Local Parents

Local parent: Stephanie in Parsons Green

Stephanie Patel is currently on maternity leave from her job as a GP. She has lived in Parsons Green/Fulham for 15 months and has a nine-month-old daughter called Lily.

Describe your area in three words: Parks, coffee, families.

Coolest coffee spot: There are so many good ones it’s hard to pick a favourite. Glasshouse Café is set in a garden centre so you can imagine how lovely it is. They have enough space for buggies, sell Caravan coffee and do a mean ultimate cheese toastie (it’s seriously good). Oh and their pastry/cake selection is a winner too. Megan’s has also just opened up near the Green and is a great all-day option. The ceiling is covered in (artificial) roses and fairy lights so it’s very cosy, and their coconut cappuccinos are delicious.

Best family-friendly restaurant: I would love to choose an independent place but we love our local Côte Brasserie. It’s a bit special for us as we went there when I was in early labour (we were advised to distract ourselves) and took Lily back a week later. It’s one of the larger restaurants in the area with plenty of space for buggies at the front and they’re always very accommodating. It has a laid-back feel and I’ve never had a bad meal there. Megan’s is also great with a fab menu and I love their deli bar. It’s smaller than Côte but the staff are so friendly and always do their best to accommodate us, though I would avoid peak times as it gets really busy and can be a squeeze.

Favourite park or green space: We really are spoilt for choice here, with four green spaces within a 10-minute walk of our house. I love South Park; it’s huge, has a great adventure playground, tennis courts and even a small hut where you can pick up a coffee. I go there two or three times a week for a walk with Lily. Bishops Park is also fantastic. It’s next to the river and in the summer there are fountains and a sandy beach for older kids – it looks like so much fun. There’s a small cafe here too.

Best local museum or gallery: Fulham Palace, the historic house and garden of the Bishop of London, is a 15-minute walk away. Entry is free and there are some small exhibitions and a cafe, as well as a fantastic open garden at the back that makes it very popular when the weather is good. They run regular events and workshops – some of which are aimed at kids. We are also fortunate to have the Natural History Museum, Science Museum and V&A fairly close by.

Coolest kids’ shops: Cuckoo Hibou is such a sweet shop and a great place for a coffee date. Downstairs they run classes for little ones and upstairs is a boutique, cafe and small play area. It’s run by a French lady so the pastries are delicious! Indian Summer also has an amazing selection of clothing, toys, books and bedroom decor. It’s my go-to place for presents and one of the prettiest shops (it’s pink!). They also have a great home/women’s section so mums can pick up something nice for themselves if they fancy.

Favourite under-5s class/activity: I’ve been taking Lily to Baby Sensory Fulham since she was five weeks old. I know these classes can divide the crowd but I’ve really enjoyed the whole experience. Vicky who leads it is just fantastic and I’ve met some lovely mums too. CariFit at Slice is a mum-and-baby workout that really gets the heart rate up. I’ve absolutely loved these classes and they’ve really helped to improve my functional strength.

What makes your area great? The green spaces, lovely cafes/restaurants and accessible activities mean it very much feels like a small community within hectic London. There are so many families here and I can understand why. It’s an amazing area to have a small baby and I feel very lucky to be able to bring Lily up here.

What’s the best thing about living in London?: The diversity and the fact that there’s always something to do.

And the worst?: The traffic!

Follow Stephanie at @hellosw6mum

Photo credit: Stephanie Patel

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