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et Tooting retains the grit that other gentrified London neighbourhoods have sacrificed – which is partly why Lonely Planet chose it.The long-established curry houses have not been pushed out by the pop-ups.’d resigned myself to having a talent for living in the right place at the wrong time.I grew up in Merseyside – but in the Derek Hatton years, rather than during Beatlemania.“I love the mix of cultures and there’s something brilliant about corner shops open to the early hours selling lots of veg I neither recognise nor know the name of, even after 11 years.” o it may not be the communist utopia that the feckless layabout Wolfie Smith envisaged – at the least it’s the yummy mummies rather than the Marxists that have brought home the revolution.But if you want to be hip, stop saving your Air Miles for Dubai or Denmark. “While the area is undeniably gaining traction among London’s cool-hunters, it has retained its identity,” says Emma Sparks, deputy editor of and Tooting resident.

And old, worn-out pub furniture has been replaced by much older furniture in the name of shabby chic.” f that sounds all very well if you’re a twentysomething hipster, but the thought of seeing someone rollerblading ironically along the main road fills you with loathing, families still love Tooting.

I moved to Oxford – when Brideshead fever was well and truly over.

I even briefly rented a flat above a joke shop with a reinforced steel door in Portobello Road – before Richard Curtis and Hugh Grant transformed Notting Hill.

A place that was once boasted wall-to-wall Chicken Cottages now hosts the Soho House-owned Chicken Shop (£18 for a rotisserie chook).

Grilled banana bread with wattleseed butter (£4.90) is the norm in the clutch of independent coffee shops that have sprung up.

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