Local Parents

Local parent: Jo in Barnes & East Sheen

Joanne Finney has lived in Barnes and East Sheen for about 10 years. She works as a journalist on women's magazines and has a 16-month-old son called Kit.
Describe your area in three words: Green, villagey and posh (although I’m not!).
Coolest coffee spot: Alma Cafe on Rocks Lane does great coffee and there are lots of high chairs and a child-friendly menu. Gail’s on Church Road is great – I got addicted to their sea-salt caramel, banana and pecan cake on maternity leave. Orange Pekoe on White Hart Lane was my favourite coffee place pre-kids and, although it’s a bit too much of a squeeze inside, it’s great in summer when you can sit outside in the sun. In Sheen, there’s the Robin Craft Café on Sheen Lane and newbie 11 Coffee & Co. on Upper Richmond Road.
Best family-friendly restaurant: Kerbisher & Malt’s posh fish and chips are delicious and the staff are lovely. The Plough On Christchurch Road near Richmond Park does good food and is pretty relaxed about kids making a racket.
Favourite park or green space: Richmond Park is 10 minutes away so we spend lots of time there. The secluded Isabella Plantation is a favourite place to hang out and have picnics in the summer.
Best local museum or gallery: It’s a bit further afield but there’s the London Museum Of Water & Steam in Brentford, which is supposed to be good. Even further afield, my little boy loved the aquarium at the Horniman Museum & Gardens in Forest Hill.
Coolest kids’ shops: There aren’t any kids’ shops in the area (gap in the market there!) but the FARA charity shop on Barnes High Street is children-only and I’ve picked up some brilliant bargains there.  
Favourite under-5s class/activity: There are loads: Rhyme Time (Mondays at Sheen Lane Centre and Fridays at Barnes Methodist Church) is loud and busy. For kids who prefer it a bit quieter, Penny Poppins music group runs on Tuesday afternoons at The Village Nursery. The Babe In Arms cinema sessions for mums and babies on Tuesday mornings at the Olympic Studios are brilliant. It’s not strictly for kids but Claire Grima who runs BuggyFit classes on Barnes Green by the pond is brilliant and changes up what you do every week so you never get bored.
What makes your area great? It’s picturesque with loads of green spaces and feels like a village within the city.
What’s the best thing about living in London?: Never-ending things to do (even if I don’t make the most of them…).
And the worst?: Commuting!
Follow Jo at @jofinney77
Photo credit: Joanne Finney

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