Primrose Hill, London

on Jul 1, 2012 in Departure | No Comments

Follow us to one of the most exclusive neighbourhoods in London and discover why Kate Moss or Jude Law have chosen to live there.

Both exuberant and peaceful, Primrose Hill is not just the village, the neighbourhood with the Victorian façades that either bask in their red brick or have been painted blue, yellow or pink. Some belong or have belonged to celebrities such as Kate Moss, Gwyneth Paltrow, Morrissey or Jude Law.

Primrose Hill is also a park that is home to secular trees that withstand wintry afternoon gales to then proudly display their leaves and long branches in the warm summer sun. Every day, parents, children and their pets stroll along these hectares of impeccably kept lawns. During their lunch break, office workers from nearby buildings and businesses prolong their meal. A pasta salad, toasted panini or simply a sandwich – which, if brought from home, is always, but always packed in a lunchbox, in the good old English way.

The view extends as far as the eye can see. And without needing to climb treetops, from the top of the park, at 63 metres above sea level, I can make out Canary Wharf where bankers struggle to keep up with the fast-paced financial markets. In the centre stands the work of Englishman Norman Foster, the imposing Gherkin building. Further to the right, there’s the iconic London Eye, where tourists patiently wait to see it go round, as well as to get on it.

While my eyes wander across the horizon, I set off on an inner journey filled with the tastes, colours and smells of this neighbourhood. On this journey I come across works of fiction from a bookshop that has withstood the onslaught of the digital world for 30 years – silently, as in any place where literature is in command. There is also the smell of vodka from that Russian restaurant, and even the intense freshness of the fish at the fishmonger’s.

Everything in Primrose Hill is more – more beautiful, more peaceful and, almost everything, is more attractive, such as Regent’s Canal or the London Zoo, which is less than 10 minutes away. The story goes that the name Primrose Hill was used for the first time in the 15th century because of the flowers that grew here. However, it hasn’t always had a flowery past, as in the 18th and 19th centuries it became a favourite place for army training and deadly duels. More recently, though, it has been the location for several films such as The Fourth Protocol, starring Pierce Brosnan, and Bridget Jones’s Diary.

by Jorge Duarte Estêvão


Primrose Essentials

Greece is currently all the talk, but for the worst reasons. However, the crisis hasn’t yet made its way here. We recommend the Meze, a variety of starters, main dishes and Greek salads for €23. It is often frequented by famous actors such as the actor Hugh Laurie, the well-known Dr. House.
89 Regent's Park Road
+44 (0) 20 7586 7454

Don’t let the name frighten you. There are no austerity measures or sudden cuts in meals here. And VAT isn’t over 20%. The menu includes Russian, Ukrainian and Polish dishes – some of which are traditional Jewish dishes – and there’s no shortage of caviar or vodka. The à La Carte lunch menu, with main dish and starters or dessert costs €12. The Goloubtsy is a must, as is the Fruit Pavlova at the end of the meal.
101 Regents Park Road \\\
+44 (0) 207 483 3765 \\\

The Pembroke
Seven days a week, the pub fills with people in search of local or international beer, as well as some sunshine out on the terrace. On Saturday nights, it opens its doors to laughter with stand-up performances. Open: 11am – 11pm.
150 Gloucester Avenue
+44 (0) 207 483 2927

Pastry Shop

Primrose Bakery
Not only can you enjoy many different cakes at the bakery itself, but you can also purchase a copy of its recipe book. In 2004, it also started selling cupcakes and the owners guarantee that Kate Moss and U2 have found them to be mouth-wateringly delicious.
69 Gloucester Avenue
+44 (0) 207 483 4222


La Petite Poissonnerie
It is almost unheard of to find a fishmonger’s in a neighbourhood known for fashion and glamour. This space brings together the will of two chefs – he is French, and she Japanese. The variety of fish is displayed in an unusual way – in the hull of a rowing boat placed in the centre of the shop. Apart from taking fresh fish home, you can also ask for some tips on how to cook it.
75 Gloucester Avenue
+44 (0) 207 483 4435


Primrose Hill Books
Open for the past 30 years, it sells new, autographed, classical and contemporary books. In this digital day and age, it is interesting to delve into the history of the list of second-hand books. Even the intense smell of somewhat old books is conducive to buying books, as are the prices starting at €5.
134 Regents Park Road
+44 (0) 207 586 2022

Where to stay

Danubius Hotel Regents Park
Overlooking Regent’s Park – and a 15-minute walk from Primrose Hill and Madame Tussauds Wax Museum – the hotel marked its 40th anniversary with important renovations. It has a 24-hour gym and a restaurant. The rooms are equipped with all the basic amenities and extras such as a safe for laptops and an electric kettle.
€143 - €300

Primrose Hill Apartments
Renting an apartment is a great (and the only) option in the heart of Primrose Hill, with different-sized alternatives that can accommodate up to six people. Upon your arrival, you will be welcomed with flowers, fruit, chocolate, biscuits, coffee and tea. The apartments have all the amenities you need for a restful stay. The price for a 2-bedroom apartment is around €1,260 per week, that is, around €45 per night per person.
€180 - €360

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