Ever heard a Londoner gush over West Hampstead and say how much they love it? Thought so. Ever wondered why? Co-founder Maks Kondratjuks of #Tagvenue, the UK’s fastest growing venue search engine, reveals all…
How long have you lived in West Hampstead for?
About six years now – I love its bustling high street and down-to-earth vibe.
What’s your favourite thing about West Hampstead?
West End Lane – it’s jam-packed with great cafes, casual restaurants and lively bars. Even though it’s less than 15 minutes away from central London by tube, it has a relaxed neighbourhood feel. Living here means you get the best of both worlds.
Where do you go to get a good cup of coffee?
This depends on the weather and the season – if it’s a sunny Saturday morning, Wired co. is great. If I need to grab a coffee on the go before work, then I usually drop by Minkie’s Deli Stand. On a cold winter’s evening, Starbucks on West End Lane feels most cosy.
The best place to have brunch?
If you’re a fan of having brunch outside, like I am, Cafe Med on Loudoun Road has a great terrace. I’m there quite a bit in the summer months.
The best breakfast?
When I feel like having a relaxed Sunday breakfast, I head to the Wet Fish Cafe. Their weekend breakfast is really popular and you can even try the local speciality of ‘eggs West Hampstead’.
Where do you like to go for dinner?
I like Italian food so Sarracino is my top pick. I love the traditional feel and quality ingredients – it’s always packed!
Are there any places that shopaholics should visit?
Shopping isn’t really my thing. That being said, there are always some great finds at West End Lane Books, an independent bookshop that’s been open for more than 20 years.
Where’s your favourite place to go for a drink?
The Black Lion is my favourite pub in the area. It has a relaxed vibe, friendly crowd and a great selection of drinks – perfect for when you want to go out locally.
If you’re planning a night out on the tiles, where would you go?
Compared to the hustle of central London, West Hampstead has more of a small town scene. If you’re planning a laid-back night out, the Gallery is a local favourite. Just a couple of minutes from the tube station, it has a great atmosphere and a surprisingly good whisky selection.
If you’re looking for a good roast, where is the best place to go?
I like the Alice House – it can get really busy, but their traditional Sunday lunch menu is always a winner. They have great roasts and a range of craft beers to choose from.
If you had only one day to visit West Hampstead what would be on your agenda?
Walking around West Hampstead’s leafy residential streets, which are lined with beautiful red-brick homes and impressive mansion blocks, then popping into a local cafe for a coffee and a bite.
Are there any other spots worth a visit?
The area has some really pretty green spaces that are worth checking out – Regent’s Park, St John’s Wood and Hampstead Heath are a few of my favourites.
What’s West Hampstead’s best-kept secret
Cocoa Bijoux is a must-visit for chocoholics!
Five words that sum up West Hampstead
Lively, welcoming, convenient, local, fast-growing