Take me to the river, and the pub, and the restaurant. It’s all in Putney.
Why go there?
Because you need a change from all the ramen and beards in the rest of London. C’mon, there are nice walks and cosy pubs and posh people to stare at.
Posh people? Like off that awful ‘Made in Chelsea’?
Putney is a leafier, Thamesier version of its well-heeled southwest neighbour. It’s a place where red-trousered Fauntleroys mingle freely with normal people, and everyone is quietly saving for a new Aga.
Very funny. But where can I go for a proper laugh?
Monthly comedy night Gits and Shiggles is a guaranteed rib-tickler at the Half Moon (Lower Richmond Road), which has seen legendary gigs by The Stones, The Who and Kate Bush. (They were singing songs, not telling jokes,we presume.)
How about a drink?
Putney is home to one of the country’s best ale pubs, The Bricklayer’s Arms (Waterman Street). Or if late-night drinking and dancing’s more your speed, there’s always The Fez Club (Upper Richmond Road) or The Toy Shop (Putney High Street) where they serve cocktails in a robot’s torso, the maniacs. The boat race is kind of a big deal in Putney, and riverside pub The Duke’s Head (Lower Richmond Road) is an oarsome place to sup champagne or sink a few beers (but not boats, never boats) while Oxford and Cambridge go head-to-head.
All this rowing and cork-popping is making me hungry. What’s for dinner?
First, sober yourself up with a delicious artisan coffee from Grind (Lower Richmond Road). Then head to The Prince of Wales for a cracking roast or Il Mascalzone (Putney High Street) for some tasty wood-fired pizza pie and authentic Italian charm. For a fancier bite try local favourite Emile’s (Felsham Road) or magnifique new French restaurant Gazette (Upper Richmond Road).
I’m fuller than a hedge-funder’s bank account. Where can I go to walk it off?
No, no, no. In Putney we don’t walk, we pootle. And Wandsworth Park is perfect pootling ground. You can even play at being Rory McIlroy for the afternoon at above-par mini golf course Putt in the Park.
What else should I look out for?
Stop off at Hurlingham Books (Fulham High Street), a wonderful tumbledown bookshop stuffed to the gills with secondhand gems at knockdown prices.
By Michael Curle, who’s actually still an east London boy at heart.
Take a look at more of London’s best bits here.