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EXPLORE THE REGENERATION OF SHEPHERD’S BUSH

With a wealth of exciting new openings and developments, Shepherd’s Bush is on the up, and fast becoming the jewel in west London’s crown. Elliot Tucker says why Shepherd’s Bush is one of London’s most up and coming areas to buy in

Shepherd’s Bush has always been the interesting, slightly louche brother of the west London family. More industrial, more urban and more built up than Holland Park, Notting Hill or Chiswick, it has never really been a ‘destination’ for a night out or somewhere to stay. Recently however, a raft of new bars, restaurants and hotels have opened up, along with exciting regeneration schemes getting underway. Shepherd’s Bush is no longer just about Westfield or The Empire, Shepherd’s Bush is evolving.

In June last year Bush Hall Dining Rooms opened, giving some much-needed company to Ginglik and the Defectors Weld; the de facto standard bearers of ‘Shepherd’s Bush chic’. Adjoining one of London’s best independent music venues, Bush Hall, it is a buzzing neighbourhood restaurant in a stylish setting. Owner Charlie Raworth comments, ‘Shepherd’s Bush is definitely improving and changing for the better. It’s a good place to be, to live in and go out in.’

Not long after the Dining Rooms opened, craft brewery outfit BrewDog arrived on the scene. Opening in November 2013 on the site of Vesbar, they brought a successful formula of small batch ales, in a grunge-chic bar and staff who knew more than just how to pull a pint. Manager Dean Pugh says, ‘We had our Camden and Shoreditch bars but needed somewhere west that fitted in with the BrewDog ethos. Shepherd’s Bush is that place.’

Then, in April, and almost opposite BrewDog, The Sindercombe Social opened, a New York diner-esque bar serving good food and drink, which was shortly followed by Habanera on Uxbridge Road, a Mexican bar serving tacos, tequila and mescal in a self-described ‘feminine’ environment.

In a short space of time, Shepherd’s Bush has begun to offer more and more unique and independent bars with something for more than just local residents; people now have a reason to travel here.

Alongside the local food and drink revival, Shepherd’s Bush is home to a flourishing arts scene. Bush Theatre has seen record attendance and profit figures for this year, whilst opposite it sit Shepherd’s Bush Studios where Kasabian, Mumford & Sons and Noel Gallagher have all rehearsed, recorded and fine-tuned. And of course there is the Empire, playing host to some of the biggest acts around.

If the gourmet and arts scenes of Shepherd’s Bush are exciting, then the planned regeneration and building projects promise to really ramp up W12’s credentials. The largest of this is in White City with the redevelopment of Television Centre. Stanhope PLC takes control of the site in April 2015 and plans a major redevelopment with hundreds of new homes, restaurants, shops and even a learning academy. Part of this redevelopment includes a branch of Soho House, who have planned a 47-bedroom hotel with a roof terrace, swimming pool and restaurants. ‘West London has always been a spiritual home for us with Electric House in Notting Hill and High Road House in Chiswick. The area has a rich tradition of creative talent; the development of Television Centre will provide a worthy addition to the area,’ says Soho House founder Nick Jones.

When open, Soho House will join another high-end hotel in the area – the Dorsett at the Shepherd’s Bush Pavilion. What was a derelict cinema on the green is now an elegant 4-star, 317-room hotel with a spa and destination bar. Along with Soho House it offers some seriously luxurious short-stay accommodation in W12.

Finally there is, of course, the £150m planned overhaul of the market that is slated to start soon. The plans involve new housing, a covered market area and better security. If the project comes to fruition then there will, at some point, be a continual run of green urban space stretching from White City down to Goldhawk Road. Although some local tempers run high over rising rents and a loss of iconic shops, there is no denying that such plans will make Shepherd’s Bush one of west London’s most desirable neighbourhoods.

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