or you haven't bought your daily newspaper or winning lottery ticket, then.....
COME ON DOWN TO BATTERSEA'S WEBBS ROAD....
Its all here !!!!
Thank you for the great hospitality, Merry Christmas from the SW11tch Back to Battersea Campaign team