A power break in Battersea
Recharge in London's hip Battersea Power Station
It seems odd to be visiting an area I used to live in “for the first time”, but then Battersea Power Station was just a pile of bricks when I lived nearby.
Back in the day, when I worked on glossy magazines, I rented a top-floor flat near Battersea Power Station. I even attended a premiere after-party there, for George Clooney’s Batman, when organisers turned the derelict monolith into Gotham City for the evening. Now the rubble - and the magazines I worked on - have gone, and in their place has risen a gleaming new high-end district which is being dubbed, “the new Belgravia”.
I took the river bus there, from London Bridge, which was a great way of arriving, docking at the new pier and walking up to the beautifully-restored Battersea Power Station itself. Now a high-end shopping centre, inside it is beautiful, a mix of Art Deco and 1950s-industrial, with shops including Mulberry, Chanel, Ralph Lauren, Nike, Zara, Uniqlo and M&S. Highlights are the Control Room B cocktail bar, built around the original control panels and Lift 109. This vistor attraction has a light display and exhibition and shoots you up one of the chimneys and out of the top. It’s great fun.
All around the Power Station are high-end apartments and offices - I love the higgledy-piggledy Prospect Place, designed by Gehry Partners and the fluid glass Battersea Roof Gardens by Fosters + Partners, which are opposite.
Inside this building is the brand-new Art ’Otel, the first hotel in the UK for the design chain, where I stayed, for a review for Escape.com.au - keep a look-out for a full review, coming soon. This cool hotel is well-worth a visit - especially for its beautiful 15th-floor bar, with amazing views and delicious cocktails, or its stunning rooftop infinity pool, which overlooks the chimneys. Likewise, if you are in the area, book in to its new tapas restaurant JOIA, by two-Michelin-starred Portuguese chef Henrique Sá Pessoa, which was absolutely buzzing when we visited.
After a fun weekend, I took the Tube from the new station at the back of the development. I’d definitely recommend the area for a weekend away in London, for something completely different. It’s amazing to see the city’s evolution continue.
Visit: Battersea Power Station is on the south of the Thames. You can get there by river bus or on the Northern Line on the Tube, tfl.gov.uk.
Shop: The Power Station is full of shops, restaurants and bars, visit batterseapowerstation.co.uk
Play: Don’t miss Lift 109 visitor attraction, for the best view, visit lift109.co.uk
Stay: Book into the new Art’Otel Battersea, visit artotellondonbattersea.com
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