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London - Around Town : Heading North (part 2) - Best of the Rest, Eating and Drinking

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Exploring the North

Morning

Starting at Hampstead tube station, head left down pretty Flask Walk (The Flask pub once sold spa water) to the local museum in Burgh House for some background on the area. Then spend some time exploring the many attractive back streets, which are lined with expensive Georgian houses and mansions. Visit Well Walk, fashionable in the days of the Hampstead spa (a fountain in Well Passage on the left still remains), and Elm Row, where D H Lawrence lived at No. 1.

Stop for a coffee at one of the many cafés along Hampstead High Street and then make your way to Keats House , spending half an hour looking around. Afterwards, a stroll across Hampstead Heath to Kenwood House will prepare you for lunch.

Afternoon

The Brew House Café at Kenwood serves excellent light meals and has a fine position beside the house, overlooking the lake. After lunch, a visit to the house will take an hour or so.

Leave the Heath by the nearby East Lodge and catch a No. 210 bus back towards Hampstead. The bus passes the Spaniards Inn and White­stone Pond – the highest point on the Heath. Alight at the pond and walk to the tube station, taking a train to Camden Town. Get lost for the rest of the afternoon in lively Camden Lock Market , ending the day with a drink and some food on the Lock Tavern roof terrace.

Best of the Rest

  1. Sadler’s Wells

    London’s premier venue for dance performances attracts internationally renowned artists and companies from around the world .

  2. Freightliners Farm

    A little bit of the countryside in the city with animals, produce, gardens and a vegetarian café.

    • Sheringham Road N7

    • Tube Highbury & Islington, Caledonian Road

    • 020 7609 0467

  3. Almeida Theatre

    This famous local theatre attracts the best actors and directors from the UK and the US. The bar serves cocktails and light meals and snacks.

    Almeida Theatre
  4. Alexandra Palace

    Located in a beautiful park, this reconstructed 1873 exhibition centre offers a range of amusements, including regular antique fairs. Tours of the 1920s BBC studios may be booked.

    • Tube Wood Green

    • BBC tours 020 8365 2121

  5. King’s Head Theatre Pub

    A busy but delightful Victorian pub with a 110-seat theatre showing musicals and fringe performances at the back. A wide selection of wines, beers, spirits and real ales. Bands and DJs also feature.

    • 115 Upper Street N1

    • 020 7226 8561

  6. Camden Arts Centre

    Known for its fascinating contemporary art exhibitions and excellent art book shop.

    • Arkwright Road NW3

    • Train or Tube to Finchley Road

    • 020 7472 5500

  7. Crafts Council Research Library

    Books, videos and an image database on British contemporary craftwork. By appointment only.

    • 44a Pentonville Road N1

    • 020 7278 7700

    • Free

    Crafts Council façade
  8. Hampstead Theatre

    This important fringe theatre is a venue for ambitious new writing, and has produced plays by such innovative British artists as Harold Pinter, Michael Frayn and Mike Leigh.

    • Eton Avenue NW3

    • Tube Swiss Cottage (exit 2)

    • 020 7722 9301

  9. Regent’s Park Golf and Tennis School

    This floodlit facility is open for golf and tennis from 8am–9pm daily.

    • Outer Circle, Regent’s Park NW1

    • Tube Camden Town

    • 020 7724 0643

  10. Emirates Stadium Tours

    Home to Arsenal Football Club, the tour offers a look behind the scenes of the stadium: the directors’ box, home changing room, players’ tunnel and press conference room as well as the Arsenal Museum.

    • Highbury N5

    • Tube Arsenal

    • 020 7619 5000


Eating and Drinking

  1. Afghan Kitchen

    This great little restaurant is popular among Islington locals and serves a tempting selection of home-cooked Afghan food.

    • 35 Islington Green N1

    • 020 7359 8019

  2. Manna

    Global vegetarian cuisine is served with style in this modern restaurant with minimalist interior.

    • 4 Erskine Road, Primrose Hill NW3

    • Tube Chalk Farm

    • 020 7722 8028

  3. S&M Café

    A great alternative to the British greasy spoon, this café serves sausages and mash as well as other comfort food made from quality ingredients. Choose from over half a dozen varieties, from traditional pork to steak and guiness sausages.

    • 4–6 Essex Road N1

    • 020 7359 5361

  4. Metrogusto

    This Italian restaurant offers authentic pasta dishes, as well as such oddities as the surprisingly appetizing parmesan cheese ice cream. Excellent house wines.

    • 14 Theberton Street N1

    • 020 7226 9400

  5. Camino

    Offering tapas and great cocktails as well as Spanish wines, sherries and traditional cider, Camino is a welcome addition to King’s Cross.

    • 3 Varnisher’s Yard N1

    • 020 7841 7331

  6. Lemonia

    Traditional and modern Greek dishes are served in a brasserie-style setting. There is an attractive conservatory.

    • 89 Regent’s Park Road NW1

    • Tube Chalk Farm

    • 020 7586 7454

  7. Rotunda

    A classy restaurant with fine views of the Battlebridge Basin. Try the roast loin of lamb with confit cabbage and dauphinoise potatoes; the meat is sourced from their own farm.

    • 90 York Way N1

    • 020 7014 2840

  8. Louis Patisserie

    This wonderful old tea room is part of Hampstead folklore. Sink into a comfortable sofa and sample some of the tempting cakes on display in the window.

    • 32 Heath Street NW3

    • Tube Hampstead

    • 020 7435 9908

  9. The Flask

    Dating from 1700, this pub has a country atmosphere and good cask beer. Home-made pub food, lunchtime and evenings (6–10pm).

    • 14 Flask Walk NW3

    • Tube Hampstead

    • 020 7435 4580

  10. Spaniards Inn

    Opposite the toll house on Hampstead Heath, this is one of London’s most famous old pubs. Traditional English pub food is mingled with more exotic choices such as calamari (squid).

    • Spaniards Road NW3

    • 020 8731 6571

    • Tube Hampstead, Golders Green

Unless otherwise stated, all restaurants accept credit cards and serve vegetarian meals

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