At SellMyHome.co.uk we often hear about the ever-trendy Kensal Rise, which has become a property hotspot in recent years. Nearby Queen’s Park, on the other hand, seems to be a little overlooked.
#VillageLondon hopped on the Bakerloo Line to Queen’s Park to see if this little nook of London might in fact be a hidden gem.
Stepping out of Queen’s Park station one thing becomes abundantly clear: this is an area not only on the rise but one that’s in a rapid state of evolution. Directly opposite the station a sprawling new residential complex is in the final stages of development.
Near by is the lush green area of Queen’s Park itself. It’s the kind of London park that demonstrates the importance of having a haven in the middle of the chaos that is the capital. Young mothers push an endless stream of buggies around the park while, next to the band-stand, a huddle of mums, with babies strapped to them, take a yoga class on this crisp autumn morning. It’s easy to imagine whiling away hours here in this little slice of scenic paradise.
We offer big American pancakes, big burgers and big breakfasts.”Jack, owner of Jack's Place
Head down Salusbury Road, which cuts through Queen’s Park, and you’re greeted by an array of shops, most of which, thankfully, have that independent spirit to them rather than the more familiar names you find on similar high streets.
One such shop is Jack’s Eatery, a positively buzzing American-British diner. Speaking to Jack, who has seen his diner evolve considerably over the last 11 years and will continue to do so in the near future with some top secret plans afoot, he knows who is main customer base is. He says, “It’s mainly young families. I see lots of them increasingly coming into the area.”
Jack goes onto point out that he’s busiest at weekends as families flock to the Queen’s Park Farmer’s Market on a Sunday and then need something hearty to keep them going. If you go to Jack’s make sure you’ve built up a hunger first. He says, “We offer big American pancakes, big burgers and big breakfasts. Come with a big appetite, we’re famous for our massive, big value, breakfasts.”
There is also a separate milkshake menu that, reading alone, will make your mouth water.
Over time Jack has observed the evolution of Queen’s Park. He says, “Areas change here so quickly. When I first moved here, Kensal Rise was not a nice place but now it’s super trendy. It won’t be long before the likes of Willesden Lane and Harlesden go the same way - it’s a gradual gentrification of the whole area thanks to the great transport links here”
[Here] people want to take a chance on something different that doesn’t necessarily come with a brand name attached.Chris from The Salusbury Wine Shop
Those great transport links include the Bakerloo Line that takes you into Oxford Circus in under 20 minutes as well as the Overground that gets you to Euston in 17 minutes.
Across the street from Jack’s is The Salusbury Winestore, that knows only too well the benefits of those excellent travel links. As Chris, who works in the store, points out, “It’s great to be in a position just down the road from a tube stop where we get a good footfall in the evenings.”
The Salusbury Winestore, which is flanked on either side by its sister outlets The Salusbury Pub & Dining Room and The Salusbury Foodstore, specialises in (obviously) wine but also a host of other alcoholic beverages as well as a deli counter with a delectable assortment of meats and cheeses. Chris highlights the advantages of buying from a local independent shop. “We’re really flexible, we can order things in for people and offer our customers what they demand and what’s in trend right now. We can always help customers pick out the best bottle for them according to what they’re eating or for a specific event.”
Chris knows the importance of the local community and how it responds to independent shops like his. He says, “It’s quite a varied community, there is definitely an affluence. We tend to go for stuff that we’re interested in ourselves. Otherwise you’re selling something you don’t believe in. We’re lucky we’re in an area where people want to take a chance on something different that doesn’t necessarily come with a brand name attached.”
And perhaps that last point perfectly sums up Queen’s Park. It might not be a ‘brand’ name in its own right, it’s a little more obscure than other areas but, as evidence in the area demonstrates, it is fast becoming one of those hugely desirable areas in the capital that offers something a little bit different from the norm.
Average House Prices In Queen’s Park May 2015: £746,000
Average House Prices In Queen’s Park June 2014: £648,000
Properties in Queen’s Park saw an average rise of 13.1% over a one year period.