Discovering the India of London: A Brief Introduction of Southall
Snugly located in London Borough of Ealing, Southall boasts the largest Asian community in London. Be it shops or restaurants or jewellery or even clothes, everything at Southall has an Indian imprint embossed on it.You will not feel the need to speak English in Southall, as the majority of people here understand either Hindi or Punjabi. In fact, so dominant is the influence of Indian heritage here that the Southall Railway Station has a bilingual display sign, the languages being English and Punjabi.
If you are an Indian travelling to London, Southall is the place to visit. And, if you are confused about the places to visit while in Southall, go through this guide. This guide covers every aspect of this beautiful town, be it hotels near Southall,attractions, Indian restaurants in Southall or Indian ethnic wear shops.
There are a number of hotels in Southall where you can have a comfortable stay. Along with this, the hospitable staff and a wide array of facilities at these hotels will soothe your tired body after travelling. Pick from the hotels given below:
Approx. distance from Southall: 0.6 miles
Mehfil is one of the best-known hotels in Southall. There are 31 rooms that come with facilities like bar, family rooms, non-smoking rooms, safety deposit box, wired internet (chargeable) and access to disables. Additionally, your breakfast would be included in the room rate.
One of the major USPs of this hotel is Mehfil restaurant. Located in the hotel itself, Mehfil restaurant is one of the best “Indian eateries” in London. This eatery specialises in serving delicious North Indian cuisines. Delicacies like Fish Amritsari, Chicken Mehfil and Kesri King Prawn are some of the best cuisines of this restaurant. Apart from the main courses dishes, Mehfil restaurant also dishes out exquisite collection of drinks from India, France and Spain.
Willow Guest House
Approx. distance from Southall: 2 miles
This 3-star hotel is quite popular among budget travellers to London. All the rooms of the hotel are equipped with facilities like En-Suite shower, modern furnishings, free Wi-Fi and other facilities. You will be served a full English breakfast in dining room of the hotel.
If you crave for Indian food, then head towards restaurants like Grapes Tandoori and Karahi Express that are within one mile of the hotel premises.
The Indian Touch
It is the hub of Indian culture in London. Here you will find people chatting in either Hindi or Punjabi and you will feel that as if you are in an Indian city. The tourist attractions, restaurants and shops all amplify the “Indian” pitch at this place.
Attractions In and Near Southall
Only a short walk away from Southall Broadway, Southall Park is a huge space of greenery amidst the bustling streets of this suburb. Boasting a Spring Garden, lake with boating facilities, a bowling green and tennis courts, this park is extremely popular among tourists and locals alike. Adding charm to the beauty of park is the presence of an extremely diverse range of flora and fauna. The wildlife of the park, particularly birds is quite enthralling. Birds like Green Ring-necked Parakeets, Lesser Spotted, Great Spotted and Green Woodpecker are among the prominent species of birds that are found here.
PM Gallery and House
Located in the Pitzhanger Manor house, PM Gallery and House is Ealing’s prominent cultural venue. Filled with inventive colour schema and delightful use of space and light, this grade I listed building is a visual treat. This historical building has the distinction of being West London’s largest Contemporary Professional Visual Arts Gallery and exhibitions take place quite frequently at this place.
The closing time of this historical place is 5 pm whereas the opening time varies. If you want more information, visit the website ealing.gov.uk.
Gunnersbury Park and Museum
Around 4.3 miles away from Southall, Gunnersbury Park is home to a Grade II listed mansion house that has now been turned into a museum. The museum houses a wide array of paintings, objects and photographs that reflect the past of Ealing and Hounslow in the most authentic manner. In fact, so extensive are the collections now that they are displayed through a number of exhibitions.
The admission to this museum is free and wheelchair accessibility is present too.
Gurdwara Sri Guru Singh Sabha
Gurdwara Sri Guru Singh Sabha, also known by its initials GSGSS, is the largest Sikh temple outside India. Opened in 2003, this temple is now one of the major tourist attractions not only for Sikhs but also for other tourists. It is quite spacious too accommodating up to 4000 Sikh worshippers during the prayers.
The intricate marble work, glided dome and stained glass windows are quite awe-inspiring. Entry to the Gurdwara is free; however, you need to come without shoes and with your head wrapped by a piece of cloth.
Neasden Temple (or BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir) is the biggest Hindu Temple of the world outside India. This mesmerizing religious building, with its aesthetic architectural carvings and intricate artwork is the one of the most visually appealing religious landmarks of London. The temple welcomes visitors of every faith. However, they are expected to remove their shoes before entering the temple premises.
The temple, apart from being a marvellous building, is a museum that houses range of objects related to Hinduism. Along with this, if you want to shop for some authentic accessories related to Hindu religion, the temple has arrangements for that too. If you start feeling hungry after the sightseeing in the temple, you can head towards Shayona restaurant in the temple premises that serves delicious Indian cuisines.
The general opening time of the temple is 9 am and the closing time is 6 pm. If you want more information regarding visiting times and other guidelines, visit mandir.org.
Southall Broadway is one of the most famous shopping zones for Indian accessories in London. The shops here stock a tantalizing variety of Indian items and most of the shops are open on bank holidays too. Shopping trip here is akin to shopping in an Indian city as the whole street is filled with shops dealing with Indian items. Some of the most famous shops of this area are following:
Omega Bridal Gallery
31, the Broadway, Southall, UB1 1JY
Do you want to shop for some authentic and exquisite Indian Bridal Gowns and Sherwanis in London? Then visit Omega Bridal Gallery in Southall. This shop specialises in Wedding Sarees, Georgette and Bejewelled Sarees, Embroidered Sarees, Blouse Suits, Bride Dresses, Bridesmaid Dresses, and Men’s Embroidered Sherwanis.
120 A, The Broadway, Southall, UB1 1QF
If you want to woo your wife with some exquisitely designed sarees, Desi Sarees is the place for you. Housing an astounding collection of embroidered sarees and women wear, it is one of the hot places to shop for ethnic Indian Women clothing. The shop stores a wide variety of Sarees, Salwar Kameez, Ladies Churidaar, Kaftans, and Lehengas. Besides, the shop offers an array of kids wear and menswear too.
Indian Food Experience
Southall Broadway throws up a diverse variety of eating out options in front of you. Either you can go for genuine Indian food experience at the Indian restaurants or you can head to Chinese restaurants for that “Chinese” taste-punch. Besides, you will find a number of street shops here dishing out mouth-watering Indian snacks like Samosa, Jalebi, and other appetizers. For experiencing the charm of authentic Indian food, have a meal at these restaurants:
A “must-go” eatery on your trip to London, if you want to plunge into the true delight of Indian food, be it tandoori or jalebi. The dominance of Asian food is reflected in the menu here. Whether you crave for keema and kebab, or you want curry with Pakistani Biryani, this bistro will serve you every dish to make you feel at home. In the recent times, Chaudhary’s TKC has added Chinese dishes to their menu, thus diversifying the choices for you.
If you want more information regarding the menu and other aspects, go to their official website tkcgroup.com.
Enter this restaurant and soon you will find yourself amidst familiar dishes and smells. Moti Mahal is your “one-stop” for experiencing the essence of Punjab in London. Located at the King Street in Southall, Moti Mahal is famous for dishing out traditional Punjabi street food. Here you can indulge into the luscious Chana Bhatoora, Chilli Chicken, Saag Chicken, Veg Supreme, Parantha, Samosa and Puri rounded off with irresistible desserts.
In addition to all this, Moti Mahal has come up with an innovative concept of “Desi Pizza.” Bringing the essence of Indian and Italian cuisines, this dish is primarily a pizza but tweaked with Indian spices and loaded with “Punjabi” flavour.
Gifto's Lahore Karahi
As the name suggests, this restaurant is well known for its tempting Pakistani dishes. Prepared from the best and freshest of ingredients, the dishes at Gifto’s Lahore Karahi are aromatic and reflect tantalizing sophistication at the same time. The finest spices from India and Pakistan go into making the dishes, thus amplifying the “South-East Asian” pitch in the food.
The restaurant, though specialises in Tandoori and Lahori dishes, still you will find many Indian dishes, particularly desserts and snacks. The eatery has tailor-made dishes for vegetarians too.
If you are looking for restaurants that serve vegetarian dishes only, then Delhi Wala, Chini Chor and Shahanshah Vegetarian Restaurant and Sweet Centre are the places for you.
Southall is the place where you will have an undiluted taste of “Indian” culture. The food, the attractions, and the shops everything bears an unmistakable ‘Indian’ touch. Exploring this “mini India” of London will truly be a “lifetime experience” for you.
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