Creative Spark - Charlotte Berridge

ELM met Ealing-based designer & illustrator Charlotte Berridge.

Creative Spark - Charlotte Berridge

At what stage in your life did you first move to Ealing?

We moved to Ealing about 14 years ago when my partner and I decided to buy a house together. I didn’t know Ealing at all, but instantly fell in love with it.

`If you were telling someone about Ealing who had never visited, how would you describe it?

It’s so green and leafy. Everything you need is on your doorstep yet it’s so quick and easy to get into Central London. Ealing is a massive borough (I live in Northfields) yet every area has its own wonderful village feel. It’s definitely a very friendly place and the area is steeped with history too. From architect John Soane’s original country retreat (Pitzhanger Manor) to Ealing Studios the home of classic British Film making and the Art Deco beauty of the Hoover Building, there are fascinating stories at every turn.

Do you have a favourite watering hole?

It’s so hard to choose a favourite when we have so many great pubs in Ealing. My Ealing Pubs Illustrated Print features 14 fabulous historic locals, all throughly researched both inside and out! West London pubs would probably be my specialist subject if I was ever on Mastermind!

Over the last few years I’ve really enjoyed visiting micropubs too. Smaller, usually one room freehouses, where the focus is on great beer from independent breweries and conversation. I’ve made so many great new friends including at The Dodo Micropub in Hanwell.

During lockdown, Lucy (the owner of The Dodo) asked for my help to design a label for her Dodo of Hanwell Gin. This was a great project to work on, supporting a fellow female-led local business through such a difficult time cemented a strong friendship and has lead to a couple more label collaborations with her too. Check out the Dodo of Hanwell Rum, it’s delicious and pop to their infamous Cheeseboard Sunday (first Sunday of the month) in your diary too.

Thankfully, the iconic Red Lion on St Mary’s Road recently reopened. The pub is affectionately called “Stage Six” by the actors, directors and staff from nearby Ealing Studios. In the Studio’s heyday when they had 5 stages, the staff couldn’t really announce they were sneaking out for a pint so they would say they were popping to Stage 6. The Red Lion’s new tenants are the team behind The Andover Arms in Hammersmith so it’s great to know it’s in safe hands.

Where have you had your best Ealing meal?

Bronek’s on Northfields Avenue is fantastic. The fish is so fresh and it’s such a quirky little place, it’s a real neighbourhood gem.

Is there a part of Ealing that you find particularly inspirational or where you find peace?

Walpole Park is my absolutely favourite place. I walk across it most days and love watching the seasons change. I first drew the park, just for me, as I simply loved every little corner of it and it’s from that first illustrated map that my business began.

Tell us what you're up to at the moment.

I’ve spent the last couple of weeks booking in my Summer events. I pop up at lots of West London fairs over May, June and July so I’m adding a few more West London Areas to my portfolio. You’ll find me at Richmond May Fair, Green Days (part of the Bedford Park Festival) in Chiswick, and Barnes Summer Fair to name a few. I’ve recently added a few more historic West London Station illustrations to my collection as I was invited to take my stall to The London Transport Museum’s Acton Depot open weekend last month. It’s such an amazing museum, with an incredible array of old buses, tube trains, transport signs and original poster artwork. Keep an eye out for their next open weekend, it really was brilliant.