White City House has landed and a new crowd is piling into Shepherd’s Bush. But what else is in the area? Cut away from the bustling Shepherd’s Bush Green and the heaving Uxbridge and Goldhawk Roads and you’ll find a warren of residential streets where there are great pubs, independent shops and community cafe’s. Brook Green offers open space, tennis courts and a popular playground. A resident for 20 years, Annie Reid shares the area’s highlights:
Restaurants, Pubs and Bars
Whilst you aren’t allowed up to that infamous rooftop pool unless you’re a member, everyone is welcome at The Allis, the ground floor bar at White City House. A good meeting point at all times of day from brunch to late-night cocktails. The Bluebird Café next door is a good lunch and dinner spot too.
There are a lot of gastro pubs in the area – the best are the Angelsea Arms, where you can bring your dog, cosy up by the fire in winter with a proper roast lunch or sit outdoors in summer with a post-work pint. The Oak – along with its sister pub The Bird in Hand is also excellent, serving up brunch, as well as lunch and dinner. The Havelock has been around for donkey’s years and yet remains a favourite.
If you’re going to the cinema in dreaded Westfield, opt for a bite to eat at Albertine instead of one of the big chains. Allegra McEvedy has taken over her Mum’s former restaurant, and it’s now a relaxed wine bar downstairs with a small menu of charcuterie and cheese plates, with a smarter restaurant upstairs.
There are two great Italians in the area – Pentolina has now been on Blythe Road for seven years and has grown to become a Brook Green institution. The new kid on the block is Zia Lucia, a casual pizza place where the wood fired oven is the main focus.
Los Molinos is another stalwart – and for good reason. Its menu has not changed in years and delivers the most delicious tapas food – the prawns in garlic are to die for.
A mecca for new families in the area, The Corner House is more than a place to get a proper coffee – there’s also a children’s play space, yoga and pilates classes and deli. It also doubles as a useful (if expensive) off licence for emergency chilled rosé wine supplies.
Bertotti ice creams has two outlets one on Hammersmith Grove one on Goldhawk Road, and each counter dazzles with a kaleidoscope of colours and interesting flavours.
Shepherd’s Bush Road has a cluster of independent shops – highlights include Picture, a trusted framers, who offer great advice and excellent service. The Fishmonger’s Kitchen has to be one of the best fishmonger’s in London – ask for tiny clams that make the best spaghetti.
Along Blythe Road, Scandi Mini is a wonderful kids boutique with clothes and interiors pieces from Scandi and French brands. There’s also a small but perfectly formed collection of women’s clothes too.
Along the Uxbridge Road, Damas Gate is a Middle Eastern market with the freshest fruit and veg, flat breads, labneh, ready-mixed tabbouleh and more. The Goldhawk Road is know for fabrics, and most people think of A1. In my opinion the best is Toni Textiles, one of the first fabric shops to appear on the road – sequins, tassels, Indian trimmings and all sort of textiles. Between the two runs the Shepherd’s Bush market – amongst the tat there’s a wonderful ribbon stall around half way down – velvet trims, pom-poms, satins – all available to buy by the metre or reel.
Askew Road has new shops popping up all the time. Highlights are an outpost of the Ginger Pig butcher, Cocktail for presents and vintage furniture and nicknacks; and one of our favourite independent boutiques J W Beeton; brands include Les Petits Hauts and Bellerose.
Best of the Rest
Brook Green’s three tennis courts (and two mini courts) can be booked by the hour every day of the week 7am-9pm. You need to be a member but signing up is free. The Bush Theatre recently underwent a major re-furb and now not only offers consistently good productions but is also a great place to hang out. The Bush Hall and Shepherd’s Bush Empire pull in big acts.