Monthly Archives: February 2011

Kilburn High Road circa 1790

Ed Fordham. You might remember him from such political campaigns as the 2010 General Election, or the unveiling of the AA Milne plaque, or potentially not at all.  What you may not know is that our Ed is also a keen local historian.

On his blog, he frequently uploads bits and bobs from his personal collection. This week, something caught my eye. It’s a map of what is now the A5 (aka Kilburn High Road), drawn in 1790. That is, officially, well old.

What’s especially lovely about this particular map is that it’s marked with ye olde inns; The Black Lion, The Bell, Cricklewood’s The Crown. The wonderfully named Shoot Up Hill even gets a mention.

Also interesting, if you’re that way inclined, is that in the late 18th Century, they spelled it Kilbourn. With an ‘o’, of all things! That’s progress for you.

Anyway, I suggest you check it out by clicking here.

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Love NW6

Yes, yes, we all love NW6. This is hardly news, I’ll grant you that. But it’s still plain lovely to hear people say as much.

Well, over at Camden Council, they love NW6 so much that they asked photo supremo Jack Latimer to produce a series of videos  showing the world just how great it is around here. A smug Youtube pat on the back, basically.

The videos are a good 18months old, but their message is as true today as ever it was. Just take a look at these happy chappies and chappettes talking up our ‘hood.

Love Kilburn

And while you’re at it, Love West Hampstead

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Football: West Hampstead Wanderers vs Abacus Athletic

Wanderers rack up a point against Abacus

Monday night is football night here in NW6, and this week’s clash saw the West Hampstead Wanderers take on Abacus Althetic in a rematch of the first game of the season, which the Wanderers lost 7-11. But in a rich vein of form, could they steal the points in the reverse fixture. Dan reports: 

Match day 4. Monday 7th February. KO 6.30
West Hampstead Wanderers 9 – 9 Abacus Athletic

When Newcastle United came back against Arsenal from 4-0 down at half-time last weekend to eek out a 4-4 draw, many pundits thought that a more impressive comeback, and a more emphatic capitulation, could not be repeated. Not in our lifetimes, at any rate.

But last night, in a thrilling goal-fest at the Home of Football – Fortune Green play centre – the West Hampstead Wanderers faced an Abacus Athletic side with all the spirit, grit and determination to rewrite the history blogs.

The Wanderers took an early lead after @Talalb01 surprised the Abacus keeper with a long-range effort. The “Mathematicians” equalised, but the Wanderers, brimming with confidence and playing the kind of tiki-taka football that would have Lionel Messi salivating, kept their heads and kept scoring. This reporter’s memory isn’t what it used to be, but the score was somewhere in the region of 5-3 as half-time approached.

Abacus did brilliantly to close the gap, and if not for some outstanding keeping by @DJVectra in the West Hampstead goal, may well have taken the lead. Thankfully, superb goals from @ThomHoffman, @DomChristie and @Talalb01 meant that the Wanderers always had their noses in front.

A close-fought and well-deserved 9-8 victory looked to be a certainty but, with what would turn out to be the very last kick of the game, one of the Abacus players completed a great solo run and shot into the bottom corner of @DJVectra’s goal.

Final score: 9-9. Another strong performance from West Hampstead Wanderers, who really do seem to be going from strength to strength. It’s a long season – and a game of two halves, etc – and there’s still all to play for.

Goal Scorers:
@ThomHoffman x2, @Talalb01 x2, @DomChristie x2,

@MatthewMargot@NickHudgell@NWSixDan 

League standings:

Kilburn Wizards                              P4 W4 D0 L0 GD +14
Abacus Athletic                               P4 W1 D1 L2 GD -1
West Hampstead Wanderers     P4 W1 D1 L2 GD -4
The Gym Utd.                                   P4 W1 D0 L3 GD -9


I wrote this match report for the West Hampstead Life blog. To read the original, or to catch up with past Wanderers results, click here.

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Review: Zeytoon (NW2)

In the 25 years that I’ve lived on the boundary between NWs 6 and 2, I’ve managed to build up an unrivalled un-knowledge of Cricklewood. I have absolutely no idea why this is the case, but Shoot Up Hill has been a kind of no man’s land that I didn’t dare cross.

But last night, struck by hunger and propelled by a new-found sense of adventure, I decided to take the plunge into the murky depths of Cricklewood Broadway.

Now strictly speaking, of course, the Afghan/Persian taste-fest that is Zeytoon isn’t in NW6. But what with it being a 10 minute walk up the road from Kilburn underground station (I’m a fast walker), and considering that dining there was a darned pleasant experience, I think it’s worth the review.

Zeytoon is decorated beautifully with tapestries and tassled rugs, painted murals and Middle Eastern bric-a-brac. The colourful surroundings, the friendly staff and the table lay-out – with long extended-family-sized tables in the centre of each of the two well-lit dining areas – create a warm and relaxed atmosphere.

Freshly baked flat bread

Every few minutes the smell of freshly made Persian flat bread, baked in a traditional Tanoor clay oven in the dining room, drifts through the restaurant. The bread, made to order, arrives at our table warm and soft, and is eagerly devoured.

We shared the Mixed Starter (a selection of any 5 starters, £13.50) between the three of us. The highlight was the Kashk-e-Bademjan, a warm dip consisting of fried aubergines in olive oil mixed with walnuts, herbs and spices. The hummus was disappointing – a little too garlicy for my liking – but the Burani Spinach was a creamy delight.

For mains you are basically faced with the choice of either kebab or stew. My dining companion TC opted for the Chelow Kebab-e-Koubideh, two skewers of fine minced lamb served with rice (£5.95). TC is a greedy so-and-so, but even he was defeated by the generously sized portion.

The Baqoli Polow with Lamb, a speciality served only on Saturdays, was also a huge success. The lamb, so tender that dining companion WC could only assume that it must have been slow-cooked for the best part of a week, was buried in a mound of steamed rice. At £9.95 it is one of the pricier items on a pleasantly affordable menu, but by all accounts well worth the additional pennies.

Lamb and aubergine dominate the menu, and my main was a stew combining the two: Chelow Khoresht-e-Qeimeh Bademjan (£6.95). Packed with flavourful spice, it was just the right side of fragrant – I’d initially feared that I might find it a little soapy by the end. Not so.

Pot of tea, £3

I’m loath to describe the experience as “authentic” because, to tell you the truth, I have no idea what dining in Iran or Afghanistan is like,  but I imagine this is a pretty close approximation, and well worth the short trip up the A5. Good food, good value, good stuff.

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