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Kensal Rise is a compact area. It forms a triangle – with Willesden Sports Centre to the west, Kilburn to the east and Kensal Green to the south. Chamberlayne Road, its main, action-filled high street, is surrounded by quieter residential streets.

WORDS: CLARE VOOGHT

Why Kensal Rise?

It’s undeniably cool and, in 2009, Vogue named Chamberlayne Road the hippest street in Europe.

“Whether the person who wrote that article was trying to sell a house in the area at the time, I don’t know,” says Del O’Brien from Daniels Estate Agents, on Chamberlayne Road.

“But it has got quite a lot of favourable press. There’s always some article about it in the Evening Standard. It’s a cool area.”

Don’t move here if...
You don’t like hipsters – Kensal Rise is where plenty of the west London trendy clan lays down roots.

The people
Media types like to live here, O’Brien says.

“A lot of people work in film and television, and you’ve got actors and actresses. Ian Wright and Daniel Craig have houses in the area and I always see Thandie Newton.”

It’s quite young, but as it’s pricey, people who live here tend to be in their later twenties and early thirties, and yummy mummy locals take their kids to spots like Mini Picassos art school on Station Terrace.

Where to hang out

As you walk up Chamberlayne Road on a Saturday, through your Ray Ban Wayfarers, you’ll spot plenty of antique shops and boutiques like Verandah selling kitchy homeware, gifts and cards (117 Chamberlayne Road).

Rest your deck-shoe clad feet in the glass-fronted Minkies Deli, where you can pick up a weekly shop of posh pasta, vintage cheeses and preserves.

Station Terrace is also a top spot, where greasy spoons like Arthur’s Cafe live in harmony with foodie spots like Comptoir Mezze,Eat Sushi and Island On The Rise.

For the evening, head out to The Chamberlayne pub and steakhouse for some tasty meat and a comprehensive whisky selection . Or try The Shop, which is mostly a bar, but also a shop that sells art and the furniture you sit on.

Venture further down the road to the ultra-cool gastropub, Paradise, by way of Kensal Green . Upcoming events include a tracksuit party on May 6 and a DJ set from Johnny Borrell and Radio 1’s Jagga on May 4.

The connections
Kensal Rise Overground station takes you to Clapham Junction and Richmond in one direction, and Stratford in the other. Buses run to Notting Hill and other places across west and central London.

What can you rent?

Daniel Levine, of Abacus Estates on Chamberlayne Road, says you’ll be hard pushed to find a bargain, and even houses by the train tracks are in demand.

There aren’t big shiny blocks around here, instead you’ll find plenty of period conversions.

“You’ve got houses with nice high ceilings and big bedrooms,” Levine says. “The roads off the high street like Clifford Gardens and Harvist Road, especially by the park, are the most popular.”


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London living: Kensal Rise
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