It has been made all too easy for the uninitiated to view West London as a rich kids kindergarten where socialite meets blue blood purely to compare upper crust with silver spoon. Recent television programming has done much to encourage this image, but I implore you to believe, the West of the capital can be so much more…
So, what does the West have something to offer the hip young gunslinger? Or more importantly, does anyone who uses the term ‘hip young gun slinger’ have any right at all to judge what is hip in the first place? Luckily, we’re not here to find that out.
For a start, West London has an excellent music scene, fostering an array of diverse talent, some of which have gone on to be the leaders in the UK’s scene. Think Mumford & Sons, Laura Marling, Noah & The Whale And Jamie T. In fact it was Jamie T that referenced a ‘dark dark night down Turnham Green’ in his song NWA. Did anyone think that Turnham Green could be cool? How wrong we all were.
All of these artists first displayed their talent on the West London toilet circuit; quite literally in the case of Ginglik in Shepards Bush, a converted public toilet which is now a small, bohemian venue where artists play, dreaming of playing the Empire just across the green.
There’s also a host of excellent independent cinemas in West London, Notting Hill in particular is home to a few of these. In these places you can go off the Hollywood menu and watch foreign and art-house films while enjoying a glass of wine and a double ‘courting seat’ with a loved one. A much more palatable experience than the one on offer at the super-mega-plexes, I’m sure you’d agree.
Sloane Square, despite its reputation for being, well, Sloaney, is home to the Saatchi Gallery. A free gallery which houses work by some of the most exciting young artists in the world. Last time I went I saw the most amazing arrangement of colorful bulbs I’ve ever seen in my life. It’s completely worth checking out should you ever be in the area.
Lest we forget, West London is also home to some of the most beautiful outdoor spaces in London. Be sure to make the journey to witness the endless rolling gardens of Hyde Park, the ornately pretty, but less rolling gardens of Holland Park and the countryside like views of Richmond Park.
All in all, West London can be a wholly exciting place to be, with entertainment to match even the more left-leaning of taste and shallower of pocket. West, perhaps, can be best.