Sainsbury’s open one millionth store in Clapham

Sainsbury’s has unveiled plans to buy up every single retail outlet down Clapham High Street in 2015.

Clapham Sainsbury's car park

Rumours that Sainsbury’s plans to stamp this logo on your fridge and call it a Sainsbury’s Localler are as yet unconfirmed.

In an attempt to have the world’s longest supermarket, the chain is currently celebrating the opening of their one millionth store in Clapham at Clapham North. That’s one million in Clapham alone, on top of all the others around the country.

Their aim is to have every retail shop become a Sainsbury’s Local in an attempt to repeat stock over and over again along the high street, around the common, down through Northcote Road and then back up through Clapham South and Abbeville Road.

However, every store will be linked by an underground network using the WWII bomb shelters next to each tube station. A series of travellators will allow the safe passage of trollies from one Sainsbury’s Local to another.

When viewed from space, people will see a large triangle symbol around the shape of Clapham Common generated by the lights of each Sainsbury’s Local. A state of the art projector will then project a giant Sainsbury’s ‘S’ into the centre of the triangle creating a cheeky version of the Superman logo. All to be ready just in time for the first passengers of Virgin Galactic to take Instagram photos and share on social networks as a Sainsbury’s sponsored meme.

One Clapham resident said “I just want another M&S” before sobbing into her orange Sainsbury’s bag for life.

Clapham – best place to dine out in London?! (updated)

Let’s face it Clappers, we’ve always been spoilt for choice in the culinary department. However, Clapham seems to have gone into overdrive in 2014 with the introduction of tonnes of cutting edge, contemporary places to eat.

Love Clapham loves a good nosh with a slosh of bubbles and here’s our pick of the best in a rough order.IMG_2645

a) New Clapham restaurants we’ve been to and recommend

  1. Zumbura – fresh, zingy tastes with commendable friendly outstanding service.
  2. The Dairy – this new entry to the Clapham food scene has exceptional food and a lovely environment. When we went, we had the taster menu and it was exceptional. At the higher end of the cost scale but worth every penny.
  3. Ferm’s £5 pizza – best pizza in town and only a fiver. We love it for its relaxed easy going atmosphere. Hopefully it won’t get the awful queue that its breakfast guise (Breads Etcetera) gets, because we never go for brekkie there because of that.
  4. WC – knowledgeable staff with excellent wine and delicious charcuterie. Very stylish and cool location too. Highly recommended.
  5. Chicago Rib Shack - pricier than you’d probably expect from a rib shack (it really could do with about £2 slashed from everything). However, the ribs are simply incredible. And the service is fun and friendly, much better than other service at other rib shacks who shall remain nameless. We love this place… although the bouncer feels a little unnecessary, this is gentrified Clapham afterall ;)
  6. Brickwood Coffee – for a coffee shop it is a bit pricey, the reason for that though is the excellent quality of the coffee AND the amazing toasted ciabattas that they sell, super tasty.
  7. Abbeville Kitchen – extremely good if also extremely expensive traditional fare done very, very well. You won’t feel short changed.
  8. No. 32 Old Town – this place was packed from the offset and the two times we’ve been in we’ve had an outstanding meal. However the service has always been a little bit frantic and odd. We’re putting this down to “finding their feet” for the time being though.
  9. Byron Burger – you know what they sell, it’s just good they now sell it in Clapham!
  10. Mama Lan – teeny tiny with an even smaller menu but it’s deelish! Our one massive gripe is that they still don’t take cards almost a year on… We’ve stopped going because of that because we never have cash on us!
  11. The Dessert Deli – obviously not a cafe but it still sells food! The owner, Laura Amos, makes the best cakes in South London, don’t miss them. Located in Clapham Junction station with a new shop.
  12. Aux Marveilleux de Fred – you can’t sit in this place on Northcote Road either but their cakes are incredible, whatever those little mound things are! :D

b) Oldies and still Goldies – some of these are still trumping the newbies

  1. The Pepper Tree – one of the tastiest, best priced places in Clapham with a stunning location overlooking Clapham Common. Friendlier service than most of the new places. And it’s just had a totally awesome, stylish make over!
  2. Fantasia – in amongst all of the posh overpriced nonsense, Fantasia remains down to earth, affordable and high quality. No restaurant is as rounded and perfectly formed. Of course, we only go for the breakfast / brunch / late lunchy breakfast. We need more casual places like this that don’t break the bank. Also has MUCH better service than most new breakfast places.
  3. Maharani – you’d be mistaken (wrongly mistaken) if you judge this place by its cover. The building may look incredibly dated but the food and service is simply perfect. One of the best indian restaurants we’ve ever been to and it’s right here on our high street. Please do use this place, you won’t regret it.
  4. Trinity – expensive but worth it. If you want to impress or for culinary razzmatazz, go here.
  5. Gastro – informal, not the standard of Trinity or the other more expensive places but the price here reflects that. Probably the most relaxing night out in Claps.
  6. Northcote and Stonhouse – part of the same chain and both equally amazing, if already a victim of their own success by being too popular so hard to get a table at the weekend without booking earlier in the week. The waiting staff always feel rushed off their feet, although friendly. You can’t deny the amazing quality of their food and drinks (especially the steaks!)
  7. Gourmet Burger Kitchen (GBK) - it’s been around for a while and has recently upped its game a bit to compete with the new burger kids on the block. We think this place is giving Byron a run for its money actually, and we’ve been opting to go to this place instead recently because it’s a tad less busy.

Other new places we haven’t been to yet include the soon to open The Manor on Clapham Manor Street. Also, The Craft Beer Co on Clapham Manor Street is supposed to have great burgers – we’ve been for their great ales but not food yet. Olives and Meze looks interesting too.

Have we missed something or do you disagree with us? Please tell us in our new Clapham Eating Out forum.

Own a restaurant that’s not listed here? Please don’t take it personally. We can’t like everything! :) If you’re new, we just haven’t been yet and if you’ve been around for a while, we probably just think the cost or service is a bit skew whiff right now and we intentionally don’t bad press places. Feel free to tell us about your Clapham gaff on the forum and we’ll pop on down for another take ASAP :)

WC: Wine & Charcuterie – coming to Clapham Common toilet!

Very exciting news arrived this week Clappers. Exciting for two reasons. Number one, the 100 year old toilet – the UK’s most famous toilet – directly next to Clapham Common tube has been converted into a posh wine and charcuterie bar. Who knew! I certainly didn’t spot any works happening, but then it is underground. Now you’ll hear the trickle of wine instead of… No! Stop there.

It seats 40 people downstairs and, amazing news, another 40 people outside on the previously derelict grassy island. This will make such a difference to the area – the developers, local organisations and council should be commended for making this happen.

Number two, and most exciting of all is that they’ve kept ‘some’ original features (hopefully this is one refurb where most ‘features’ don’t still exist). Including some love letters found behind some tiles during the work. They are housed in the new toilets in the bar.

So, a new place for people to meet and have a good time, this time out in the open air. Best of all, it’s totally local and not a big brand chain.

It opens its cubicles from early July.

Breaking: Live Nation Mega-Concerts Confirmed for Clapham Common

Lambeth Council has confirmed that Live Nation will have 2 – 3 days of mega concerts (27, 28 and 29th June) on Clapham Common this summer. Bringing the likelihood of performances from people like Paul McCartney and Madonna to our leafy streets.

These concerts will also see crowds up to 45,000 strong attend each concert (well, if the concert is good…). Typically, until now Clapham’s concerts have had half that number of people. The press release from Lambeth states that these concerts are for a “more mature” crowd and won’t be dance focused. That made us LOL but make of it what you will.

Up to now, opinion has been divided with members of Love Clapham saying it’s both a good thing, “I for one think this is fantastic news… A festival here or there really brings a fantastic vibe to Clapham.” (Tim) and a bad thing for the community and area “Personally I’m against it. Natural spaces in the centre of town are very rare and should be protected. The common’s already way too manicured – they should let the grass grow – see if they can’t wild-meadow more of it. I hate seeing private commercial projects on the Common.” (Matt).

This follows a round of investigations about noise levels from such a concert and some consultation with local community groups in January. Live Nation will actually occupy the site for over two weeks for setting up and dismantling.

One thing’s for sure, it will get the whole country talking about Clapham for a whole new reason, perhaps even making our Claps a known venue for musical talent. Recently, we’ve already seen the launch of Music Monday’s at the new Clapham Omnibus theatre on Clapham Common. Plus of course, who can forget the local Pop Choir :)

Please do share your thoughts on this in our new thread on the forum – we’d love to hear what you think!

Volunteer to write for Love Clapham

Love Clapham and it’ll love you back – join our small but growing team of contributors :) We’re looking for local Clappers who want to share their thoughts on local news, developments, issues, going out, personal stories and local history. Sometimes, there’s nothing more interesting than knowing what Clapham was like ten, twenty, fifty years ago! Join the discussion on our community forum.

Hyde Park concerts coming to Clapham Common?

Live Nation’s large live concerts look to be moving from Hyde Park to Clapham Common from summer 2014.

Clapham Live Nation festivals?

We were first alerted over the weekend on our Twitter account by a fellow Clapper and this morning the report looks to be confirmed by a press release from our local community group, the Friends of Clapham Common.

Friends of Clapham Common are very clear on their position: “We are objecting in the strongest possible terms to Lambeth Council’s proposal to permit an events company to put on large-scale events on Clapham Common that could see 45,000 people a day descending on the area.”

Their Chairman, Melanie Oxley, went on to say “The commercialisation of Clapham Common has reached new heights. Lambeth Council risks converting our heritage landscape into an enterprise platform. Despite clear objections from ourselves and others, Lambeth is welcoming all kinds of unsuitable events.”

How do you feel? Will the cultural benefits of concerts from major music artists like Lady Gaga and Coldplay improve our area? Or will yet another influx of revellers destroy what makes Clapham Common so special already?

Boris Bikes not coming to Clapham’s Northern Line

After hearing about the extension of the cycle hire ‘Boris Bikes’ into South West London, including parts of Battersea and Clapham (along Wandsworth Road down to Clapham Junction) we got in touch with TFL to ask when they’d come other areas of Clapham. In particular, along the heavily congested Northern Line route from Clapham North, through Balham down to Tooting.

TFL confirmed that there “are no plans to expand further at this time”, and that they definitely aren’t coming to this area for the time being (not this year, and with no plans at all yet, we’d guess that currently, unlikely for 2014 either). This due to a number of factors that included:

  • Funding
  • Maintenance of docking stations 500m apart
  • Likely usage – particularly multi-direction usage
  • Available suitable land for docking stations
  • Local demand
  • Council support

However, TFL report that the Northern Line is the single most congested line, particularly at the stations Clapham North, Clapham Common, Clapham South, Balham and Tooting Bec. We’ve just had the cycle super highway added along this route to encourage cyclists (which is working), and we’re being encouraged by TFL to change our commute at these points, including the recommendation of cycling.

Therefore Clappers, like Sherlock Holmes I conclude that it is the most sensible place in probably the whole of London for this bike scheme to come!

What do you think? Do you want them? Will people use them? Is it worth us starting a petition to show local support and mapping out possible docking station location?