Top five things to do in Hampstead and Highgate this week

High Point, Lubetkin & Tecton

High Point, Lubetkin & Tecton - Credit: Archant

A week celebrating Hampstead’s restaurants, a market held by Antonio Carluccio and a talk by Esther Walker are just some of the things featured in our top five this week.

1. Saturday and Sunday

An opportunity to get out and under the skin of the amazing architecture in Hampstead and Highgate arrives this weekend as Open House London gets underway.

Over 800 impressive and historical buildings in every London neighbourhood will open their doors to the public for free for two days, in addition to neighbourhood walks, architects’ talks and more.

Almost 100 buildings will open their doors in Camden, Haringey and Barnet, including architect Erno Goldfinger’s house in Willow Road, Hampstead, Cecil Sharp House in Regent’s Park Road, Primrose Hill, and the Grade II listed Alexandra Road estate in South Hampstead.

People who live in 19th century housing may be inspired by a visit to 73 Chester Road in Highgate.

The property was upgraded in 2006 to become an energy efficient Victorian semi and many of the techniques used here are replicable in other houses.

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Open House London runs on Saturday and Sunday.

For a full guide of participating buildings, visit

2. Saturday - Antonio Carluccio

Italian chef and restaurateur Antonio Carluccio holds his outdoor mushroom market in Hampstead, offering a varied selection of fresh, dried, wild and cultivated mushrooms.

The world-renowned food expert has written 13 books and made numerous television programmes.

He will be making a special appearance to share his knowledge and expertise on mushrooms and take part in a book signing.

Hot dishes will be cooked live outside and foodies can stock up on unique mushroom and truffle delights from the shop.

The market will start at 11am outside Carluccio’s in Rosslyn Hill.

3. Today - Hampstead Restaurant Week

Hampstead’s restaurants host special events and menus in a week-long food and drink celebration. From fine dining to cultured cafes, traditional tasty pub grub to gastro delights, Hampstead Restaurant Week provides you with the perfect excuse to try something new or catch up with neighbours at one of your favourites. Venues include 14 restaurants, six cafes and shops, and four pubs. Runs from Monday until Sunday.

For information, visit

4. Wednesday - Esther Walker

What happens when one of the fiercest restaurant critics in England falls in love with a girl who can barely boil an egg? This is Giles Coren and Esther Walker’s story. What followed was a “baptism of fire”, a blog (Confessions of a Bad Cook), a best-selling book (The Bad Cook) and two kids. Hear how Ms Walker, of Kentish Town, learned “under the kind but stern gaze of Giles”. She will be making some food and spilling the beans on a life of “swearing, cooking, writing and world domination”.

At JW3 in Finchley Road. Starts 7.30pm. Tickets £30 (£15 concs).

5. Thursday - Neighbourhood Meeting

Residents are invited to the West Hampstead neighbourhood development forum.

The voluntary group was set up by amenity groups, residents’ associations and individuals in West Hampstead in response to the government’s implementation of the Localism Act.

Tonight’s agenda features a discussion on the final draft of the Neighbourhood Development Plan (NDP) – a statutory planning document which will influence planners and developers when making planning decisions in the area.

Held at the West Hampstead Synagogue Hall in Dennington Park Road.

Starts at 7.30pm (the NDP can be seen from 6.30pm).