Home Sweet Home

snowy view from my window

I love Hampstead – it’s not only quaint and leafy, but you can spend the entire weekend here without ever having to venture into the insanity that is central London. I moved here about a year and a half ago from Notting Hill and after an initial settling in period, am now as happy as a pig in mud – expensive mud mind you, but I’m still happy.

Weekends are spent lying in tall grass reading newspapers on the Heath, wandering the shops on the high street (and trying not to spend money) or going to watch a movie at the Everyman Cinema which is like a cross between being in your own lounge and on a business class flight. In the high street, you can eat sushi for lunch, walk up the road for authentic Moroccan mint tea and finish the afternoon with a wine at the Dickens-like Holly Bush pub.

My favourite part of Hampstead Heath
Or if you fancy a long walk with a treat at the end, then Kenwood House in the middle of the Heath is the place to go. Over Parliament Hill, past the Victorian swimming ponds, the bird feeding towers usually being raided by squirrels, up through the muddy meadow, along the shady paths and wrought iron fencing and voila – a mansion, a fantastic cafe and fantastic views. Kenwood House featured in the movie Notting Hill when Julia Roberts was filming the filming scene.... er, you know what I mean.

While Notting Hill is the rebellious teenager – loud boisterous, into everything and anything - Hampstead is the grandmother–elegant, calm, composed, quiet. I love them both in very different ways and at very different stages of my life. I had no idea until I moved here that my father, great-aunt and uncle and step-mother had all lived in Hampstead at one stage of their lives so perhaps it’s destiny that I’m here.

Hampstead locals

There is a huge imposing Victorian gothic house on the edge of the heath, which is owned by George Michael. The outside to the entrance is covered in graffiti from fans with statements like – “We love you George”. It’s an absolutely beautiful home and wouldn’t look out of place in Edward Scissorhands. I will try to get pictures.

Speaking of Edwards Scissorhands, Tim Burton and Helen Bonham-Carter apparently have two separate homes side by side in Belsize Park near Hampstead which are linked by a single corridor. I think that’s a brilliant approach to marriage, relationships

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