Fabric July 2021

Page 68

COMMENT

MEET THE LOCALS

From our agents...

1. Jeremy Stecker, Benham & Reeves “The stamp duty

holiday has fuelled purchases of all sizes of homes, with flats in both new builds and conversions achieving sold prices of £550,000 to £800,000. Houses have also fared well in the last three months, achieving £1.4million to £2.5million, depending on condition and location. House prices in West Hampstead are up 4-5 per cent and it’s looking like the local property market is not ready to take a back seat just yet.”

Ruth Hockman

Founder and Creator of Rain On Me UK (ROM) and Ride and Raise

I’ve lived here since 2005 and it has always felt like home thanks to the brilliant sense of community. Whether you’re engaging in a debate about our bridge wall mural by Justice Through Arts, grabbing a drink at The Alice House or tucking into fried chicken at The Gallery, there’s always a local to hang out and have fun with. I set up Rain on Me to brighten up the landscape with neon and glitter during the first lockdown. The studio and showroom is on Finchley Road, at Uthink Hampstead. Before heading to my dungeon of dreams to crack on with the spray paints, a gossip with fellow artist in residence Lucy Jagger is essential. Hampstead Cemetery and Fortune Green are my local outdoor calm spaces and have become backdrops for ROM photo shoots. Another favourite spot is Wayne Kirkham Way,

which runs next to the railway (it reminds me of a marble run I used to play with circa 1985). A go to for coffee and pancakes is Have An Avo – recently, the location for discussions with Rosanna Tucker, owner of immersive fitness studios Studio Society, to plot the next Ride And Raise charity spinathon event. A pavement table pit stop at The Wet Fish Café is also a must. I love watching the local goings on over a bottle of their Sancerre Rosé and a plate of polenta fries. Fridays are for challah and there’s only one place for that – my friends at Roni’s have kept me in rolls, bagels and Tahini for over 16 years. West End Lane’s charity shops are firm favourites, particularly The Children’s Society and Scope, where I’ve made some incredible finds (from a Max Mara belt to a Donna Karan blazer).

I’m a big fan of the ham and cheese croissant from Gail’s, which I treat myself to whilst browsing. The flakes get everywhere, much like the paint from my “designed to weather” raincoats – oops! Post office trips to either Ann’s Community Shop on Mill Lane or the Sheriff Centre are always a pleasure thanks to the friendly, helpful staff. I’m not a natural blonde: I’ve got Bryn Samuel at Hob Salon to thank for that. And Tran and Queeny at Unique keep my hands and hoofs colourful! West Hampstead and its people continue to be a huge source of inspiration to me and ROM. It can be noisy and a little chaotic here, but it has character, and I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else. (rainonme.uk; rideandraise.com; @rainonme)

2. Vivienne Harris, Heathgate “West Hampstead has become a buzzing throng of activity due to the interesting High Streets of Fortune Green Road and West End Lane, plus its ample transport links. The housing is mainly Victorian, interspersed with new builds and some lovely mansion blocks. It has become a ‘younger’ Hampstead, with less expensive housing making it popular and more affordable than the NW3 postcode located across the Finchley Road.”

TAKE 3

Streethearts

3. Ed Bloom, Hamptons

“West Hampstead is a vibrant community for all, from families taking advantage of the great schools, through to professionals enjoying the café culture on the high street and the quick links into London. The housing stock reflects this, from Victorian family homes to modern apartments.”

Your home, your life

Crediton Hill

East of West End Lane, the big, beautiful family homes here are in high demand, particularly those backing on to the Cumberland Lawn Tennis Club

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Compayne Gardens

The houses here are subject to conservation orders, and it’s easy to see why. The handsome Victorian homes are some of the area’s most desirable

Mill Lane

At the heart of the local community, this may be away from the main drag of West End Lane, but there are independent businesses aplenty here, too