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This leafy corner of north west London, West Hampstead has the best of all worlds: proximity to the delights of Hampstead proper and the quiet, tree-lined streets and neighbourhood restaurants of St John’s Wood and Swiss Cottage; superb transport links; and a lively villagey feel all of its own.
It is a prosperous area, but not as obviously monied as Hampstead proper, home to the largest concentration of millionaires in the UK.
West Hampstead is more a place where 20 to 40-somethings live, work and play, and it’s all the more vibrant for that.
West End Lane is where the action is, littered with quality bars, individual restaurants and organic delis. As well as a number of good chain restaurants (Pizza Express, Gourmet Burger Kitchen etc) The Wet Fish Café (242 West End Lane, 020 7443 9222, www.thewetfishcafe.co.uk) may sound like a Monty Python sketch, but offers superbly fresh and lovingly created modern European food throughout the day, catering for everything from a light brunch to a proper evening meal with tapas and other light bites also available.
West End Books (277 West End Lane, 020 7431 3770, www.welbooks.co.uk) is an independent community-focused bookseller with a great poetry section and unusual imports, and It’s That Organic Place (35 Mill Lane, 020 7794 6593, www.itsthatorganicplace.co.uk) is a star deli choice for seasonal fruit and veg and wholesome cereals.
Bars range from the stylish and funky (Cane, 283 West End Lane, 020 7794 7817) to the trad (The Lion, 295 West End Lane, 020 7435 4389) and there’s even the Czech and Slovak Bar (74 West End Lane, 020 7328 0131, www.czechandsl ovakclub.co.uk) where you can wash down a plate of pork knuckle and goulash with a proper pint of Budvar. Don’t miss the timeless delights of literary Hampstead Village nearby and if the weather holds, a picnic on Hampstead Heath is one of the most prized days out in all of London.
There’s actually three stations called West Hampstead within 200 yards: the Underground station for the Jubilee Line, and separate stations for overground and Thameslink services.
|West Hampstead Station||2||Jubilee||0.13 miles|
|Finchley Road Station||2||Metropolitan - Jubilee||0.73 miles|
|Swiss Cottage Station||2||Jubilee||1.10 miles|
|Kilburn Station||2||Jubilee||1.19 miles|
|Kilburn Park Station||2||Bakerloo||1.19 miles|
|West Hampstead Station||0.19 miles|
|West Hampstead Thameslink Station||0.37 miles|
|Finchley Road and Frognal Station||0.68 miles|
|Brondesbury Station||0.78 miles|
|Kilburn High Road Station||0.90 miles|