A Tour of Hampstead | London Guide
Hampstead is a pocket of North West London with a true village feel. It was the first area of London I lived in a few years ago, and ever since leaving it always feels like a piece of me is still there whenever I visit.
I adore the quaintness of the village coupled with the striking gothic architecture. It’s like stepping back in time with the very English bunting hanging over the cobbled streets. You can easily imagine the days where horse carts and carriages would be meandering their way through the steep winding streets and people strolling along in their Victorian atire.
Below I have listed my favourite places to go in this wonderful pocket of London. I would recommend visiting mid-week or on a Sunday if possible as Saturdays can get rather busy.
Ginger and White on Perrins Court
Ginger and White is a great independent spot to sit outside people watching with a coffee in hand. I don’t usually eat here, mainly because there aren’t many vegan options, but the brunch has a very good reputation. But be warned it can get very busy at the weekends!
This is a sweet pedestrianised cobbled street just off of the high street near Hampstead underground station. Find wonderful antique stalls lined up along the side to discover unusual items.
There’s also a wonderful second hand designer shop called Exclusivo, selling a variety of vintage items by the likes of Chanel, Dior and Gucci as well as newer designer items by Stella McCartney and Maje.
Beauty Shopping on Hampstead High Street
Quite surprisingly Hampstead is a great place to purchase your beauty products. Some of my favourite beauty brands can be found on the high street, so I always love having a browse. You can find L’Occitane, Space NK, Aesop, and The Organic Pharmacy all on the high street.
Artichoke Groceries and Juice Bar on Heath Street
This is my favourite place in Hampstead. Artichoke is an independent grocery store selling a wide variety of organic fruit and vegetables, but the reason I always come back here is because of the tiny juice bar right at the back.
When I lived in Hampstead, the juice bar at the back of Artichoke felt like the villages best kept secret before they added the ‘Jucie Bar’ sign to the front!
They also sell delicious homemade nut milks.
Everyman Cinema on Holly Bush Vale
Everyman cinemas are independently owned vintage style cinemas with a touch of luxury and incredible comfort. The Everyman in Hampstead is the original, built in 1933. Expect plush armchairs and sofas to cosy up in while you watch a film with a glass of wine and pizza or snacks that can be delivered straight to your seat by friendly staff. Mainstream and classic films are shown. Other locations in London include Maida Vale, King’s Cross and Baker Street.
Melrose and Morgan on Oriel Place
My favourite lunch option in this village is at Melrose and Morgan. It’s a local deli selling artisan groceries and fresh lunch options such as salads and soups. There are always vegan options (and epic scotch eggs and sausage rolls for non-vegans!) so it’s a brilliant spot for everyone. Lunch to go is always provided in recycled or recyclable materials too, so you can always grab a picnic to take to the heath. Find their other branch in Primrose Hill.
The ‘Holly’ Roads
This area of Hampstead just North of the underground station is likely the prettiest. Look for the ‘Holly’ roads and you will not be disappointed by what you find; Holly Walk, Holly Mount, Holly Hill, Holly Bush Hill. Admire the architecture of these pretty houses and notice the peace and quiet around here. I love taking walks with no real aim or purpose on where to go, especially this time of year where the trees are golden and red.
Enter Holly Mount through a little alleyway from Heath Street and stroll to the top until you reach the well known Holly Bush pub at the end, an 18th century pub adored by the locals. From there you will find the other ‘Holly’ roads.
Hampstead Heath enter from Well Walk
Of course I couldn’t complete a tour of Hampstead without finishing off in the Hampstead Heath. You could spend your whole afternoon in the heath and ignore everything I’ve mentioned above, there’s certainly enough to see! I would walk from Flask Walk and eventually along Well Walk until you reach the Heath on East Heath Road. It’s not the most enticing entrance of the heath by any means, by it’s my favourite start to the walk because it looks so mysterious at this point.
I would recommend aimlessly exploring this vast space, taking any path that feels right to you! This is how I first got to know this area by trusting my gut in deciding which direction to go in. There are beautiful lakes and ponds to be explored, as well as open fields with incredible views. Find Parliament Hill to admire the London skyline.
Woodlands – if you’re a fan of vegetarian Indian food, Woodlands is perfect for an evening meal. It’s a south Indian vegetarian restaurant with the most delicious food and a separate vegan menu.
The Wells pub – This is a great pub on the way to the heath on Well Walk. Just make sure to book ahead for food! I’ve been caught out a few times.
Le Creperie de Hampstead – if you know anything about Hampstead it’s probably that there is a tiny cart selling French crepes with queues that can reach down the Hampstead High Street. I haven’t tried them myself (I haven’t seen vegan options), but judging by other peoples reactions it is well worth the wait.
Borough Kitchen – also on the high street is Borough Kitchen, a wonderful kitchen and homeware store worth having a browse in. Their original store is of course in Borough Market, and another in Chiswick.
CBD and You – a new wellness store has opened on Heath Street called CBD and You selling mostly, you guessed it, CBD products. I didn’t have a chance to pop inside but it looked lovely.
Jin Kichi – come here for the best Japanese food. There aren’t many specific vegan options, but just let them know any dietary requirements and they’ll be happy to help.
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