NFT London Shepherd's Bush

Shepherd's Bush

'The Bush' has had a bit of a face-lift over the past few years. Once the former grime hub of West London, it now sports one of Europe's biggest shopping centres, Westfield, and with it comes more traffic and more chain shops. Even the Beeb is on its way out. Fear not though, for Shepherds Bush Market still keeps the place decidedly unpretentious, while the Empire continues to attract the best up-and-coming bands. Experience some in-yer-face theatre at Bush Theatre and grab a bonza pie from the Bush's very own Aussie pie shop Jumbucks.


On Our Radar:

Posted By:  Lee Mannion
Photo:  Lee Mannion

Louise Blouin Foundation
Now pay attention you're going to have to work hard to find this one. Out East it's not unusual to find a gallery in a deprived part of London; in fact, some galleries wear their slummy surroundings as a badge of honour. Maybe it's something to do with being 'real': more likely just because the buildings are cheaper to rent in poorer areas. West London galleries, on the other hand, can usually be found sandwiched between skinny latte mongers, cocktail bars, and swanky clothes shops. The Louise Blouin Foundation gallery, like the neighbouring Yellow Building which houses a couple of fashion companies, looks like it has fallen here from Outer Space. Especially at night when it changes colours like a flying saucer. Formerly a Rolls Royce coachworks and situated just off St Ann's Road (which, all snobbery aside, is not one of the more salubrious parts of Notting Hill) it's worth a look. Not least because the location means that, unlike more central galleries, less people means more room to actually view the work on show.

Posted By:  Julia Dennison
Photo:  Julia Dennison

Westfield Centre
Confessions are never pretty things, but I have a major one to make. I like Westfield London. Actually, no, I want to be it. For those of you who haven't heard all the hype--this is the new shopping centre that just opened in Shepherd's Bush, staying open until midnight and calling itself the biggest of its kind in Europe. As Londoners, we all love to hate Oxford Street, and somehow this mammoth mothership of a mall, with its glimmering newness and oddly organic architecture (the interior looks like a cross between a minimalist forest and a geodesic wasps nest) laughs in the old street's face. And we laugh with it, as we drool sycophantically over our new cooler best friend. That is until we realise it was never a true friendship and decide to take the West End and its rainy streets back, however strewn they are with the damp pulp of discarded freesheets. But that will be then. Right now, I'm busy being bff with consumerism incarnate, so shove it.

Posted By:  Justine Forrest
Photo:  Justine Forrest

The Defector's Weld
There are two main reasons for visiting Shepherds Bush; going to see bands at the Shepherds Bush Empire and shopping in the Westfield Centre. For the former, it is likely you'll want to meet for a drink beforehand, and for the latter, you may well want a stiff drink afterwards. Despite the money poured into the area recently, many of the pubs remain more than a little rough around the edges, so The Defectors Weld is a good find. It is very much in the "tarted up boozer" mould, where a lot of money has been spent making it look like most pubs used to anyway. It has dark walls, subdued lighting and a random assortment of furniture. It is a popular destination so it isn't always possible to get a seat, and even if you do, on particularly busy nights they may clear the chairs away to make more room. There is usually a DJ propped in one corner, with the style of music played best described as eclectic, moving through a dazzling array of genres.

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