Why go there?
Gigs, glorious gigs at the Shepherd’s Bush Empire. And Middle Eastern food (also glorious).
What’s the vibe?
Hectic! With its Overground and underground stations, its spaghetti-like road network, its old-school street market and the behemoth Westfield shopping centre, the Bush is bustling day and night.
What’s that smell?
Fried chicken, falafel, or if you’re really unlucky, faeces, as when the infamous Poo Man of the Bush dropped his trousers on the Green (yes it actually happened – google it).
Any celebs about?
Cressida Bonas, Prince Harry’s squeeze, has recently moved in. You can join her as part of the ‘Shey-Boo set’, if you really must call it that.
How about a local delicacy?
Now you’re talking. If you’re feeling a bit Ottolenghi, Uxbridge Road supermarket Damas Gate offers a bewildering mix of hard-to-find ingredients and amazing fresh breads. Alternatively, get a rice and peas fix at Ochi on Uxbridge Road, eat at venerable Polish restaurant Patio on Goldhawk Road with its vodka shots and eccentric owners, or try the equally idiosyncratic Cooke’s Pie and Mash shop on Goldhawk Road, famed for being in mod classic ‘Quadrophenia’. If you’ve still got room, jump on the 207 bus and head west to Askew Road to check out one of the best restaurants in London, Sufi.
Where’s the party at?
Bush Hall offers intimate, Edwardian-era surroundings for grand gigs and classy comedy nights, while the Defector’s Weld (owned by the same people as Camden’s Lock Tavern) cranks up the volume with guest DJs at weekends.
And if I only do one thing…
Head to Syrian restaurant Abu Zaad on Uxbridge Road for a plate of slowcooked lamb and fragrant rice. It’s less than a tenner and big enough for two. Get in!
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