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Area Guides West London

Your guide to... Fulham

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Okay, we know the District line is probably the worst thing about the Underground network. Especially the rattly limb stretching out towards Wimbledon that can sometimes make it feel like you’re actually travelling to another county...

But it’s also where Fulham lives, and this neighbourhood's lively vibe MORE than makes up for its unfortunate position on the tube map.

Fulham is comprised of several areas: Sands End, Imperial Wharf, Parsons Green, West Brompton, Chelsea Harbour, Munster Village and Fulham Broadway are all included. As such, the area has plenty of lively bars, lots of great eateries, local pubs, green space and two football grounds – no wonder SpareRoom usually has 400+ room ads at a time in SW6.

Although it’s more famed for being another upmarket neighbourhood by Chelsea and Knightsbridge, this pocket of SW London was actually once known for being run down and debaucherous – so some parts still retain a grittier edge that appeals to millennials who might have a little less to splash out on rent.

So why exactly should you sacrifice your soul to the District line? Well...

How do I get there?

So I think we’ve established at this point that the District line is your best call for a straight journey to Fulham Broadway – but fear not, there are other options. If the London Overground is more bearable for you, catch one towards Clapham Junction and get off at Imperial Wharf for a pretty riverside walk into Fulham. Or if you're really adventurous, you can even catch the RIVER BOAT (RB6) into Imperial Wharf...

A Piccadilly line train to South Kensington will give you a slightly longer walk (or bus journey) into the area, or you can jump off the District/Circle line at Sloane Square for a 35 minute walk down the famous King’s Road – promising famous people, beautiful buildings and sightings of Made in Chelsea’s “stars” on your way.

What is there to do?

It’s not all cocktails and posh people in Fulham, darling. Believe it or not, there’s still plenty of cultural things to do there too...

Eelbrook Common is Fulham’s very own green space – including a playground, basketball court, tennis club and football pitch. If sports aren’t for you, it’s a decent space for sunbathing and Made in Chelsea cast-spotting too.

Crafty types should head to Token Studio and get their hands dirty making pottery, learning watercolours or even dabbling with making natural cosmetics. The studio has workshops that cover it all.

Fulham Palace is your destination for a bit of medieval London history. Or if you fancy a more full-on royal experience, watching polo at the Hurlingham Club is the summer party of choice for SW London’s VIPs.

Fulham Broadway is also home to Stamford Bridge – or Chelsea FC’s stadium. If you can’t nab a Premiership ticket, it’s still a pretty fun place to be on match day, when fans of the Blues flood the streets and pubs in the area to celebrate/commiserate. Oh, and actual Fulham FC's stadium, Craven Cottage is in Parson's Green – so you're not short of ways to get your football fix.

Riverside Chelsea Harbour is a great place to explore too – head there for views of luxurious boats, the Design Centre, upmarket clubs and pubs, and Lots Road Auctions to bid on some stunning antiques.

And if you’re still bored after all that, make your way to North End Market. It’s a little rough around the edges, but this historic market has been in business since the 1880s and offers anything and everything from fishmongers to cheese, and stalls selling lipstick and batteries too. Oh, and it’s (for the most part) tourist-free.

Where do I eat?

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One of the best things about Fulham is the amount of cute eateries with outside tables and village-y vibes – as well as great food.

Tapas doesn’t get better than at El Metro, where the prices are reasonable, the paella is huge, and cocktails are Espana-inspired too. Or try Manuka Kitchen for more tasty European fayre, albeit at a slightly higher price point. But you try and say no to Wagyu beef bolognese with melt-in-the-mouth pappardelle pasta…

Megan’s on the King’s Rd is a popular spot for brunch enthusiasts who want their shakshuka/smashed avo fix served all day long. At weekends you can even add bottomless beverages for an extra £18. Or head down on a Monday with your own bottle of wine to make the most of £1 BYOB corkage.

If gastropubs are more your thing, you can’t beat The Malt House. The A La Carte menu is outstanding, and there’s a secret garden for al fresco dining.

Or if all else fails, head to the newly opened Market Hall. Once a ticket hall for an Edwardian underground station, this cute conversion is now home to nine food traders, a well-stocked bars and 200 seats for communal dining. We recommend Thima for modern Thai nibbles, Ahi Poke for the freshest Hawaiian poke bowls, and Butchies for when only fried buttermilk chicken will do.

And the drinks?

Fulham is rich in both London pubs, and more stylish bars.

Wine connoisseurs won’t be able to resist a trip to Vagabond Wines – a unique wine bar that operates a ‘top up card’ system to allow you to explore as many glasses of the good stuff as you like. The charcuterie selection and outdoor seating will have you feeling like you’re in Europe in no time at all…

For London pub vibes, head to The Rose which has glorious Chesterfield sofas, even more glorious courgette fries and one of the best pub gardens we’ve visited in a long time (complete with heaters). Enjoy your tipple with a side of river at The Crabtree – it’s got a leafy garden that’s the ideal sun trap for secluded summer drinks. Or try The King’s Head if you’re after cocktails in a livelier setting (or a £35 three-course bottomless brunch).

Decent nights out in Fulham often start (and end) with The Prince, another recent opening made up of four restaurants, an upstairs pub and a giant garden with a pergola hanging over it. Basically, it’s a little bit of everything.

And last but by no means least, we give you Neverland – Fulham’s very own beach. Tucked away on the banks of the Thames, this venue brings beach club vibes to suburban London. It’s the perfect spot for balmy summer days, with activities like putting pong and shuffleboard on offer, two bars and a pop up restaurant serving burgers and pizza. Grab a daybed and get amongst it.

Fulhamite and jolly proud of it too? Let us know your favourite spots.

Image credit: George Rex, Ewan-M, Tom Cuppens

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