North London's Cultural Guide

Day: 10 November 2010

Bench Tales: ‘They Could Do With A Bench Here’: Lewis Greifer (1915-2003)

A renowned TV scriptwriter, whose work included The Prisoner, Dr Who and Crossroads, Lewis Greifer was a true lover of Hampstead Heath, not just because of its beauty, but also because, according to his son Josh, it belongs to the people. ‘My father was municipally minded, a committed socialist.’ For the last fifteen years of …

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Bull & Gate

Oooh la la, this classic boozer has had a bit of a makeover. For now, it seems the old whore’s lipstick is just about in place. But for how much longer? So before she crumbles again, gawp at her glistening paint, restored Victorian bar, chandeliers and fireplaces, and wonder why she smells just slightly sterile. …

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Southampton Arms

Oh yum. A slither of a bar, with everything you could wish for: roaring fire, stripped boards, pork baps with apple sauce, home-made sausage rolls – and a vinyl-only music policy. Gets a little too busy thanks to Time Out showering it with awards, but still the most charming pub in north London – and …

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Pane Vino

Pane Vino (323, Kentish Town Road) still dishes up understated, delicious meals. Trouble is, now it feels left behind with the rash of more fashionable new openings on the street – and it’s lighting and plain decor don’t really justify the high prices. However, house special Linguine with Bottarga is delicate, un-fishy and distinctly moreish, …

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Grafton Road

Grafton Road is coming up in the world. Why? Because this formerly maligned corner of West Kentish Town’s warehouses, factories and yards (mostly remnants of its former life as the centre of the piano industry in Edwardian times) have been rebirthed as fashion, film, production, media, TV studios and architectural practices. Wander the streets and …

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Annroy Gallery

Just past the railway arches on Grafton Road, and backing onto famous Spring Studios, is acclaimed Dazed & Confused photographer Rankin’s Annroy Building. “I wanted people to feel it was a photographer’s building,” he says. “I wanted to make people think of a roll of film, of a contact sheet, when they saw the outside.” …

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Torriano

Never heard of Torriano? Sounds a bit ‘foreign’, doesn’t it. Actually, it’s a bohemian-ish area east of Kentish Town. Poetry and folk nights still take place at the Torriano Meeting House, there’s a nearby vibrant road of independent shops like this one, and a great local boozer, the Torriano (71-73 Torriano avenue) complete with mixed …

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Beardsmore Gallery

Tiny but don’t be put off. You might have to ring the bell too. The Beardsmore Gallery is a perfect stop en route from 176 (further along Prince Of Wales road) and on the way to Rankin’s Annroy, Spring Projects or Map Studios cafe. Expect fine art, from prints to painters. And don’t be scared …

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Map Studios Cafe

Oh my. Map Cafe is an absolute gem situated on a leafy corner on the area’s creative thoroughfare, Grafton Road, in West Kentish Town. Swing by for lunch (if it’s warm on the terrace) – perhaps a quiche or a home-made chicken stew (around £4), or, if it’s tea-time, a moist carrot cake and cappuccino, …

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