Putney's Hidden Gems

Whilst the bridge is closed take time to discover new or old favourites

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Putney Bridge is currently closed for essential repairs but Putney Town Centre is open for business and would welcome you to come and discover the beauty of Putney, the great range of retail shops, fine restaurants and pubs, relaxing cafes, excellent entertainment and of course the river bank.

Each day during the bridge closure works the Town Centre Manager will identify a gem of Putney which she recommends you visit.

Week 10 - Hidden Gems – Putney Wharf

Tuesday – Putney Wharf
The Putney Wharf project was triggered by the need to improve former industrial land located along the Thames waterfront in the Putney district of London. The land was derelict and generally considered to be an eyesore. The 3.4 acre site included dilapidated warehouses from a defunct brewery and, despite its proximity to the waterfront, was an area where people would not choose to go. The project aimed to turn this area around, and make it a part of Putney where people would choose to live and visit.

The Putney Wharf project was led by the developer St George, who worked with a range of stakeholders, including architects Patel Taylor, John Thompson and Partners, the local church and community, and Wandsworth Council, which was seeking to improve the quality, design and potential for development along the Thames riverside.

The development of Putney Wharf has resulted in a scheme in which people want to live and work. The £55 million development brought 3.4 acres of derelict land back into use, and created a flourishing community of shops, restaurants, bars and office accommodation along with a range of town houses and apartments, which considerably improve the visual appearance of the area.

By opening up access to the river, making the area an attractive place to be and offering a range of shops and bars, the development has dramatically increased the number of people visiting and spending money in the area. The site has changed from an eyesore into a beautiful place to be.

Wednesday - The Boathouse
The Boathouse Pub is the flagship of the Putney wharf development, on the River Thames. Clearly visible from the iconic Putney Bridge the Boathouse stands proudly on the waterfront and is a key feature in the social life of Putney’s inhabitants. While upholding Young’s traditional values of fine Ales, craft beers and great wine The Boathouse also embraces the vibrant and energetic mood of its environment.

Whether you just wish to pop in for a casual bite to eat or have a raucous catch up with friends; they can accommodate all! The bar is spacious and relaxed whereas the upper deck has intimate seating and a more secluded feel. Or try the Riverview Restaurant on the top floor. A stunning setting over looking the Thames with fresh, home prepared food.

Thursday – Carluccios
The popular Italian restaurant Carluccio’s is located on Putney riverfront, just east of Putney Bridge within Putney Wharf. The restaurant has a huge riverfront terrace from which to enjoy the River Thames.

Food is prepared using the best fresh, natural ingredients, and where possible from Italy.

Friday – Alquimia
Alquimia is a local Spanish restaurant located on the Thames Embankment in Putney Wharf. Serving the very best tapas, cured meats, fish and classic Iberian dishes, they cook in a bold modern style. Opened in 2013, the owners had worked together previously in several restaurant kitchens.

With a large alfresco space customers are treated to a wide selection of wines from many of Spain’s famous growing regions, all with Denominación de Origen. The restaurants aim is that you will leave dreaming of the Boqueria in Barcelona or picturesque fishing villages in Andalucía.

Saturday – The Rocket
This is not your normal JD Wetherspoons pub – located at the foot of Putney Wharf tower with a beautiful view across the river. They offer the JD Wetherspoons prices but with such style and quality. They have a great lunch menu, especially Sunday lunch. Children are very welcome and it attracts mothers groups during the day and young and old in the evening.

Sunday – The Thames Path

This easy walk explores the section of the River Thames between Putney Bridge and Barnes Bridge. Our route covers the first four miles of the distance covered by the annual Boat Race between Oxford and Cambridge Universities.

The start is Putney Bridge Underground station. Exit the station and follow the signs opposite directly you to the Thames Path. We are heading upstream towards Hammersmith Bridge. So reaching the path alongside the Thames you should have the river on your left as you walk. You pass under Putney Bridge and almost immediately enter Fulham Palace Gardens with pleasant areas of grass and fine mature trees. This soon becomes Bishops Park with some very busy sports grounds at weekends.

On the river, certainly at weekends, you will be surprised by the amount of activity especially by rowing clubs with pair, fours and eights all practicing on the river. Also you see across the river rowing clubs with their concrete slipways. Reaching Craven Cottage, the home of Fulham Football Club, the path is forced away from the river bank as you follow the perimeter of the ground. You are soon back on the river though with the Wetlands Centre on the opposite bank.
You will also see evidence of wharves on the riverside – evidence that this was a busy working river in times gone by. Across the river you will also see Harrod’s Depository, a rather grand building for humble storage. Ahead lies Hammersmith Bridge. Work commenced on this elegant bridge in 1825 and it was the first suspension bridge across the Thames. Originally a toll bridge it was extensively refurbished in 1973.

Reaching Hammersmith Bridge, go under the walkway and then climb the steps on your right to gain access to the bridge. Cross the bridge and once on the other side regain the riverside footpath and continue upstream. You soon pass the slipways for St Paul’s School Rowing Club and then enter a stretch of riverbank that is quite rural. The amount of birdlife on this section was a surprise with many cormorants drying their outstretched wings. The next bridge soon comes into sight. This is Barnes Bridge which carries the railway across the Thames. Unlike the boat crews in the annual Boat Race, we terminate the walk here while they have another three-quarters of a mile to go as they head for Mortlake.

Gems from week 1

Gems from week 2

Gems from week 3

Gems from week 4

Gems from week 5

Gems from week 6

Gems from week 7

Gems from week 8

September 18, 2014