London is a huge city and can seem quite daunting for the first time visitor. The fact is London is made up of thousands of small villages, each with its own history and individual appeal. Queens Park is one such village, situated in the North West region of the capital in the London Borough of Brent, and although small in size it has a lot to offer in regards to shopping, recreation and open spaces.
Easily accessible by public transport (Bakerloo Line) and an increasingly popular destination for those in need of a little rest and relaxation away from the hustle and bustle of more obvious tourist hot spots, this residential and family friendly enclave is just the ticket. With plenty of hotels, bed & breakfast guesthouses and hotels in the vicinity, Queens Park is an ideal base from which to explore the rest of London.
Here are 5 “stand out” attractions of the area…
Queens Park City of London
Site of the 1879 Royal Agricultural Exhibition, the 30-acre Queens Park has been owned and managed by the City of London since 1886 and has been named a Green Flag Park for more than ten years running, in recognition of the quality of its services and environment. Facilities include six all-weather tennis courts, a pitch-and-putt course, a pétanque pitch, an ornamental garden, a childrens playground with paddling pool, a woodland area and a café for refreshments. Families can also visit Pets Corner, home to pygmy goats, rabbits, chickens, ducks and guinea pigs.
Opening times, 7am dusk (every day)
Farmer’s Market Queens Park
Based at Salusbury Road Primary School, the Queens Park farmers market has fast become a favourite Sunday morning fixture in the area. Filled with families, friends and neighbours the market attracts attention for its range of stalls. Farmers come from outside of London to offer up their delicious fare to locals looking for something more than the usual supermarket fodder. Organic meat and poultry, fruit & vegetables, cheese, seafood, conserve, bread, eggs and an assortment of homemade cakes leaves the punters spoilt for choice, with their colourful and enticing displays.
Located away from the main parade along a cobbled mews, sits the fantastic Hugo’s family-friendly café-bar-restaurant. Established initially as The Organic Café back in 1994, Hugo’s comes with a pedigree in sustainability, fair trade and fresh ingredients. From its reclaimed wooden floorboards to its classic green interior, Hugo’s offers an ambient retreat for those who want to enjoy breakfast, lunch or dinner in a place like no other. With a commitment to using organic ingredients from sustainable, fair-traded sources, food is freshly prepared on a daily basis by Brazilian Head Chef Cesar. Adorned by an open-door front terrace for those who prefer to eat alfresco, Hugo’s is also renowned for its live jazz on Sunday evenings and an “open mic” night on Tuesdays. All in all, a perfect place to soak up the atmosphere of Queens Park.
25 Lonsdale Road, London NW6 6RA; Tel: +44 (0) 20 7372 1232; Opening times: Breakfast 9.30-3pm, Lunch 12pm-3pm, Dinner 5pm-10.30pm (Tues-Sun).
Iris opened its first store 6 years ago and is the quintessential feminine boutique. It specalises in unique and independent designers which are not offered on the High Street and are often very hard to source. The mix of brands is eclectic, with some of the best European designers on offer alongside kidswear, jewellery, lingerie and beauty products. A beautiful and elegant boutigue with friendly and helpful staff, Iris is the place to go for apparel and accessories that say something a little different whether that’s shoes, bags, jeans, hats, gloves and scarves. The fashion inspiration behind an understated chic look that “Queens Park Woman” has taken to its heart.
73 Salusbury Road, Queens Park, London NW6 6NJ; Tel:+44 (0) 207 372 1777; Opening hours, Mon to Wed 10am–6pm, Thurs to Fri 10am–7pm, Sat 10am – 6pm, Sun 10.30am – 4.30pm
Salusbury Pub & Dining Room
Open since 2001, the Salusbury pub and dining room have become the hub community. Under the same ownership since inception the standards of service and quality of food and wine are second to none. Dimly-lit inside, the pub has that “snug” feel to it and continues to serve a great selection of draft beers, wines by the glass and bar snacks, with seats available outside for those who fancy some fresh air. After an extensive refurbishment at the end of 2009, the Salusbury has kept itself true to its award winning formula of fantastic Italian food with a complimentary Italian wine list and a pub that has been the local stronghold of the area. Seafood linguine, porcini ravioli are staples while the pappardelle with duck ragu is simply mind blowing. Sunday lunches are always a special occasion with 28 day dry aged rib of beef a speciality.
50-52 Salusbury Road, Queens Park, London NW6 6NN; Tel: +44 (0)20 7328 3286