@thebullandlast by Gemma
@superette.london by Gemma
Our Sustainable City Guide: Hampstead & Highgate, London
When you walk around the residential, greenery lined streets and admire the Victorian style British homes, you begin to understand how Hampstead & Highgate are a whole different experience to central London. The close-knit community feel this area has, is reflected in their abundance of traditional grocery shops with a twist and their restaurants, many boasting locally sourced suppliers and produce. This sustainable mini guide is our opportunity to share a taste of what’s it’s like to step outside central London, slow down for a day, and explore Highgate & Hampstead Heath, one of the largest green spaces London has to offer.
Gemma, REV Creative Editor
Stay - The Bull & Last
A 10 minute walk from Gospel Oak station and at the foot of Hampstead Heath is the independent pub and coaching in, The Bull & Last. Blending in amongst Hampstead’s architecture but with outstanding amenities, The Bull and Last is an unexpected delight just outside the city centre.
When it comes to sustainability, The Bull & Last have ensured to work alongside companies that take into account their effect on the environment. This includes sourcing their beds from the UK’s first 100% recyclable, carbon neutral manufacturer. Their coffee capsules come from Volcano Coffee Works, Brixton and are 100% compostable and Vegan friendly. Most significantly, they have created their own bespoke product range, including their skin & body care brand Woodsome, inspired by their side road, Woodsome Road. Woodsome is featured in all of the rooms to use on your stay, is created with natural & organic plant-based ingredients, is cruelty free and eco friendly (and smells beautifully fresh and luxurious too!).
Initially walking in the Dido Room with Jazz Fm playing on the on the classic Roberts radio was just as pleasurable as walking out after a relaxing and very much enjoyable nights stay. Each room has something unique to offer based on personal taste and are filled with all the amenities you could need including a mini-bar stocked with organic wines and locally sourced snacks and a place to make cocktails with their homemade pre-mixes! (Pictured left: Somerset Room, and right: Dido Room).
Dine - The Bull & Last
I wanted to mention the Bull & Last pub & restaurant separately, in order to give it credit where it is due. No need to spend extensive time searching for the perfect place for dinner when a wander downstairs will result in one of the best pub meals you will experience. However to call it a pub meal doesn’t do the chefs quite the service they deserve.
The menus at The Bull and Last change daily, being tailored to seasonality and availability. Their wine list has a focus on European producers and they work with wine makers who produce high quality wine with minimal intervention. Also their beer list features primarily British breweries but most specifically take advantage of the infamous London scene.
Breakfast - Kalendar
Recommended by the super friendly staff at The Bull & Last, the place to head for breakfast in Highgate is Kalendar. Situated in one of Swain’s Lane tudor-style buildings, Kalendar is a 5 minute walk up the road from The Bull and Last, and the perfect place to grab a coffee and pastry to start the day.
Kalendar is one of the remaining independent cafés in the Highgate area, and offers a local community feel to a swiftly developing area of London.
Shop - Superette
Next, to get your senses going, head to Superette where you’ll find a huge and delicious range of independent brands, from natural wines, to cold drinks, snacks, cupboard staples and even an antipasti bar. With featured products from organic grocery store, Natoora and provisions from the renowned Spanish food brand Brindisa. You can also, if you choose, pick up a coffee and sit outside to work or simply to people watch and admire the beautiful homes and greenery.
Shop - Fam Green Grocery Market
If Superette wasn’t enough, just next door is Fam Green Grocery Market, where you will find many more independent brands and organic groceries. You can pick from the fruits and vegetables outside or head in to find even more, including a homemade smoothie bar. They have another store in Tufnell Park stocking just as much natural and organic produce as Swain’s Lane!
Re-Centre - Hampstead Heath
Although the general Hampstead & Highgate area is very relaxed already, I highly recommend taking a morning run or afternoon stroll in Hampstead Heath. A much more wild area compared to Hyde Park and the many other parks in central London, its like a taste of the countryside in the middle of the city!
“Hampstead Heath is a wild park of woodland and meadows, tucked inside north London’s Zone Two – less than four miles from the centre, though you’d never know it. It sprawls over 800 acres and boasts some of the most spectacular views in the city. This is the park that inspired C.S. Lewis to write The Chronicles of Narnia, that Constable spent his final years painting, and Londoners of all stripes have been coming here to escape the city for over 200 years.”
“Today, there are few better ways to spend a Sunday in London than with a lazy ramble on the Heath, followed by a pint, or a roast, at one of our wonderful local pubs. The swimming ponds – particularly the ladies’ and men’s – hold almost mystical status among those brave enough to take a dip. Come to fly your kite on Parliament Hill, bring a picnic, and while away your afternoon.” (Hampstead Heath Official Website)