Venn Street, SW4
A safe haven in the midst of Clapham high street’s late-night war zone. Eighty-three metres lined with olive trees (olive trees!), a small cinema, a snug French eatery (Gastro) and an excellent Spanish tapas bar (Barsito). Similar to a Euro holiday with the parents, just without their volcanic opening-night argument.
Spend it: On a hangover-slaying hog roast bap at the market on any given Saturday. Comes drowning in spicy apple sauce and with perfect crackling.
Orford Road, E17
Ah, Walthamstow. A spot almost sullied by Craig, the co-worker whose smugness at “getting in at the right time and making £80k on my two-up two-down!” leaves you dreaming of soaking him with the coffee he’s just made you. But Craig’s got a point. It’s hot stuff there. And this street’s village vibe is the reason why.
Spend it: In the world’s poshest Spar (wait! No! Come back!) that’s given up shelf space to food heroes Eat 17 and their array of locally sourced produce.
Chiswick High Road, W4
What do you escape to the country for? The joy of sending WhatsApp messages over GPRS signal? Nah. You go for the green space, the real ales and the romantic ye olde boozers. Here lays such wondrous things.
Spend it: An all-dayer in traditional beer stop The Lamb not quite right? Embrace the agreeably mild gentrification that’s going on with Franco Manca pizza and a nightcap at Jackson & Rye.
Bellenden Road, SE15
Still funny. Never not going to be funny. Until, maybe, you inevitably end up living there and suddenly realise that every single call-centre worker you ring to change your address finds it even funnier than you, gathers their colleagues round the phone, hits loudspeaker and makes you repeat the name of your new road for them to p*ss themselves silly over. Less funny now. Still, what a selection of indie shops!
Spend it: With the good guys of Flock and Herd, the small but proper mighty (and somehow cool) butchers who deliver monster steaks.
East Dulwich Road, SE22
Short and sweet this one. A tree-lined walk past independent staples like a good chippy, a decent pub, a coffee spot, craft beer destination (see below) and a bicycle shop, then on to the open picnic-friendly spaces of Goose Green. Attend to every one of your mimsy middle-class sensibilities here.
Spend it: Inside Hop Burns & Black, probably London’s coolest craft beer/vinyl/hot sauce outpost run by super-friendly husband and wife duo Jen and Glenn.
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