Maida Vale: a tranquil and verdant haven close to the bustling heart of London
- Credit: Archant
The wide and leafy streets of Maida Vale attract young families who want a quiet life, but its independent pubs and businesses are under threat from rising rents.
Maida Vale sits in the W9 postcode district and the City of Westminster. It is in the Westminster North parliamentary constituency. The smallest properties in Band A would expect to receive a Council Tax bill of £445.87 while the average Band D property would expect to pay £668.81. The most expensive properties in Band H would receive a total bill for £1,337.62.
Red brick mansion flats are priced at an average of £801,953 and along with elegant Georgian terraces (average price £1,837,500), form the bulk of property in Maida Vale.
Cobbled mews nestle behind the main roads while detached villas line the leafy boulevards of the cosmopolitan area, selling for an average of £2,013,500.
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St Saviour’s CofE Primary School on Shirland Road is a voluntary aided school which received an ‘Outstanding’ Ofsted rating at its most recent inspection. Nearby Essendine Primary is a larger community school with 454 pupils. It received a ‘Good’ rating as did St Joseph’s RC Primary.
For secondary education, mixed gender Christian Paddington Academy is rated ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted as are St George’s Catholic School, a mixed gender academy converter and St Augustine’s CofE High School, a mixed gender voluntary aided school.
Locals love the transport links above all else in Maida Vale, remarkable for a neighbourhood that is walking distance from Oxford Street and giving an insight into the professional demographic that calls the area home. The nearest London Underground station is Maida Vale in zone 2 on the Bakerloo line. It is one of the only stations above ground on this stretch of the line and the building dates from 1915. Plentiful buses travel to destinations in north, central and west London.
Landmarks and history
The area gets its name from the Hero of Maida pub in what is now Maida Hill, named for Major-General Sir John Stuart, who led a British victory against the French in 1806 on the plain of Maida in Italy. Later in the 19th century a large Jewish community settled in the area, accounting for around a fifth of its population at its peak. The Lauderdale Road Synagogue was built in 1896 to serve the increasing number of Jews who were settling nearby and is still in operation today.
The BBC’s Maida Vale studios are based on Delaware Road. As well as hosting big name acts including The Beatles, David Bowie, Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix, the building was also the home of alternative, underground and undiscovered music during the decades when the John Peel Sessions were broadcast from here.
Eating and drinking
Unlike neighbouring St John’s Wood, Maida Vale has managed to hang on to a range of independent cafes, bars and restaurants. Locals love Le Cochonnet, which has been running in various guises for the past 30 years and now operates as an Italian restaurant, serving good value pizza and pasta, weekend brunch and Sunday roasts.
The Elgin pub is also popular as much for its coffee and bar snacks as for its beverage selection, while The Warrington Pub and Dining Room is another restored Victorian gastropub, which also offers five hotel rooms.
Ibuki Sushi on Lauderdale Road serves fresh, modern Japanese food daily from Tuesday to Saturday. Despite its American diner style appearance, Thai Rice serves tasty and traditional Thai cuisine and is perfectly situated for a meal before catching a movie at the Everyman.
Shopping and culture
The Dry Goods Store on Lauderdale Road is a coffee shop-cum-grocery store selling store cupboard items such as oats, nuts, pulses, pasta, rice, sugar and coffee beans from London roaster Volcano Coffee Works by weight rather than packet in a mission to cut down food waste. Customers are also encouraged to bring their own packaging.
Sheepdrove Organic Farm Butchers offers organic, grass-fed, free-range meat all raised on their family farm in Berkshire, as well as organic jams and chutneys, olive oil, flour and organic, free-range eggs.
For children’s clothes head to family owned boutique Joujou and Lucy, who also stock sweet wooden and knitted toys.
Interiors fanatics should head to the Day True Interiors showroom for inspiration, another driving force behind the Shirland Village campaign.
The Everyman Cinema has two screens where locals can watch the latest release from the comfort of a sofa with full bar service and fancy snacks.
Sports and leisure
The biggest park in Westminster, Paddington Recreation Ground has been open since 1860. Free facilities include an outdoor gym, running track, basketball court and fitness trail, while tennis courts, hockey and football pitches, cricket nets and bowls green are available for hire. Courses, exercise classes and personal training are also available in the gym and there is a café and children’s playground on hand for relaxation.
For those who are slightly more serious about team sports, Hampstead and Westminster Hockey Club hosts competitive teams at various levels up to international standard.
Good for kids
The Maida Vale Mums Facebook page is a community and social hub for local families. The pub is also the venue for Monkey Music pre-school music sessions teaching babies and toddlers about music through dancing, singing and playing.
The Bluebirds Ballet School offers dance classes for children aged 18 months and above, as well as school holiday workshops.
Maida Vale library runs regular events for children during term time, ranging from a French music group to a weekly Code Club for kids.