THINK: NW London just keeps going up in the world…

…and about time too. Never in the ten years I’ve lived here, have I known so many exciting new openings!

Kentish Town: As first reported on the great Kentishtowner blog, The Grafton Arms at the bottom of Grafton Road has been sold, is currently being refurbished, and due to open in July this year. Informal dining, an upstairs function room and preservation of the Victorian building with a few modern touches, suggests this wont be the most dramatic of upgrades, but it will be nice to see the pub realise more of its full potential. (

Highgate: Also, as I was recently told behind whispered hand, (and which is now more common knowledge), the pretty cool (if a bit pretentious) Soho House group have looked around London for their newest venture and settled on Kentish Town/Highgate. The Chicken Shop and Pizza East restaurant take over the lower and ground floors of the old Grand Union building on Highgate Road, and when they open in the Autumn I am expecting BIG things. Plus, an actual Pizza East, walking distance from my house? Yes, please. (

Marylebone: And then last month we also got the grrrreat news that wine bar and bistro 28-50 Wine Workshop is opening a version of its Fetter Lane flagship restaurant in Marylebone. Offering great wines by the glass, many more by the carafe and bottle, it’s a fab place for a late night dinner and a natter with friends. It opens mid-June and I’m off to the press preview on Wednesday, so I’ll make sure to post some photos! (