Having recently expanded TalentYard to Queens Park and Kensal Rise, we thought it fitting to walk our lovely TalentYarders through the area. Perhaps not necessarily one of the best known or most often visited areas of London, this leafy yet vibrant hub in North West London has a proud identity and a strong sense of community as well as diversity. It is home to celebrities, young professionals and emerging businesses in design and media. Queens Park has an arty, bohemian feel but without pretension.
Turn left out of Queens Park tube station and you are on the main street, Salusbury Road. The Alice House is the obvious choice opposite, but head further up and the Salusbury gastropub will give it a run for its money with its foodstore, deli (perfect for picking up a picnic en route to the park), pizzeria and wine merchants. If you are serious about your coffee then Dark Habit would be your first port of call. Gail’s offers fail-safe cakes and the breakfast at Bob’s Café is divine (the Sunshine Brunch is the highlight for me). There is a farmer’s market held in the Salusbury school playground every Sunday from 10-2pm selling local and organic produce and is known as one of the best in London.
Adjacent to The Salusbury is one of my favourite streets in London, Lonsdale Road, a part cobbled part pedestrianized street which is a creative business hub and home to a mix of yoga and pilates studios and emerging and established designers. I bought my wedding dress from designer Charlie Brear whose showroom is on this road, and as well as Hugo’s which offers all day dining, there is also an authentic Puglian restaurant Ostuni. Their food is divine, but it’s the charming outdoor seating area in the summer which calls out to me to come and have Campari aperitivos.
It wouldn’t be right to talk about Queens Park without giving a nod to the more chaotic and characterful Kilburn High Road. Cracking for the all essential pound shop as well as accommodating some pretty great international cuisine from Polish (Belvedere Traditional) to Afghan (Ariana II) and wonderful grocery stores stocking everything from matcha to organic ghee. There is also the Tricycle Theatre there which is an independent cinema, restaurant and theatre and the Holy Cow Indian takeaway on the parallel road has been endorsed by Michel Roux Jnr himself.
Head over to the park and you might hear a brass band playing in the bandstand or see a local artist with his paintbrush and easel. There is a small petting zoo, a pitch and putt and a simple café but each summer it hosts an outdoor cinema and each September, Queens Park Day; a traditional village fete complete with a fun fair, street food, homemade produce, local businesses, dog shows and a tug of war competition.
On the left side of the park is Chamberlayne Road, a bit quirkier than the more polished Salusbury Road but with arguably a touch more character. Kensal Rise is known for Paradise and the Parlour, but there is so much more besides. Chic florist Scarlet & Violet is famous for its artisanal blooms, The Shop is a cocktail bar come gallery where everything is on sale, and the kitchen hosts a rotation of pop up restaurants. Minkie’s deli and Bel & Nev both have character and charm but my new favourite restaurant is Rullo’s – you would almost walk past and not notice it nestled in next to Sacro Cuore (whose exceptional pizzas you can smell as you walk past) but OMG – I could eat their beef carpaccio ALL DAY LONG. But hang on, I am trying to be a veggie. I forgot this. In which case I will have to head up the road to Paradise Unbakery, for some of their vegan yet still delicious delights. If you love films then stroll still further to the Lexi, an independent cinema with just one screen and a great community focus.
If all of this isn’t enough, then you can embark upon a walk along the Grand Union Canal towards either Little Venice or Camden, depending on your mood.
If you have a business in Queens Park or Kensal Rise and would like to speak to discuss any potential secretarial support you might need, we would be delighted to help.