London walks: Nine Elms & Battersea Power Station

During the holidays I try to choose some areas in London which I think would be interesting for my kids and myself to explore and then we pinpoint particular places that we all want to visit. New Battersea Power station is a great addition to the transport network, but we chose to exit at Nine Elms on our London walks route and start with the new development and the US Embassy building.

London walks: Nine Elms tube st

The day when we walked was extremely windy, which propelled our bodies forward but messed up the hair – not my son’s, but certainly my daughter’s and mine. Now I get why so many teens and young adults favour hoodies! It’s truly wonderful to see how fast the landscape changes and the area of London that was at best asleep, is being regenerated and made more appealing for different generations. US Embassy building and moat are like the modern version of Sleeping Beauty castle, but our gazes were also drawn to the swimming pool suspended between two residential blocks. It’s a great focal point, but I am not sure I would be tempted to go and take a dip in a pool like that. Instead I preferred to gaze at it from different angles and let my mind wonder, questioning if on occasion it does spill over.

Nine Elms: US Embassy and a pool suspended between the buildings

There are lots of small businesses and a market, but it’s still early days and I expect the area to get busier in the coming months. We also attempted to drop by LINNAEN, a face/body clinic, which also has a salon, wellness boutique and plant-powered restaurant. The place was teaming with identical influencers and staff was morose at best, when I said I wanted to quickly have a look at their wellness boutique. A young lady on reception suggested we came back another day, as they were so, so busy right now. Truth be told, after such a cold-shoulder ‘welcome’ I fail to have an incentive to return.

A walk from Nine Elms to Battersea is a pleasant one, but you do have to twist and turn a little bit, as there are vast amounts of building works left, right and center. Battersea Power station is still being redeveloped, but there are lots of start-up offices, gyms, upscale general stores, coffee places and a pricey KOVA Patisserie cafe that offers Instagrammable and deliciously light cakes, as well as coffee, matcha and teen obsession – Bubble tea of all kinds. The prices are quite eye-watering, but kids and I did enjoy the surprising indulgence.

A pit stop during London Walks: matcha honey cake at KOVA Patisserie

Our biggest focal point was the new residential development by the architectural titan Frank Gehry. The last time he colaborated on the building in London was many years ago, and his Serpentine designed pavillion still remains beautifully fresh in my mind. Even though the man himself is now in his 90s, he was full of vigour & enthusiasm to do something in the city he says he loves and I almost ended up with a pulled neck muscle as I walked around the as yet uncompleted residential development. My head lifted towards the clouds, completely mesmerised by the buildings design, curvatures & light reflections. Even a children’s playground that at the time wasn’t yet fully completed, made my children and I want to run there and explore.

Frank Gehry designed residential development

While Battersea Station still remains quite imposing and heavy set (a friend of mine recently compared it to a crematorium and that description has been stuck in my brain as a thorn since then), Frank Gehry residential development has the wonderful lightness about it and made me very curious to peak inside (which sadly wasn’t possible at the time). While of course some will purchase Frank Gehry apartments as a prestigious investment, to me it represents the architectural beauty that will transcend time and offer delight not just to residents, but tourists and passers by, incentivising people to visit the area of London that went from Sleeping to a Charmingly Modern Beauty that will only continue gaining ground with adoring fans.

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