Historically an industrial no man’s land between Vauxhall and Battersea, Nine Elms is currently the most exciting development project going on in Central London. Having moved to the area last year, I was encountered with the same question over and over again, “where is Nine Elms?” With friends assuming it was a leafy commuter village miles away and that they would never see me again.
However, as far back as 2008 plans were in place to turn Nine Elms into a residential and commercial powerhouse of London with the announcement that the U.S Embassy would be relocating to the area. This was followed by the news that Battersea Power Station would be converted into retail and residential units and that Apple would become one of its main tenants. To top this all off work is underway to extend the Northern Line to the area and build around it a shopping high street to rival the best London has to offer.
With all of this going on it is hardly surprising to discover a wealth of high quality restaurants and bars have opened their doors ready to welcome the new residents of the area. The shiny new Circus West Village just off Chelsea Bridge already boasts Francesco Mazzei’s superb Fiume (or “River”) whose food nails the Italian style of hearty food cooked with beautiful fresh ingredients; the Burrata Tortellini being a personal favourite.
Darwin and Wallace have also sprung up here with their new bar No.29, expect cracking brunches, great cocktails and Rosé drunk by the gallon on their outside terrace overlooking the river come summertime.
On the topic of wine, Vagabond have also launched their 6th site in Circus West Village offering over 100 wines to try by the glass as well as their own winery on site so wine buffs can observe the whole winemaking process under one roof.
Nine Elms has been known for it’s food for over four decades now since New Covent Garden Market relocated its wholesale fruit, veg and flower market to the area and have been supplying top restaurants and businesses ever since. This is well worth a visit (if you can get up early enough) to pop in and pick up some of the best produce and flowers around.
So if your moving to Nine Elms or want to explore it, where should you head and what should you do?
Where to Eat
As already mentioned Francesco Mazzei’s superb Fiume (another hit for D&D) nails the Italian style of hearty food cooked with beautiful fresh ingredients, while the Burrata Tortellini is favourite the much of the menu is superb too. A perfect spot all year round, the water front terrace is a must visit spot in summer.
It’s the textbook example of a local neighbourhood café, bar and restaurant. Contemporary and chic it’s perfect for everything from a quick coffee, to a long afternoon of brunch or dinner with the other half or friends. With mains mostly under £15 and great cocktails it’s a place worth getting to know well.
The fish restaurant that started out in Borough Market and has expanded to Soho and other areas has opened up shop in Battersea Power Station. The usual deal of £1 per oyster from 3-6pm daily has come with it, as has a Josper grill to add to the selection of raw and small dishes and the classic Wright Bros fish dishes.
26 Circus West Village, Battersea Power Station, London SW8 4NN, 020 7324 7734
Where to Drink
The site on which the Duchess stands was originally a public house called the ‘Duchess of York’, built in 1789 as part of the original development of Nine Elms. It may be a rather newer pub these days but it’s still a great place for a drink. Focussing on London real ale and craft cider, it also has Wine Thursday where if you order two large glasses from one bottle of wine, you get the rest of it for free.
101 Battersea Park Rd, Battersea, London SW8 4DS
Nine Elms Tavern
So the rain may have scuppered your hopes of a stroll by the river, BUT from our glass fronted bar you can still enjoy the view 😎 Add a craft beer or cocktail into the mix and that’s Saturday afternoon sorted 👌. . . . #nineelms #nineelmslondon #nineelmsmarket #nineelmslane #nineelmstavern #london #londonpub #londonbar #riverthames #riversidebar #vauxhalllondon #cocktails #craftbeer
This is your best chance to grab a seat outside at a pub this summer. Tucked away off Nine Elms Lane, this Young’s pub boasts one of the best riverside spots in London. Once the building works are finished this place will no doubt be heaving so enjoy it while you can.
Black Cab Coffee
Having started with a converted black cab four years ago, this café right on the river is a great spot for fantastic coffee and decent portions of brunch all day and cocktails in the evening.
Black Cab Coffee
Nine Battersea Bridge Road, Nine Elms, London, SW11 8AU
What to Do
Described as the ultimate party work out, Boom Cycle is all about big tunes, low lighting and unlike some others in their sector, high fives and encouragement. As well as a great workout there is also a cafe on site with free wifi so you can work away smugly after your session
Units 1&3 Arches Lane, Circus West Village, London, SW11 8AB
New Covent Garden Market
New Covent Garden Market is the largest wholesale fruit, vegetable and flower market in the United Kingdom that supplies 40% of London’s fresh fruit and veg
eaten outside of the home as well as 75% of London’s florists. £5 gets visitors access to the market but like most in London it’s only for the early birds! The Fruit and veg market runs from 00:00 to 06:00 and the flower market 04:00 to 10:00.
New Covent Garden Market, London, SW8 5BH
Circus West Village are constantly hosting activities for children and adults in their village hall.
For more on what’s going on in Nine Elms you can visit the local community website.