We love our part of London - it’s charming, old-worldly and elegant, with quirky narrow streets, beautiful Georgian and Edwardian architecture, charming little ‘cottages’ and the glorious Hampstead Heath waiting to be explored, on bright spring days, warm summer evenings, crisp autumn mornings and chilly winter afternoons.
Hampstead is easy to get to as well - it’s on the northern line (zone 2) and just a 15-minute journey from central London. It’s on the overground, which connects you with places like Richmond (in the west) and Hackney (in the east). And it’s also served by more than one bus - the 46 (which runs east to Kings Cross and Farrindgton and west to Paddington and Hyde Park) and the 168, whose route begins in South End Green and will take you all the way to Waterloo Bridge, via Camden Town.
Many people who stay with us, after visiting the ‘must-see’ sites in the West End, Soho and down by the River Thames, tell us they’d like a day in Hampstead and ask us where to wander, grab a bite, indulge in a cocktail or pint of beer and eat dinner. So without further ado, here are a few places we think you might like to visit, when you’re in our lovely part of north London.
- Keith Fawkes - located on Flask Walk, just moments from the tube, this veritable treasure trove is full of antiques and second-hand books and a great place to browse for unusual pieces and limited editions!
- Maud and Mabel - situated on the quirky Perrins Court, Maud and Mabel is a contemporary ceramics gallery and fuses British pieces with timeless Japanese items. Their minimalist vases are particularly lovely…
- Waterstones books - It might be a chain but you’ll instantly feel at home inside this two-storey store on the High Street, where the assistants are friendly and knowledgeable and they have an incredible range of printed matter (including lots of books on the history of Hampstead).
- Maje - Selling some very stylish and quality clothes. Maje has a very French feel to it, with pieces that are bold, glamorous and slightly edgy. Costly., but you’ll look fabulous.
- Melrose and Morgan - a gourmet grocer, on Oriel Place, here you can either sit down and have a snack (we’d recommend the smashed avocado on toast) or pick up food to go. Locally-sourced products and yummy fridge desserts make Melrose and Morgan a good lunch option.
- Hampstead Butcher & Providore - a wonderful neighbourhood butcher and grocer, this is a real gem and besides the excellent cuts of meat they sell (including aged beef) they have all kinds of international foods, including excellent jams, spreads and bagels. Perfect for buying some provisions and having a picnic on the Heath…
- La Creperie - La Creperie on Hampstead HIgh Street (next to the William IV pub) is legendary in our neighbourhood and once you’ve tried one of their Breton crepes, you might feel you’ve died and gone to heaven. Our tip: pair a savoury (perhaps cheese, mushrooms and garlic) with a sweet (chocolate and banana). Worth the queue you’ll inevitably have to join.
- Ole & Steen - this Danish bakery is famous for its cinnamon toast but they also have great coffee and excellent desserts (try the rhubarb/strawberry tarts). Ole & Steen also sells very good bread…
- L’Antica pizzeria - if you like authentic Neapolitan pizza (with a thick doughy crust, succulent tomato sauce and creamy mozzarella, then this is the place to go. It’s always busy (with good reason) and reasonably priced. Cosy atmosphere and a lot of fun.
- 28 Church Row - if you like small plates and sharing, then head to 28 Church Row, which has tapas-themed dishes and an excellent selection of wines. The menu changes monthly and is seasonally based - the croquettes, octopus and ‘torrija’ (Spanish French toast) come highly recommended.
- Gaucho Grill - carnivores will be in their element at this Argentinian-themed grill, which serves all kinds of succulent cuts that will melt in your mouth. The wagyu burger is apparently mouth-watering and the fries and desserts are pretty great too!
- Jin Kichi - on Heath Street (close to our guest accommodation) you’ll find this upmarket Japanese restaurant, with an excellent sushi, tonkatsu and yakitori menu. Jin Kichi serves authentic dishes and the fact that they have so many Japanese customers shows you that they’re really doing something right.
- The Flask - right by the tube, on Flask Walk, this traditional British pub has a wonderful atmosphere and whether you want to eat at the bar (try their scotch eggs!), indulge in a Sunday lunch or just grab a pint, you’ll immediately feel at home.
- The Holly Bush - possibly one of north London’s most instagrammable pubs, this picture-postcard pub is tucked away on Holly Mount, just up the hill from the tube. With a cosy atmosphere, and lots of ales on tap, the Holly Bush is a great place to stop for a drink but their food is also excellent - from traditional fish and chips to Sunday roasts, you’ll leave with a smile on your face.
- The Coffee Cup - this quaint little coffee lounge is an institution in Hampstead. It’s been around for over 50 years, it has a 1960’s feel to it and its old-fashioned dishes (raisin toast and welsh rarebit) go down a treat.
- La Gaffe - Finally, we have to mention ourselves! We have a lovely little wine bar downstairs from our Hampstead hotel, and if you’re ever in the mood for a drink, just pop in - we offer legendary cappuccinos, beers, wines and spirits and all with a warm Italian welcome.