Last week we went to beautiful Valentine’s Park in Ilford in East London.
This week we travelled in the opposite direction to Pinner and Hatch End.
Pinner and Hatch End are two places (very close to each other) located in North West London. They are magnets for the wealthy, TV shows and movies….for good reasons.
Pinner (which takes its name from the river Pinn that runs through this part of London) is a wealthy area that boasts the lowest crime rate for the whole of London. This affluent part of London has been used in several movies or children’s TV series. For example, the Channel 4 sitcom The Inbetweeners (which tells the adventures/misadventures of a bunch of teenagers in a funny way) was sometimes shot in Pinner. The highly successful movie The Theory of Everything (which depicts the life of the scientist Stephen Hawking) has been partly shot there too (outside St John Baptist Church on Pinner High Street).
Ok, so we have not convinced you quite yet that the place is worth visiting… let’s play a little game then…
Guess which piano playing, eccentric outfits wearing (back in the days) celebrity was born and partly raised in Pinner?….
The answer: Elton John!
See the house where he was born and grew up above.
Pinner is a quiet little place where you can relax. It feels like being in a small town in the country side and as such provides a great escape from the London hustle and bustle. It looks a bit like Guilford but the bonus is…it’s close to London and it’s easy to get here. Actually, there’s also another bonus…it’s not as hilly as Guilford so it’s far less tiring to walk around in Pinner.
There are several restaurants here. And if you feel like walking, you can simply explore the residential area. You will get to see many beautiful and well-kept houses that we are sure you will be dreaming of living in.
There is also a small but pretty park in Pinner (see above). In addition to a kids’ area and plenty of space for picnic, there are also some lovely hide-aways in a bouquet of different flora species.
Hatch End is also an affluent area which is very interesting thanks to its open spaces, proximity to golf courses & woods, leisure amenities and restaurants.
Restaurants are actually one of the reasons why we love Hatch End… The main street is fairly short in terms of length but has a wide variety of different national cuisines on both sides. On this one street you will find Italian, Turkish, French, Indian restaurants, bars and seafood places. Most of those are family run eateries that have more quality and value for money than most central London fancy restaurants!
A few months ago, we ate at Mosfilo (a Greek restaurant) which did not disappoint. The seafood was fresh and well-prepared, and staff was very polite and friendly.
This time we stopped at a place called La Dolce Vita. It’s a very nice and clean café, where you can have an ice cream, a drink or eat (light lunch or small deserts). The traditional Italian Cannoli (which is a delicious Sicilian pastry) drew our attention. They had deliciously soft filling cream. They were perfect for our afternoon tea.
This combined with the very relaxed atmosphere and pace of Hatch End provided us with the perfect Sunday afternoon quiet time we so needed.
Another fact worth knowing about Hatch End is that despite its small size it’s a place that has seen many notable residents over the years…David Baddiel (an English comedian and TV presenter), Roger Glover (bassist for Deep Purple), Richard Wright who was the pianist for the legendary rock band Pink Floyd (!) and more. They have all lived here at some point during their life.
If you decide to visit one of those two places, you can easily visit the other one since they are very close. It does not matter which place you visit first.
Just be aware that Pinner has a bit more to see than Hatch End.
It is quite incredible that these nice and posh areas have managed to keep their secret for so long. Nobody ever really says “I’ve been to Pinner last week-end and had a great time!”.
But yet more people should!