Friday, 25 December 2009

Christmas Greetings

Happy Christmas to all my readers from Kensal Rise or around the world!

Sunday, 20 December 2009

Tornado - three years on

Living directly in the pasth of the Great Tornado of 2006, but luckily only suffering minor damages to property, this story was quite interesting on one householder's apparent battle with their insurance company.

Station traffic for trainspotters

From Transport for London, we learn that in 2008 on average 4,424 people entered Kensal Green underground station on a weekday, but only 3,878 left. On a saturday numbers were lower but the discrepancy was higher, with 3,086 entering but only 2,652 leaving, while on Sunday 2,075 entered and 1,858 left. This meant a total of 2.6m entries and exits during the year. In 2007 the weekday entrance was 4,111 and exit 3,428, back in 2003 just 3,187 and 2,771.

Queen's Park was busier, with 5.7m in 2009, up from 4.3m in 2003, and an average daily entrance/exit of about 10,000/9,000. Again more leave than arrive, which I assume relates to people getting more taxis or perhaps buses in the evening.

Friday, 18 December 2009


Did anyone see the huge police mobile LED display on Chamberlayne Road by Minkies warning about pickpockets and so on? Was this in response to anything specific? Hardly the image we want to see...

ps We walked to Queen's Park today and noticed the Police there have nice pot plants and a big Christmas tree. Clearly it's a plot to do down our beloved Rise... Also the new deli/cafe/restaurant at the Salusbury looks nice from the outside.

pps Apologies to 'Phil' who left a comment - I managed to delete it by accident.

Monday, 14 December 2009

Olive Branch

We went to Olive Branch the other day to see what it was like. We had a gorgonzola and walnut gnocchi, and a pizza. I'd say both were good - the pizza was Italian-style and while it perhaps lacked a bit of dazzle, it was of a high standard. The gnocchi was very cheesey (and hence tasty) [1]. Service was prompt and polite and the house red wine which I had a glass of was also fine.

So in short I'd say while its not going to win any culinary award, as an inexpensive place to get a nice meal it's a solid choice. I'm sure we'll go back again. We haven't tried the take-away options but they seemed popular while we were there.

[1] The only thing we really would have changed was the plates were cold. I don't think they need to be red-hot, but even luke warm keeps the food hotter that much longer. Many restaurants make this mistake.

A comments policy of sorts

Thanks for the forthright discussion on commenting. It seems to me that we must be allowed to criticise local businesses, as a local business that survives to an extent on charity will not last long. On the other hand I think such criticism needs to be criticism in the wider sense of the term, that is an examination and judgement of merits and faults, and one which hopefully will be useful in the context of supporting local business.

The question of anonymity is a tricky one. I don't think people should give full details, one of the beauties of the internet is that you don't have to reveal who you are (and I'm aware doing so can have negative consequences, albeit perhaps they are overstated) and on the subjects we discuss it is hardly relevant who is saying what. But the advantage of giving a name is that it at least rules out an 'anonymous' being the same person if it is not (it cannot stop one person pretending to be many), and I think there was an instance of multiple commenting recently that was unnecessary.

I have been told that people have put an email address in. I don't quite understand this as the box I see when asked to comment has four options:

Google Account
Open ID

The obvious one, if you don't have a Gmail/google account, is Name/URL or anonymous. The former formally asks the name, the latter allows you to type it in as part of your comment. Do other people have different options?

Anyway I think I should do some more posts, as I have rather relied on you all to spot and discuss things! Thanks again for your time and interaction.

London in 2010 from 1990

Some futurology, here.

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Election material

We seem to be getting a huge amount of this posted through the door - mostly from the Conservatives, but also the Liberal Democrats. I find it quite annoying - surely the election is not until May 2010? Or is there a by-election I don't know about?

Saturday, 5 December 2009


Watch This Space, Young and Emerging Artists Charity auction, The Special Yoga Centre, London, 8 December.

On 8th December in Kensal Rise. See here.

Now on Twitter!

You can click on the sidebar on the right or go to

I'm not quite sure I've got the template right but stick with it and I'll try to get it fixed.

Saturday, 28 November 2009

The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret

Just watching this new comedy and it starts off with him in Gracelands cafe, College Road!

Update...Now they've find a suspect bomb (the lead character's luggage) and have blown it up in College Road.

New things(ish)

I see the ex flower shop by the Overground station has got new windows and looks like it's going to be something new, or at least got into a condition in order to let it out. Also the pizza place opposite Tesco has closed for refurbishment, which was probably overdue.

Not a lot else going on. Miros deli under new ownership superficially looks just like it used to, but I thought perhaps the produce was a little more 'everyday' which is no bad thing.

There's various Christmas fairs and things I must get around to posting.

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Charity event

A reader has written in to notify us of this Kensal Rise charity fundraiser. Taking part are:

Some of the guys behind the Bestival Festival on IOW (Kieth did the swim to Bestival across the Solent this year), Nick Pring (who co-owns The Mason's Arms and North London Tavern) and a load of Chamberlayne regulars. All but 2 of us are first time marathoners and none of us are athletes.

They're also looking for local businesses to sponsor their race vests and winter training gear (which will be visible on the runners around the area a lot for the next six months).

Details and how to sponsor them are here.

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Minor update

Thanks for the comments about the Olive Branch, it seems most people like it. We haven't been yet, but we do quite like the pizza place in Queen's Park. Talking of which, it looks like Gail's Patisserie is about to open, and the deli Salusbury is closed for another week for refurbishment. I think Queen's Park was hit quite hard by the recession, or perhaps just bad luck, in having both Baker & Spice and the place that was Pizza Teca and the Nikki Noodle closed at the same time, so it's good to see things picking up.

There's various Christmas fetes that I feel I should mention - will have to look up the details as I've forgotten them.

Anything else going on? Miros deli was closed when I passed on Tuesday so I wonder if it's gone for good? I've seen no news about 'The brasserie' on Station Terrace since the licensing application was made in August.

Sunday, 1 November 2009


A commenter gives a Facebook site for Verandah, the shop on Chamberlayne Road near the junction with Wrentham Avenue. It's a nice site and joins the Kensal Rise groups (here and here).

Not much else going on - I see what was Baker & Spice looks like it'll be opening as a Gail's Patisserie (as on Portbello Road) within the next month, and the deli opposite which is part of the pub is closing down for two weeks for refurbishment.

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Kensal Rise weather

A quick weather update using my weather station. Here is the average daily temperature in Kensal Rise since January. Unfortunately May is missing, that's the gap. The hottest single daywas the 30th June with a temperature average of 23.6 degrees centigrade (as are all temperatures quoted here). The coldest was 1st February at minus 2.2 degrees.

Taking the monthly average the coldest was January at just 4.1 degrees, then Feb at 5.7 degrees, March at 8.6 degrees, April at 12.2 degrees. Then June was the hottest month at 19.1 degrees, slightly warmer than July's 18.3 degrees and just August's 19.0 degrees. September tails off quite quickly to just 16.1 degrees and October is back down to April levels at 12.2 degrees.

Looking at individual days, the following charts shows the temperature every half hour through the day (from midnight) for October 26th (Monday), and the 26th of June, July, August and September. Of course in October the clocks had gone back so everything's been pushed forwards an hour. There's a slight problem with my weather station which really shows up here - the sun shines directly on it about 2pm. Hence on sunny days it can really raise the temperature - that I think is what is happening on 26th September given how cold it began and then picked up so rapidly.

Saturday, 17 October 2009

A bit of news

Not a lot to report at the moment. Does anyone know what the place behind black chipboard frontage on Chamberlayne Road is going to be? And what's that strange box that's appeared at Miro's tapas place on the pavement?

We're getting more good reviews about Luca - this time being offered wine as you get your haircut.

Meanwhile here's a man I've never heard of but who likes living in Kensal Green/Rise. He recommends a fish and chip shop - Seahorse on Harrow Road - which I've also never heard of. Is it any good?

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Elmwood tennis club turns on its floodlights

A bit of local news here. Is anyone a member?

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Weekend update

It looks like the shop on what was KuddyCo is about to open. This is looking through its window.

The William IV seems to have reopened (not sure when, it wasn't ten days ago) and the menu seems to be Paradise prices. Has anyone tried it?

Finally did you get a "Love your locals" leaflet through the door? It has adverts and some discount vouchers/schemes for local businesses, mostly in Kensal Rise/Green and Londale Road in Queen's Park.

Weekend update

[Duplicate post to one above - left in because it has 1 comment]

Saturday, 26 September 2009

Portobello Dock

Originally uploaded by mjtphotos
Today and tomorrow (and last week) the new Portobello Dock is having a
an exhibition of 'creative talent' sponsored by Tom Dixon. It's a pretty major effort, with two buildings with multiple floors crammed full of various artists and designers' wares, some of which are for sale. Definitely worth seeing. I took some more pictures here and here and here and here and here's a Veuve Cliquot pod designed by one of the architects.

Friday, 25 September 2009


Anonymous in the comments points us to this story, which is Kensington & Chelsea council have found only one poor area in the entire borough, sorry I mean one area that is in need of regeneration, and it's (as far as I can work out) by the Sainsbury's and gasworks near us. And they want to put a Crossrail station there.

Crossrail, if you don't know, is the railway scheme that is 10 years in the future, and always will be. Actually that's a bit too cynical, as in fact funding apparently has finally been secured and it actually might get built.

Quite why K&C have decided at this very late hour (it is due to be finalised in November) to go for a station I don't know. And one wonders whether it'll have enough backing. Clearly, as anonymous says, it would be quite transformative. Can anyone give us more information?

Saturday, 19 September 2009

New brasserie

I think a commenter said this but today as we were looking at the Olive Branch we noted that Brilliant Kids has an licence application to reopen as 'The Brasserie', which sounds excellent. If you want to see the application it's here (but you've missed your chance to object - that was up to Friday).

Table top sale at Elmwood

Originally uploaded by mjtphotos
This looks as if it might be fun - it's on Sunday.

Thursday, 17 September 2009

Health food shop message

This was left as a comment but I thought I would bring it forward as not many people see those old comments:

hello to all the Kensal Risers. Our health food shop, Kitchen Apothecary, has been running a little low on stock lately and that really is not our intention. Please bear with us as we are self funding and are not out to make a profit but to provide kensal rise with affordable whole foods and health products for all. We hope that we will be restocked and with bread back in a couple of weeks. Thank-you for all your support over the last few months and we hope to get back on track soon.
Please still feel free to come down for free healthcare advice and a cup of tea while we reorganise ourselves. xx Bastian & Shereen

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

The neighbourhood bulletin

for Queen's Park ward has dropped through our door. We learn that the council have:

* Given Tiverton Green (that's the bit of park north of Queen's Park) a makeover with a new pathway and benchmarks. I know the state of this park has exercised a lot of people in the area - I wonder if they are happier now?
* Formed a homework club at Brent library
* Distributed 'smartwater' packs to some residents. At first I thought this was going to be a water meter, ie probably charging us more. But no, it's a bit like those marker pens that you write on property so it can be traced if stolen.
* Kilburn Library garden - is apparently progressing well. In the wacky world of Brent libraries this is the library in Queen's Park [note this is a private project - see comments].

Praise for the paradise

A 'superchef' tells the Guardian that he really liked eating at the Paradise. I would concur - had some fantastic meals there. I especially liked (strangely) the butter, and the chicken pie.

Thursday, 10 September 2009

We're apparently the hippest area in EUROPE

So says Vogue, via the Telegraph. It's a little hard to believe, even I only managed London's hippest area. Of course the Vogue Editor lives in Kensal Rise, doesn't she? But is this new - I voguely remember talking about it before. Perhaps the Telegraph journalist is trying to sell....

UPDATE: Hang on. Why not the world? Where is better...

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Lexi update

I thought I would just post the latest Lexi cinema email, which reminded me its Queen's Park Day Sunday, more of which later.


Director Oliver Parker’s Q&A at The Lexi

Oliver Parker, resident of Queen's Park and director of films ranging from St. Trinians to Fade to Black, will be visiting the Lexi for a special screening of his new film, Dorian Gray this Thursday 10th September at 8.00pm. This is the third time Oliver and producer Barnaby Thompson have collaborated on an Oscar Wilde adaptation. The previous films were The Importance of Being Earnest and An Ideal Husband. Following the film Oliver will be answering questions from the audience about the film, about adapting Oscar Wilde for the screen, the British film industry and any other issues you’d like to raise!

The Lexi goes to Queens Park on Sunday 13th September for Queens Park Day, so make sure you visit us and take part in our film quiz competitions with loads of fab prizes donated by Warner brothers, thank you volunteer Ruth!

On a Green note, we were invited to talk at The Canary Wharf Film Festival at their Green Sunday event and we realised we do know something about the topic (even if our South African partners know a hell of a lot more!). So it is absolutely natural that we are hosting The Kensal to Kilburn Transition Town Film Club which launches on Wednesday 16th of September, 6.30 for 7.00pm, with The End of Suburbia, including post-film discussion and bar staffed by Adam, our new marketing manager, and me.

Films, Films, Films

We are all loving Broken Embraces; as the FT said, “can Pedro Almodovar make a bad film? No.” So we are squeezing in two extra shows for you, one on Saturday 12th September at 15.30 and one on Tuesday 15th at 6.00pm

Coming up, we have much talked-about District 9 with it’s amazing viral marketing campaign, as well as The September Issue- if you enjoyed The Devil Wears Prada, this is the real thing, The Lexi are Vogue devotees after the listing of Chamberlayne Road and The Lexi in Vogue’s Secret Address Book. In addition to these, we have Meryl Streep, giving one of her outstanding performances in Julie and Julia, so keep up to date by checking our website regularly.

Our regular Saturday Kids Klub films continue to be a big hit! The next two Saturday screenings are Nim's Island and The Incredibles, and in response to popular demand we also have two forthcoming Sing Along sessions, led by one our wonderful Lexi singers! The first will be Bugsy Malone on Saturday 26th September - splurge guns at the ready...

Talking of fabulous...The Flicker Club returns to The Lexi for All About Eve on Thursday 24th September at 7 for 7.30pm.

To remind you about the uniqueness of the Club – a guest speaker reads the short story from which the film emerged. We launched with Miranda Richardson (and we don’t get to know who the reader is until the night, so you can imagine how exciting it was when Miranda flew into our auditorium!) who read from Daphne du Maurier's original short story, The Birds. We followed this up with Director Sean Mathias’s illuminating reading and interpretation of Breakfast at Tiffany's (did you know that Truman Capote wanted Marilyn Munro as Holly Golightly - now that would have been a different film!) So do not miss our 3rd Flicker Club and the incomparable Bette Davis, in a film that swept the board in terms of awards - a must-see on the big screen.

Our friends at The Tricycle Cinema in Kilburn would like to invite you all to a special event of their own on Monday 14th September at 7.15pm, a special preview screening of the eagerly anticipated Away We Go, introduced by Academy Award winning director Sam Mendes (American Beauty, Revolutionary Road). A funny, heartfelt film following the adventures of an expectant couple as they travel the U.S. in search of the perfect place to put down roots and raise their family, you can book tickets for this event through the box office on 020 7328 1000.

The Lexi also has a pair of complimentary tickets to offer to the first subscriber to correctly answer the following question:

Which well-known London theatre did Sam Mendes help to transform?

Get your answer over to Adam, our new marketing manager: give you all good warning...6 people from our charity The Sustainability Institute are coming to the UK in mid-October for a course at The Schumacher College and they are in London for a couple of days. So this will be your chance to meet them and find out what all the excitement is about. Watch this space...

Sunday, 6 September 2009

Big fire

Originally uploaded by mjtphotos
Does anyone know what was the cause of this big fire, which looked as if it was coming from the Willesden area? It was on Saturday about midday.

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Not a lot going on

Here's the Lexi cinema what's on.

The new Italian, The Olive Branch, is presumably opening this week. Is that right? First person to go please give us a review.

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

"Lexi" back from summer holidays

The Lexi cinema has reopened after its summer break. You will find a schedule of what films are on here.

It also has a photography exhibition by 1960's photojournalist John ‘Hoppy’ Hopkins with lots of old photos of London that you can pop in and see at anytime.

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Map of the area

I noticed my Kensal Rise map (link below left) opened with the map centered nearer Shepherd's Bush than Kensal Rise. Hopefully it is now fixed.

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Welcome to any Facebook users

I mentioned this 'blog on the Facebook Kensal Rise groups so maybe we'll get some more readers.

Not much of an update this to welcome people (where's a new restaurant when you need it?!) but to add to the comment on Kuddyco, apparently two ladies are going to run the new shop and it'll be 'filled with nice things'. So it looks like we're gaining something similar to what we're losing.

Friday, 14 August 2009


Slightly away from Kensal Rise, but for the second time we went to Hugo's tonight for dinner. We had planned to go to the pizza place further North on Salusbury Road, but it is closed for summer (reopens on August 17th).

I like Hugo's. I like the atmosphere, and the way you can sit inside yet outside at the same time on a quiet road. The food is good, we had beetroot and goat's cheese salad, fish pie, and haddock with poached egg. I'd say about 10-15% too expensive, but isn't everywhere? It's not somewhere I would go more than once every six months or so, and I've never been for a jazz night, but it was all pretty good.

Thursday, 13 August 2009

Kuddyco is closing

Apparently Kuddyco are having a closing down sale. Rather sad, I'd say, although I'm not sure I've bought much from there (more of a girl thing?).

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Kensal Green plates

I'm sure most of you have seen these, but here are Kensal Green plates. But which street is it?

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

The new fish & chip shop

Originally uploaded by mjtphotos
This was what one commenter mentioned the other day which I had confused for the new Italian. Talking of the new Italian - the note on the door is not clear as to whether it is a restaurant (my assumption and hope) or a deli (which we already have one fantastic one and quite a few good ones).

Out and about 2: Shop on Regent Street

Originally uploaded by mjtphotos
We only noticed this a few weeks ago - it seems to sell home soft furnishings. Has it been there long?

Out and about 1

Originally uploaded by mjtphotos
Saw someone having a party of some sort on Chamberlayne Road

Monday, 27 July 2009

Robert Plant in car crash in Kensal Rise

No-one seriously hurt I'm pleased to say, but apparently it was at the junction of Harrow Road and Kensal Rise. Which is where exactly? Do they mean Chamberlayne Road?

Sunday, 26 July 2009

Next to Luca

I see workmen are beavering away putting in shelving from IKEA. What is it going to be?

Old Kensal Rise

The old picture at the top of this site was purchased from this site. Its here. They also have this fetching image of a postcard - 'having a lovely time in Kensal Rise. Weather hot'.

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

New Italian in Kensal Rise

Just by the taxi firm on Station Parade, we saw this restaurant is about to open. The note on the door says it will be an italian and opening in early September. This seems like good news!

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Luca and next to it

My partner has tried Luca, the hairdressers, and was impressed. He also gave her a free towel, which was nice. I also note that next to Luca there is activity going on (in the "Ho" of Home) which I think someone else pointed out in the comments.

Thursday, 16 July 2009

staying in touch

ive been away and back soon but still typing this on a phone so forgive lack of punctuation. Thanks to readers for their comments. Clearly as a thousand miles away have little to say. Anything else new? How was college road festival? Whats the weather been like? Its been about 37 here . . . Spain and southern france . . .and i was thinking the answer to my perennial question of what does kensal rise need is better weather and vineyards . . .

Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Kensal Rise temperature

I own a weather station, and here is the temperature every hour from last Monday to yesterday. Note the impact of Saturday's rainstorm. Note these aren't temperatures you would necessarily see from the Met Office as about 12pm to 4pm the weather station is partly in the sun.

Kensal Triangle

Anonymous (possibly Jessie) in the comments gives us the Kensal Triangle Residents Association website.

Monday, 29 June 2009

Kensal Green resident gets MBE

Just saw this on the news and thought worth a link about a local resident getting an MBE for community care.

Builder request

Can anyone recomment a good builder who can do extensions to houses?

One for meat eaters

The Paradise apparently does 'host your own roast', if you have a lot of friends who need feeding on a Sunday.

Sunday, 28 June 2009

Calling cyclists

A very promising new cycle route planner, covers most of London and some other places in the UK. It lets you choose fastest, shortest or 'quietest' routes, and has a very simple interface - down to point and click on start and end (or the usual postcode options). It says 'camden' but it does the whole city.

Saturday, 27 June 2009

Things we noticed

So Tesco is opening Wednesday 1st July, Harvist is about to get a garden with seating and a BBQ, and it was VERY WET about 5:45 today (sat). And so dark that those fairy lights on the tree by Tesco came on.

But here's a question - what is the place between Niche and Scarlet & Violet? The door was open today and inside were a load of chairs, mirrors and tables, a bit like storeroom but more in fact like a bar/nightclub? Any ideas.

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Tesco soon to open

Well the signs are up, the cash machine (free, RBS) is in, and the shelves and interior decoration is almost done too. Just one floor, the basement must be a storage room (as far as I can see). Anyone know the exact opening day? Monday? I thought originally it was going to be in July though.

Sunday, 21 June 2009

Upper Ladbroke Grove?

A slightly tongue-in-cheek suggestion that Chamberlayne Road should be renamed 'Upper Ladbroke Grove', in order to gain from the cachet that road apparently has. Personally I think Ladbroke Grove should be renamed 'Lower Chamberlayne Road'.

Miro's Bar & Kitchen

We went here for dinner last week - a range of Tapas and small plates. The food was good - we had Baba Ganoush, chicken wings, Arabic salad - and we thought reasonably priced. The wine remains excellent, with good sized glasses for 3/4 pounds (although the Prosecco could have been slightly colder). There was a nice ambience in the place but we noticed a lot of tables had been reserved, and while we got a table no problem it might be difficult around 8pm or later.

Out and about

A few things that we noticed when out and about this weekend:

* Tesco still says 3 weeks to go but that must be merely because they haven't updated the sign - the shelves are now in place and it looks pretty close to completion.

* There is to be a new women's clothes and accessories (perhaps vintage?) shop opening in two weeks just to the right of the sushi bar.

* Brilliant Kids is shut until July

Wednesday, 17 June 2009


That's the shop on College Road opposite Gracelands, or at least the thing next to the thing next to Gracelands, which might be a laundrette.

It has an interesting website here, with lots of things to click on and 'location' which doesn't seem to be the shop.

Monday, 15 June 2009

New things

As noted in the comments the Raj indian on Chamberlayne Road is under new management, a management that appears to have created the world's largest biryani (which I thought was Bawarchi's claim), although the photoshopping of their name onto a picture of it didn't inspire confidence. Still we will try it and give you our impression.

Tescos now has a front and is apparently 3 weeks from opening, it certainly looks likely.

Finally the benches I have criticised just off Chamberlayne Road remain uncomfortable, and so close together you can hold hands with the person in the bench opposite (I tried yesterday) but the posts to stop cars driving through are very jazzy. Perhaps too jazzy.

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Kensal Rise property developer collapses

I guess these are the flats in College Road opposite the shops?

Sunday, 7 June 2009

Restaurants in Kensal Rise featured in Evening Standard

Apparently we are trendy. Nothing in the article that will be new to most of us, but good to see the favourable publicity.

Flower stall by l'angolos has closed

So says a note on the Kensal Green forum.

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Cash machine goes

I noticed the non-free cash machine near Kensal Rise train station on Chamberlayne Road has gone. There are other non-free ones on Chamberlayne Road, although that was the only 24hr one, at least at the top end. Of course there is apparently now a free one on College Road, and we all expect Tesco's to have one when it opens.

Saturday, 30 May 2009

Dog grooming in Kensal Rise

Another new opening in Kensal Rise. This time it's on Chamberlayne Road, opposite Wrentham Avenue, and is going to be a branch of the Maida Vale dog grooming service, Grand Union Pets.

Not owning a dog (or any pets) myself I won't be using it. But what do you think?

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

More Lexi news

They're having a mini film festival [note 'fewer' parties in Cannes, not less].

Monday, 25 May 2009

Crime issues

I mentioned on this site a few weeks ago that my wallet had been stolen in Kensal Rise. I found out yesterday when checking a credit card statement that it had in fact been used the evening I had lost it, in the hour or so before I realised and reported it as stolen.

The strange thing is the thief took the card and used it to spend £315 in a Carribean takeaway/restaurant nearby. This raises all manner of interesting questions - if the restaurant wasn't in on the scam, what could be purchased in such a place that would cost that much money (and without the pin?)? Wouldn't it have raised suspicions? But if they were in on the scam, why would someone with a fixed address do such a thing?

I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, 21 May 2009

Note on comments

Please note that comments on posts older than 2 months require me to moderate them. It's basically a way of avoiding finding that every post in history has 10 million spam comments. I'm not sure what it says when you post, but be assured I'll put them up within a day at the most.

Lexi Cinema

Here's the newish programme for the Lexi cinema.

I went to watch the Brian Clough film, The Damned United, two weeks' ago. It really is an excellent resource for Kensal Rise, comfortable seats, you can buy drinks and food, and we can walk there.

Friday, 8 May 2009


Here's a list of our favourite restaurants (not pub restaurants, although I realise two are pubs as well), in only a vague order of perhaps how often we go to them (as you can't really compare some of them)

Paradise by Way of Kensal Green
The Island

We keep meaning to go to but for various reasons haven't Ida, on Fifth Avenue, but haven't got around to doing it.

I should also mention my favourite burgers of Kensal Rise. This is...

The Regent, where the burger is large, meaty, not too complex. It was much better than The Diner. I'm not sure about The Chamberlayne's burger, and we find the meat a little expensive (big fans of the pub, though), but their prawn cocktail is about the best thing going.

Wednesday, 6 May 2009


Sorry for lack of comments, I have been away. To the commenter who wanted me to follow up on my promise of a dishwasher repairman, I apologise if it is now be too late and worse I had my wallet stolen so I do not have the man's number. I'll see however whether I still have the receipt somewhere.

Not much going on in Kensal Rise/Green except for which has been noted by the commenters in the posts below.

Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Free cash machine?

From the Kensal Green Directory I see this:

FREE Cash Machine!!!

We now have a free 24 hour cash machine! It is located at JR News (the Post Office) in College Rd.

Is this true? No need for Tescos then (well except for the other reasons).

Garden being restored behind Kilburn Library

which is in Queen's Park (I think I have commented on the odd naming of most of the area's libraries before). Story here.

[Link playing up so here's the google cache]

Wednesday, 22 April 2009


Not a lot going on. Various commentators have given us some gossip. One commentator noted that a shop next to Eat Sushi was going to open selling clothes. Seems to be activity in what was Home (and what was it before that? I can't remember). Perfect Pizza seems to have lost its sign. Possibly Baker & Spice is to reopen as Clarke's (but note here). Maybe a Pizza Express in Queen's Park.

I've got a good dishwasher repair man, electrician to recommend, and that's about it. Comments on anything welcome.

Monday, 13 April 2009

A Kensal Rise Map

I'm creating a map of things in Kensal Rise/Kensal Green that I like or dislike etc. It's very much in its infancy at the moment, and clearly the boundaries of our area are rather flexible. Hopefully however it will be useful. When it's more complete I'll create a better link.

New benches

Originally uploaded by mjtphotos
Where Wakeman Road and Pember Road (I think) meet Chamberlayne Road, the pedestrianised areas have been retiled and benches put it.

1. Aren't they ugly?
2. Why are they so close together?

Friday, 10 April 2009

New things!

Courtesy of a commenter on the post below:

Just heard that Gail's Patisserie is taking over Baker & Spice, Pizza Express interested in Nikki Noodle premises and The Salusbury Deli is to close for 6 weeks for a refurb.

Sunday, 5 April 2009

What does Kensal Rise most need?

Or just would be nice.

One thing we would like is a proper pizzeria, or Italian. I haven't really found anything in the area - Pizza Teca became takeaway only a few years back. If anyone has any recomendations.

We did want a butcher, and 'Meat Farm' has opened. Has anyone tried it? We'd also like a book shop or a second-hand shop that sold books.

* I saw Baker & Spice has closed for 'refurbishment'. A friend told me staff in one of their other branches said it actually has closed for good. Not sure if this is true. We also are concerned that the shoe repair place at the north end of Chamberlayne Road has closed down.

Samson Miro looks like it has reopened

We only passed it yesterday on the bus, but it loooks much the same but with more seating and perhaps the back has been opened up!

Update: A closer look, through the window, shows it is more like a bar, with just the side wall with wines and a lot more seating, including sofas with a view out of the back.

Thursday, 2 April 2009

Harvist is open

I haven't had time to pop in yet, but I looked through the window and it looks very nice, with cakes on plates with little glass coverings (I'm sure there is a term for these). Will send a review in the next few days.

Sunday, 29 March 2009

Samson Miro & Harvist

Two comments today, Iain suggests it is all over as the sign has gone, and anonymous says that there is activity inside and the walls have been pasted a light pastel colour. The website is still up and running (although gives no information). I think we are still expecting a more bar-like outcome.

Harvist to open on Wednesday 1st? Is that what the sign says?

Thursday, 19 March 2009

Google Street View

Google Street View is now available in the UK, with lovely clear photographs. Some people are worried about the rather invasive nature of it, and certainly it means if you have a postcode of someone you can see exactly where they live - we'll see how it gets used. But you can also see what a restaurant or shop looks like before you head off, which might be handy.

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

The Source

I'm not entirely sure what this online magazine's raison d'etre is, but it's about Kensal Rise & Kensal Green so here's a link.

Thursday, 12 March 2009

Tesco minor update

I see Tescos now has some posters on the boarding so I think we can safely assume they are coming. I'm for the move, although I see it could put a lot of the small shops out of business which will have some negative effects.

Harvist remains 'about to open'.

I've not seen anything else new. I'm working on a Kensal Rise/Green map which I'll put up soon.

Sunday, 8 March 2009

New things

I see the cafe on the corner of Chamberlayne Road and Harvist Road is about to open, looks like it might be the answer to the prayers of the commenter here who bemoaned the lack of places to lounge around and check your emails. Also I notice (perhaps a bit late) the Jamaican restaurant that used to be the Indian/Thai combo now has a menu up, and has taken the old sign down.

Tyler Brule noted in the FT yesterday that many shops have closed down in Notting Hill (a check of Street Sensation confirms this) and I think we've been lucky so far in Kensal Rise that - for whatever reason - we've seen more openings than closures.

Update: Apparently called HARVIST, as the road, according to our comments.

Eat Sushi

So we tried out the new sushi place at 16 Station Terrace, Eat Sushi. Website is here although (8th March) it's not fully operational. We has a box of ten sashimi (that's just fish), the sushi starter pack (which had six nigiri, which is the rectangle of fish on a bed of rice, and salmon rolls) and two miso soups. This came to about £20.

I eat quite a lot of sushi when at work, until recently from Itsu and more recently from You Me Sushi, on Marylebone Road, which is excellent. I would say this seemed tastier than both of their offerings, although the portions of fish were perhaps a little on the small side (but in some cases cheaper too). The miso soup was very good and it all tasted very fresh.

So we will definitely use it again, although sushi is never a cheap option.

Saturday, 7 March 2009

Retro collectables

On our way to the library today we spotted the Solicitors at 81 College Road seemed to be selling furniture, and on peeking in found that in fact it was no longer a solicitors as the solicitor himself, David Goodman, had sold his practice and entered the business of selling collectables. Called DG Retro Collectables, it sells a nice range of homeware and is worth a look.

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Lexi Cinema - the March/April schedule

It is here (pdf).

Link added

I've added a link to the Kensal Green Forum. This is, as you might expect, a forum about Kensal Green/Rise, and covers some of the same ground (and other issues) that we do here.

Tuesday, 24 February 2009


Here's the latest...

Dear Matthew,

I can confirm that the new opening date for the store is 2nd July 2009. I hope this information helps.

Kind Regards

Customer Service Manager
Tesco Customer Service

London Overground help

For those who get slightly exasperated with the London Underground I can recommend Live Departure Boards, which show not only what time the trains are leaving but whether they are late or earlier. On my mobile phone I have noticed that usually it is more accurate than the station dispalys.

Here's Kensal Rise [Ha ha one is cancelled as I type, in triumph as ever]

Here's Queen's Park.

Grismby local papers with the latest Kensal Rise/Green news

Apparently former Clash man Mick Jones is to play a charity concert on March 13th at the William IV. Details are here in the largest webpage in history.

Sunday, 22 February 2009

A late and short restaurant review and misc

I don't think we ever got around to reviewing Pomelo, a Chinese restaurant on Chamberlayne Road. I don't remember much about it except the food was very good, large portions and the owners friendly and helpful. It was bring your own wine, which meant it was pretty inexpensive too.

A reader has asked about Samsom Miro. I must say I always liked the look of it, both outside and in, but didn't use it very often as I had a large stock of wine from France. Now the question is has it closed? I noticed the other day they had put paper across the windows, which might support the refurbishment idea. On the other hand there were no notes (now) which said that was still happening.

Finally it looks like soon to open is the cafe, or 'tea shop' as one commenter suggested, on the corner of Chamberlayne Road and Harvist Road.

Kensal Rise a guide

Here's a guide to people thinking of moving in, which is very complimentary about Kensal Rise.

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

If Tesco is open tomorrow I will eat this 'blog

Not looking likely, is it?

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Kensal Rise the Colour

Apparently Kensal Rise is:

A gorgeous pale golden shimmer

At least when it is blusher.

Saturday, 7 February 2009

Sushi bar/restaurant?

We walked past feverish activity on Station Terrace, Kensal Rise, tonight, and asked them what was being installed, and was told it was 'sushi'. It looked quite small, so perhaps just take-away (but is that viable?). Anyway more new things, and many people have now confirmed to me that the AP Foods rumour is true (or at least they have heard it too).

But I see Home has gone. Not a surprise, dare I say? It didn't seem to sell much, and what it did sell seemed rather niche, even for a posh homeware shop.

Monday, 2 February 2009

"Queens Park eat your heart out."

A commenter suggests. And is he/she not right? One can argue about factors such as the park, tubes and other transport, But certainly in terms of shops I'd say Kensal Rise was on a par, QP shops (apart from one clothes shop my girlfriend likes) are a bit dull. We definitely have better pubs and probably range of restaurants. It depends really how far you define Kensal Rise's borders - for example I guess some of the stuff down nr Kensal Green tube is perhaps just as near Queen's Park.

A snowy Kensal Rise

Snow II
Originally uploaded by mjtphotos
At least 10cm, I'd say

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Kensal Rise Market starts Feb 7th

There's a website here. I imagine it will be similar to the Christmas market they had, which I never actually bought anything from but looked reasonably.

Kensal Rise Market is held right outside Minkies on Chamberlayne Rd so you can browse, buy and join us for a coffee or lunch. It starts
on Saturday 7th February then every Saturday after! opens 10am - 4pm

Stalls include fresh elegant Austrian wines from Merry Widow, organic skin-care, soaps and hand dipped candles from Dharma Village... and so much more!

If you would like your own stall, we’d love to hear from you... please call Clare on 07807 057 808 or email

Sunday, 25 January 2009

The Diner, a review

We went to the Diner last night. It was opening night I think, and very busy, but our overall impressions were good.

We had two burgers, one with cheese and bacon. Fries, and "Diner Fries", black beans, a cheesecake and one Margherita and one "Diner lager".

I can only speak for myself but the burger was excellent, tasted of beef and fitted into its bun. I find burgers (Gourmet burger is a good example) which you can't eat with your hands to rather miss the point. It also didn't come with too much sauce or so on. The chips were good, and portions large, you could probably do with one between two unless you are very hungry. 'Diner' fries were thicker chips (I'm not sure the menu made that clear) and coated cajun spice. My cheesecake was also a perfect New York style baked cheesechake. The service was good and the room pleasant, noisy but not too noisy.

The two downsides were the Margherita, which apparently 'tasted like lemsip', i.e. too sweet and artificial. This is a little strange as it clearly wasn't made with lime cordial but fresh limes (I saw them). The 'Diner' lager was a solid thirst-quenching beer. Second criticism might be that the cheesechake was rather small, I wondered whether it was because they were running out.

Still all that came to about 30 pounds plus service, which seemed reasonable. Also having the burgers, whilst something one often does, ignores the fact that there was a lot of diner-style food - chilli, hot dogs, tacos, and American-style breakfasts (waffles, pancakes, eggs in any style) that are much harded to find in Kensal Rise. Thus I think it's an exciting addition.

Saturday, 24 January 2009

New health food shop

The new health food shop on Chamberlayne Road is open, but not finished. It has a good selection of health food shop stuff, and also more normal food and goods, such as rice and washing powder, all however with some 'eco' angle. The woman in the shop told us that there was more to come including chilled foods and also a juice bar (which would be takeaway only).

Certainly it beats an estate agent, and good to see more shops opening on that strip of Kensal Rise.

Tesco to open on February 19th?

I asked Tesco for confirmation that their store on Chamberlayne Road would be opening. A kind press officer replied, and so I have it, sort of.

I've looked into your enquiry for you and found that we have an Express store opening on February 19th 2009 named Kensal Rise London Express.

As our store is yet to open I don't have full address details to check if it will be located on Chamberlayne Road however I can advise that the postcode should be BR5 1HD.

The postcode, of course, is not in Kensal Rise. In fact it's in Orpington. Hence my question mark. But I don't see any reason why there would be a store in Orpington called 'Kensal Rise London Express' and so I assume the postcode has been given wrongly.

Friday, 23 January 2009

1980s Kensal Rise

Some good pictures (it'd be better if we could find the clips online) of Chamberlayne Road and the shopping area in the 1980s when they featured in Grange Hill.

Update: Here are the clips on Youtube, about 1 minute in to about 2 minutes 30.

The Diner

The Diner, Kensal Rise version, appears to be open or about to open. Report as soon as we've been will be here.

The website is rather basic at the moment, but the chain's other sites have more detailed ones (although not strangely the Camden one) so I assume we will get those sooner rather than later.

Sunday, 18 January 2009

London crime maps

Some readers will not have seen the London crime maps, which let you see how crime is faring in your neighbourhood, down to just a collection of streets.

A supplier of cakes to Kensal Rise

My French is not up to translating this, but one gets the impression (and google's translation helps) that this article is about a French woman who makes cakes for various delis in Kensal Rise.

Monday, 5 January 2009

A kitchen showroom on Chamberlayne Road

Already almost fitted out with shiny expensive kitchens. I wish it well, I fear (unless rents are very cheap) it might find it hard going.