West Hampstead

A lively and friendly community, a buzzy high street mixing independent businesses with everyday offerings, a flourishing foodie scene and unrivalled transport links make this a top postcode pick, and those looking to put down roots will be spoilt for choice with an attractive mix of period houses, conversion flats and mansion block apartments.

Photography by Emmanuelle Peri

Meet the locals 

Fay Markopoulou-Meyer
Interior Architect, Studio Fay Ltd

When I think of West Hampstead, what comes in mind is a vibrant place of creatives and families. There is a real sense of community here, which is very rare to find in London these days, and also a plethora of great school options. 

As a mum, my day typically starts with getting the girls ready for school. We have been very fortunate to get them into North Bridge House West Hampstead, where I recently completed a magical library space for the kids to play and relax in. Most of my interior design projects are residential, so this felt like a refreshing break, and it was a lovely experience to work on something so different.  

If I am not working from my Studio, I would head to new Greek bakery Opa! for some traditional spanakopita (and a bit of Greek chit-chat) and then make my way to Mill Lane to work from a café there. A favourite of mine is the Curled Leaf, a tea house with the most delicious tea selection and vegan food options. It’s run by Alketa, a distinctive local artist, and everything on the menu is freshly made and well-priced. They make the most refreshing lemonade, which has been much needed during the recent heatwave!

For a spot of shopping, I take a stroll down West End Lane where I can find everything I need. The Source Bulk Foods for unpackaged food staples, Roni’s bakery for bagels and a farmers’ market on Saturday mornings takes care of most of my food shopping. And there is a wonderful clothing boutique, Gomaa Design Studio, where I buy all of my hats. 

West End Lane is also home to a number of great restaurants. I would highly recommend The Wet Fish Café for a special pescatarian meal. You can really get a feel of the West Hampstead vibes here, and occasionally enjoy live music. And there is always Heads + Tails around the corner for the after cocktail.

When I am with the kids I like to be out and about, weather permitting. Fortune Green Park and Sumatra Road Playground are only a short walk from our home and they are both such joyful places. People in this area are very friendly and open-minded and so a visit to the park usually results in meeting a friendly new local face! For longer walks we head to Golders Hill Park, an extension of Hampstead Heath, where you can find a small zoo and the best gelato! If it’s raining, we might head to the Sherriff Centre for some soft play fun, or if we feel artistic, plan a visit to Art4Fun for some pottery decoration. Pottery is a new passion of mine and it’s wonderful to be able to share that passion with the girls. 

Raising kids in a big city comes with many challenges, so being part of such a wonderful local community gives me great comfort.


Street hearts

Mill Lane
Away from the main high street on West End Lane, there’s a busy community of small, independent businesses located in the parade of shops here, a real community hub

Canfield Gardens
If Victorian architecture is your thing, you’ll love the spacious red brick semi-detached houses on this pretty street that runs between West Hampstead and the facilities of Finchley Road

Crediton Hill
The spacious 1930s houses on this tree-lined street have been built in an attractive arts and crafts style and boast off street parking and large gardens, perfect for families 

Fabric Favourites

Local heroes
West Hampstead

Heads and Tails, NW6
With its glitzy art deco inspired interior, West Hampstead dwellers don’t need to travel far for a dose of Gatsby glamour: think plush velvet seating and an architecturally styled bar, dripping in gold and glass. The venue is open late, too, boasting a fittingly hedonistic 1am closing from Thursday through to Saturday. Jade Andrews from Aston Chase describes Heads + Tails as “a quirky little cocktail bar. It boasts an intimate vibe, with tasty, seasonal cocktails curated by the staff themselves.”
175 West End Lane, NW6 (07926 968 335; headsandtails.bar) 

Hullabaloo, NW6
Soft play can be a godsend for energetic kids and worn-out parents alike. Thankfully, there’s a multicoloured play space right here in NW6. Justin Shulman from Chancellors says, “As a father with an active 5-year-old daughter growing up in West Hampstead, this is one of the most enjoyable of distractions for both of us. I feel safe with my daughter playing there and the refreshments and staff are always fantastic.” Indeed, whileyour kid’s going wild in the ball pit, you can grab a well-deserved coffee and cake and support Hullabaloo’s charity in the process. A win-win!
St James Church, Sherriff Road, NW6 (020 7625 1184; thesherriffcentre.co.uk) 

Farmers’ Market, NW6
Local foodies in the know flock to this Saturday market, which is held in the forecourt of West Hampstead Thameslink Station. Goldschmidt & Howland’s Mark Watkinson tells us it opens come rain or shine. “Produce includes free range, organic meat and poultry, fresh countryside organic fruit and veg, dairy products and even seasonal herbs and flowers,” he says. “One of my favourite stalls is ‘Pasta e Basta’ where you can pick up some freshly made pasta with a choice of sauce, accompanied with a slice of mature cheese from Brinkworth Dairy’s stall – delicious!”
Iverson Road, NW6 (lfm.org.uk/markets/westhampstead)