Our next neighbourhood guide is Hampstead, in North London, selected by Tom Broughton—the founder of Cubitts spectacles. Tom’s lived in the area since 2019, and, in what I think we can all agree on, the best apartment in Belsize Park — the Isokon penthouse designed by Wells Coates for Jack and Molly Pritchard in 1933. Tom’s selection spans a few of the guides: Perambulation 2, Perambulation 3 and Perambulation 8, so why not buy them all eh?
Hampstead by Tom Broughton
WHERE IS THE BEST SPOT TO GRAB BREAKFAST BEFORE A WALK?
Oliver’s Village Cafe on Belsize Lane is cute. They're always super friendly, despite the various degrees of dishevelment when I visit. And they do a great breakfast too.
Oliver’s Village Cafe
92 Belsize Lane, London NW3 5BE
WHERE’S THE BEST PLACE FOR A QUICK LUNCH
Jin Kichi does some glorious lunch boxes and yakitori.
73 Heath Street, London NW3 6UG
WHERE’S THE BEST PLACE TO GRAB COFFEE?
Redemption Roasters, who roast their coffee inside a prison (HMP The Mount) or the The Coffee Cup — a Hampstead institution.
53 South End Rd, London NW3 2QB
The Coffee Cup
74 Hampstead High Street, London NW3 1QX
BEST POST-WALK PUB?
The Magdala. It’s where the last woman to be executed in Britain (Ruth Ellis) shot her boyfriend, which is a good enough reason, and a lesson to us all. Other notable mentions are The Flask, The Holly Bush, and The King William IV.
The Magdala Tavern
2A South Hill Park, London NW3 2SB
14 Flask Walk, London NW3 1HE
The Holly Bush
22 Holly Mount, London NW3 6SG
The King William IV
77 Hampstead High St, London NW3 1RE
WHERE IS THE BEST PLACE FOR A BUDGET DINNER?
Chez Nous on Haverstock Hill has a no-frills charm, plus you can ogle at the WW2 deep level air-raid shelter on the other side of the road.
157 Haverstock Hill, London NW3 4QT
WHERE IS THE BEST SPOT FOR A FANCY DINNER?
28 Church Row. Because it’s really really good.
28 Church Row, London NW3 6UP
IF YOU ONLY HAVE TIME TO VISIT ONE SHOP IN THE AREA, WHERE SHOULD YOU GO?
I’d be remiss not to mention our spectacles shop, Cubitts, on Hampstead High Street. Otherwise, the Italian deli Giacobazzi’s on Fleet Road, or Keith Fawkes the antique/bookshop on Flask Walk.
22 Hampstead High Street, London NW3 1QA
150 Fleet Road, London NW3 2QX
1–3 Flask Walk, London NW3 1HJ
WHERE’S THE BEST PLACE IN THE AREA TO SPEND A FEW HOURS WITHOUT SPENDING ANY MONEY?
I mean, Hampstead Heath is glaringly obvious. But the extension, Hill Garden and Pergola are slightly less busy. The former 17th century stately home Kenwood House, and Burgh House (pictured) a Grade I-listed Queen Anne building, are also great. And of course the brilliant and always free Isokon Gallery (donations are always welcome).
Hampstead Lane, London NW3 7JR
New End Square, London NW3 1LT
Lawn Road, London NW3 2XD
WHAT‘S AN INTERESTING FACT ABOUT HAMPSTEAD THAT ONLY LOCALS MIGHT KNOW?
The St John-at-Hampstead has a pretty great graveyard if that's your thing. Constable, the Llewelyn Davies boys who inspired J. M. Barrie's creation of Peter Pan; Gerald Du Maurier, the first actor to play Captain Hook; actress Kay Kendall, and surgeon and body snatcher Joseph Jordan are all buried there. Also, the spot where the bloke built that secret subterranean home on Hampstead Heath. The path of the lost River Fleet is cool too.
Finally, what’s your favourite building in the area?
I’m biased, but obviously, the Isokon — which came second in Britain‘s ‘Ugliest Building Competition‘ in Horizon magazine in 1946. Other favourites are 2 Willow Road by Ernő Goldfinger (1939), The Sun House by Maxwell Fry (1935) on Frognal Way, and Stanbury Court by Trehearne and Norman (1936) on Haverstock Hill. Less modernist, but the early eighteenth-century Admiral’s House has a pretty interesting history too.
Thank you Tom!