Spotlight on: Bromley
PUBLISHED: 10:19 09 February 2015 | UPDATED: 10:19 09 February 2015
Manu Palomeque 07977074797
Already a shopping mecca and an area attractive to young families, Bromley is now becoming an architecturally striking destination
Bromley is having a facelift. The regeneration of the Bromley South Central area is almost complete, with an estimated spend of £90 million on the impressive mixed-use development.
The scheme includes a Premier Inn, a multiplex cinema, cafés, restaurants and 200 new apartments – all with a vast underground car park. As well as providing new housing and facilities, it hopes to create new jobs in Bromley and inject millions into the local economy.
But this project is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. In 2010 Bromley Council earmarked several other areas for improvement, including Bromley Village North, the town centre and the civic centre.
It’s all part of the council’s vision to make the town a better, more welcoming and architecturally striking destination.
It will all add to what is already a shopping mecca with an excellent, pedestrianised town centre and the huge intu shopping centre.
Bromley is on to a good thing by upgrading because, at just nine miles from London, it’s attracting more young families priced out of the city all the time.
Appealing to professional couples and young families, Bromley is an active area. But if running for the train isn’t enough for them each morning, there is a great range of sports and leisure facilities available.
There are tennis and golf centres, a popular local football club, swimming pools and the Pavilion Leisure Centre (020 8313 9911, BR1 3EF) even boasts its own ten-pin bowling alley.
Local martial arts instructor Paul Finn, from Karasic Kali (0795 8394004), believes there is something for everybody and the great facilities help to encourage even those who wouldn’t usually take up a sport.
“The fitness and sports facilities in Bromley are very good,” he says. “There are a number of gyms in central Bromley, including the gym at the Pavilion Leisure Centre which is highly affordable and has excellent, up-to-date facilities.
“We have classes in Wing Chun Kung Fu at our Holmesdale Road site, it’s a great way to keep fit and to learn self-defence.
“We find that we attract people from all walks of life, from businessmen and partners in local law firms, to electricians, plumbers and stay-at-home mums. Bromley is not short of active people wanting to get involved in a sport.”
Shopping and eating
There are more than 100 shops within
the walls of the intu Shopping Centre Bromley (BR1 1DN), formerly The Glades. With branches of Boots, M&S, Debenhams and Zara, as well as coffee and snack establishments and a huge multi-storey car park, it’s all there right under one roof.
Recent arrivals to Bromley include White Stuff (0208466 5903), computer giants Apple (0208 2255500), and diamond merchants Chisholm Hunter (0844 4176058), who have moved into a large building in the town centre.
Venture further afield to Bromley North and you’ll find plenty of shops, pubs, cafés and restaurants, and far from the madding crowd there is the Chatterton village area, which boasts friendly restaurants and several independent shops.
With every kind of chain restaurant you care to imagine in Bromley, there is plenty of choice. Try Ferrari’s Italian restaurant (0208 8464 8877, BR1 1QQ), The Garden Restaurant at the Bromley Court Hotel (020 8461 8600, BR1 4JD) or the Turkish restaurant Havet (0208 2906717, BR1 1NN) for something really exciting.
Indian restaurant Shampan 2 (020 8460 7169, BR2 9QN) has a very good reputation and good pubs include The Chatterton Arms (020 8460 4604, BR2 9QW), The Barrel and Horn (020 8290 2039, BR1 1PW) and The Shortlands Tavern (0208 466 0202, BR2 0EY). In nearby Locksbottom you’ll find the award-winning Chapter One restaurant (01689 854848, BR6 8NF) run by chef and Kent Life contributor Andrew McLeish – it won the title Kent Life and Kent on Sunday restaurant of the year 2014.
Emma Clements, blogger
How long have you lived in Bromley?
I’ve lived in Bromley for 11 years and it’s now where I class as home. Having studied and worked in central London
and being from the rural north originally, I’m an equal mix of city and country. I find Bromley matches that.
Tell us about your blog.
Before becoming a ‘play at home’ mum to two small people, I was an online marketing and social media manager and I really missed the blogging side of things, so I decided to start my own personal one.
I’ve been writing my parenting blog ‘Emma In Bromley’ for six years now and I’m also working on an interiors blog too.
What’s best about Bromley for young families in the area?
Bromley is very much a family area. Before having children I didn’t really know many local people, as it was just a handy commute into London, but now I see it as a family home.
I’m always bumping into other mums and it’s such a friendly place to be. There are a lot of classes available for new mums to take their children to – my personal favourites are Baby Sensory and Jo Jingles.
There are also plenty of lovely parks in and around Bromley to take the children.
Your favourite restaurants?
I love the Mandarin Palace on Widmore Road (020 8466 0018) – the staff always make an effort to engage the children if we are dining as a family or make sure it’s special if it’s just myself and my husband.
And The Papadom (020 8464 2531) Indian restaurant on Tylney Road will always hold a special place in my heart because it kickstarted both my labours when it was time for my babies to be born!
Your favourite shops?
I’m a fan of some of Bromley’s more recent additions: Hema (020 37657 395) is great for bargains and who doesn’t love The White Company (020 37589222)?
The town centre itself lacks many independent stores but Sundridge Park is a little haven of quirky shops and second-hand furniture stores.
Pom Pom (020 8464 6666) has lovely, unusual baby items and the cafés are great – The Pantry (020 83139891) does good coffee and artisan breads while The Lavender House (020 8464 0700) has a great outdoor play area.
To read Emma’s parenting blog, visit: www.emmainbromley.co.uk