Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Life in West Hampstead

So we’ve been living in West Hampstead for over half a year. What’s it like? Well, where we are, it’s technically South Hampstead as we're on the "garden" streets. It’s very residential and certainly lacking the fun vibe of Clapham Old Town that we miss so much. The residents here are mostly early 30s working professionals, couples, or young  families. South Hampstead doesn’t have the quaint village-y feel mostly because Finchely Road is a big road dividing NW3 and NW6 postcodes. Where it lacks in atmosphere, it more than makes up for it in terms of convenience of nearby high street amenities (Sainsburys, Waitrose, Boots, Habitat, Waterstones, cinema, Virgin Active, and excellent transport links.

We’re equal distance between South Hampstead and West Hampstead overground stations, which takes us to Euston (5 mins); West Brompton (20 mins); Highbury Islington (22 mins); Thameslink to Kings Cross (9 minutes) and Farringdon (16 mins); and two tube lines (Jubilee and Metropolitan lines). Unless there is planned engineering work on the weekends, transport is a breeze.

West Hampstead has a more “village” feel with West End Lane, its high street which has a mix of cafes, pubs/restaurants and independent stores. It may feel a bit shabby chic in the immediate vicinity of the tube station, but the residential “Greek” roads are leafy with lovely period buildings. Some of my favourite local bars/restaurants in the West Hampstead include: Sarracino which has excellent pizzas – we go here at least once a month; the always-packed bar The Gallery for craft beers; One Sixty Smokehouse for American-style ribs and craft beers; and numerous of sidewalk cafes-cum-bar.

If you want more information about anything and everything about West Hampstead, check out this blog:

Nearby Kilburn has some interesting bars, such as the Earl Derby, Betsy Smith, and Love & Liquor, however, most of Kilburn High Road feels a bit down-heel due to the number of low end shops and some dodgey people hanging around, but overall safe if you keep your wits. We don’t hang around Kilburn unless we’re looking for a good Turkish kebab fix at Woody’s (excellent grilled meats) or some solid Afghan food at Ariana II (it’s also BYOB).

The perks of living in northwest London is the ability to walk to different neighborhoods i.e. Belsize Park, Primrose Hill, St. Johns Woods, and Hampstead, which I will eventually write about.

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