Insider’s guide to: Hammersmith

Charlotte Furniss-Roe 6 February 2014

Hammersmith may not be the richest of boroughs, or the edgiest, or the leafiest. Or any other superlatives. The biggest attraction we have is a massive bus station. That and the Hammersmith Apollo – while I have been to that comedic temple, it was only for High School Musical. I hang my head in shame, and, like a certain Walrus, talk of other things.

Where to wander?

The River. The Thames is our Western Frontier, holding us safe against the infamous perils of the ominous ‘South of The River’. At high tide and especially at night, the speckles of light streaming over the surface of the water strangely remind you that there was once something before this strange mash of concrete and electricity. Manley-Hopkins would have a field day. Hammersmith Bridge too, though it may sound odd to sit on a bridge like some confused troll, is genuinely a beautiful spot for a view.

Where to get your creative fix?

The Riverside Studios. There may be a slight theme developing. It was from here that I watched the Boat Race last year, rooted by the excitement and tasty buffet food. While the restaurant is a perk, this place really is a creative hub, showing exhibitions, plays, and any genre of cinema you could want, from independent foreign language films, to classics, all the way to The Hobbit. And that’s just this week. Sadly, their funding has just been cut, so get there while you can!

Where to enjoy a leisurely meal?

The Crabtree. In the area where I live the topography is mapped out in my mind not only by the streets, but by the stories of my family that echo around them, just like anywhere that we call home, and it is here that it is the strongest. If my family were a sitcom, this would be Maclaren’s – my mother went on her first date with her now-fiancé here, my sister’s 18th birthday was here. Also a perfect spot for a barbecue, a few drinks with friends or even pub quiz, for all University Challenge hopefuls/obsessives.

Where to shop?

Carnival Fancy Dress… Admittedly an odd choice, this place looks small and shut down from the shoddy exterior, and is still more underwhelming beyond the creaky door. But don’t be fooled by the outside: it really is a 2 storey honeycomb of a shop, with winding corridors and little rooms crammed full of crazy paraphernalia.