AREA FOCUS: ASKEW ROAD
Located in the heart of Shepherd’s Bush, Askew Road offers residents a charming village feel and eclectic selection of local independent shops
Best known for: Askew Road marks a quirky hinterland between Shepherds Bush and Chiswick. It runs north to south between Goldhawk and Uxbridge Roads, and is renowned for its distinct village feel. Independent traders, popular local restaurants and cafes create a buzzing, family-friendly atmosphere. Whilst the area is fast becoming gentrified, and house prices have risen accordingly, the area is traditionally working class and this mix is very much in evidence on Askew Road itself – cool foodie emporia (Ginger Pig, Laveli Bakery, Askew Wines) sit cheek by jowl with two betting shops, a plumber’s merchant, a glaziers and Askew Paints. It’s this mix that lends the area its unique, friendly personality. Wendell and Ravenscourt Parks are both near by, and there’s also a great local library
Retail therapy: There’s an interesting array of independent shops serving the residents of Askew Road and beyond. Emma Harvey from local estate agency Finlay Brewer comments: ‘Both Long Live Vintage, the clothes shop, and Max Inc which specialises in retro furniture, will appeal to those looking for an unusual purchase full of individuality and character. The Passion Flower Gallery is filled with beautiful seasonal blooms and at Del’s you can find anything for the more practical aspects of your life from buckets to bulbs and bins.”
Local resident Helen Brocklebank is also keen to sing the praises of the local traders: “Askew Wines is an independent wine shop whose owner bought the shop in the recession when Wine Rack went bust and has taken it from strength to strength – Malek’s knowledge of interesting wines is second to none and he’s very used to people coming straight from the Ginger Pig to ask for recommendations for wines to drink with the meat they’ve bough there. Laveli Bakery has the best bread and patisserie in West London as well as a friendly café, and its success on Askew Road has lead to further branches opening in Acton and Chiswick. Starch Green (starchgreen.com) is not exactly a formal shop, but artist-designers Jonathan Mercer and Kate Fishenden sell incredibly beautiful and completely original prints, decorated porcelain and other artworks from their home off Askew Road and on their website. Last but not least is the much vaunted Ginger Pig, viewed by all as the sign that the area has finally arrived, and responsible in part for its foodie reputation.
Gourmet recommendations: There’s Adams Café – a popular traditional cafe by day, and delicious Moroccan and Tunisian restaurant by night. Pub-wise, there’s The Orchard Tavern, and The Eagle – a family-friendly pub with great food, a fantastic garden and welcoming staff. For proper fish and chips, St Elmo’s is the place to be, and you should also try Som Tam Thai and Sufi for traditional Persian cuisine.
Good schools: Nursery Schools: Stepping Stones and Newpark Montessori; Primary Schools: Wendell Park School; John Betts; The Good Shepherd; Greenside School. Adult School: Leith’s, the eponymous cooking school for the food-driven student; Creative Classes: Kite Studios for children’s art courses, adult pottery classes, photography classes and more.
Famous faces: Clothing entrepreneur Johnnie Boden calls this part of town home, as does actor Michael Gambon and broadcasting legend John Humphrys. Star of The Wire and The Hour, Dominic West lives east of Askew Road, Emilia Fox ipops into the Ginger Pig, and Rome Star James Purefoy is often seen with a very sweet dog.
With thanks to Emma Harvey from Finaly Brewer, and Helen Brocklebank