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!
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.