Putney Area Guide

Whether you’re single, in a relationship or married with kids, Putney really is the perfect place to live. Despite being just a 15 minute train journey from Waterloo, it has a cosiness about it that makes you forget you’re living in a big, anonymous, fast-paced metropolis. Putney might lack the urban chic of Shoreditch or Brixton but it has a style and personality all of its own. Despite popular myth, that personality is not entirely defined by middle-class yummy mummies – although the predominance of good schools and nurseries are an important ‘pull factor’ for parents moving into the area. Young professionals, from every background, are attracted to Putney because of its proximity to central London, buzzing and ‘green spaces’. What’s more, Wandsworth Park and the Thames is a stone’s throw away from the high street, and perfect for an early morning jog before work. Above all Putney feels safe. As a mid 20-something-girl, who sometimes enjoys a glass (or two) of wine, it was paramount to me that I lived somewhere safe when I moved to the Big Smoke. In Putney, you can venture out after dark without the fear of getting mugged, or happy-slapped – a worrying trend where hooded youths slap you whilst capturing the moment on their smart phones – which are, embarrassingly, usually more expensive than yours – just to add salt to the wound. Other areas in the south west such as Clapham Junction, Clapham North and Balham do not have the same feeling of community and safeness as Putney. Not, of course, that Putney is totally immune from the excesses of modern city life. Like most high streets in London, alcohol-fuelled rowdy behaviour is a familiar feature in Putney at the weekend. But it is a short-lived consequence of local bars and mainly harmless, albeit annoying at times. Which brings me on to Putney’s night life. There are dozens of good pubs and decent bars dotted along the High Street and around town. The Toy Shop Bar has just opened and it’s already proving a hit amongst daters – who can enjoy prosecco and beer on tap. That aside, there’s a trusty Be@1 at the bottom of the High Street or, for value for money, Wetherspoons. Like all Wetherspoons, its decor is a little predictable, the ambiance cheap and cheerful, the atmosphere too bright and noisy – but if you just want an unpretentious, inexpensive night out – Spoons is your place. Another Putney hotspot is Citizen Smith - best known for its great cocktails, and live bands on a Sunday. To be honest, every time I’ve been here I’ve left feeling slightly underwhelmed and broke. But it must be doing something right as it’s always packed at the weekend. Recently, Putney added The Roxy to its list of bars. This little number is a stone’s throw from the High Street and open until the early hours of the morning. For cheapskates, it’s the perfect place to go late at night because you don’t have to pay an entrance fee. Cocktails are Okay but if you’re used to drinking Prosecco or champagne don’t expect a flute glass – because you’ll just be offered a standard wine glass. When it comes to nightclubs, there’s only one. Fez. The Fez is the heart and soul of Putney. With its spacious dance floor, chart toppers and sweaty students it’s impossible to have a bad night. The bouncers are a little over-zealous but once you get past the airport-like-security you’re guaranteed a good night. The following day, you might fancy a decent breakfast as a hangover cure. There’s ample restaurants to choose from as well as the usual suspects, Wagamama, Pizza Express, Nandos, Bill's, GBK Burger, Byron to name a few – although, obviously, not all are open in the wee small hours. Coffee-shops are plentiful in Putney. There are several in Upper Richmond Road. I can recommend Artisan, which is also a regular haunt for TV chef Gordon Ramsey. I can vouch for the fact that the coffee and cakes are really good. Finally, to combat the excesses of too much food and drink, I can recommend a good and inexpensive gym at Putney Leisure Centre where the memberships are around £50 a month – which is quite reasonable considering the price includes swimming, sauna, steam room and exercise classes in peak hours. Happy Putney days everyone! By Georgette Culley. Georgette is the Features Editor at Talk to The press and a guest writer for Property People Local Area Guides Series
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