October 24 2014 Latest news:

Local Weather

Sunny

Sunny

max temp: 13°C

min temp: 12°C

Five-day forecast

McDonald’s to auction paintings of Hampstead as it sells off history

Painting of Kenwood Hosue by Kate Lovegrove that previously adorned the walls of McDonald's in Hampstead Painting of Kenwood Hosue by Kate Lovegrove that previously adorned the walls of McDonald's in Hampstead

Thursday, March 27, 2014
6:00 AM

Fast food and art may not be considered obvious bedfellows, but in bohemian Hampstead, it seems even burger joints are keen to indulge their creative side.

To send a link to this page to a friend, you must be logged in.

The Spaniards Inn painted by Kate LovegroveThe Spaniards Inn painted by Kate Lovegrove

Now a series of murals that adorned the walls of one the area’s most notorious fast food restaurants for more than 20 years have turned up for auction.

The six paintings were commissioned by McDonald’s for its branch in Hampstead High Street, which opened in the face of fierce opposition in 1993.

As part of its attempts to become a little “more Hampstead”, McDonald’s asked renowned muralist Kate Lovegrove to produce a set of paintings of Hampstead.

The results featured such well-known places as Kenwood House and The Spaniards Inn, and they remained on the walls until the branch closed last November.

In its attempts to fit in, McDonald’s also played classical music, erected an English Heritage-approved facade and installed chairs worth £100 each, as well as getting its garden landscaped for the benefit of any overlooking neighbours.

Ms Lovegrove said she was pleased to help McDonald’s open – and thought the “Burger Off!” campaign against it was “deeply unfair”.

“I was approached by McDonald’s because they were determined to win,” she said.

“I think it was deeply unfair because there was a chain pizza restaurant opposite and, in contrast to the McDonald’s shop frontage, it had large gaudy flag signs across its exterior.

“This was a big step away from the usual pink, beige and brown and very plastic interiors they had gone for previously.

“But the pièce de résistance was the landscape garden, a place no one was going to use. Every other garden was full of rubbish and broken chairs!”

Ms Lovegrove went on to decorate two other McDonald’s restaurants and described the company as a “marvellous” employer.

Hampstead Town councillor Linda Chung said: “They were very nice pictures and I’m delighted that they will be recovered.

“I hope McDonald’s will donate the proceeds to local charities Henderson Court and the Keats Community Library; that will make everybody feel a bit better.”

The lots will be sold during Hampstead Auctions online session from 2pm today (Thursday), with estimates ranging from £150 up to £900.

Visit hampsteadauctions.com.

Share this article

0 comments

Click here to read the Digital Edition of the Ham&High on screen
Use our Wedding site to help you plan your big day!
At WeddingSite we know how much you have to organise for your wedding day, that's why we have designed a set of FREE, simple-to-use tools to make the planning process easy & hassle-free. FIND OUT MORE
Find a date using our online dating and friend finder
You can meet new friends, find romance or simply meet up online with people sharing similar interests and hobbies. FIND OUT MORE
Find a local business using our online directory search
Need a plumber? Or a florist? Or anything else? Search our business directory to find Hampstead businesses in just a few seconds. FIND OUT MORE
Family notices from the Ham&High, with readers' tributes
In memoriam, birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, best wishes & special days. FIND OUT MORE