|HOTEL / APARTMENT||POSTCODE||MILES||STAR||24 May||25 May||26 May||27 May||28 May||29 May||30 May||31 May|
Vibrant Southall, known everywhere as ‘Little India’, is London’s centre of Indian and Pakistani culture with well over half of its residents hailing from the subcontinent, street signs in Punjabi and tons of atmosphere.
There’s markets selling vividly coloured saris, bhangra and incense in the air and obviously, some of the best authentic Indian food in the capital in this district of Ealing in the west of the city.
Southall Broadway is the main commercial strip, with Southall Market providing remarkable hustle-and-bustle Tues-Wed and Fri-Sat with food, fabrics, and even a horse auction on Wednesdays. The Sri Guru Singh Sabha (Havelock Road, 020 8574 8901, www.sgsss.org) is one of ten Sikh temples (or Gudwaras) in Southall, and the biggest place of Sikh worship in Europe and one of the largest outside of India, its gilded dome containing space for 3,000 people.
There’s also many Hindu temples and mosques in the area. The 2002 movie Bend It Like Beckham starring David himself, Parminder Nagra and a very young Kiera Knightley was filmed in Southall, and there’s a shrine to the best of Bollywood cinema in the Himalaya Palace (14 South Road, 020 8813 8844, www.himalayapalacecinema.co.uk), a three-screen filmhouse showing all the latest blockbusters from out east as well as normal Hollywood fare.
The Glassy Junction (97 South Road, 020 8574 1626) is a must-visit local landmark, crammed with gilded Indian knick-knacks and serving Cobra, Kingfisher and lhassis on tap – they also accept payment in rupees. It’s hard to know where to start when recommending restaurants: suffice to say, whether you’re looking for a Punjabi banquet fit for a king or just a post-pub portion of Britain’s favourite dish, Chicken Tikka Masala, most establishments in the area supply the real deal – always ask the waiters what they’d have at home for the best off-menu eating.
Visit in Diwali (late October-early November), the Festival of Light, for a truly memorable experience.
Southall railway station connects to Paddington and Heathrow via the overground network, and the nearest underground is Osterley (Piccadilly Line), two miles to the south.
|Greenford Station||4||Central||3.25 miles|
|Osterley Station||4||Piccadilly||3.55 miles|
|Northfields Station||3||Piccadilly||3.87 miles|
|Northolt Station||5||Central||4.14 miles|
|Perivale Station||4||Central||4.18 miles|
|Southall Station||0.65 miles|
|Hanwell Station||2.06 miles|
|Drayton Green Station||2.71 miles|
|Castle Bar Park Station||2.83 miles|
|West Ealing Station||3.34 miles|