“ Address: Merton Abbey Mills / Merantun Way / Wimbledon / London / SW19 2RD „
Abbey Mills is a crafts and food 'village' in the London Borough of Merton in South West London. I have a number of friends in the area, and when visiting at weekends we have sometimes come here for a browse and a bite to eat. The place (unsurprisingly according to its name) is the site of an old mill, one of many water mills formerly in this area, of which only a handful survive. The one here is in working order, although there have been other mills prior to this. The Arts & Crafts textile designer, William Morris, printed his fabrics here and it was also formerly used by Liberty of London, who used to print many of their famous fabrics here.
There are a number of shops here, but never as many as I think there should be. Some units appear to have been converted to office/studio space. I have enjoyed browsing in Cocoon Butterfly a little oriental fashion and craft shop where I recently purchased a pretty scarf for £12. There is also a small craft shop and market stalls, these change, and I have found them to be a bit hit and miss if I am honest, and never that many. As my local friends has said before "I always think there is more here than there actually is". There is also Charlie's Rock Shop is you are interested in stones in jewellery and decorative gifts.
Food and drink wise there is the William Morris Pub, as well as a number of restaurants such as Mamma Rosa's, a large but average Italian restaurant, some little casual food units offering Chinese, Caribbean or Brazilian food, and a nice, but small Thai restaurant. There are often tables outside if the weather is fine. Last time I was there was a very hot September Sunday afternoon and the dedicated ice cream shop was shut, which seemed a bit bizarre. There is a small theatre here, I have not visited it but I understand it runs children's theatre workshops as well as hosting live music during the summer.
Whilst I love the idea of Abbey Mills, it isn't as good as I think it could be, and I would like to see more craft shops, and indeed more shops open. There is a lot of potential here and it is a shame that it doesn't seem to get that busy.
The Mills are within walking distance of Colliers Wood tube station (Northern Line) and there is free parking nearby. There are also some pretty riverside areas which you can walk through if you are so inclined, which I do recommend.
Merton Abbey Mills
Wimbledon SW19 2RD