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She Explores Residential London

This time turn right...

fruit standFor a completely different experience, backtrack to the Regents Plaza Hotel and this time turn right out of the doors and take a two minute walk into Kilburn via the High Road. Pick up the most amazing pre-prepared snacks and salads at Marks and Spencers and watch the locals do their shopping. Check out the wares at the fruit stalls, flower stands, small outdoor markets and bric a brac shops. For women, this stroll isn't recommended after dark, but during the day, its certainly an eyeful!

Take a left onto one of the residential streets and make your way down to Salusbury Road, the road parallel to Kilburn High Road. This marks the beginning of Queen's Park. Simply ask anyone to point you in the direction of the park itself, which is just off Harvist Road, a minute's walk at most. It’s quite large, mostly open, and has a lovely family atmosphere to it. For a truly English experience, take tea at the park's little cafeteria while sitting at the picnic tables.

Back on Salusbury Road, there's a few interesting shops dotted around but I wouldn't really call this a shopping area. You might want to have a meal at the newly opened Penk's restaurant, tiny, trendy and tasty. Or walk up to Lonsdale Road, which consists solely of converted mews buildings and businesses and boasts the most popular restaurant in the neighbourhood -- The Organic Café. This resto lives up to its name, offering only food prepared with organically grown produce as well as an impressive range of organic wine. I'd recommend it for breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner -- or even just to have a glass of wine after dark, when they light candles to make the place literally “twinkle.”

Other restaurants in the neighbourhood worth a look are Vijay, for delightful North Indian cuisine, and Satay Raya, serving up memorable Malaysian/Indonesian food.

Not after dark, please...

not after dark This isn't an area to stroll about late at night. The lads tend to get a little boisterous as they emerge from the pubs and drunkeness can be a bit of a problem. If you do visit the Organic Café, I suggest walking back to the hotel via Salusbury Road and then back up to Kilburn High Road via the wide and well lit Brondesbury Road. There's no reason to feel unsafe in this neighbourhood -- I personally never had a problem in all the years I've lived there, but it’s always smart to be cautious in the big city. Ask for a local map at the hotel and you'll be able to chart your paths to both Maida Vale and through Kilburn. Or better still, if you want to look like a real Londoner, pick up an A-Z (street guide) from one of the local newsagents. We all carry them.

Back at your hotel...

exercise bikeFinally, back at the Regents Plaza Hotel, be sure at some point to take advantage of the fantastic health spa that is available on site. You will be pleasantly surprised with their facilities -- everything from weights, cardio machines, fitness classes, pool, steam and sauna. Very unusual for a London hotel!

After your workout, indulge in one of their fresh fruit drinks available at the bar -- both healthy and refreshing.

Voila, the end of a perfect few days for Journeywoman.

Leslie’s Know-Before-You-Go Advice

Regents Plaza Hotel
Plaza Parade
Maida Vale
London NW6
For reservations:
Tel 0207 543 6000
Fax 0207 543 2100

13 Clifton Gardens, W9
Café Rouge
26 Clifton Gardens, W9
Café La Ville
453 Edgeware Road, W2
43 Salusbury Road, NW6
Organic Café
Lonsdale Road, NW6

49 Willesden Lane, NW6

Satay Raya
Belsize Road


London Telephones...
Please note! London, UK, numbers have changed.
Instead of 171 - dial 207
Instead of 181 - dial 208

Want to read more about London?
Girl Talk London





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