Top five things to do in Hampstead and Highgate this week

Kenwood House has reopened to the public

Kenwood House has reopened to the public - Credit: Archant

Get your dogs ready for the Santa Paws Christmas Fair, learn about legendary blonde bombshells of 20th century film with BBC producer George McGhee and visit the newly re-opened 17th century stately home Kenwood House on Hampstead Heath - just some of the events featured in our pick of the week.

TOMORROW (December 3)

The Fox Blondes

George McGhee has worked for over 33 years in the media, latterly at the BBC where he brought Damages, The Tudors and Mad Men to our screens plus many great movies like Indiana Jones and the Pirates of the Caribbean franchises. In this talk, The Fox Blondes, at the London Jewish Cultural Centre in Ivy House, North End Road, Golders Green, McGhee discusses some of the blonde female stars groomed by 20th Century Fox, from Shirley Temple to Jayne Mansfield, and the many films created as vehicles for them to perform in. Doors open at 2pm, tickets cost £12 in advance, £15 on the door. Book online at or call 020 8457 5000.

SATURDAY (December 7)

Christmas Festival

Live reindeer, a large inflatable Santa’s Grotto and music performances will all be out on show at the East Finchley Christmas Festival along the High Road. Almost 50 stalls and a French market will give visitors a chance to get some of their Christmas shopping done early, while choirs and a marching band will be putting revellers in the festive spirit. A special children’s film will also be shown at The Phoenix Cinema, in the High Road. The festival runs all day from 9.30am to 5.30pm. Proceeds will be split between three children’s charities.

SUNDAY (December 8)

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Jazz Fundraiser

Hampstead School of Art will be hosting an evening of jazz to raise funds. Founded in 1946 by artists Jeanette Jackson and Bernard Gay under the patronage of Henry Moore, the community art school offers an extensive programme of classes. The event will be launched by The Reuben James trio, with special guest Jean Toussaint on tenor sax. Guests will have the opportunity to bid for various prizes. Tickets are £25. Doors open at 7.15pm (8pm start). It will be held on the King’s College Campus in Kidderpore Avenue.

SUNDAY (December 8)

Santa Paws

Building on the success of their Spooky Halloween Dog Walk, All Dogs Matter is back with its Santa Paws’ Christmas Fair. There will be mulled wine and roasted chestnuts available from the Garden Gate pub, plus carol singing from The BeauBowBelles and some seasonal spoken words from patron Peter Egan. There will also be stalls laden with treats for both you and your pooch. Meet with your dog at the Garden Gate Pub, in South End Green. The event runs from 11am to 3pm.


Kenwood House

Last week saw the re-opening of 17th century former stately home Kenwood House on Hampstead Heath. The neo-classical house was built in 1616 and remodelled for the Earl of Mansfield, William Murray, a key figure in pushing for the abolishment of slavery.

Following several additions to the grounds - including a library, brewery and a dairy - it was eventually donated to the nation in 1927 by Lord Iveagh, a member of the Guinness family.

Following the successful completion of renovations over the past year - including repairs to the roof and exterior and a major reworking of the Robert Adam interiors - visitors will once again be able to enjoy stunning views over London while having tea and cakes at the much-loved Brew House cafe.

Also back will be its world-renowned collection of artwork following a tour around the United States.

For more information on the remodelled Kenwood visit