If you’re visiting London and looking to explore some more ‘off the beaten track’ neighbourhoods, then there’s a hidden gem just waiting for you…round the very corner where we at La Gaffe are based.

It’s called South End Green and compared to other parts of north London - chic Hampstead, elegant Primrose Hill, energetic Camden Town - it’s not that well-known.  But that’s not a bad thing for those who do visit because it offers a real slice of local life. 

South End Green sits between Hampstead tube, Belsize Park tube (easily walkable from both stations) and actually backs onto Hampstead Heath, so not only will you have the chance to explore its cafes, bookshops and small stores but you can also go for a stroll in London’s ‘green lung’ - what a day out!

Here are some of the places we think you should check out in this pretty and relatively undiscovered little area of London…enjoy!

Daunt Books

Daunt Books is an independent chain of bookshops in England, founded in 1990 by James Daunt, a book and travel-loving man who left a job in banking in NYC to move back across the pond and open this business. 


In London, there are several Daunts, the original (and most famous, with stunning interiors) in Marylebone, but there’s one in South End Green and it’s a fantastic place to browse, with a good selection of both adults and children’s books and helpful, friendly staff love to help and recommend new reads.  


Silverberry Deli and Cafe

Whether you’re a fan of breakfast, brunch, lunch or just quality coffee, you’ll love the welcoming and cosy atmosphere of the Silverberry Deli and Cafe

Flaky croissants, beet falafels, ‘Turkish eggs’ and fantastic salads (try the one with mango, walnuts, goat cheese, dates and miso dressing) really hit the spot and they have a little terrace where you can sit on warmer days.  For those who’ve got a sweet tooth, do try their eclairs and cheesecake.  Silverberry Deli also serves vegan and gluten-free fare!  So how many more reasons do you need to pop in?


‘Boutique’ by Shelter

One thing London is famous for is its fabulous charity shops, which you’ll find in every neighbourhood of the capital, selling everything you can imagine from clothes and jewellery to board games, household goods and furniture.  They’re staffed by volunteers, with all money going to good causes and are a great place to browse and bargain hunt (many things you’ll find there have been donated practically new).  Boutique doesn’t disappoint - run by Shelter, who campaign for an end to homelessness - is packed full of treasures, from biographies, vinyl and teapots to designer and vintage fashion.  It’s a wonderfully curated place, the staff are so helpful and friendly and the perfect place to pick up something fun/educational/stylish and support a great cause.too.

Paradise Restaurant

This well-known Indian restaurant, serving up delicate lightly-spiced food in comfortable and attractive surroundings is a bit of a legend in South End Green. 

Open since 1969, it’s known for serving up generous portions of tasty, quality fare at reasonable prices, all overseen by helpful and attentive staff. 

Everything on the menu is good but stand-out dishes include the peshawar naan, paneer makhani, lamb Pasanda,  prawn patia and spicy butter chicken. 

Make sure to reserve in advance, because Paradise is a busy place especially at the weekends.  


Keats House

Keats House is the place where the great English poet John Keats lived from 1818 until he left for Rome in 1820.  Today, it’s a writer’s house/museum, open to the public, and the perfect place to find out more about his story.  Along with Byron and Shelley, Keats was one of the heavy hitters of the Romantic movement - so influenced was he and in awe of predecessors such as Milton and Shakespeare that he actually abandoned his job as an apothecary to write poetry!  Here at Keats House (or Wentworth House as it was then known) he read, wrote and even fell in love with Fanny Brawne who, literally, was ‘the girl next door.’  Lovingly restored, this well-preserved house brings to life the spirit of the poet and the garden out back is a tranquil spot in which to sit and contemplate.


The Magdala Tavern

The Magdala Tavern is a cosy pub and dining room a stone’s throw from the Heath and next to the Overground station) with rustic decor, wooden floors and a candlelit courtyard.  Not just a pleasant watering-hole that serves great grub and a wide range of beers, it has a reputation that precedes it - this was the spot where Ruth Ellis (the last woman in the UK to be hanged) shot her lover David Blakely, in a fit of passion. 

They’re famous today for their Sunday roasts, as well as plates of fish & chips,  schnitzel and fab desserts like affogato and Eton Mess.  The Magdala is a great example of what a local pub should be like - friendly, warm, welcoming - and it’s the perfect place to pop in after you’ve worked up an appetite walking on the Heath!  Which brings us to…


Hampstead Heath

There are few spots more lovely in north London, even the entire capital we think, more beautiful than Hampstead Heath.  This enormous green expanse of woodlands, meadows, look out spots, bathing ponds is extraordinarily beautiful and peaceful. It's the closest thing you’ll get to feeling like you’re in the English countryside, whilst in the capital.  A great place for a ramble, the perfect place to take in views of St, Pauls Cathedral/Canary Wharf’s skyscrapers, and beautiful all year round, it’s always open, free to visit and an excellent way to achieve your daily 10,000 steps!


If you’re coming to London and looking for a place to stay, we'd love to host you at La Gaffe Hotel HampsteadSet in leafy Hampstead, arguably one of the capital’s most beautiful areas, we’re family-owned and family-run and really go the extra mile to make you feel at home.

We’re just three minutes walk from Hampstead tube (on the Northern line) and then it’s a fifteen minute tube ride into the city centre, so you get both the charming ‘village’ feel of our neighbourhood and the opportunity to enjoy some ‘bright lights, big city’ atmosphere too.

Feel free to contact us by email or phone or by clicking here to book a room directly.  We look forward to welcoming you.