London Journals

From Hampstead to Highgate and Beyond

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A November 2009 trip to London by sararevell

Hampstead Heath Photo, London, England More Photos
Quote: This journal focuses mainly on the cafes, pubs and restaurants of Hampstead, Highgate and Crouch End. I live in the area and am constantly seeking out the best places close to home.

Best Way To Get Around

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Story/Tip

The Parkland Walk Photo, London, England
Quote:
North London, unsurprisingly, is best served by the London Underground’s Northern Line (that’s the black one on the map). From Camden the line splits in two, running to Edgware to the west via Chalk Farm, Belsize Park, Hampstead Heath and Golders Green. To the east, the High Barnet Line takes passengers through Kentish Town, Archway, Highgate and Finchley.For those wishing to get a better over ground view, there is no better walk than across Hampstead Heath. The Heath is a 790 acre park given over to the public for swimming, dog walking, kite flying and as a place to admire the views down over the City of London. It stretches between Highgate and Hampstead and down to Gospel Oak in the sou...Read More

Crouch End

The Haberdashery

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Restaurant | "Seasonal Sensations and Homebaked Cakes"

The Haberdashery Photo, London, England
Quote:
The Haberdashery is brand new to Crouch End as of 25th November, 2009. In what some would say is a brave move opening a new business in an area already full of good eateries, The Haberdashery is dressed to impress. Painted in gentle eggshell blue and lime white, the simplicity of design at this café ensures that all eyes are drawn towards the baked masterpieces on display in the window and beside the counter.Bread, muffins and cakes are all baked in store and set out in pretty terracotta flowerpots and on delicate china plates. The menu is also thankfully simple. On a cold and wet November day, the specials board consisted of four hot soups: pumpkin and nutmeg, spicy tomato, sweet potato a...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on November 29, 2009

The Haberdashery
22 Middle Lane
London, England N8 8PL
020 8342 8098

Spiazzo

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Restaurant | "Crouch End's Own Little Italy"

Spiazzo Photo, London, England
Quote:
Spiazzo Italian Food Hall holds possibly the prime retail position in Crouch End. Bang smack in the middle of the Broadway with the main bus stop just outside, it’s impossible to miss this place as it commandeers the corner of the main street’s only green area, which despite its small size, is a popular resting point for locals in the summer. Summer is Spiazzo’s busy season, when the outdoor seating area is as popular as the diminutive park it borders. However boxy booths inside fill up fast in the winter with chatty families and couples meeting up for a brunch date.The Italian influence can be felt as soon as you enter with a wide deli counter facing the entrance and stockpiles of pasta, ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 5, 2010

Spiazzo
26 The Broadway
London, England N8 9DR
+44 20 8347 6065

O's Thai Cafe

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Restaurant | "Fresh, Yummy and Very Reasonably Priced"

O's Thai Cafe Photo, London, England
Quote:
Close to the clock tower in Crouch End is the bright and funky O’s Thai restaurant, named after owner Somchai Kantavanich, who has the mysterious Thai nickname ‘O’. Kantavanich started doing Thai food just down the road in the Victoria Stakes pub in Muswell Hill in 1993 but just four years later he and a partner had opened their own restaurant.O’s is a popular restaurant and the tables are busy almost every night of the week. The big draws are that the service is fast and friendly, the food is very good and it’s cheap. Two mains and two drinks costs less than £20 and while their website says there is no service charge for tables with less than five people, you will probably want to tip reg...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 29, 2009

O's Thai Cafe
10 Topsfield Parade
London, England N8 8PR
+44 20 8348 6898

World Cafe

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Restaurant | "Lunches are Big but Far from Worldly"

World Cafe Photo, London, England
Quote:
How World Café got its name I do not know. This narrow corner café, set back from the main street of Crouch End’s Broadway serves average food at average prices and catering as it does to the local hordes of mums and toddlers, there’s decidedly little ‘worldly’ about it. The menu is an odd mix of an all-day breakfast (served until 4pm anyway), Spanish tapas and burgers. World Café is always busy so maybe there is something to be said about middle of the road food. We visited on a Sunday afternoon and the service we experienced was fast and friendly. There were a number of solo customers who the staff left alone to their coffees and newspapers, perhaps another reason for its popularity. ...Read More

Member Rating 1 out of 5 on November 29, 2009

World Cafe
130 Crouch Hill
London, England N8 9DY
+44 20 8340 5635

Hot Pepper Jelly

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Restaurant | "A Bright and Spicy Lunch Spot"

Hot Pepper Jelly Photo, London, England
Quote:
Along the busy and slightly dirty and tatty Broadway Parade in Crouch End, Hot Pepper Jelly provides a bright and breezy interval. The walls were decorated with colourful artwork of daffodils and tulips. A local art club set an exercise for 5-11 year olds to emulate Van Gogh and to be fair, their efforts were better than some adult stuff I’ve seen at other cafes. Beyond the artwork, the community feel extends to the toilet where leaflets and cards for local businesses are posted on the back of the door. HPJ is a narrow café but the menu is wide. Fortunately as they strive to provide a good variety it doesn’t seem like they’ve compromised on quality. We ordered two iced coffees and as they ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on November 29, 2009

Hot Pepper Jelly
11 Broadway Parade
London, England N8 9DE
+44 20 8340 4318

Hampstead

Ginger & White

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Restaurant | "Ginger & White and all Things Nice"

Ginger & White Photo, London, England
Quote:
I have been to Ginger & White about a handful of times now, possibly more. It has a magnetic quality for my coffee-loving husband but even I must admit an affection for the place. Even when we have no plans to go to Hampstead we seem to invent a reason, just so we can stop at Ginger & White for coffee and a cupcake, muffin or slow roasted pork sandwich, or all four (just kidding). Despite being hidden away from Hampstead High Street along the pretty Perrin’s Court, do not underestimate the popularity of Ginger & White. The café is small, with a large communal table taking up most of the main area inside. This table in particular is popular with families as kids can scribble awa...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 9, 2010

Ginger & White
4a-5a Perrins Court
London, England NW3 1QS
+44 20 7431 9098

The Holly Bush Pub

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Restaurant | "Step Back in Time in this Pretty Hampstead Pub"

The Holly Bush Pub Photo, London, England
Quote:
Close to Hampstead tube station and tucked into one of the prettiest London neighbourhoods (and, I’m guessing, most expensive) is the picturesque and popular Holly Bush pub. The charm of this pub is its history. The building originally served as a stable block in the mid 1600s when Hampstead was still a country town. Somehow, original features such as etched glass windows, old oak floorboards and wooden panels are still in situ and in good but happily worn condition. Glass lamps hang overhead and yellowed wallpaper giving the place a warm, orange glow. On rare quiet moments when the armed benches with shabby leather seats wait patiently for thirsty travelers, you sort of wish the furniture could tell ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on November 29, 2009

The Holly Bush Pub
22 Holly Mount
London, England NW3 6SG
+44 20 7435 2982

The Spaniards Inn

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Restaurant | "The Biggest Beer Garden in London?"

Quote:
If you are lucky enough to be in North London on a bright sunny day, the Spaniards Inn is probably one of the best London pubs to be at. Not only is it sat on the edge of Hampstead Heath, it also boasts what must be the largest pub garden in the city. Wooden picnic tables stretch out almost as far as the eye can see across a pretty patio. Understandably it’s popular with families and dog walkers but even if you’re not a canine or baby fan, don’t let this put you off, as it’s usually possible to find a corner away from any mayhem. We pulled into the Spaniards on a sunny bank holiday Monday (in England, using ‘sunny’ and ‘bank holiday’ in the same sentence would probably be the start of a jo...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on November 29, 2009

The Spaniards Inn
Spaniards Road
London, England NW3 7JJ
(020) 8731-8406

Highgate

The Angel Inn

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Restaurant | "A Questionable Special Offer for Food and Wine"

The Angel Inn Photo, London, England
Quote:
The Angel Inn is located not too far from where we live but this was our first time trying their food menu. We decided to redeem a £20 voucher, which entitled us to two main courses and a bottle of red or white wine.We arrived around 6pm on a Friday night and already The Angel was busy with noisy after-work drinkers ready to celebrate the weekend. We moved away from one particularly vocal crowd, leaving a sunken sofa for a small table surrounded by about fifteen chairs. After some furniture rearranging we sat down to enjoy our merlot-cabernet blend (the white option was Chardonnay). It is difficult to describe The Angel Inn. To be honest, I actually quite like the place, I’m ju...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on January 16, 2011

The Angel Inn
37 Highgate High Street
Highgate, London N6 5JT
020 8341 5913

Capri Ristorante Pizzeria

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Restaurant | "An Italian Tragedy in Highgate"

Quote:
If you do an online search for the Capri restaurant on Archway Road, you will find plenty of glowing reviews. Archway Road is a fairly dreary and unattractive highway so any proprietor setting up shop along it is in for a challenge. However it is my understanding that Capri has existed for a number of years now and has a loyal following. The restaurant is small and its walls are decorated with an assortment of Fiat 500 trinkets and a mishmash of posters, postcards and banknotes. Directly opposite the tiny serving area are two posters of Pamela Anderson. In one she’s wearing some sort of see-through garment, which made me worry a little about the focus of the person preparing and serving th...Read More

Member Rating 1 out of 5 on January 23, 2011

Capri Ristorante Pizzeria
256 Archway Road
London, England N6 5AX
020 8341 7327

Kalendar

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Restaurant | "Informal Dining Al Fresco near the Heath"

Kalendar Photo, London, England
Quote:
If you happen to find yourself on the east side of Hampstead Heath I would definitely recommend seeking out Kalendar for breakfast, lunch or dinner. We reserved an outdoor table for six on an unusually warm May evening for dinner. Kalendar, and it’s neighbour Café Mozart, both have outdoor seating that extends towards Swains Lane so you can do a spot of people watching while you eat. The reservation probably wasn’t necessary but when the weather is good in London, outdoor tables are coveted so it’s never a bad idea.We ordered a round of beers and mulled over the menu whilst munching on some complimentary bread smudged with olive oil and balsamic. The food at Kalendar is pitched somewhere b...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on November 29, 2009

Kalendar
15a Swains Lane
London, England N6 6QX
+44 20 8348 8300

Kentish Town

Kentish Canteen

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Restaurant | "Fresh and Crunchy Lunch in Kentish Town"

Kentish Canteen Photo, London, England
Quote:
Kentish Canteen is handily located less than a minute from Kentish Town station and while I haven’t yet been there for dinner, I can definitely vouch for its lunch service. The one page menu manages to serve up a great range of seasonal and regular dishes and the place has a bright, colourful feel that few other places along Kentish Town Road can boast. Staff greet customers at the door but it is the pretty display of cakes, pastries and voluminous bowls of salad opposite the entrance that really make the first impression. Salads are so often relegated to plates of limp Caesar salad but Kentish Canteen makes a feature of them by offering an attractive list of small side dishes or a choice ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 28, 2011

Kentish Canteen
300 Kentish Town Road
London, England NW5 2TG
020 7485 7331

Tufnell Park

Lord Palmerston

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Restaurant | "Great Burger and Chips at Tufnell Park"

Lord Palmerston Photo, London, England
Quote:
Hidden half way up Dartmouth Park Hill, the Lord Palmerston is a down to earth pub that caters to families as well as friends. About a five-minute walk from Tufnell Park tube station, we stopped in for bunch on a quiet Saturday afternoon. The weekend before we had passed by the pub, which had looked very busy for Sunday lunch but it was a different story on the Saturday and so we felt a little foolish for calling ahead to make reservations. But better safe than sorry I guess.Part of the Geronimo Inns chain, the Palmerston does a decent job of maintaining its individuality. Table service was offered at the bar as well as in the back conservatory room but we took a table at the front of the ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 28, 2010

Lord Palmerston
33 Dartmouth Park Hill, Tufnell Park
London, England 5 1
+44 (0)20 7485 1