Kilburn Park is my special part of London. I lived here on the council estates across the road from Maida Vale. I loved it here. The closeness to everything and the real sense of community spirit there was back then. Some might say its gentrified today, but it is still my favourite thing about having lived in London. Twenty minutes from the West End but about an hour on a pleasant walk… the walk makes everything more special here. Kilburn Park is one of those places; unpretentious and familiar. A mash up of nationalities, Irish, Jamaican, African, Somalian… good food is always around the corner and great vibes.
I’m a member of the North West London Massive crew. Kilburn Park, Queens Park, Harlesden, Stonebridge Park… Brent that damn borough but we lived and thrived no less. Just look at my brother from Brent; Raheem Sterling and another who attended the school opposite my flat on the council estate; St Augustine; Bradley Wiggins.
Kilburn High Road is one of those make or break places, if you know you know, you will most certainly meet someone who knows someone who knows you… almost certainly, so try to look your best when traipsing the high road. I mean it is also where my mate met DMX… so make of that what you will. Kilburn is an entire vibe, everything you are looking for is one short walk to the high road or a bus ride away. The bus 6 took you to the Ritz Hotel, Bus 28 later, 328 took you to Kensington Palace and goes the route of the Notting-Hill carnival. The Bakerloo line takes you to Elephant and Castle and a hop skip away from Peckham and if you want Pepper soup there is somewhere to get it too… There was a spot in Kilburn High Road that Idris Elba is rumoured to have been a guest DJ…
A SHORT, SHORT, STOP
MOSOB: Eritrean restaurant on the way to Westbourne Grove. To say the service here is incredible is an understatement but it is. From the moment you walk in to the very end of your meal with the coffee ceremony… this gem in the neighbourhood hits all the marks. Eat whatever they recommend you will not go wrong. And the portions… let’s just say you can skip dinner and breakfast the next morning.
CAFE LA VILLE: Best spot overlooking the canal. Fabulous Italian. This is one of the most ideally located spots in London to eat, I say that with utter confidence because this part of North West London remains unspoiled, the Regent’s canal runs beneath and you are flanked by red brick and Tudor houses with a windowed wall looking over the canal. The restaurant is bright, intimate and really good fun besides the really good food.
SPICY BASIL: Cheap but incredible Thai on Kilburn high road. I make the journey from Sussex to London simply to eat here. Fuss free, come in order and eat. Don’t bother calling show up and enjoy the food here.
WALK: There’s a particular walk around here that I love, its the route from Kilburn through to Knightsbridge, via Warwick Avenue, come out at Edgware road and cut through Hyde Park to Knightsbridge; best walk ever. On this walk, this particular route, feels like self-care and a fairy tale rolled in one. Old money and an ex-prime minister live along this route. On the other side you can walk thought Westbourne to Kensington.
CINEMA; Every Man on Maida Vale. The Tricycle theatre on Kilburn High Road, it is now known as the Kiln theatre but it will always be the Tricycle to me.