Travel Spotlight

Neighborhood Watch: London's Fulham

Chilled-out Fulham is a London neighborhood where baristas know your order after one visit, where friends convene at Hot Spot Yoga (25 Heathman's Road; 44 (0)203-696-6050) for some sweaty Bikram and where London's only Michelin-starred pub is packed with young families every Sunday for lunch.

The residential neighborhood of Fulham is brimming with young professionals and “yummy mummies” pushing kids in strollers. Unlike some of London’s glitzy neighborhoods that seem to shout for attention, Fulham has retained a village-like feel. The local butcher regularly has lines outside, the main pharmacy has been family-owned for over 30 years and most important stops are conveniently located all within walking distance.

Bayley & Sage (34 New King's Road; 44 (0)207-736-2826) is a tempting green grocer that sells everything from fresh fruit and vegetables to wine, cheese and healthy salads. Across the street, St Clements (201 New Kings Road; 44 (0)207-998-8919) serves hand-roasted coffee. Many, however, claim that the best cappuccinos in the neighborhood can be found at Shot Espresso (11 Jerdan Place; 44 (0)207-381-5572) set on the pedestrianized Jerdan Place. Founded by an Aussie, a Brit and an Italian who share a love of coffee, Shot Espresso is a neighborhood hangout that moves seamlessly from breakfast to lunch to aperitif bar in the evening. Across the lane, Ice & Slice (24 Jerdan Place; 44 (0)203-080-0980), which serves homemade gelato and pizza, is owned by the same enterprising trio. On a recent visit, I couldn’t decide between caramello salato (salted caramel), baccia (hazelnut and chocolate) or coffee gelato, so I went for all three. It was a good decision.

Ride Republic (709 Fulham Road; 44 (0)207-736-7495), an indoor cycling studio where the motto is "strong is the new skinny." Teachers for the spin classes go through a rigorous training session and are only permitted to teach at this boutique spot, where cycling shoes, eucalyptus towels and bottled water are complimentary for guests. Friday nights are theme nights, featuring music trends like “Britney vs. Justin" and “USA vs. UK.” The “Spin Dating” night was such a hit that it might become a regular offering. If it’s your core rather than your heart rate that needs attention, Pilates studio Heartcore (723 Fulham Road; 44 (0)207-435-5078) and Paola’s Body Barre (70 Rosaline Road; 44 (0)771-374-5065) are just down the road.

Another favorite activity in the area, albeit less physical and more intellectual, the card game bridge is taught at Andrew Robson's Bridge Club (31 Parsons Green Lane; 44 (0)207-471-4626). Honored by the Queen for his services to bridge and charity, Robson is a gentle, kind teacher who never lets his pupils feel foolish. The other instructors here are also fabulous at teaching this brainy, fun game.

The importance of field-to-fork dining is the message at Harwood Arms (Walham Grove; 44 (0)207-386-1847), with game and foraged ingredients featuring heavily. One day’s creative menu might include Hereford snails on toast, oxtail braised in stout and parsley and slow cooked beef cheeks with damson, baked celeriac and smoked bone marrow tart. Both two- and three-course weekday lunches (Tuesday through Friday) are affordably priced. Other favorite pubs in Fulham include The Sand’s End (135-137 Stephendale Road; 44 (0)207-731-7823), Tommy Tucker (22 Waterford Road; 44 (0)207-736-1023), Aragon House (247-249 New King's Road; 44 (0)207-731-7313) and The White Horse (1-3 Parsons Green; 44 (0)207-736-2115).

Published onNovember 10, 2015

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