The north-west London district of Hampstead has a real village feel thanks in part to its beautiful Hampstead Heath, a large, hilly park surrounded by luxurious houses and gastro pubs. The name Hampstead derives from the Anglo-Saxon words “ham” and “stede”, which means homestead, and in the seventeenth century the area became fashionable for its chalybeate waters (water impregnated with iron), which were thought to have medicinal qualities.
Hampstead is well known for its traditional pubs such as Grade II listed The Holly Bush, The Spaniards Inn, which was immortalised by Charles Dickens in The Pickwick Papers, and The Old Bull & Bush, all known for the quality food and drink. Respected restaurants, meanwhile, include La Cage Imaginaire, offering Mediterranean cuisine, Goldfish Modern Chinese & Dim Sum Restaurant, and La Gaffe, a family-run restaurant with accommodation.
The district of Hampstead also boasts its own Farmers’ Market - West Hampstead Farmers' Market - which takes place every Saturday on the forecourt of West Hampstead Thameslink Station and features stalls offering everything from fresh fish from Essex, free range and organic meat and poultry, artisan bread and cakes and fruit and veg.
The area also houses a large number of interesting buildings to visit including Fenton House (owned by the National Trust), The Freud Museum and Keats House Museum.