Written by Gifted Local co-founder, Florence Eavis who has lived in Queen's Park for the last 8 years. Last updated July 2021.
Just a stone’s throw away from Notting Hill and Ladbrooke Grove are Kensal Rise and Kensal Green. Often considered a cooler and more bohemian alternative, 'The Kensals' are popular with creatives and young families because they are packed with delis, restaurants, boutiques and pubs, which means residents have everything they need, right on their doorstep. Here are some of the reasons why it is a popular place to live and shop.
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Brunch, Lunch & Coffee Shops
Oh the Soda Bread and butter! This alone is enough to visit Parlour. With its seasonal menus, featuring fantastic food, its famous English Fry Up’s and Sunday Lunches, The Parlour is a firm local favourite. Child-friendly the kids menu always keeps small people happy with the Pop-Corn Chicken being a firm favourite. Outside there’s a secret garden, with potted plants and bunting and the ideal spot for a summer evening drink.
Parlour, 5 Regent Street, Kensal Green, London NW10 5LG; +44 20 8969 2184
If you need a caffeine hit, this is the place to go with great coffee using Climpson and Sons beans and a multitude of milks on offer. The food is also worth sampling. For a healthy option try the Greek yoghurt with granola, but we always opt for the indulgently oozy toasties filled with tangy mature Cheddar. Yum.
Bridge House, Chamberlayne Road, Kensal Rise, NW10 3NR; +44 7444 421087
Bel And Nev
This is the best breakfast and brunch place around. Bel And Nev, a husband and wife team have been serving tasty, affordable food to loyal locals (and their dogs) for the past six years. Share one of their famous toasted banana breads or tuck into a decadent three-cheese toastie – Bel and Nev never disappoint. There’s a small seasonal menu and only a handful of tables that are usually full, thanks to a number of awards.
15 Station Terrace, Kensal Rise, London NW10 5RX, +44 20 3720 8825
Vicki’s, has been around since time began is and is famous for its lunches with its Ottolenghi-style salads and burritos. Join the eager queue on your lunch hour.
Vicki’s, 43 Kilburn Lane, Kensal Green, London W10 4AE, +44 20 8964 2514
Evening Food & Drinking
This is the most authentic and delicious Italian restaurant for miles around. Small but perfectly formed, the menu is expertly hand-crafted. Hand-rolled fresh pasta – such as tagliatelle with a beef, pork and chicken ragu – is served against a backdrop of vintage travel posters and paintings covering every inch of wall space.
222a Kilburn Lane, Queen’s Park, London W10 4AT; +44 20 8969 9853
Paradise By Way Of Kensal Green
Something of an institution, Paradise is at the heart of the Kensal community. The combination of rabbit-warren rooms, antique chandeliers and heady cocktails creates a night to remember.
19 Kilburn Lane, Kensal Green, London W10 4AE; +44 20 8969 0098
Sacro Cuore Pizza
The most authentic pizza restaurant for miles around, with the USP that all they sell is pizza. All the ingredients and even the oven are sourced from the Italian city. The reclaimed wooden furniture and dangling light bulbs strip things back to let the food do all the talking. Our favourite is the Margherita Parmigana.
45 Chamberlayne Road, Kensal Rise, London NW10 3NB; +44 208 960 8558
Supra offers all the choice of an upmarket boutique literally around the corner. While the menswear section focuses on smart streetwear such as Carhartt, Norse Projects and limited-edition Vans, the womenswear is stocked with Ganni, Sessun and Isabel Marant. A great place to find something a bit different.
71 Chamberlayne Road, Kensal Rise, London NW10 3ND; +44 20 8968 6868
Scarlet And Violet
Scarlet and Violet is an antique style beautiful florist popular with local celebrities and residents alike. With its antique truck parked outside, and a section of pavement brimming with the most colourful blooms it is worth just going to visit and take in the beauty of all the bouquets.
76 Chamberlayne Road, Kensal Rise, London NW10 3JJ; +44 20 8969 9446
Originally open for business in Blenheim Crescent, Portobello in 1990, Verandah relocated to larger premises on Chamberlayne Road in 2009. Kensal Rise. Two years later they expanded acquiring additional premises on College Road in Kensal Green. These two unique boutique stores are crammed with an eclectic selection of gifts at affordable prices.
117 Chamberlayne Rd, London NW10 3NS and Verandah 116 College Rd, London NW10 5HD; 020 8968 5498
Rise is a tiny gift-shop in Kensal Rise that is bursting with beautiful homeware. Platters and glasses, jugs and crockery are all curated to create a fantastic selection of treasures for people to pick from.You’ll go in for a browse and leave with three bags full…!
21 Kilburn Lane, W10 4AE; 020 8968 0773
CHINE Home brims with lush green houseplants, seasonal outdoor plants & amazing selection of plant pots. Nestled alongside stylish gifts, cards, Fairtrade homewares & treasured vintage finds, this is a gorgeous place to spend an hour or two!
70 Chamberlayne Rd, London NW10 3JJ; 07768 520576
The Lexi Cinema
If you don’t feel like forking out a fortune to watch the latest blockbuster with a vat of overpriced popcorn, then the Lexi is your cinema. It’s run by generous volunteers, has a bar stocking local beers and spirits, and all profits are donated to The Sustainability Institute, a leading learning and living centre in Stellenbosch, South Africa.
194b Chamberlayne Road, Kensal Rise, London NW10 3JU; +44 20 3011 5523