LOVE: Favourite NW places to escape the rain…

I honestly feel right now, as much as I love London, that it’s time to move. I love the winter, I love cold weather, I thrive when it’s cosy inside and pouring with rain outside – but even I Cannot Take Anymore Rain.

The weekend looms large and yet more rain is predicted. (Thank god it held off for Birthday Picnic in front of Kenwood House last weekend). So how to fill the days? well, aside from being grumpy, you could try to embrace the foukness, I ‘spose. Here are my top five ways to escape the soggy weather in NW.

1) Holly Bush Banter

I can’t think of a better place to forget the weather outside than the Holly Bush. In the same way that we only frequent The Stag when it’s either warm or sunny, we only go to the Holly Bush when it’s cold and rainy. Grab the cosy Tavern Bar table, or one of the little spots by the open fire, take a group of friends, buy a pint of local ale and let the afternoon roll by.

Holly Bush, Hampstead

2) Cinema Indulgence

Splash out for either the sofa booths at the Everyman Cinema Hampstead (£30 for two people) or the premier reclining chairs at the Belsize branch (£16 each), order a bottle of wine and some chilli crackers, and settle in for the evening. The deliciously quirky Moonrise Kingdom is showing this weekend at Belsize, while Your Sister’s Sister is on at Hampstead.

Everyman Cinema, Hampstead & Belsize Park

3) Date Night Dinner

Trishna has to be one of our favourite local restaurants, it’s on the more pricey side, but I’m all for softening the rain misery with a posh night out, and Trishna totally fits the bill.  Classy Indian best describes it, I suppose, but it doesn’t quite convey the delicious food, the wonderful matched wines, the cool decor, the amazing service and the general sense of wellbeing I get every single time we go there. Book a table now.

Trishna, Marylebone

4) Spend some of that rainy day money

Ah, Alfie’s Antique’s Market, the largest indoor antiques market in the UK. How many hours have I spent pottering around this treasure trove of wonderfulness? There are some amazing things to find here (and some duds, admittedly), but it has a real charm and the dealers here are all experts. Give yourself a whole morning, or longer, and just let yourself wander.

Alfies Antiques, St John’s Wood

5) Take a night off

Sometimes a change is as good as a rest. If the soggy weather is making even your house look tired and scruffy, why not just get away for a night? There aren’t many hotels in North West London but the recently opened Dorset Square is well worth a visit. Brought to NW by the same team that did The Charlotte Street Hotel and the Soho Hotel, amongst others, it is seriously chic, with very cool design, and has a lovely new restaurant and bar too.

Dorset Square, Marylebone

Have a lovely weekend!