Primrose Hill area guide: Enjoy shopping and eating out in an upmarket village atmosphere
PUBLISHED: 17:27 20 February 2018 | UPDATED: 17:30 20 February 2018
Your guide to all the things to do in Primrose Hill, including the best restaurants, shops, bars, schools and things to do. Plus our guide to property in the area
Food and drink
Primrose Hill’s picturesque streets are crammed with restaurants, cafes and pubs where locals and visitors linger over tea and cake or a sunny pint.
French restaurant L’Absinthe serves bistro classics with a related deli next door.
Satisfying afternoon sugar cravings is a Primrose Hill speciality with a plethora of cafes and tearooms catering to off-duty actors, freelancers and the after school crowd. Sweet Things, Le Tea Cosy and Primrose Bakery are all favourites for tea and cake.
Cachao, which also sells toys and small gifts, is a great place to grab a Marine Ices cone, milkshake or a smoothie.
> Best for atmosphere… Greek restaurant Lemonia has been dishing up authentic Mediterranean dishes to locals and local celebrities alike in its large, buzzy, light-filled main room for 30 years.
> Best for a date… Odette’s opened in 1978 and is now owned and run by chef Patron Bryn Williams, who brings his passion for seasonal produce to the restaurants luxurious tasting menu in its chic dining room.
> Best for vegetarians… London’s oldest vegetarian restaurant Manna certainly knows a thing or two about a meat-free menu.
> Best for brunch… Greenberry Café is the place to head for brunch in a family friendly and relaxed environment.
Goldschmidt & Howland says…We love Lemonia Restaurant in the heart of the village whilst Primrose Bakery on Gloucester Avenue is the best for a sweet treat
Shopping and Culture
While many beloved small independent shops have fallen victim to rising rents in recent years, the area still boasts more of such outlets than the average.
Butcher Jack O’Shea and French / Japanese fusion fishmonger La Petite Poissonnerie both sell quality raw ingredients for home cooks with Anthony’s Delicatessen and Melrose and Morgan supplying store cupboard ingredients and deli extras.
Furniture and home accessories are found in Graham and Green, while flowers can be bought from Fitzroy’s florist.
> Best for books… Primrose Hill Books is a well-stocked independent shop with a great selection of local interest.
> Best for pets… Primrose Hill Pets Goldschmidt & Howland says…For a romantic evening, take a sunset picnic up to the hill or for chilled summer evenings, you can’t beat the beer garden in the Engineer Pub.
Things to do with children
Animal-obsessed children will love the fact that London Zoo is on the doorstep and the aviary is clearly visible from the Hill poking above the trees.
Stagecoach Theatre Arts School has a branch in Primrose Hill offering singing, dancing and drama classes for aspiring actors and actresses from 4 to 18 as well as holiday workshops and themed parties.
Based at Cecil Sharp House, the English Folk Dance and Song Society runs holiday courses for children to learn about folk dancing and also hosts family barn dances for all ages to enjoy.
Goldschmidt & Howland says…For a fun day out take a trip on the Regents Canal Waterbus.
Sports and leisure
With all those celebs calling the area home, looking good is big business in Primrose Hill. The NuYu salon offers an array of non-surgical cosmetic treatments from botox and facial fillers to chemical peels and laser hair removal.
Those after a more sociable pampering experience should head to the local branch of Soho House staple Cowshed for relaxing massages, mani-pedis and facials.
Primary and secondary education
Parents grooming their children for fame could do worse than to consider sending them to Primrose Hill Primary School, which has an Ofsted rating of Outstanding is alma mater to the Miliband brothers, Boris and Rachel Johnson, film director Sam Mendes and author Zoe Heller, all of whom attended at around the same time.
Fee paying North Bridge House offers mixed gender primary and secondary education, both rated outstanding by Ofsted. They will be inspected by SIS going forward.
Although Primrose Hill is in zone 2, its special village atmosphere is in part thanks to the lack of any major transport routes in the heart of the area. The nearest tube station is Chalk Farm, a 10 minute walk away, which sits on the Edgware branch of the Northern line. Swiss Cottage, on the Jubilee line is also fairly close. The 274 bus skirts the hill on its way to Lancaster Gate and the Angel while further buses can be picked up from Chalk Farm or Camden. The nearest Overground stations are Kentish Town West or Camden Road.