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Evening Standard
Evening Standard
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Battersea area guide: the Design Museum’s chief curator on how her area has undergone a vibe shift

I’ve had the same flat in Battersea since 2005 and have lived there on and off since then, although I called Hackney home for over 10 years.

I returned to Battersea in 2021, as it’s close to the Design Museum where I work, and where I worked previously at the V&A.

After having commuted across London from Hackney, it was nice to have an easier journey by bicycle.

Between 2005 and today, it’s like a completely different neighbourhood. Battersea Power Station being redeveloped and all the new buildings have really added to and changed the vibe.

The Battersea Power Station has really changed the neighbourhood (Daniel Lynch)

Best eating and drinking

My favourite place is Mondo Brewing Company’s Tap House on Stewart’s Road. It’s a microbrewery with very tasty beers.

I’ve been frequenting the Mason’s Arms ever since I first came to the area in 2005. It remains a favourite pub.

For food, I like to stay local. Battersea Power Station offers an amazing array of eating establishments such as Tonkotsu — my go-to for quick vegan ramen. For something a bit more special, there’s a place down the road that serves Rajasthani food called Chokhi Dhani.

Mondo Brewing Company’s Tap House on Stewart’s Road has tasty beers (Daniel Lynch)

Where I work out

Battersea Park is best for running and walking. I frequent the gym at the Millennium Arena in the park. It’s nicely equipped and it overlooks the running track, so you can look at much more sporty people and dream of being as fit as they are.

In the local community hall there are yoga classes every Monday and Wednesday that are free — or for a small contribution — to all in the neighbourhood. It really brings people together.

Work out while overlooking the running track at the Millennium Arena (Daniel Lynch)

To commune with nature

Battersea Park is beautiful, with serene and lovely spaces that are well-loved by everyone.

My favourite view is when you go up to the side that hugs the Thames and you look over towards Albert Bridge and the Chelsea embankment at sunset.

Grocery shopping

Whenever I have an occasion to visit the New Covent Garden Fruit and Flower Market I do, but it’s a very early start.

There is very little interesting grocery shopping in the immediate area. You have to go further afield for an independent shop. When I have time, I love to go to the confusingly named Hoxton Fruit and Veg, towards Wandsworth Bridge.

Battersea Park offers views of the Thames (Daniel Lynch)

For a culture fix

Just down the road from where I live is a mural curated by Yinka Ilori called Happy Streets that was commissioned by Wandsworth council for the London Festival of Architecture. It’s a colourful addition that makes the underpass fun to walk through. Even if you don’t stop to look at it, it really is happy — it does what it says on the tin.

We have The Cinema in the Arches, which is a super-cute little cinema with small screening rooms, comfortable seats and a good array of films. They do really nice snacks as well.

Don’t skimp on the snacks at The Cinema in the Arches (Daniel Lynch)

Battersea Power Station is incredible and it’s amazing to be able to access the building. There’s a bar in one of the old control rooms and you can experience walking through the old turbine halls.

The Royal College of Art Battersea campus is a good spot for looking at emerging artists and designers, and Battersea Arts Centre is a brilliant venue for performing arts.

Getting around

I almost always bike, however, one of the major appeals of the redevelopment of the Battersea Power Station area is that there’s now actually a Tube station on my doorstep. I can easily get on the Northern line and be in Soho in 15 minutes, which is quite a novelty.

Dream street

I’ve always had a soft spot for the redbrick mansion blocks along Battersea Park. There’s a particular road called Prince of Wales Drive that is very pretty.

There’s a reason it’s called Battersea Dogs and Cats Home (Daniel Lynch)

Something you only see in Battersea

An eight-storey veterinary hospital. It’s the new addition to the Battersea Dogs and Cats Home. Designed by Jonathan Clark Architects, it has a blue-and-white façade that looks a bit like falling Tetris blocks.

I have two rescue cats named Eames and Reilly so I’ve always felt very connected to the brilliant work that Battersea do.

What’s the catch?

Most of my friends still live in east London. The property development in the corner of Battersea where I live is massive, which makes it feel like you’re living on a constant construction site.

Battersea is brilliant if you want to bike everywhere (Daniel Lynch)

In three words

Near to everything.

Johanna is Conran Foundation chief curator at the Design Museum. She is also the founder of Disegno magazine.


Chesterton Primary School is rated outstanding, while Harris Academy Battersea is an outstanding secondary.Park House School is a private primary school for autistic children that is also rated outstanding.

What it costs

Buying in Battersea

Average flat price: £767,180

Average house price: £1,826,930

Renting in Battersea

Average flat price, pcm: £2,330

Average house price, pcm: £4,370

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