If I could live anywhere in the world, it would be Hampstead.
The closest I ever came to living there was when I lived somewhere between Finchley Road Station and Golders Green. Back then it was only about a 25 minute walk to Hampstead village.
I made it a point to visit Hampstead first on my last two trips to the UK. This time I was more interested in seeing how it changed post-Covid. I was very happy to see that it was largely unchanged. The Ginger & White remained - in fact, it expanded. So too did the Waterstones, Gail’s, the King William, Hampstead Butcher and more. The only casualty was the OddBins.
I used to spend almost all my time here. First, at the Ginger & White. When that was too full, I’d go to the cafe at the Watersones. Maybe I’d head down to the Caffe Nero.
Sometimes I’d go to L’Antica Pizza or run/walk through the Pergola from Golders Green.
On days where I had an extra hour or two between classes at university, I would take the tube & overground to Hampstead Heath, grab a drink at the pub and read my book.
During spring and summer I’d play on the tennis courts in the Heath, run on the track (until I learned I needed a membership for that) or wander at the London skyline from the grass.
Point is: Hampstead is a magical place.
A day before I moved back to the US in 2017, I spent the morning in Hampstead, taking my visiting aunt and uncle to the cafe at Waterstones (as Ginger & White was at capacity) before playing tennis on the Parliament Hill courts in the frigid air.
I don’t think wanting to live in Hampstead is too farfetched of a dream. Perhaps one day I will conjure it into a reality.
And if that day ever comes, I hope I can finally sit down at Ginger & White again.
Fitzie’s track of the day: The Hampstead Incident, by Donovan
And now for your links:
Argentina lose first international game since World Cup
Chelsea face potential investigation for possible FFP breaches