WHO'S WHO: medical consultant Malcom VandenBurg
Malcom VandenBurg is a consultant in general and pharmaceutical medicine specialising in internal medicine, drug abuse, addiction and sexual health. He has lived in Hampstead for 40 years and before that, he was neighbour to Hollywood star Jean Simmons in
Malcom VandenBurg is a consultant in general and pharmaceutical medicine specialising in internal medicine, drug abuse, addiction and sexual health. He has lived in Hampstead for 40 years and before that, he was neighbour to Hollywood star Jean Simmons in Golders Green.
What do you like most about Hampstead?
What I used to like most about Hampstead was its small, friendly, arty, cosmopolitan, village-like atmosphere. What I love now about Hampstead is my house, my garden, the coffee shops, the restaurants, the fact that it was a cosmopolitan area, and that it is close to the centre of London.
What is the worst thing about the area?
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What I don't like about Hampstead is that it's losing its left wing, socialist, middle class character. Richer people keep moving in, transforming Hampstead into a more Kensington/Chelsea type of area.
What is your favourite building?
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My favourite local building is my house, because it has a nice sunny garden, in which you can spend a lot of time. If it wasn't my house though, my favourite would probably be the Roundhouse. I love it. I saw The Doors playing there in the Sixties. The way it has regenerated for the past three years is fantastic. It organises good popular concerts as well as doing great social work.
If you were mayor for a day, what would you do?
If I was the mayor for a day I would pedestrialise all of Hampstead. I would stop the basement extensions to houses. And I would create a passport just for the Hampstead locals and stop the others from coming in!
What are your favourite local restaurants?
My favourite restaurants are le Cellier du Midi and the Villa Bianca. The owner of le Cellier du Midi is a fantastic French lady who has been working there for 50 years and who serves great food. La Villa Bianca also has amazing Italian food, and is just a nice place to be.
What are your favourite Hampstead anecdotes?
Playing Kiss Chase on Hampstead Heath, walking to see the Doors at the Roundhouse in the 1960s, singing Irish folk songs at Tinkers Folk Club every Friday where the Pentameters is now, above the three Horseshoes. Having breakfast with Peter Cook in the Coffee Cup, sharing hangovers, and eating with the French Arsenal players, Thierry Henry, Robert Pires and Patrick Vieira when they all lived locally.