Paddington area guide: station, shops, restaurants and schools

PUBLISHED: 14:40 26 October 2017 | UPDATED: 09:51 27 October 2017

Sheldon Square

Sheldon Square


Your guide to things to do in Paddington, including the best shops, cafes, restaurants and schools. PLUS our guide to property in W2

Paddington Canal Paddington Canal

Welcome to Paddington

Popular with graduates and young professionals, Paddington is often unfairly overlooked but offers quality accommodation and enviable transport links, and with Crossrail due to arrive it’s only going to get more popular.

Paddington Station Paddington Station

Paddington station is obviously the major landmark of the area. It was designed in 1854 by Isambard Kingdom Brunel, and there is a statue to the famous engineer in the station. Also commemorated with a statue in the station is Paddington Bear, so named because he arrived at the station from Peru in Michael Bond‘s books, first published in 1958. The Fleming Museum in St Mary’s Hospital offers an in situ reconstruction of the lab in which the famous scientist made his world-changing chance discovery of penicillin in 1928, while the Hospital archives are also open to researchers. The hospital also has a royal connection as both Princes William and Harry were both born there.

Parts of the district are distinctly seedy, mainly comprising cheap hotels but other areas are far better-heeled, particularly around Connaught Square, now under permanent armed guard since Tony Blair bought his house there in 2004 for £3.5million. The Hyde Park Estate is the focus of post-war building, while new development is centred on the Paddington Basin. Merchant Square Apartments offer chic and contemporary accommodation with a 24 hour concierge service and an enviable location close to Oxford Street and the park.

Kokoro Kokoro

Goldschmidt and Howland tip… “Visit Alexander Fleming’s Laboratory in St Mary’s Hospital where he discovered antibiotic penicillin in 1928.”


Buchanan's Buchanan's

Skip the station and its immediate surrounds – unless you’re catching a train – and head to Connaught Village to browse the high end boutiques.

There’s an array of clothes shops in the village to tempt fashion fiends, from colourful Kokoro and edgy Viola to chic and restrained ME + EM.

Patey Hats traces its roots back to 1695 when the Huguenot Corne family emigrated to London from France. In the 20th century their descendants, still making hats, set up in south London where the factory making the wares found in the Connaught Street shop remains today.

Kupp Kupp

Best for flowers… Prewett Miller has been delivering beautiful exotic flowers since 1966.

Best for foodies… specialist food shops include Abasto, an Argentine butcher and wine merchant; Cocomaya patisserie and chocolate shop; Buchanans Cheesemonger; and Markus Coffee, which was opened by Hungarian Holocaust survivors in 1957 and continues to roast and blend beans from 13 different countries on site today.

The Lockhouse The Lockhouse

Best for homewares… interiors fanatics will love Mud Australia, the first UK branch of the ceramic brand, which offers more than 70 styles of handmade porcelain in an array of colours.

Cafes, bars and restaurants

Floating Pocket Park in merchant Square Floating Pocket Park in merchant Square

The Frontline Club is a media institution offering events, funding and training to champion and promote independent journalism and international affairs. The restaurant is open to the public and is undoubtedly the best place to eat close to the station, surrounded by iconic photojournalism and lubricated by reasonably priced wine.

Francophiles and wine lovers alike will love Angelus Restaurant, which offers a prix fixe menu and an extensive wine list, served in an Art Nouveau style interior. The building was formerly a pub used by Winston Churchill and other political figures to hold covert meetings, before sommelier Thierry Tomasin transformed it into a luxe brasserie.

London Shell Co London Shell Co

For more homely surrounds, family run Halepi serves Greek specialities in a traditional taverna environment. Masgouf is a good value Iraqi restaurant in Connaught Village serving mezze, grilled meat, fish and Iraqi stews, all accompanied by freshly grilled, pillowy flatbread. It is also BYO.

Seafood lovers are well catered for. For upmarket Chinese seafood and dim sum try the Pearl Lang close to the station, or jump aboard the Prince Regent canal boat to sample the oysters from the London Shell Co.

Merchant Square Merchant Square

KuPP is a Scandinavian inspired café and restaurant for all day dining with a bar, while Sheldon Square is where the office workers go in their lunch hour with chain takeaway food outlets and deckchairs on the Astroturf steps on a sunny day.

Best for a coffee... if you like your caffeine to have a conscience buy a cup from CanDo Coffee on Station Bridge, which provides meaningful employment, training and rehabilitation to those previously overlooked by society.

Info point green wall at Paddington Central Info point green wall at Paddington Central

Best for a quick bite… Crave Food Market in the newly developed Merchant Square has a small selection of street food stalls on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Best for brunch... The Lockhouse, also on the square, serves bottomless brunches every weekend for £30 a head from 10am to 3pm, including all the Camden Hells, Bellini’s or Lockhouse breakfast Martinis you can drink. In the summer they’ll be holding gin tasting sessions and cocktail making classes out on the new floating Pocket Park.

Norfolk Square Norfolk Square

Things to do

Porchester Spa is a 1920s spa full of atmospheric original features, including green and white tiles and high arched ceilings across the steam rooms, sauna, hot rooms and cafe. It offers a range of treatments and packages for both women and men. There is also a gym, squash court and two swimming pools in the council-run Porchester Centre.

Paddleboarding and canoeing is on offer in Paddington Basin, along with SUP yoga, a series of traditional poses carried out on a floating ‘mat’. It can be done in either traditional yoga clothes or a wetsuit.

Trot along for scenic horse ride along the five miles of the historic ‘Rotten Row’ bridleway, dating back to the 17th century when William III created a route between St James’ Palace and his other residence in Kensington. If you’re keen to get in the saddle Hyde Park Stables offer riding lessons all year round.

Goldschmidt and Howland tip… “Take a look at the Rolling Bridge & Fan Bridge in Paddington Basin, a combination of functionality and art.”

Things to do with children

Paddington Children’s Library is in a standalone building and offers a homework club and study area as well as various under-fives events.

The Porchester Centre is part of the Tom Daley Diving Academy programme, running weekly junior diving beginner courses for five to 16 year olds, as well as intensive holiday courses.

Goldschmidt and Howland tip… “Have fun at the water maze in Merchant Square, which shoots jets of water, try not to get wet!”

Primary and secondary schools

St Stephen’s and St James & St John are both voluntary aided mixed Church of England primary schools, both rated Good by Ofsted. Also rated Good is Hallfield Primary School, a large community school. The Minerva Academy is a free school given a Good rating by Ofsted, as is small independent primary school Connaught House.

Lansdowne College is a mixed gender, fee paying secondary school with boarding facilities that received an Outstanding Ofsted rating, while just across the Westway, Westminster Academy is a large mixed school, also rated Outstanding. College Park School teaches pupils with special needs from age five to 19 and has been rated Good by Ofsted.


The new Crossrail terminal is due to open here at the end of 2018. When complete, Liverpool Street will be just a 10 minute train journey away, and it will take only 17 minutes to Canary Wharf.

Paddington is in zone 1 of the London Underground network on the Bakerloo, Hammersmith & City, Circle and District lines. It is also a mainline station for services heading west out of London as far as Wales, Cornwall and, closer to home, Reading, the Thames Valley and Heathrow Airport, which is just 15 minutes away via the Heathrow Express. A Crossrail station is also under construction. Central line stations Marble Arch and Lancaster Gate are also on the area’s fringes.

Numerous buses serve the area and there is a 24-hour taxi rank outside the station.

Goldschmidt and Howland tip… “Get to Heathrow in 15 minutes on the Heathrow Express from Paddington Station.”

Property Guide


Paddington is in the City of Westminster in the Cities of London & Westminster parliamentary constituency. It has the W2 postcode. Band A properties in Westminster now pay £458.76 council tax; Band D properties pay £688.14; and Band H properties get a bill for £1,376.28

Housing stock

Much of the property in Paddington is found in cream stucco mid-Victorian buildings, which were built near the new station. The most desirable of these are set around pretty gardens or in grand terraces such as Sussex Gardens, Westbourne Terrace and Gloucester Terrace, where beautiful homes were built in the 18th century to house the newly wealthy professional classes of doctors, bankers and lawyers. Smaller early Victorian terraced properties line the roads between Praed Street and Sussex.

Best streets

Cleveland Square

Craven Hill Gardens

Connaught Square

House prices

Two-bedroom flat – £892,628

Terraced house – £1,415,372

Semi-detached house – £1,900,000

Detached house – £5,717,700

In Partnership with Goldschmidt and Howland

Hyde Park Office

37 Craven Road London W2 3BX

Sales - 0207 100 4343

Lettings - 0207 100 6868

Property search

e.g. Oxford or NW3
Powered by Zoopla

Other Hampstead and Highgate property news

4 ways to transform your Christmas tree

Looking for some seasonal decor inspiration? Gabrielle Fagan reveals her favourite festive finds

Home of the week: Unique penthouse-style apartment in Hampstead

This weeks choice is a property with double volume ceilings and spectacular views over central London

North London developer says the cut to stamp duty is a “gamechanger” for first-time buyers

Abolishing stamp duty for most first-time buyers will make it easier for them to get on the property ladder, according to a north London real estate developer

Comment: My response to the Chancellor’s budget

Trevor Abrahmsohn, director of north London agents Glentree Estates, believes the governments new housing proposals, as part of the Budget 2017, will go some way into making home ownership “a human right, rather than a privilege”

North London agents say government’s abolishment of stamp duty won’t help first-time buyers in the capital

Housing analysts and north London estate agents are among many who believe abolishing stamp duty for first-time buyers will have little impact on the capital’s housing crisis

Winter patio pots looking lacklustre? Try 3 things to perk them up

Perk up your winter pots to keep them looking fabulous over the festive season

How to install a hidden wall safe

A discreet safe to keep valuables protected isn’t just something for the rich and famous to consider. Richard Burr reveals how to fit one

Christmas gift guide: 14 top picks for gardeners and green-fingered types

From sweet stocking-fillers to wow-factor pressies, these are bound to delight

Comment: My letter to our illusive housing minister

According to Simon Gerrard, managing director of Martyn Gerrard estate agents, the government are failing to deliver a strategic approach in response to the housing crisis

Former Hampstead guesthouse is for sale as a 7 bedroom residential home

Owner, Annemarie van der Meer hopes to sell the property to a buyer looking for a spacious family home

For sale in Highgate: top three

On the market this week are three historic properties with period features, high ceilings and far-reaching views in an eviable location

The Japanese wonder toilet taking the world by storm

TOTO, inventor of the ‘Washlet’, claim the rate of sales for their product in Europe has doubled year on year since launching in 2009

5 things to consider before storing your garden tools away for winter

Give your tools some TLC before you put them away for the winter. Our guide shows you how to look after them - and make them last

Home of the week: Converted Hampstead church

This weeks choice is a former Presbyterian Church, boasting a galleried mezzanine floor with rooftop views

Highgate area guide: schools, shops, pubs and parks

Your guide to things to do in Highgate, including the best shops, cafes, restaurants and schools. PLUS our guide to property in N6

Dress it up: 13 fabulous finds for giving your dressing table a mini or major makeover

With party season approaching, it’s time to take a look in the mirror and reassess your beauty station

5 top home improvements you should do instead of moving

Richard Burr reveals how to gain more space in your house

Four in ten London home sellers are cutting asking prices, the highest figure since 2010

Sellers have cut asking prices by an average of 6.7 per cent over the last month, according to new figures

Is it too late to plant bulbs? Not if you follow our guide

There’s still time to plant tulips and bring vibrant colour to your garden next spring

Three new properties on the market in Paddington

Paddington 2 was recently released in cinemas, but there’s more to this area than the bear with a fondness for marmalade

Belsize Park area guide: restaurants, schools, cinema and celebrities

Your guide to things to do in Belsize Park, including the best shops, cafes, restaurants and schools. PLUS our guide to property in NW3

Internationally renowned fireplace brand opens showroom in north London

The new gallery features high ceilings and an abundance of natural light, the perfect space for showcasing fireside, outdoor living and architectural products

3 wallpaper experts reveal their top style tips for 2018

Gabrielle Fagan speaks to those-in-the-know and reveals their top tips and wallpaper trend predictions for next year

Need more storage? How to build sturdy shelves in your alcoves in 5 simple steps

Richard Burr reveals top tips to help DIYers get the job done

For sale in Belsize Park: top three

On the market this week are two stucco-fronted properties with contemporary living space and a red-brick apartment featuring a private terrace

There’s lots to think about when it comes to buying a new carpet

Property columnist Jane Howdle weighs up practicality vs aesthetic

Home of the week: Hampstead Way

This weeks choice is set on a tree lined road, boasting a large lawned garden and an abundance of natural light

Rising interest rates and what it means for homeowners

The hike in interest rates is likely to send mortgage bills higher for millions of families and further disrupt the property market, according to a north London agent

How to make your supermarket basil last longer

Fed up with spending a fortune on supermarket basil? Follow our guide to making it last longer

Why we’re not all equipped for renovating

Columnist Jane Howdle explains why she’ll never buy a property that needs renovating

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

2017 © Archant Community Media Ltd

Terms and conditions | Cookie policy | Jobs at Archant