THE PARENTHOOD: HENDON + FINCHLEY
What it's like for families in NW4, NW11 and N3
Family activities, baby classes and the parent tribe around Hendon, by @TodayIPrimed
Landscape: Welcome to the heart of north-west London suburbia. Think wide roads and semi-detached houses and you’re there. Vibrantly multicultural, with a large Jewish community scattered throughout, this is an extremely child-friendly part of the Northern Line.
Hangouts: In summertime, the parks and open spaces are heaving. Sunny Hill Park Café is home to the best shakshuka for miles and is a regular meeting point for buggy fit classes and dogwalkers. There may be an ‘off-peak’ moment at Hendon Park playground but no parent has yet to work out when it is. When it’s hot, find parents wiping sweat off their brow with a muslin and drinking a Freezacino at Temple Fortune’s Nu Nosh. For something more substantial, Bread does a delicious salad or head to Brent Street’s Mr Baker for a falafel or a bagel; neither of these establishments will bat an eyelid at the mess kiddies leave on the floor, and both have ample room for buggies. During the winter, the RAF Museum is hard to beat for families and, if soft play is your kids’ thing, head no further than Brent Cross’s mammoth Topsy Turvy. For the more creatively inclined, you’ll find pottery café Fired Treasures at the top of the Holders Hill roundabout. Seven minutes north towards Mill Hill, you’ll find the magnificent Belmont Farm.
Events: Brent Cross shopping centre puts on some impressive events throughout the year, including a makeshift beach during the summer and Zippo’s Circus heading into autumn. The Arts Depot, a little further up the road in North Finchley, does a great children’s show.
Parents: You’ll spot textbook yummy mummys in skinny jeans and flats, and the more religiously observant (no trousers) around the Brent Street area, generally looking immaculate. A high number of professionals live here: lawyers, doctors, traders and bankers, as well as several in property. They’re altruistic too: with several non-profits plump with local volunteers.
Local celebrities: No Halloween trick-or-treating round is complete without a visit to Jonathan Ross’s spectacularly festive doorway. Richard and Judy aren’t far either.
Instaparents: Ari and Adrian, founders of @bubblebabysittingapp
Classes: Buggy fit, Ilana Banana’s music group, Rhyme Time at Hendon Library, Musical Tots, you name it, you’ll find it in Hendon and Finchley. There also Dancing with Louise kids’ dance school, and Little Kickers, which teaches football to boys and girls from 18 months. Bookworm, a delightful independent children’s bookshop, holds twice-weekly storytime sessions for toddlers.
Mums wear: Zara, anything black.
Dads wear: Gap, Ralph Lauren
Kids wear: The Little White Company, Next, Gap Kids
With thanks to @chloe__isabel, @natashajklimt, @squeakybeans, @zipposcircus, @synnecinnamon and @zraza for the photos
:: Which parenthood do you live in? If you'd like to write about it, please email us.