Until you arrive in this stretch of south London, you’d be forgiven for thinking there wasn’t a whole lot to it. And while Vauxhall was indeed once little more than an industrial hub, today it’s vibrant, colourful and incredibly lively. And as any decent Vauxhall taxi driver will tell you, this part of town is an absolute cluster of hidden gems. At Addison Lee we make it our business to uncover those local secrets for you so when you get into one of our premium minicabs, you’ll know exactly where to head for a great drink, something to eat, or even just a spot of fun. Lodged between pretty old Battersea and historic Southwark lies Vauxhall, an area (and a train station) that has served the people of south London for centuries. Originally a part of Surrey, then Lambeth, the area gets its name from a curious source. A man named Falkes de Breauté. Falkes was one of the tyrant King John’s mercenaries and lived in a house known as Falke’s Hall that presided over the area. Over the years the hall’s name changed to Foxhall and then finally on to Vauxhall. Gradually the name Vauxhall was adopted for the whole area and – after many years – even a famous local motor company chose to follow suit. Close to the station you‘ll find any number of London landmarks, including the now famous MI6 building as well as a massive roundabout and the Oval cricket ground. Even the bus station (the Vauxhall Cross) is noteworthy as one third of its power is provided by solar energy, drawn from the panels on its roof. Vauxhall is a buzzing spot full of great bars, restaurants and clubs. A lot of which is owed to the area’s thriving gay scene, or Voho as some have chosen to name it. Whatever you choose to call it, Addison Lee have got you covered. Offering a premier minicab service at 30% cheaper than some Vauxhall taxi services.
Where to drink
It’s taken a little while to find its feet but since its opening in 2007 in The Griffin has firmly established itself in the hearts, souls and bellies of the people of Vauxhall. Squirrel yourself away from the busy concourse of Vauxhall station onto a quiet sidestreet and you’ll ‘stumble’ across this excellent south London boozer. Located in a quiet side street in Vauxhall, the pub has served the community for over 150 years. We pride ourselves on our reputation for good quality food, award winning real ales and a great selection of refreshments, including the mighty Griffin Burger.
8 Wyvil Rd, SW8 2TH
The Cavendish or ‘The Cav’ as it’s better known to the locals, is another incredibly popular Vauxhall pub. Again, this place is neatly tucked away from the main streets so you can at least guarantee it won’t be spilling over with tourists. But to the people in the know, this is a local boozer with a difference. A large enough seating area at the front makes it a great stop off on a hot day, while the inside is all lovely and warm, with leather sofas and armchairs to rest your weary legs. One thing that does drive a lot of business their way are the live comedy and music nights the Cav put on. Check their website to see what’s on.
128 Hartington Rd, SW8 2HJ
Zeitgeist @ The Jolly Gardeners
One of London’s premier German pubs. That’s right, ‘German pubs’. Not a bierkeller, a pub. And what a great pub it is too. Yes, they serve up some classic German dishes like currywurst, and yes the extensive range of beers (both bottled and draught) read like the German starting XI, but snce when didn’t we all enjoy German sausage and wheat beer? For diehard football fans, the Zeitgeist even regularly screens Bundesliga matches. Which, as you can probably imagine pull quite a crowd with the local clientele. Of course, you don’t need to be German to enjoy Zeitgeist, it just helps.
49-51 Black Prince Rd, SE11 6AB
Where to eat
If you’ve never experienced Dirty Burger before (there are a few dotted about the capital) then you’ll probably be caught a little off guard by it. Especially the Vauxhall branch. Found under the archway by Vauxhall station, Dirty Burger serves burgers, shakes and fries that are certainly ‘dirty’ but also come with a certain polish. The reason for that polish? It’s owned by swanky member’s club Soho House. This is the kind of place to hit up either on the way to or the way back from the pub. They also serve a killer breakfast bap though. So maybe it’s suitable all the time.
Arch 54, 6 South Lambeth Rd, SW8 1SS
Counter Vauxhall Arches
Another one buried in the ever so slightly seedy Vauxhall Arches. This time a New York style brasserie, which is fast becoming famous for its outstanding breakfasts. That being said, they’re open all day and actually offer two separate menus – one American and one French. So what we’re really talking about here is a restaurant that combines the pig out gluttony of some of America’s finest with the chic but hearty cuisine of France. To us that’s pretty much the ideal combination. It’s not half a pretty place either. Do drop by.
50 S Lambeth Pl, London SW8 1SP
Brunswick House Cafe
Even in London, a place filled with oddities and originals, you’d be hard pressed to find a more quirkily positioned restaurant. The Brunswick is a lovely little brick building that sits, quite contrarily on the edge of the Vauxhall roundabout. Not an area many of us associate with fine dining. Chances are you’ve driven past it at some stage and wondered just what it was. Get inside and you might still be wondering. And that’s because the entire restaurant doubles up as an antiques shop. With all the paintings, chintz and fittings available for purchase. Sounds like a gimmick, right? Well it would be if the food and atmosphere weren’t so good.
30 Wandsworth Rd, SW8 2LG
What to do
Love cricket? No? Maybe this one’s not for you then. For those of you who do follow the time honoured British sport of applying willow to leather with some ferocity, you’re in the right part of town. The London Oval is home to both Surrey Cricket Club and of course, plenty of England international matches too. Tickets vary in price depending on what form of the sport you’re interested in watching (they play everything from 20 20 through to test matches here), but it’s never too costly, provided it isn’t an international. A must visit for sports enthusiasts.
Kennington, London SE11 5SS
So cricket isn’t you’re thing. Fair enough. How about gin? Thought that might tickle your fancy. London’s Beefeater is one of the oldest and most heralded gins in the world. And is still by far the most popular London Dry Gins coming out of the UK. The original distillery was in fancy Chelsea but later relocated to the slightly less glamorous Kennington where you can now visit it. Sadly, you don’t get to see much of the distillery itself but there is a fascinating museum which explains a lot about the heritage of Beefeater. Also, there’s gin. What more do you want?
20 Montford Pl, SE11 5DE
Vauxhall City Farm
Another one from the ‘unexpected treat’ pile. Yes, there really is an urban farm in vauxhall. And while it’s certainly not a massive operation, it does still preserve a little piece of rural pleasure in the heart of south London. Drop by to visit the animals (‘animal therapy’ they call it), or even saddle up and ride a horse. It’s a great way to escape all the noise and clamour of the city for a couple of hours. Ideal for families with young kids.
165 Tyers St, SE11 5HS