So you think you know Battersea, but do you know these hidden hideouts?
In case you missed the memo, the luxury, festive shopping extravaganza that is The White Christmas Fair is coming to town. It is the biggest event in the Gertrude & Ivy calendar and we are thrilled to be opening the doors to Testbed1, for not one, but two whole days this year.
In the lead-up to the event, I have noticed how many people, long-term Battersea residents included, who do not know about Testbed1. It is the fabulous event space nestled between Albert & Battersea bridges, home to The White Christmas Fair and a huge variety of other events throughout the year. It led me to thinking about other hidden delights on my doorstep. I’m renowned amongst my friends for never leaving Battersea, but with these secret spots, why should I ever need to?
Housed in an ex-dairy warehouse, Testbed1 is an experimental arts and events space with ‘no agenda’. It’s cool. East London cool, and is a creative jewel in Battersea’s crown. Within the site is the Doodlebar,with its blackboard painted walls and endless supplies of chalk; creativity is here wherever you look. The London Distillery and Street Kitchen have also made use of this unique space next the river. I like it because it’s different, unexpected and encourages creativity from the local Royal College of Art and beyond.
I’m a sucker for anywhere next to the river, and if I can eat and drink at the same time then even better. The River Quarter Kitchen, hidden away off the beaten track close to the heliport, is a perfect spot to avoid the crowds for weekend brunch or a peaceful dinner whilst watching the waterborne world pass you by. The service is consistently warm and friendly and I challenge you to find a better eggs benedict this side of the river.
Battersea has no shortage of places to have a drink, but this is easily my favourite. Reached via a secret entrance, through a disco-lit launderette, at the back of the ever popular Breakfast Club. The King of Ladies Man thankfully does not seem to attract the same queue of customers that its big sister does each weekend next door. A cocktail bar where you are guaranteed a seat, some great music and a bar man that knows his stuff is perfect in my book.
Created back in 1835 from a selection of plants bought back from India and South Africa amongst other countries. The gardens have flourished over the years and now offer a somewhat surreal spot to sit and watch the great and the good of Battersea and Chelsea on a summer’s day. If it were not for the iconic chimneys of the power station poking up above the palm trees, it would be easy to imagine you were somewhere more exotic than the banks of the Thames.
Do you have a secret spot in Battersea that you are willing to share? Tweet us @Gertrude&Ivy