Polka Theatre cafe to be brought in-house

Polka Theatre today announces that its Café is being brought entirely in-house and will re-open under new management this Friday 29 September

Alex Pena Collazos has been appointed as the new Café Manager and Amy Gills as Chef. With a delicious new menu focusing on fresh natural ingredients prepared daily, the Polka Café is a great spot to meet up with friends after school drop-off over fresh coffee or a slice of homemade cake, or have a bite to eat with the children before or after a show. Offering both breakfast and lunch, the new menu includes hot and cold food as well as a selection of smoothies.

In addition, the café is also a great place for a party. Come and celebrate with a show followed by a Children’s Tea Party, a run-around in the playground with a great-tasting child friendly menu.

Hilary O’Connor, Head of Operations said today,

I am very pleased to announce that Alex Pena Collazos will be joining us as the new Café Manager. Alex brings us a wealth of experience having previously worked in various hospitality roles stemming from London City Hall to most recently, The Park Club in West London. I’m also delighted to welcome our new Café Chef, Amy Gills. Amy recently completed her studies at South Thames College with a distinction in Professional Food & Beverage, and a barista, bartender, and patisserie degree.


New Café Manger Alex Pena Collazos stated,

My vision is to promote a feel-good factor and happiness by offering a healthy and tasty menu and create a friendly atmosphere for all our visitors to enjoy.


New Café Chef Amy Gills added,

I love working with and around children and so combined with my love of cooking, this is my dream job!


Visit our What’s On page to see all the latest upcoming shows at Polka Theatre.

stem4 shortlisted for two national awards

stem4 shortlisted in Children and Young People Now Awards 2017 and at the National Positive Practice in Mental Health Awards 2017.

stem 4 is a finalist in the ‘Mental and Wellbeing Award’ category at the Children and Young People Now Awards and in the ‘Improving Access and Outcomes in Education’ category at the National Positive Practice in Mental Health Awards 2017.

Dr Krause CEO, Founder of stem4, said:

We are very proud to have reached the finals of both the Children and Young People Now Awards 2017 and the National Positive Practice in Mental Health Awards 2017.  It is a tremendous boost for the whole team to be acknowledged for the work we do and confirms the importance of supporting children and young people’s mental health in schools.

stem4 is a Wimbledon based, award winning charity that supports teenage mental health through mental health promotion, building resilience and signposting early intervention. stem4 focuses on commonly occurring mental health issues in teenagers including eating disorders, anxiety, depression, self-harm and addiction as well as working with students, parents and teachers in secondary schools. The stem4 free Calm Harm app helps teenagers manage the urge to self-harm.

The National Positive Practice in Mental Health Awards 2017 will be presented on 12 October at the Imperial Hotel in Blackpool. Winners of the Children and Young People Now Awards 2017 will be announced on 22 November at the Gala Awards Ceremony at the Lancaster Hotel London.

Visit stem4 to learn more about its work with teenagers and young people.

District Line Services Suspended Due To Incident At Parsons Green

Police were called at approximately 8:20am today to Parsons Green Underground Station following reports of an incident on a tube train.

Officers from the Metropolitan Police Service and British Transport Police are in attendance along with the London Fire Brigade and London Ambulance Service.

Services are suspended between Edgware Road and Wimbledon while police respond to the incident. We would advise people to avoid the area. Tickets will be accepted on Buses, South Western trains and Overground. There is no access to the District Line at Wimbledon.

Please follow updated from @metpoliceuk and @districtline for the latest information.

Over the weekend if you are using District Line services please check before your travel and follow @metpoliceuk and @districtline and well as the TfL for live updates and accurate information. You can also re-plan your journey at tfl.gov.uk/plan-a-journey/. The Sarah Hope Line is available to offer help and support for anyone affected by this incident.

Jacks of London confirmed as UK’s top barber

Wimbledon barber, Jacks of London wins Male Grooming Salon of the Year at prestigious British Hairdressing Business Awards

Official barber to the Aegon Tennis Tournament and personal male grooming specialist to scores of the UK’s top sports people, Jacks of London has built a formidable business reputation over the past 23 years. It’s a major contributor to the booming barbering industry that feeds into the £7 billion UK grooming market. Few newcomers have been able to match the service provided at Jacks, which has over the years grown ever stronger through experience and investment in the skill of its team.

Hairdressers Journal’s executive director, Jayne Lewis-Orr, called Jacks of London’s win ‘truly well-deserved’.

Male grooming is enjoying a real boom period, but that means it can be harder than ever to stand out and be noticed. For businesses to do well and prove their point of difference, they have to be a cut above. A truly well-deserved win for Jacks of London, who are consistently expanding, innovating and moving the male grooming industry forward.

The energy that drives Jacks, located on Wimbledon Bridge, comes from its prime focus on clients, providing an extensive range of services in addition to brilliant barbering, plus seven-day, extended opening hours, so its highly trained barbers are on hand whenever it suits clients.

Jacks of London founder and MD Sue Whitehead, said:

This is an amazing win for our team, who work so hard to be the best they can. Our clients always come first, and that constantly drives us all to innovate, to lead in trends and technique, to mix the traditional with the new and deliver it all in a truly man-friendly space.

Wimbledon wins at Food & Drink!

Great success for Wimbledon venues in Time & Leisure’s Food & Drink Awards 2017.

Fifteen Wimbledon businesses were shortlisted as finalists in these prestigious awards, celebrating the finest local and independent eating and drinking venues and suppliers across south west London and north Surrey.

Love Wimbledon extends hearty congratulations to all our outstanding venues – such fantastic and well-deserved achievements!

Best Cocktail Venue
Winner: The Pod Bar
Commended: Suburban Bar & Lounge

Best Service
Highly Commended: The Alexandra

Best Pub
Highly Commended: The Alexandra

Best Takeaway & Delivery
Commended: Aya Lebanese Cuisine

Best Eating Experience
Winner: Sticks ‘n’ Sushi
Highly Commended: LusoBrazil
Commended: Bliss Coffee, San Lorenzo, The Alexandra

Local Restaurant of the Year
Highly Commended: San Lorenzo

Please visit Time & Leisure for the full list of all award winners. To partner the 2018 awards or get involved please email mike.reed@timeandleisure.co.uk or call 020 8545 6777.

Merton Arts Festival 2017

Celebrating art and local artists, Merton Arts Festival is a grassroots, non-profit venture run for the benefit of the whole community.

Merton Arts Festival 2017 launches this weekend (16 & 17 September) with venues across the borough throwing open their doors, welcoming visitors to discover an amazing variety of works by painters and printmakers, jewellers, textile and glass artists, ceramicists and sculptors – and many more.

This year’s theme is Reflection & Transformation and Wimbledon’s deep cultural heritage and strong connection between business and community are evident in the number of venues getting involved – numerous artists’ homes and studios as well as a variety of town centre businesses, including Bliss Cafe at 264 The Broadway, Merton Arts Space in Wimbledon Library, Fielders at 54 Wimbledon Hill Road and William Morris House at 267 The Broadway. An added attraction this year is to include examples of local architecture, with Elliott Wood at 241 The Broadway and St Mark’s Church hosting Reflection & Transformation exhibitions.

Merton Arts Festival continues next weekend (23 & 24 September) including a visit to Love Wimbledon’s Autumn Arts on The Piazza.

Among the Festival sponsors are Wimbledon businesses, Hawes & Co, Marcus Beale and WSM.

Colour House Theatre premiers at Merton Arts Space

Colour House Theatre premiers at Merton Arts Space with Hansel and Gretel.

For over twenty years The Colour House Children’s Theatre in Merton Abbey Mills has been delighting audiences with children’s shows every weekend. Staging over 100 productions to more than 100,000 people the theatre has become known for its unique and intimate musical shows.

Now, for the first time ever The Colour House takes residency at another venue, partnering with Merton Arts Space in Wimbledon Library to stage Hansel and Gretel, which runs every Sunday until 12 November.