Life is good on the Green

Parsons Green is challenging its posh neighbour, Chelsea, as the place for families, fun and a vibrant café culture
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South Park
South Park, at the bottom of Wandsworth Bridge Road, is a charming walled area of open space that local families and dog owners in particular enjoy
Two village greens give this area its special character: Parsons Green itself and the larger Eel Brook Common, both situated on the north side of the New Kings Road, the road that provides a direct link with Chelsea.

Parsons Green is one of those areas that is popular with families as well as singles. On a sunny weekend both green spaces are packed with people picnicking, walking the dog, or hanging out at one of the pubs.

On the northern corner of Parsons Green, the White Horse pub nicknamed the Sloaney Pony after its reputation as a Sloane Ranger hangout with its large outdoor seating area, wide selection of beers and weekend brunch menu, is the defining institution for the area's young.

For families lucky enough to be members of the Hurlingham Club, situated in a beautiful Georgian mansion surrounded by 42 acres of private green space between Parsons Green and the Thames, being able to walk there is a big advantage.

Anne Soutry is manager of the Fulham branch of estate agent John D Wood, which is at the very heart of Parsons Green. She says the area's best houses are to be found on the Peterborough Estate, which is south of the New Kings Road. "These are known locally as the Jimmy Nichols lion houses, after the developer who built them.

The White Horse pub
A landmark on Parsons Green is the White Horse pub, where the area's young and single residents congregate
"The best streets are Quarendon, Bradbourne and Chipstead along with Perrymead Road. Almost all these houses are now in single family occupation because they are worth more as houses than as flats." This is an area where houses have been extended in all directions: into the loft, into the side return and many have had their basements dug out. A fullyextended house in tip-top condition now sells for about £3 million and it is rare to find one for less than £2 million.

The presence of the Hurlingham Club on the river, a few minutes' walk from Parsons Green, is a big attraction. You can wait years for membership, but if you are already a member having a house near the club means you can use the facilities all the time. It is wonderful for families with older children because parents feel safe leaving them there.

"The semi-detached houses in the avenues Napier, Ranelagh and Edenhurst are popular with members of the Hurlingham Club. The starting price is about £2 million.
Rivermead Court, a large block of mansion flats overlooking the river near the club is also popular. We get families selling up their Kensington home to move here. The most expensive flats are those with views over the club and river and cost more than £2 million. Even an unmodernised flat is about £700,000.

"Cheaper alternatives are the four bedroom houses off Munster Road, which sell for £800,000 plus, and flats, which start at about £250,000 for a studio; £300,000 for a one-bedroom flat and £400,000 for a two-bedroom flat."

Parsons Green
The open spaces of Parsons Green (above) and Eel Brook Common give this area character
"Overlooking Parsons Green, there are five fine Georgian houses with their names Sefton, Cradley, Belgrave Albyn and Rosslyn written on large white stucco panels over the doors. Cradley is on the market with John D Wood for £2.25 million.

The area is attracting the attention of property search agents, too. Jo Eccles of Sourcing Property says her firm is seeing a big demand for houses in Parsons Green. "It is an area in its own right with a number of independent boutiques, a variety of cafés and restaurants and a good choice of pubs and bars such as Aragon House and the champagne bar, Amuse Bouche.

"Its village feel, rising café culture and range of shops, together with its proximity to the City on the District line, means it is appealing to people of all ages, from young professionals to senior City executives with families.

"Property in Parsons Green is still cheaper than in Chelsea; buyers pay about £900 a square foot in Parsons Green compared with up to £1,500 a square foot in Chelsea."

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Local information

Local council: London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham

Council tax: band D 2007/2008 is £1,193.33.

Schools: good local primaries are Sulivan, Holy Cross RC, New Kings Road and St John's Walham Green CofE. Popular local preparatory schools are Fulham Prep and Thomas's in Hugon Road, which opened in September 2005. Two good voluntary-aided comprehensive schools are Lady Margaret for girls on Parsons Green and the London Oratory, for boys. The nearest private schools are Putney High School for girls and Emanuel, which is mixed, in Wandsworth.

A group of young locals enjoy the large outdoor space at the White Horse pub
A group of young locals enjoy the large outdoor space at the White Horse pub
Leisure: council-run facilities include Fulham Pools (020 7471 0450) on Lillie Road; and the Lillie Road Fitness Centre (020 7381 2183), which has recently had a £500,000 facelift. The Andrew Robson Bridge Club (020 7471 4626) on Parsons Green Lane is one of the top places in London to learn the game.

Cinema: Vue Fulham Broadway (0871 224 0240).

Shopping: Parsons Green is a shoppers' paradise and an area where interesting independent shops are thriving. As well as the shops along New Kings Road, there are more on Wandsworth Bridge Road, Munster Road, Fulham Road and Lillie Road.

Along the New Kings Road look out for New England Lifestyle (020 7736 4321) for painted furniture; Emilia's Delicatessen (020 7751 0189), for freshly made meals to take home; Marc Wallace (020 7736 6795) for menswear; and Elizabeth King (020 7736 2826) with two shops, a butcher and a delicatessen.

Eating out: Amuse Bouche (020 7371 8517) is a champagne bar in Parsons Green Lane; Mao Tai (020 7731 2520) is a smart Chinese restaurant; the White Horse (020 7736 2115), is a popular pub on Parsons Green with good food; Il Pagliaccio (020 7371 5253) known as Paggs is an Italian restaurant and pizzeria on Wandsworth Bridge Road.

Commuting: Parsons Green, on the District line, is in Zone 2; for those living near Wandsworth Bridge, walk over the river and catch the train from Wandsworth Town (also in Zone 2) to Waterloo, which takes about 15 minutes. The cost of a month's season ticket for Zones 1 and 2 is £89.10.

Pictures by Tim France

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