Category Archives: Hood You’ll Love

LONDON HOOD YOU’LL LOVE: KENTISH TOWN

24th May 2016

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So, what’s next in my Hood You’ll Love series? Well, I’ll give you a clue…N5. No, it’s not a coordinates on a board game, but it’s the post code for Kentish Town. It might be close to the tourist-fly-trap that is Camden, but it’s far far from it in style, atmosphere and stuff to do. So next time you want to escape Cyberdog, Stable Markets and the remaining punks all you have to do is head north.

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KENTISH TOWN ROAD

The Abbey Tavern is one of my favourite pubs in London and I reckon I spent 1/3 of my time there when I lived in Kentish Town. If that’s not a great selling point, it’s their outside terrace garden that is the ideal spot for enjoying jugs of Pimms/beers, some food and a board game on a long, hot evening with the gang. Who can say no to a drunk game of Operation??

The Oxford is an ok pub and lunch spot, but what makes it worthwhile are its Puz Quizzes with a twist, clothes swaps and other fun events in their upstairs area. Just follow Wonder Woman and you’ll be in for a surprise.

Craving a bottle of craft beer, or possibly a crate? Well the main street, the imaginitively titled Kentish Town Road is home to two places to get your craft on. Of the two I prefer Clapton Craft, mainly because their logo has a bear, yes sometimes life decisions are very easy for me. And they also do two of my favourite beers from Netherlands. Wish that their location was a little more convenient because I would like to live there and look after the bear they must be keeping in the back room.

And because I haven’t mentioned enough places to drink on Kentish Town Road I have to add cocktail bar Ladies & Gentleman you might fall into at the Y Junction (yes it’s underground). And if you thought ‘HA, that sounds like a toilet.’’ You’d be right, it’s housed in a former underground toilet, but don’t worry, it’s been completely redone so no need to wash your hands, but it’s still chock full of cocks though … cocktails that is.

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HIGHGATE ROAD
Carrots + Daikon is the perfect lunch (and on weekends) brunch spot and my pick for the best Banh Mi in the city. You can’t go wrong chomping on their lunchboxes and pho with perfect flavour (though I can’t compare it to the real deal) which doesn’t drain the wallet. All in all: Carrots + Daikon pho the win! (Don’t tell me you didn’t see that pun coming).

It’s a bit of an odd location, tucked away in Kentish Town, but that way it feels more like a special secret when you find it. If you haven’t been able to get a table at Pizza East in Shoreditch, why not try the Kentish Town location for a slice of Italy? Fed up of dough? Well, there’s a bunch of antipasta dishes and salads too. Warning – be prepared for food coma.

If you look up as you wander around you’ll likely spot the gorgeous art deco Forum venue, that used to be a cinema in the 1930s and is now a live music venue, sadly the quality of bands there isn’t as reliable as the decor.

Right near the Forum is Dirty Burger, which, you guessed it, serves ‘Murican Style burgers. So if you appreciate a good, quality slice of meat with buns, you won’t be let down if you park yourself here. Their ethos is the patty as headliner and the toppings as a support act- the best combo. I know this sounds like a copy and paste from a press release, but trust me.

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FORTRESS ROAD
SK Vintage is a hidden vintage gem of discovery. It’s not extremely pricey like many other vintage places, and it has a large selection of items, though as with any vintage store, it’s hit or miss. What I’m trying to say that it’s basically that dream closet from your old aunt Mildred, but you don’t feel obliged to listen to her story for 100th time and eat stale biscuits.

Cinnamon Village is an organic bakery slash café that’s a healthy lunch spot…or so they try to make you believe. When in doubt go for the scrambled eggs on toast, trust me … they are hard to beat. The downside? The place is popular with young families, so if you want a bit of quiet to quell that hangover, it’s probably best to be avoided on weekends.

You know when as a kid you and your squad tried to keep up with the way cooler girls, but couldn’t? I’m being a bit dramatic, but that’s my take on Rustique, but like just like then you realise being the cooler girl isn’t everything and your squad is all you need in the end. But do give it a shot, if not just to see a coffee table shaped like two giant books – take note IKEA!

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Hood You’ll Love: Camberwell

10th March 2015

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In ”Hood You’ll Love” I want to take you into the lesser known neighbourhoods of London, everyone’s heard of Camden or Chelsea but have you ever thought of giving Camberwell a visit? Now gentrification is in full power, places like the South-East district of Camberwell have started to bloom and bike shops have found their way in and it’s become perfectly safe to stroll around on a sunny Saturday afternoon. In case you ever end up in SE5 (Denmark Hill is on the London Overground orange line) and you feel lost between all the fried chicken, betting and off-licence shops here is a guide of places to drink, eat and little bits to see.

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The Sun of Camberwell on Coldharbour Lane is a pub that does great beer and burgers and has a big outdoor space out back if you don’t fancy watching buses go past in the front court.

 

Love Walk Cafe on Denmark Hill is a reason alone to make your way south of the river. They serve up delicious breakfasts, lunches and a variety of lovely tea and cakes, and don’t forget there’s a giant neon sign with a heart on the wall; avoid during peak hours as it gets a bit too packed with kids.

Just across from Love Walk is a little vintage and second hand shop that you must visit to find that missing tea set your grandma had in the 70s, and you can probably find the dress she was buried in too.

So Nando’s might not be high end, but if you have to have it then make sure it’s in Camberwell, you’ll be surprised this is one of the fanciest branches (if fried chicken, chips and unlimited refills can in any universe be considered fancy!)

Say what?! A healthy shop where you can get your chia seeds, buckwheat and whatever nut milk is now declared as the next best thing? Yup, Camberwell has it. Next to it you will find a shop called Kim West – it has nothing to do with the Kim Kardashian West and should be avoided at all times unless you want to fall into a 90s fashion nightmare blackhole (we’re talking Interstellar but with horrible sequin dresses instead of Matt Damon at the other end of the wormhole)

There is also an art gallery, just saying.

A few steps down the road you’ll find a flower shop where you can get your cacti, various fauna or take a workshop in pruning, arranging and generally not killing plants (as I tend to do).

Keep going till you hit the traffic lights and Camberwell Green, then turn right into Camberwell Church Street, where you’ll stumble across some more gems…

For cheap vegetables hit up this grocer who also sells exotic stuff – yeah varieties I can’t name or even guess what they are (it might even be a fruit!?!). It’s going to be one of your favourites if you live in the area.

If you cross the road you’ll see the place where everyone comes together, just kidding, it was recently renovated and is now the home of the Camberwell swimming pool and health centre. Pretty fancy right?

The Greek Bakery is where you get your cheap but delicious bread. The amazing cakes they do remind me a lot of the cakes my aunts in Bosnia make – a bit more subtle and less artificial. They also do great lunches to go with your choice of fillings, plus there’s always a ton of people sitting down inside which adds to the old-world feel. So many wins!

If you are looking for your local Italian then make sure you put Caravaggio on speed dial. It’s run by the loveliest people, the food is pretty decent and ridiculously cheap and there’s paintings on the walls. Most importantly of all, they offer calzone.

Vegan, gluten and vegetarianism has also wormed its way in the neighbourhood too! It’s in the form of Maloko a place you must visit for the crepes.

You know an area is changing when a Bike shop/bar opens. Camberwell has more than a few of them, but this one happened to be on my route so I snapped a polaroid. But I am pretty sure it’s pretty dandy, their bikes all seemed to have wheels and seats, which is a start right?

Do you have any neighbourhoods in your towns/cities which should be shouted about?

all photos taken with Instax 210