Friday, 7 December 2007

The tornado, one year on

Apparently a community spirit has developed in the affected areas. I would agree - we've had a street party and a tornado party, and we all now say hello to each other in the street. It's like Neighbours.

Saturday, 27 October 2007

Queen's Park and Kensal Rise on the up - The TIMES

Nice article about the two areas, which is perhaps a bit late to talk about Queen's Park becoming trendier but makes some good points about Kensal Rise. Chamberlayne Road has improved in just the eight months I've lived here. They could also have pointed out the changes to College Road, where the Island bar, Gracelands cafe and its next-door-collection of boutiques, have now been joined by another new boutique opposite.

Sunday, 7 October 2007

Hurrah! The Kensal Rise library is saved.

Says this article. I wonder if they'll ever get around to renaming them so they sound a bit more like the area everyone else now calls it?

Having said that the libraries are a great resource - we use them almost weekly.

Tornado 'uplift it needed' for Kensal Rise

So says a pretty ridiculous Observer article, which quotes a couple with three children who moved from Notting Hill to Kensal Rise to be near the William IV pub.  Who'd have thought?

Thursday, 27 September 2007

Residents Parking

Only a tenous connection here to the Rise, as it mentions Kensal Green in the article. I am personally in favour of resident's parking, and I understand that in my bit of Kensal Rise it was long sought by residents who found vans parked outside their houses, meaning they had to walk a long way. The journalist asks for a middle way - I think really it should be much in favour of residents, but one perhaps solution is to have more pay & display booths that residents can park in as well as visitors.

Tornado, nearly one year on

The Daily Mail has a report.

Monday, 24 September 2007


Nuneaton, Northampton, Farnborough, Luton and Hull and can look Kensal Rise in the face again, to paraphrase the Queen Mother.

Monday, 17 September 2007

Kensal Rise street party

Street Party
Originally uploaded by mjtphotos
To celebrate almost everyone returning after last Decemember's devastating tornado, the residents of Crediton Road held a very successful street party.

Many more photographs and information can be found here.

Wednesday, 12 September 2007

Monday, 10 September 2007

Guides to Kensal Rise

Well they also use my not-that-innovative-name, and they have the cheek to say our beloved area is "still a bit dodgy" (well for me at least it's currently 1-1 on car windows being smashed with Kensington Park Road, so there!), but they do link here (for the Chamberlayne "review") and otherwise it's great to see Gridskipper having a groovy collection of bar/restaurant reviews and a nice use of google maps for Kensal Rise.

They say they got their information on Samson Miro from Urban Junkies, which also has a nice write up.

Basically I think the bar/pub/restaurant collection is just about covered now - there's seven good ones within a 10-min walk of Kensal Rise train station. What the place needs is some decent shops - a butchers would be great.

Sunday, 9 September 2007

Queen's Park Open Day

Queen's Park Open Day
Originally uploaded by mjtphotos
Was held today, September 9th. Really good fun, especiall if you have children. Loads of interesting stalls selling food, crafts, books etc and a lovely sunny day!

Thursday, 30 August 2007

The Paradise

Is it reopening and refurbished or not? It was open on Bank Holiday Weekend for two Carnival parties, but when I popped by yesterday for a quick drink it was shut again. It looks like it has had a lick of (needed) paint, but that might just be because it was empty.

Update: I went there for dinner on Saturday night. We enjoyed it tremendously - for a start of the dining room is very spacious, and there is a great deal of space around each table, something sadly uncommon in London restaurants. The food was good too - we shared a ham hock terrine, and then I had lamb and my partner seafood risotto. Both were lovely. Good wine list and five choices of wine by the glass, which is always helpful. House champagne not bad too.

I think the refit looks great - hard to tell immediately what has changed, but it all seems fresher. Also see comments from Matthew about the roof terrace, which I didn't check out, but I think they might have a disco upstairs on Sat from 9pm. See here as well.

Sunday, 22 July 2007

New things in Kensal Rise

There's a Japanese restaurant in the process of being opened along Chamberlayne Road, where the Jamaican place used to be. I'm not a great fan of Japanese food (at least in Britain - I enjoyed in Tokyo once) but we shall see. I'm sorry I can't remember the name - will add a picture when I next go past it.

Saturday, 21 July 2007

Flooding in Kensal Rise

The BBC has the pictures...

Friday, 29 June 2007

The Chamberlayne is open!

No pictures yet, but early indications are good. It sells the new Artois range, which I had not tried, and seems nice enough. The look is exposed brickwork, expensive steaks written on boards, and the no-two-chair-alive style which every other London pub conversion has, but I suppose adds to the image. Very busy on Thursday too, which I assume was the opening night. I thought it was slightly strange it allowed smoking, given the ban in only three days away.

Sunday, 17 June 2007

Gladstone Park festival

Gladstone Park
Originally uploaded by mjtphotos
Well it was a bit overcast for the "Gladstonbury" festival this Sunday in Gladstone Park, Brent, but we had a nice goat burger.

Saturday, 16 June 2007

1970s Willesden

It's Sidmouth Parade...

Wilesden in May 2007

Originally uploaded by mjtphotos
...and the same image in May 2007. Hardly anything has changed.

Kensal Rise in 1970

Kensal Rise, 1970
Originally uploaded by seadipper
The road by the station.

37 years of progress...

Originally uploaded by mjtphotos
This is the road by the station in Kensal Rise, shot in May 2007.

Wednesday, 13 June 2007

The new pub wants a chef

Originally uploaded by mjtphotos
Here's proof of the update to the previous post.

Monday, 11 June 2007

New pub in Kensal Rise?

Apologies for the lack of posts - my launching of yet another blog coincided with a very busy time at work and in the evenings.

Anyway, I have lots of reviews and suchlike to do, which I will try to complete in the next few weeks. But in the meantime, the exciting development in Kensal Rise is the closing down of the Banker's Draught pub on Chamerlayne Road for 'refurbishment'. The question is does that mean a lick of paint and some new furniture, or a whole new pub?

The signs so far are the latter. In a way I find this exciting - the Banker's Draught was not a pub I would have gone in normally (never say never), and its replacement (or even its renovated old self) probably will. But on the other hnad, when this kind of thing happens there's always an element of concern that the people who formerly went there will have nowhere to go, and in the place of a popular (or so it seemed) pub will come a non-descript loud bar full of braying 25 year olds.

Watch this, and that, space.

Update: The Chamberlayne Bar and Steakhouse gastropub. So it could be quite interesting. But they are advertising for a chef, so here's your chance!

Thursday, 19 April 2007

Restaurant - Bawarchi

I went to Bawarchi Indian restaurant last night, on Chamberlayne Road. I'd say this is a definitely a cut above your average Indian, with the chef previously having worked in the House of Commons where he cooked a Biryani for John Major's 50th Birthday (which admittedly was back in 1993). It looks good too - modern and stylish.

The food - well I have to admit I had the Tandoori mixed grill, probably the least Indian dish one could have, but it was very tasty, with good quality meat, a hot but not too hot sauce, and excellent rice and naan bread. The girlfriend had a selection of vegetable dishes, which I will be sampling for lunch today, but she said they were good. So definitely recommended, particularly if you are in the Greyhound pub next door.

Sunday, 15 April 2007

Kensal Rise to Great Portland Street (Euston road end)

What is the quickest way of getting from Kensal Rise, say Chamberlayne Road, to the shop Villandry, on Great Portland Street, in central London? This is a journey I have had to make since moving here. I tried four distinct ways.

1. Walk to Queen's Park tube, take the Bakerloo line to Baker Street, change to the Circle or H&C or Metropolitan lne, and get off at Great Portland Street station.

Walking Time = 18 mins (about 12 mins to Queen's Park tube, 3 mins in Baker Street Station, 3 mins after Great Portland Street tube)
Waiting Time = 6 mins (3 mins each for Bakerloo and Circle etc lines)
Train Time = 18 mins (15 mins on Bakerloo line, 3 mins on Circle etc lines)

Total Time = 42 mins

2. Walk to Queen's Park tube, take the Silverlink to Euston, walk to Great Portland Street.

Walking Time = 27 mins (about 12 mins to Queen's Park tube, 15 mins to Villandry from Euston)
Waiting Time = 7 mins (7 mins for Silverlink at Queen's Park)
Train Time = 10 mins (10 mins on Silverlink)

Total Time = 44 mins

3. Walk to Kensal Rise Silverlink station, change at West Hampstead for the Jubilee Line, change at Finchley Road for the Metropolitan Line.

Walking Time = 6 mins (about 3 mins to Kensal Rise, 3 mins between West Hampstead stations, 0 mins at Baker Street)
Waiting Time = 10 mins (5 mins at Kensal Rise (if you know the timetable and check the live departures on your PC or phone, 3 mins at West Hampstead, 2 mins at Finchley Road)
Train Time = 22 mins (8 mins on Silverlinke, 2 mins on Jubilee Line, 12 mins on Metropolitan line)

Total Time = 38 mins

Obviously these are averages, and late trains, slow walking, etc, can make a big difference. Also there should perhaps be a likely distribution, as the three train strategy (no.3) has more chance for things to go wrong, and the Silverlinke is less reliable than the tube. I tended to go for no.3 in the end, however, perhaps because it minimised the walk, though in summer walking through Queen's Park might be more enjoyable. But I now:

4. Cycle

Total Time = 30 mins

I hope to do it a bit faster, but it has quite a lot of hills and traffic can be heavy.


Welcome. This is a blog dedicated to Kensal Rise, London's hottest neighbourhood. Well, possibly not, but it's getting there. I can't guarantee frequent posts, and what topics they will cover other than pubs, bars, shops, moans about transport, and photos I have taken, we will wait to see.