NEIGHBOURHOOD TOURS IS OUR NEW SERIES WHERE ONE OF OUR TEAM MEMBERS WALKS US THROUGH THEIR FAVOURITE NEIGHBOURHOOD IN LONDON.
Louis looks after our strategic partners at Sessions. This is typically bringing some of our brands into larger multi-site groups or high profile independents. When he is not working, he is found mooching around parks and pubs in North London often accompanied by a large sausage dog called Rudy.
WHICH NEIGHBOURHOOD ARE YOU TAKING US ROUND?
BEST PLACE FOR COFFEE?
Like many of my recommendations, I came to K-Town Stores pretty late in my time living in the neighbourhood. It's tucked off the high street and easily missed but well worth a visit if you are in the area. K Town stores is a cafe that showcases work by amazing local artists and craftspeople. I normally take out but on the odd occasion sit in the space upstairs - to get out of the house when working. Very good coffee and totally independent.
It is possible to eat there, we are talking high quality bread, butter and a hard boiled egg. It really is your more continental style breakfast with sandwiches and pastries on offer rather than anything seriously cooked. I love that its a very neighbourhood friendly place rather than being seriously TikTok famous!
You can also do a little shopping there for any forgotten birthdays or just for impulse shopping. A great ceramicist sells her work there - Mae Ceramics alongside about 10/15 other makers.
GO TO ORDER?
A Flat White of course. Potentially with bread, butter and an egg.
At Kentish Town Stores, tucked away on a corner site once home to Crossroads Women’s Centre, owner Luci Noel showcases work from upcoming ceramicists – along with an event space, lifestyle store and thriving café. Among the many coffee options in NW5, Kentish Town Stores is hands down the most stylish. The place is exquisitely neutral and tasteful. Sip on a perfectly crafted flat white among exposed brick and pot plants. Shop for artisan wines, vegan soaps and jars of chuckleberry jam.
230A Kentish Town Rd
BEST PLACE FOR BREAKFAST?
Magnihawa Group founders Omar Shah and Florence Mae Maglanoc O run a business of six Filipino restaurant concepts - most sites sit in a row on Kentish Town Road. Panadera is renowned for amazing sandos and a very happy hungover morning is taking away a corned beef hash sando and a milo milkshake.
I typically go and takeaway as it is quite a small and sometimes crowded place but can pick up to go and sit on the canal with friends hungover.
GO TO ORDER?
A corned beef hash croquette sando and a milo milkshake. Quite a mouthful but basically army rations were big there and so the corned beer is deep fried into a croquette with mayo and lettuce. It has a really nice texture, buttery and overfilled. Milo is massive in Asia and Australia, it's like a Nesquick option; plain old choco milkshake.
From the creators of Mamasons comes Panadera (which translates to female baker in Tagalog), a Filipino bakery. Inspired by the mothers of its founders, Panadera uses traditional Filipino flavours to create unique dishes like their Corned Beef Hash Sando, as well as the classics such as Pandesal & Spanish Bread. And what a sandwich it is!
83 Kentish Town Road
Camden Town, London
BEST SPOT FOR LUNCH?
The guys that own Anima e Cuore’s opened this Deli next door. It sells Italian food and home comforts (the place to visit if you need Italian branded laundry powder...). I shopped there a load but one day stumbled across a very animated Italian gentleman pulling a variety of food off the shelf to be made into a sandwich. I followed suit and have repeatedly gone there for wonderful selection of panuozzi and San Carlo crisps - serious meal deal upgrade.
It looks like a deli grocery place, no sign or advertisement that things can be made into a sandwich at all. You just have to suck it up and take your ingredients up to the checkout! It is super cheap for what you get - £6 for a big boy, of course served with a coke zero for me.
GO TO ORDER?
Panuozzo Napoletano which contains tomatoes, parma ham, mozzeralla and rocket, olive oil and a bit of balsamic. I like to call it Louis Italian Job.
Sfizi & Delizie isn't something you would look twice at but you absolutely should. Run by a real character, you can be sure to get massively overfilled sandwiches that will leave you smiling whilst also stocking up on your necessities for your pantry!
119 Kentish Town Rd
BEST PLACE FOR A BIT OF DINNER?
Much beloved Italian neighbourhood spot. Aesthetically it kind of looks and feels like an ice cream parlour but the food is exceptionally good and super reasonably priced for the quality of ingredients. It is very brightly lit with a lot of weird art on the art and not very soft furnishings...
The attitude of the people in there is hilarious, they don't give a shit really but are super nice. It is really hard to book but not because it's busy but because they don't pick up the phone...
I used to go a lot for special treats mainly. It is really great value for the immense food and not to forget, its also BYOB!!!
GO TO ORDER?
Seafood pasta with squid ink with a banana and chocolate gelato affogato to finish. No alcohol in this one!
From the outside, Anima e Cuore appears to be a gelateria and café. But the tiny restaurant at the back (22 covers only) serves – at very low prices – Italian food that can stand comparison with the best in the capital. The restaurant itself looks unimpressive, with essentially non-existent decor and an amateurishly presented menu. But some extraordinary food makes you forget everything else.
129 Kentish Town Rd
BEST PLACE FOR A DRINK?
This is a back to basics pub with an amazing selection of beers on draught. I find it wonderful paired with a warm scotch egg sat outside in garden...well potting shed area as it is tiny!
They only serve local beers and ciders only in terms of drink so don't go there with hopes of a nice rose. Hog roast rolls on a Sunday but actually its really just meat in a bread roll that's it.
GO TO ORDER?
Kernel Pils Lager and often a Scotch Egg too.
Visit yourself the Blue Posts yourself:
A refurbished and revitalised incarnation of an old-fashioned boozer, the Southampton Arms has managed to retain a relaxed, local feel, even at busy times. Twelve hand pumps on the bar are mostly used to dispense cask ales from independent UK brewers, and six further pumps behind the bar offer ciders. There are also two keg taps, serving beers from the likes of Camden Town. It's a friendly but no-nonsense kind of place. They don't have a phone, don't take reservations, and have a minimalist website. Food offerings seem to mostly revolve around pork – ranging from packets of scratchings (of course) to meat from a roast joint.
139 Highgate Rd
Sunny Saturday afternoon sat in the garden at The Pineapple
This is an iconic pub which also makes an ideal first stop in a Kentish Town pub crawl! It is set on a lovely little street with colourful houses and a general peaceful feeling. There are loads of board games for your wholesome Sundays but its also a very special place with a lot of interesting locals drinking there.
I do love their sign outside and used to go a lot - like 3/4 times a month. It really isn't too pricey for a London pint and I am pretty sure that they have their own brewed beer for under a fiver.
Stop by for a selection of organic ciders and beers including ales from Redemption and Sharp’s, before settling in by the fire, adjourning to the conservatory or venturing into the decked garden with its smart parasols on finer days. The place has resisted full-on gastro-improvement, opting instead for a selection of Thai street food – expect to pay around £30 for two with wine. Stick around a little longer as it turns into a sort of nightclub/bar in the evening too!
51 Leverton St