Putting Streatham On The Tourist Map

Photo by M@ via the Londonist Flickr pool

Photo by Matt via the Londonist Flickr pool

Homeland actor David Harewood wants Streatham to be put on the tourist map, and we’re inclined to agree — so if you’ve never been, grab your Oyster card and get down to these hot spots:

Outdoors: The Rookery is a formally-landscaped area on Streatham Common and it’s absolutely beautiful. It often features outdoor theatre in summer including Shakespeare and kids’ puppet shows. There’s also the expansive Tooting Common, which strictly speaking isn’t Streatham, but is so close that it might as well be. Not only does it have an abundance of green spaces, it features little wilderness trails and has, best of all… THE LIDO!

The Rookery, by M@.

The Rookery, by M@.

Pizza: Two of the best pizza places in south London can be found in Streatham: Bravi Ragazzi (for wood-fired sourdough bases) and Addomme (be sure to book ahead — it’s tiny).

Pubs: There are plenty of places to polish off a pint — our database lists the best, but we particularly like Pratts and Payne — it looks a bit “neon sign-y” from the outside, but you’ll find comfy armchairs, books, board games and a really pretty beer garden with plenty of seating. Plus, not many pub names combine a defunct department store (Pratts) with a local sex-party hostess (Cynthia Payne).

Chill Out: Streatham Ice Rink previously had a bit of a ‘reputation’, but a new £26 million centre opened last year complete with London’s only Olympic-sized rink, a swimming pool and leisure centre. It’s home to the Streatham Redskins ice hockey team, so if you’re a bit unsteady on your feet, you can watch the pros fall over instead.

Retro Game Base: Need we say more?

Shop and do good: Streatham boasts Europe’s longest high street (seriously, there are signs announcing this everywhere). Even its name means ‘Hamlet on the Street’ in Anglo-Saxon, referring to its situation on the old Roman Stane Street. It’s particularly imbued with wonderful charity shops. As well as the ones you’d expect, there are many smaller, local charity boutiques and a British Heart Foundation Books and Music shop, which has loads of old records, second-hand books and DVDs, plus comfy chairs so you can enjoy your time in there.

Nice: Hideaway Jazz Cafe is open every day for breakfast lunch and dinner, or just drinks — all accompanied by the sounds of jazz, soul and blues legends. It also runs workshops and jam sessions, so you can unleash your inner Ira.

Did you know? Streatham was the site of the UK’s first supermarket — the Express Dairies Premier Supermarket opened in 1951– as well as the debut Waitrose, which welcomed its first shopper in 1955, but closed in 1963.

What are your top tips? Let us know in the comments below.

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James Drury 1

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  • Jimbim

    I had a chat with a feller the other day who told me about the White Lion on the high road. http://whitelion.org.uk. It used to look rough years ago, but I gather it has really changed. He knows it not because they go for a drink there but because they collect their weekly veg box there! Streatham really has changed.

  • Laura

    Don’t forget Streatham food festival, amazing cafés (Boyce da Roca, serendipity, wholemeal), the white lion (great live music), and of course I hear they have the best midwifery team there ;)

  • Jba235

    You’re so right to point out the rookery gardens, there’s also a great paddling pool on Streatham Common. When you start to dig a bit deeper into the individual businesses here, you uncover so many gems…. The White Lion is not just a pub, for instance, it’s a charity too. Things are changing so quickly now – there’s even a new little sourdough bakery in an alley near St. Leonards church! I can vouch for the excellent midwives too!

  • Anna

    How can you come to Streatham and not visit The Railway on Greyhound Lane. it has won awards for sustainable foods, has great ale, farmers market every second Saturday. a great tea room, lovely beer garden. Quizzes, comedy nights and music nights. Great local :-)

    • MattFromLondonist

      What makes you think we didn’t visit? ;-)
      http://londonist.com/pub/the-railway

    • sharckymt

      There’s also the Earl Ferrers pub which is bloody fantastic as a local boozer with top food

  • Nicole

    Cafe recommendations should be on here. Whole Meal and Earl Grey & Rose are both delightful and 100 miles away from the buzz of the High Road.

  • Isaiah Fapuro

    I’ve lived in Streatham for a year now, and I absolutely love it! I will definitely be checking out the Jazz Cafe soon!

  • Tim Harper

    Earl Ferrers – Should get a mention as the lead photo from this article is taken there! Mine and many others favourite pub in Streatham, as the sign outside says Good Food, Good Booze, Good Times. Bang on the money!

  • drjohn

    As Yank who’s lived in London at various times over the years, I have fond recollections of Strearham as the first place in wnich I stayed some 30+ years ago. It was a nice little house on King’s Cross Rd. , just off of the High Street. I loved the area, and remember the White Lion. Still remember taking the bus to Brixton station every day.

  • Orinoridori

    The Earl Grey and Rose has now closed, The Serendipity tearooms though serves great afternoon teas. Further north on the High Road, Boyce da Roca’s homemade baked beans put a bit of haute couture into Full English. Brooks and Gao is great too, their Torta di Santiago makes a great accompaniment to their blue chip flat whites