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Area Guides West London

Your guide to… Hammersmith

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As the cultural melting pot of West London comprising countless cultures and ethnicities, Hammersmith is a veritable hub of colours, flavours and excitement. Sitting comfortably on not one but four major tube lines, and with countless lively bars and award-winning restaurants, as well as a prime riverside location - perfect for watching The Boat Race - Hammersmith is certainly making a name for itself as one of London’s most liveable areas.

Housing the hugely influential music venue the Eventim Apollo, and with more foodie experiences than you can shake a stick at, this densely populated borough has a lot going for it - with so much happening it’s perhaps no surprise that there are frequently 400+ rooms available in Hammersmith on SpareRoom.

So what does this trendy riverside district have to offer?

How do I get there?

Transport links to Hammersmith are so numerous they’re almost excessive. With the Hammersmith & City, Circle, District and Piccadilly lines all serving this bustling hub, W6 is reachable from pretty much anywhere in London, the ideal location for those commuting to central London.

As for buses? Funny you should ask. Hammersmith bus station provides 23 different routes, perfect for all your West London-traversing needs.

And if the bustle of the city gets all too much, W6 is just a short drive away from the A4 which leads directly to Heathrow. Do we hear a city break calling?

What is there to do?

So much! Why not start off with a trip to the Lyric, one of the UK’s leading producing theatres. Originally built in 1888 as a music hall, the venue now houses some of the country’s most groundbreaking fringe theatre productions, as well as having a beautiful roof garden, perfect for an after work tipple or two.

Next up is the well renowned Eventim Apollo, formerly known as the Hammersmith Apollo. With a back catalogue of artists including everyone from Robbie Williams and Kate Bush to David Bowie and Depeche Mode, the Apollo is your #1 spot for all things musical.

Having provided the stage for comics the likes of Russell Brand, Lee Mack and Stephen Merchant, The Comedy Tree is the perfect spot to catch some world-class giggles in an intimate venue.

Where do I eat?

For a complete sensory overload look no further than Mes Amis. With walls jam packed full of brilliantly bright memorabilia, a mismatch of primary coloured furniture and beautifully vibrant Lebanese dishes, this tiny one-roomed restaurant is something of a culinary institution in West London. Expect freshly made hummus and baba ganoush, skewers of perfectly marinated chicken and sticky baklava pastries to finish it all off with. Yum.

Feeling like it’s about time to treat yo’ self and splash some cash? Head down the river to the Michelin-starred River Cafe Serving up the finest Italian cuisine - think remarkably tender steaks and seafood so fresh you can taste the sea - this is certainly a gem to have up your sleeve for a special occasion. If it’s on Jamie Oliver and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s CV’s, you can guarantee it’s a pretty safe bet.

No trendy London district would be complete without its own vegetarian and vegan restaurant, and this comes to W6 in the form of The Gate Serving up everything from brunch to Sunday roasts (think roast vegetable wellington and sweet potato & chickpea burgers), you won’t even consider the lack of meat.

As for a taste of the area’s vibrant cultural background, head to Shilpa to sample incredibly affordable Keralan delights. Don’t miss the perfectly spiced seafood dishes, from king prawns in a rich coconut sauce to sea bass flash-fried and served in a banana leaf. If its tapas you’re after, Toro Gordo serves up traditional Spanish sharing plates alongside fiery cocktails and no less than six different kinds of sangria.

Don’t have time for a sit down meal? Grab a bite from the lunchtime food market outside the Lyric every Thursday and Friday; expect handmade pasta, Thai takeaways and a hog roast cooked on site.

And the drinks?

Hidden behind an aged oak door down a miniature alleyway on Hammersmith’s riverside lurks one of W6’s gems: The Dove. On the inside the pub resembles a typical old English boozer, complete with roaring fireplace and traditional cask ales delivered straight from the brewery just a stroll down the road. On a sunny day, watch the pub come into its own as punters take their seats in the outdoor riverside terrace - the perfect viewing spot for Boat Race day.

For somewhere a bit more light and airy, The Old Ship is the the perfect watering hole. Having been recently renovated and with a regularly changing seasonal menu focusing on English pub classics, this pub provides the perfect setting for a lazy Sunday afternoon. Alternatively, beer connoisseurs should head to The Draft House for an extensive beer menu served in third and two-third measures alongside the traditional pint and half pint - perfect to be enjoyed in their beer garden.

If it’s classy cocktails you’re after, Smith’s Cocktail Bar is your best bet. Hidden away quietly under Brook Green Hotel, this plush, velvet-adorned hideout serves up handcrafted cocktails to suit every taste. Head down every 5-7pm Wednesday - Friday to nab one of their seven classic cocktails for just £7 each.

A local resident of W6? Let us know your favourite hangouts!

Photo credit: Matt From London, HeyRocker, Phil Guest, Dun.can

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