Monday, May 20, 2013

primrose hill


I went to see The Quiet American on Saturday, finally, and to get to see his 'neighbourhood' after years of telling me how great it is.

So I got on a train and ventured north, after buying a pair of your grandma's curtains to put on my legs.
This is what's happening here. In the world of pants. Go to any Zara and you won't be able to buy pants that don't have patterns, floral or your Nan's sofa on all of them. 
Plain pants are done, people.
This fine pair is one of the more subtle varieties of trouser, trust me. There are all kinds of geometric and chevron shapes, paisleys in cray cray colours going on this summer.

Anyway. Where was I. So I pulled on the chintz pants and headed up to Chalk Farm station. One beyond Camden.
Doesn't sound like much does it?

Well. Chalk Farm is the station you get out at in Primrose Hill.

I just can't believe I haven't explored this area before. What. A Knobhead. For if I'd known a place like Promrose Hill existed - the village and the hill itself -  I wouldn't have ever bothered with hanging out anywhere else in this town.

So obsessed and blown away by its sheer, ridiculous perfectness I was, I dragged the Brit there on Sunday to see it all over again.

Peas: "Right. How can we live here, we have to live here, we need to win the lottery, we need to make a PLAN, MAN."

Brit: We need to be billionaires. Or a rock star. Rock stars that have Hollywood star, live here Peas.

Peas: I KNOW. According to Wikipedia, we are talking Jamie Oliver, Gwen Stefani, Kate Moss, Gwyneth Paltrow. HOW can we make this work for us?! WE NEED TO MAKE THIS WORK, ANYTHING, ANYHOW.

We had this type of conversation ad infinitum while we toured the streets.

I can gush all day, but really, this is the London that I was meant to have been born. This is where the sun shines even when it doesn't.

THIS is why Primrose Hill is, hands down, without a shadow of a doubt, my favourite favourite part of London and I will aspire like a motherfucker - for the rest of my non-rock star life - to live there one day:
Because you can see the whole of the moving, swarming city from the top of the Hill.
Because there are tons of little mews, garden tea shops, beer gardens, nooks and crannies - all independently owned, and all wonderful and filled with intellectual, arty people.

Not starving intellectual arty types, oh no. The types that have actually made it. And have published novels. Or have a rock band that's not in their garage.

We stopped at this one for tea and to people watch. While I kept banging on about how we are to solve this: how the Brit-On-Toasts (See that? Our new double-barrel surname. Very Primrose Hill) will find enough cash in their lifetimes to live in this paradise of a place.

(By the way, I wasn't high. It might sound like I was, but I wasn't. I am sober gushing.)
The other thing is the size of the pavements and streets. London is a crowded place. Mostly tourists and chavs clog the streets; and my tolerance for both is at an all time low.
Tourists don't know about Primrose Hill. They go to Camden, 15 minutes to the left.
Chavs don't go to Primrose Hill. I did not see one chav the whole weekend.

So while there's a strong community spirit and lots of buzz going on, it's not overinflated by people that generally annoy me.  It's just the locals; and as the streets are wide and the pavements - you're not bumped, or hassled or continously have to watch your feet wherever you go. This is a BIG thing.

The streets are also impeccably clean.

 Yeah. We were in heaven.

Myself, the husband and my Nan's Laura Ashley cushions, took themselves to the hill to catch some afternoon sunshine (the sun shines in Primrose Hill. Of course it fucking does), and laze about looking onto London Zoo and Regents Park below.

 The grass is not manicured to perfection on the Hill - it's all tufty, soft and green. So help me God.

Now. The trees. The other startling realisation in this area is the abundance and establishedness of the trees. Huge, mightily tall Oak and one's that look like Magnolias, but aren't, as I understand it.
Huge trees that rise up and make normal-sized trees look like tumbleweeds.

Again. I wasn't tripping.

The cafe culture pavement vibe is worth mentioning - you can actually get a seat if you look hard enough. No endless queues.

 The trees, the park! Primrose Hill is north London's Chelseafied version of itself. The only difference is you're far from the madding crowd, and there are less cunts walking around in red trousers.

It's intellectual-exclusive, but not crazily snobby that you feel bad for not being born with a trust fund.

Pity that a house like the one above would cost anything from £1.2million and upwards.

What, oh dear sweet, merciful Christ above, ARE we to do? Because by the looks of things, we can't afford to buy a paper bag in Primrose Hill.

The Brit-On-Toasts  are wracking their brains and looking at rentals instead.


 Moroccan tea

People watching. Look, the lady behind is ALSO wearing her Nan's curtains!



Robyn Silverstone said...

Best views in London from Primrose Hill and the little shop / bakery along the way to the park is also great. If you take 2 stops more north on the northern line, get off at Hampstead, walk the high street and go to Hampstead Heath. Just as pretty :)

Flarkit said...

Sigh. Yah. Like a beach-facing property in the Eastern Cape. Too pricey for words, too far from anywhere to be able to make enough dosh to even think of affording. But so, so, idyllic.

Peas on Toast said...

Robyn - my next weekend jaunt has to be Hampstead! I have heard only amazing things. Also that it's the most expensive place to live in London :( But will definitely hit up the heath this summer!

Flarkit - we can only dream right? And try to win the lottery....

Robyn Silverstone said...

Haha, yeah I know. I lived there for 6 months before moving to Golders Green. Honestly, the crepe hut on the corner the King Williams pub is a must.

Also, as you come out of the tube, walk past McDonalds and take a left into the small lane where you will find 2 fantastic pubs, one with a great Sunday roast: Flask Walk is the lane to take. First go to The Flask for a cold one, then walk down to The Wells for a Sunday roast :)

On another trip, come out of the tube and walk down to the heath. Just before the heath, there is another pub with great food and vibe, The Freemasons Arms.