An urban village in the heart of London’s most coveted quarter
In Anglo-Saxon times, a chieftain called Fulla came into possession of a fishing village in a bend of the River Thames, called a ‘ham’ in old English, and it became known as Fulanhamme. recently, archaeologists have discovered evidence of occupation in Neolithic times.
From the medieval period the ease of the boat journey to Westminster and the City made the area popular as a healthy and convenient place for the rich and powerful to live. And so it has remained to this day, with London’s elite attracted to the high quality of life the area offers in its relaxed urban village atmosphere, which truly provides the antidote to a busy working day.
Fulham is a vibrant community with a strong cultural life as well as being close to London’s internationally renowned cultural amenities, sporting facilities and shopping areas – though now you can get there by a number of tube lines, rail links and bus routes – as well as by boat.
The best of the capital, right outside your door
North End Road has everything on hand for your daily needs, with a Waitrose close by and a huge selection of independent food shops offering the ingredients for almost all of the world’s cuisines. Foodies come from all over town to shop at HG Walter, the famous organic and free range butcher, and the authentic Italian deli Mamma Anna & Co, where Anna herself holds courses on real Italian cookery.
Walking south, Fulham Broadway and the Lillie Road area, known as World’s End, is a well-known shopping area with many antique shops. Earl’s Court is a short hop to the east.
North End Road is also superbly located for the region’s shopping hubs including the fashionable King’s Road, Knightsbridge (home of Harrods and Harvey Nichols) and the West End. The popular Westfield shopping mall is nearby at Shepherd’s Bush.
An Area with Taste
Fulham is crammed with top-notch restaurants and cosy bistros in equal measure. The River Café, owned and run by Ruth Rogers, famous for its Italian-influenced menu and the chefs such as Jamie Oliver who learnt their trades there, is a must for any cook who owns one of Ruth’s best-selling recipe books.
The area has many unspoiled Victorian pubs, notably the Pear Tree, renowned for its fine ales, excellent wine list and great home made food – as well as its fantastic Sunday night pub quiz.
The Curtains Up has a more modern vibe and a cellar that is home to the Baron’s Court Theatre, an intimate performance space staging new and modern works.
For special occasions there’s the Harwood Arms, the only pub in London with a Michelin star. For a true Parisian ambiance, try C’est Ici Brasserie and Patisserie, with a pavement area. Or you could try the Deli Bar for an informal lunch or romantic dinner.
The area is the capital’s benchmark for boutiques and specialist outlets, showcasing everything from interiors to world cuisines, making Fulham a magnet for the capital’s cognoscenti.
The Sporting Life
Fulham is a great place for sport, for participants and spectators alike. Rowing aficionados can watch the University Boat Race and other events such as the Head of the River and the colourful Great River Race, and the many boat clubs over the bridge at Putney offer the chance to take part in this great sport at all levels from club rowing to international competition.
The borough is home to two premiership football teams, Fulham FC at its riverside Craven Cottage stadium, and chelsea fc at Stamford Bridge. Rugby fans can quickly get to Twickenham for national and international matches, as the M4 is readily accessible. A little further on and you reach Epsom for horse racing, and Windsor Great Park for polo.
Want to play rather than just watch? Football and rugby are played in several places including Eel Brook Common and South Park.
A huge Virgin Active gym complex is at Normand Park, a few minutes walk away from The Lourdes Collection. It features two public swimming pools and a public gym, plus a comprehensively-equipped private health club and three all- weather tennis courts.
The world’s original multi-sport complex, the Queen’s Club, offers most racket sports. Also in Fulham, the world famous Hurlingham Club has facilities for most sports including polo (which it is credited as creating the rules for in 1873).
Fulham has a vibrant local culture and is close to many of London’s internationally renowned art galleries, theatres and concert venues.
Museums & Exhibitions
Just a short bus or tube ride takes you to south Kensington, one of the greatest collections of museums and galleries on earth. The Victoria and Albert Museum covers crafts, fashion and design, the science Museum tells the story of science and technology, and the Natural History Museum includes everything in nature from bugs to dinosaurs. Regular exhibitions ensure you will keep going back. The buildings themselves represent some of the finest architecture in the capital and are as an astonishing achievement as the collections they house.
The Saatchi Gallery in the King’s road is an outstanding collection of modern art featuring BritArt luminaries including Damien Hirst and Tracey Emin.
The Lourdes Collection is within walking distance of two of London’s premier exhibition venues, Earl’s Court and Olympia, home to events as diverse as the Great British Beer Festival and the London Acoustic Guitar Show.
Fulham has an enviable choice of schools, including well-regarded state primary and secondary schools and some top independent schools. St Paul’s School and the London Oratory School are just a short distance away.
The Performing Arts
The programme at the Lyric Hammersmith is to ‘produce work that is provoking, entertaining, popular, eclectic, messy, contradictory and diverse,’ and it is certainly never boring. The theatre itself is an outstanding design by the noted theatre architect Frank Matcham, relocated in a new building with all mod cons.
The Royal Court Theatre in Sloane Square is famous for experimental theatre and for staging foreign plays in English, and The Bush (in Shepherd’s Bush) is noted for work from new playwrights – many of whom have gone on to become household names.
The Royal Albert Hall is most famous for hosting the BBC Proms, the biggest classical music festival in the world, but it has a year-round programme of world class cultural events.
On a balmy summer evening, nothing could be more delightful than music in the open air at Opera Holland Park. Critically-acclaimed productions of works from composers as diverse as Mozart and Britten are held under a tent in front of the ruins of the old manor house. And you can book a picnic table for a pre-performance alfresco meal!
One of the newest concert venues in london, the cadogan Hall, is located just off Sloane Square. It is home to the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. The Hammersmith Apollo is one of Britain’s biggest and best venues for music and comedy, featuring some of the biggest stars in pop, rock and stand-up. Built in the Art Deco style as a cinema, its classic pipe organ was recently restored complete with a console that rises up through the floor.
For movie buffs, there are multiplexes in Fulham Road, Fulham Broadway, Hammersmith and Chelsea.
A Springboard for London, Britain and the World
West Brompton Station, on the District and London Overground lines, is a ten minute walk away. The District Line has frequent services to the West End (Embankment is 17 minutes away) and the City (25 minutes to Monument). West Kensington station and Fulham Broadway station (also both on District Line) are each just a pleasant stroll away.
North End Road is a major bus route for north/south services, and many east/west routes pass along Lillie Road close by. All parts of the capital are served.
There are several docking stations nearby for Barclay’s Cycle Hire – better known as ‘Boris bikes’ after the flamboyant mayor of London – where bicycles can be picked up for a bracing ride into work or to the shops.
Access to the national motorway network is easy from Fulham, with the M4 starting just north of the area and the A3 just to the south. Either can be used to get to the M25 (with Heathrow airport just beyond) and the rest of the UK motorway network.
The arrival of the London Overground has brought rapid access to Clapham Junction (11 mins) for trains to the south of England.
All three stations near to The Lourdes Collection offer direct connections to Paddington, a key station on London’s new Crossrail service which will run through the capital. Crossrail will provide rapid transit to the capital’s core destinations such as Heathrow, the west End, the city and Canary Wharf.