Q&A: My West Hampstead


- Credit: Archant

Dinny Hall has designed women’s jewellery for more than 30 years. Described as a ‘little British Tiffany’, she lives in West Hampstead.

What brought you to West Hampstead?

West Hampstead is near the Heath and lots of my closest friends. Hampstead is a proper neighbourhood, you feel part of a community there, which is important to me and to the way I run the business.

What makes West Hampstead unique?

It’s a smelting pot of communities and generations, which retains its kooky profile. It’s steeped in history and heritage, which the community are fiercely protective of. It’s a very beautiful place; mansion blocks, big gardens, Edwardian architecture and - great bagels!

You have a day off to spend in West Hampstead. What do you do?

I’ll have breakfast at home, then take my dog Bo to West Hampstead cemetery, which is brimming with amazing stonemason design and heritage. We’ll wander and get lost with our thoughts for an hour or so. Then I’d head to Siam, a wonderful spot on West End Lane, where I might treat myself to a massage and truly switch off. After that, I’d walk up to Hampstead High Street, do a little window shopping, then on to Melrose & Morgan for lunch.

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If you were editor of the Ham&High, what would you focus on?

I would focus on the elderly community. There is a lot of great work already being done, including through two local churches, but it’s a community so often overlooked.

Who is the most inspiring person you’ve met?

David Bowie. I hadn’t long graduated and I was sharing a studio with Tom Binns in Beak Street. Tom was making masks for him and he just arrived one day. My mind went blank and I went weak at the knees; all I could think was that I had polish all over my face in front of David Bowie! He said “Hello little lady, what are you making?” I was obsessed with him as a teenager and there he was in the flesh.

What are your goals for the year ahead?

With Marylebone Lane now open, I’ve taken on the challenge of six stores. Expansion is energising but not without challenges. My ambition is to continue to grow the brand, while continuing to design.