May 26, 2014
A walk in Hampstead
Welcome to Hampstead!
Category:United Kingdom London English UK and Ireland
Posted by: stuart
If you ever took a walk in north London you must have seen an army of luxurious cars: Bentley, Ferrari, Aston Martin, you name it! There are mansions worth millions of pounds, and a lot of perfectly well-behaved kids playing around nicely in their little uniforms watched by amazingly well-groomed nannies. Hampstead also has a couple of good bookstores, amazing shops and great restaurants.
My favourite place to eat is a little food truck called “la Crêperie de Hampstead”. They make proper French crêpes and I always go there to keep homesickness at bay and to get a real taste of French food. Other than that, Hampstead is full of little streets, museums about forgotten poets and it are home to one of the most beautiful parks in London: Hampstead Heath.
This park is amazing, you can find at least 10 lakes, alright - ponds, but they're huge and the water is clean. Three of them have been turned into swimming pools: one is for men, one for women only and the last one is a mixed swimming pool. Avoid going there during the weekend because it's quite crowded, you have to queue to enter the pool and then queue to swim.
On top of that, you have to pay £1 to £4 to swim but it is worth going during the week. The Heath is the ultimate British park so they've left nature be and the grass is so tall you have the feeling to be in a jungle. On a sunny day, it is a perfect place to roll down the hill and pretend that you're 5 years old all over again!
The best thing about this park is Kenwood House. It is a great gallery where you can find paintings by the English masters like Turner, Gainsborough, Reynolds and a couple of other great ones like Vermeer. They've tried to keep a homey atmosphere in this house and I have to say it is a success! There is a fire crackling in the hall, a library waiting for you with comfy seats, a study, and a beautiful music room where you can see instruments from the 18th century and a really impressive kitchen with an enormous fireplace and pots big enough to cook a feast for all the dwarfs in a hobbit tale!
Back to Hampstead Park: It is a piece of countryside in the Heart of London, it even has a small forest. On a rainy day you can see people walking their dogs with Hunter boots on their feet (what else) in the middle of the fog. Those days are my favourite because the park becomes a place fit for a Jane Austen book! Every time I walk there I am expecting to see Mr Darcy coming out of the meadow to whisper sweet nothing to me. Alright, it didn't happen yet but my hopes are high because if you can actually rent a Victoriancoach and go for a ride in the park pulled by 2 beautiful horses! If you want your Austen experience to be complete then I would recommend the afternoon tea in the gardens as they have the best scones and wiped cream in the neighbourhood!!
To make it short Hampstead is the perfect place for a relaxing afternoon with friends, a date or a good spot to read your book and enjoy the view over London. See you there soon!