Ealing is, compared to West Ealing, somewhat glitzy. It’s the glamour girl of the eponymous borough, the headliner, the main act. Its shops are big, its bakers are fancy, its transport connections are good to very good, its houses are beautiful, its common is lovely and circus-friendly.
As such, it puts its aforementioned neighbour in perspective – one end of the street, a dusty, forlorn kind of a nowhere, the other end bombastic, full, and extravagantly better. Or is it? Despite the presence of four charity shops, there’s really little purpose in visiting Ealing. The Broadway is full of chain stores and chain cafes, a shopping centre here, a Costa there, you know the sort. There’s little to give the place any real character or individuality.
And so I don’t rate it that much, even for charity shopping. There’s two Oxfam shops here, a Fara and a Cancer Research: it’s worth a stop off maybe, if you’re in the direction, but even for the vaunted Oxfam book shop, you can do better. Now, about the bookshop. There’s a legend of a Audio and Music Oxfam in the region, and so off we went looking for it, but any questions we asked the denizens of the region seemed to bounce off empty synapses. Having referred to Google Maps upon return, we deduce that the bookshop, featuring no music at all, was the fabled store in question, so that one’s ticked off.
Ah well. It’s not bad, but it’s not so great either.
Find: Ealing on Google Maps
Transport: Ealing Broadway: Piccadilly Line
Consume with: any number of chain coffees
Visit: Gunnersbury Park always looks nice, and comes with the added bonus of having a really good wall.
Overall rating: two hot pants