And now for some good news


Architecture fans rejoice. It was announced last week that the iconic 1920’s former Northwest London Polytechnic building, on the corner …



Architecture fans rejoice. It was announced last week that the iconic 1920’s former Northwest London Polytechnic building, on the corner of Kentish Town and Prince Of Wales roads, has been saved from demolition. As it should have been long ago. Look closely now – it’s even smiling.

(Happy New Year by the way. Was yours as booze-soaked as ours? On more than one occasion I had to carry a leaden Mrs Kentishtowner upstairs to bed).

So what actually happened, you might well ask. No, not to Mrs Kentishtowner – to the building! Concentrate now. Well, it seems last week the Town Hall planning committee finally told developers where to go after acknowledging campaigners’ arguments that it is a landmark with genuine historical merit. Read the full article here.

And whilst on-topic, do we care for Pizza Express? It’s a question that not enough people stop to ask. I would respond with a resounding no, but with a caveat that this one is about as surreal as the chain gets, its sky-high ceilings and echoing interior recalling the delights of a cityboy bar, circa 1997.

Plus points? It’s one of the only Pizza Express outlets that you can rock up to at peak time and get a table. Downpoints? Mrs Kentishtowner feels that eating in its swimmingly large dining room does nothing for her mal de mer.

So google one of Pizza Express’s 50% off vouchers doing the rounds online and keep supporting the joint. It’s long been their least successful branch, after all (isn’t that in itself rather touching?)

(PS – this is the only time we will fight for a chain to stay in Kentish Town).


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  • Leslie Wilson-Rutterford

    Love all your comments. Nice place, but shame about the pathetically small, under- topped over-priced pizzas! (Stingray is our cheap pizza joint of choice) The only thing for me going for it was when a bunch of us at (the previously called) Sure Start got treated to a Christmas lunch with all our nought to five year olds, and they let my little boy make his own pizza. He cherishes the memory and, he’s never forgotten it, unfortunately. Though, luckily we still have the power to tell him where we can or cannot dine. Glad the building is staying.

    • Kentishtowner

      I agree Leslie, Stringray is good, but even better is the majestic Al Parco on the Swains Lane corner. You can’t beat an alfresco pizza there with some nice cheap vin de table. PS – your site is great. Do you stock your work anywhere in NW5?

  • Nick Harding

    Its very good news. Mr and Mrs KT may prefer something more interesting and not a chain (as one does) but for families with young children, childrens parties and large adult parties it’s ideal. But what happens if Pizza Express decide to close it if it’s not profitable? May it go the same way as Monkeychews? Ran out of money, landlord walked away, pubco offered it for £900,000. Bought by a property developer who immediately gutted it (all perfectly legal but what chance would there ever be of it returning to what it was – Monkeychews and before that the very well popular until the end, Queens Arms).

    Nick