“That’s when good neighbours, become… good friends”, but forget Harold Bishop, Karl Kennedy, Jason, Kylie or Toadfish we’re talking about actual Neighbours. And for us, that’s the wonderful shops and restaurants along Old York Road. The Handbook’s headquarters for seven years, Old York Road is where we call ‘home’ for nine hours a day, and having just moved into a new, much larger office to house our incredible and growing team, we couldn’t help looking around at our brilliant neighbours and reflecting that this really is the best place to be!
So if you’re passing, please come and say hello, but also here are the places that you must go en route!
Indian street food gets the Wandsworth treatment at this funky urban eatery. With cool Bollywood-style street art and regularly described in the press as a ‘celebrity haunt’, Chit Chaat Chai is a popular office order for an al desko lunch or an evening bite.
The samosa chaat are perfection.
Where: 356 Old York Road, Wandsworth Town, SW18 1SS
From a single store in Wimbledon in 1997 to a mini-empire across South West London, smart deli Bayley & Sage, of course, has an outpost on Old York Road. Walking into this wondrous pantry is to wander into a wall of smells, with wafts of French cheeses and oils competing with fresh ingredients from no end of culinary curios.
Where: 509 Old York Road, Wandsworth Town, SW18 1TF
You haven’t started the day unless you’ve scoffed a sausage and brown sauce bap from Over and Under, ideally swilled down with a cup of their Assembly roasted coffee.
This upmarket hut marks the start of Old York Road, but it’s also the perfect place to begin.
Where: Outside Wandsworth Town Station, SW18 1SU
And it’s not just restaurants that line this wondrous street. It was only when I received a call from a friend in North Carolina asking me all about Salvesen Graham that I realised this isn’t just any interior design studio. Founded by interior experts Mary Graham and Nicole Salvesen, the pair have channelled over 25 years of professional creativity into one of South West London’s most successful and sought-after studios. Along with their unparalleled services, they operate a small but perfectly formed boutique selling everything from art and furniture to their delicious candles.
Where: 364 Old York Road, Wandsworth Town, SW18 1SP
Talking of shops, florist Bramble & Willow sits opposite Salveson & Graham. Self described as a luxury florist and run by Kenyan florist Emma, Bramble & Willow is an oasis of floral scents and bouquets, a tiny cupboard with windows that’s run by Emma alongside Coda the dog.
Where: 545a Old York Road, Wandsworth, SW18 1TQ
Cosy Konnigan’s is a favourite for a grabbed meeting out of the office or a hearty lunch, with booths at the front giving way, tardis-like, to a large dining area behind. Need to get some work done away from colleagues? Just take your laptop over, order the sausages in mustard, chips and a glass of wine and productivity is your friend.
Where: 344 – 346 Old York Road, Wandsworth Town, SW18 1SP
Rethink your view of charity shops, because Mary’s Living & Giving is definitely not a the tat-filled, TCP scented charity shop you’re expecting. Instead enjoy a ‘curated’ selection of clothes and styles at affordable prices. So much so that one colleague is regularly dressed head-to-toe in charity shop wares for important sales meetings.
where: 531 Old York Rd, Wandsworth Town, SW18 1TG
More than your traditional boozer, The Alma incorporates a pub, restaurant and hotel, the triple whammy. Making an overnight stay of Old York Road may sound a little ridiculous, but the hotel is yards from the railway with direct services into central London, making this an ideal staging post.
The restaurant, separate from the pub and geared toward semi-fine dining serves decent meat and wine combos.
Where: 499 Old York Road, Wandsworth Town, SW18 1TF
Small and perfectly formed, much like their various avo on toast options, this is the definitive meeting spot on Old York Road. Despite its diminutive size, the café serves a full menu of health conscious Aussie-style food.
Also worth a special mention as the only place willing to lend us cutlery on the day we moved office! Oh, and the Oreo malted shake is truly divine!
Where: 342 Old York Road, Wandsworth Town, SW18 1SS
The first thing you’ll notice as you patiently line up in Cleavers is that everyone is on first name terms with the butcher wielding the eponymous cleaver. Phill knows his clientele nearly as well as he knows his meat, and it’s easy to see why Cleavers is queue-out-the-door popular. Take it from me, the scotch eggs are superb.
Where: 362 Old York Road, Wandsworth Town, SW18 1SP
A relatively recent arrival, Pad Thai Story does one thing very well indeed and that’s… pad Thai. A relative newcomer to the street, Pad Thai Story is nevertheless one that always has a happy ending.
Where: 543 Old York Road, Wandsworth Town, SW18 1TQ
If you’re looking for something fashionable, offbeat or comfortable, Anthology Boutique sells a carefully curated collection of high quality women’s clothes.
Friendly service and an eye for that perfect garment make this walk-in-wardrobe of a shop a must-visit and ever effervescent owner Naomi will see that you’re matched to the right piece.
Where: 511 Old York Road, Wandsworth Town, SW18 1TF
Something of a London institution, there was palpable excitement in the office when Gail’s opened last summer. With over 50 bakeries across the capital, Gail’s still somehow retains the feel of an independent bakery, and the sourdough loaves are simply incredible and a Handbook staple. Serving coffees and small bites throughout the day, in a short time the chain bakery and café has become an indispensable part of Old York Road life.
Where: 350 Old York Road, Wandsworth Town, SW18 1SS
Whether you’re a resident already, if you work in the area or you’re planning a trip, then it’s well worth getting yourself a Wandsworth Town card. The card is free (you don’t have to live in Wandsworth to get one!) and you receive discounts in most of the shops in this article!