Designed as a model community, with people of all classes living together in beautiful houses set in a verdant landscape, the sought-after Arts and Crafts homes here are now some of the Capital’s most expensive. The quietest of London villages, locals enjoy the facilities on offer in neighbouring Temple Fortune and Golders Green
Photography by Emmanuelle Peri & Kathy Anne Lim
Left: Stephen Rowe. Right: Daniel’s Bakery
Meet the locals
Member, Garden Suburb Theatre
I consider myself incredibly lucky to have spent most of my life in Hampstead Garden Suburb, an appreciation I have felt especially strongly since retiring at the beginning of lockdown to focus on writing and composing. This truly unique area was the brainchild of social reformer Dame Henrietta Barnett who wanted to create a model community with people of all classes living together in high quality housing, surrounded by greenery.
My day often starts with a short walk to Daniel’s Bakery to pick up some delicious warm bagels, or maybe to our local Gail’s for a pain au chocolat. Both are handily located nearby on Finchley Road, as is the wonderful charity-owned giftshop EQUAL, where I am a regular volunteer helper. There’s also not one, but two wonderful fishmongers – Sam Stoller & Son and J.A. Corney – so I am never wanting for superb fresh fish.
The Suburb is blessed with many green spaces, including the Hampstead Heath Extension, but my daily 6km walk most often takes me through Little Wood, where Garden Suburb Theatre, of which I am a proud and very active member, stages an open-air production every year. This summer’s production is going to be James and the Giant Peach, and I am very much looking forward to it. Close by is pretty Northway Gardens with its tennis courts. Here, you’ll also find Toulous – a café offering all day dining, it’s the perfect place for lunch or a coffee.
When it comes to the evening, the Suburb itself is not blessed with many (if any) pubs, but The Old White Lion in close-by East Finchley is a great favourite with Garden Suburb Theatre’s Publicity Committee and it’s where we hold our meetings over excellent food and drink.
Wildwood Road, Asmuns Hill, Central Square
Hampstead Garden Suburb
With a glorious rural feel, many of the houses along this leafy road are listed, and enjoy views over the Heath Extension towards Central Square, with gardens backing onto the golf course
In the heart of the Artisans’ Quarter, the pretty Arts and Crafts cottage-style houses here have gabled roofs and tall chimneys, and formed part of the first stage of development in the Suburb
Flanked by two imposing churches, this was designed by Lutyens as a focus for the Suburb’s spiritual, recreational and community needs, and features a public garden and tennis courts
Hampstead Garden Suburb
This authentic Turkish kebab restaurant comes highly recommended by Heathgate’s Vivienne Harris, who says the eatery offers “great food and excellent value”. Finger-licking grill dishes and kebabs are the main event, but beyond that, Baran offers a choice of delectable seafood mains, chef’s specials, and freshly cut salads. “They also do take away and on one occasion, as a favour, they brought food over to my house,” says Vivienne. “Super highly recommended in my world!”
748 Finchley Road, NW11 (020 8458 0515; baranrestaurant.co.uk)
A firm favourite among locals, this all day eaterie is located in what was once two public toilets (see what they did there?) on the edge of Northway Gardens. Local resident Louise Walton tells us it’s, “a firm family favourite. The owner is a real character, so a visit to Toulous is always good fun. And the food is great, too, from hearty breakfasts, including eggs served every way you can imagine, to delicious lunchtime salads. And don’t miss the milkshakes, which are naughty but oh so nice. I recommend the Aero Mint!”
99 Northway, NW11 (020 8458 0058; toulous.co.uk)
Landy’s Chemist, NW11
There’s nothing like a friendly, family run, neighbourhood chemist to rely on, and Landy’s has more than proved its worth on Finchley Road over the years. Established in 1949 by Tony Landy, with Girish Desai taking over the reins in 1983, it has been a constant for generations of local residents. Goldschmidt & Howland’s Cobi Aboody says: “Giresh is known and liked by everybody in the area and is always the first port of call for residents who have any health query.”
1191 Finchley Road, NW11 (020 8455 5464; landyschemist.com)
Read all about it… Demonstrating the community spirit for which the Suburb is well known, when Barnet council withdrew funding from the local library in 2012, dozens of residents volunteered to staff it, and within days it was reopened (by celebrity local resident Jonathan Ross) as a community library, which celebrated its tenth birthday last month