Wednesday, 28 September 2011

It's a London Thing No.48: Hampstead Garden Suburb

It’s a London Thing is our Wednesday series in which we turn the spotlight on a unique aspect of London – perhaps a curious shop, sometimes an eccentric restaurant, a hidden place, book or oddity. The subject matter will be different every week. The running theme, however, will remain constant: you have to come to London to enjoy it. It’s A London Thing.

Village London. The debate rages on. Some will have none of it. Will Self, reviewing Peter Ackroyd’s London for the New Statesman, wrote that the book was “the antithesis of all the estate-agent twaddle that reduces London - with arrant spuriousness - to a collection of villages.”

Strong stuff.

Even among those who embrace aspects of the village angle on London, there is often conflict: particularly when it comes down to the villagier-than-thou debate.

David, for example, will throw down the gauntlet for Strand-on-the-Green, taking on the might of the Highgate Boys Tom and Brian.

Yet here’s Karen, challenging them all with Hampstead Garden Suburb, the manor where she was raised and schooled.

It, she contests, above all London’s villages, is the most beautiful, the most perfectly formed. And she’s made a little film to make her case…

Karen’s Local London Walk Golders Green & Hampstead Garden Suburb goes on 6th November at 2.30p.m from Golders Green tube.

Hampstead Garden Suburb: It’s a (Village) London Thing.

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