Each month we speak to a local resident or business owner to get their take on the Village: what brought them here and why did they stay? This month we see Hampstead through the eyes of Els Bauer, owner of boutique estate agent Stella Lange.
What brought you to Hampstead?
When I met my husband, he lived in Belsize Park and a few years later we made our way up the hill. I fell in love with Hampstead from the moment I first visited. It is a great village in proximity of both the centre of London and the countryside.
How long have you been here?
I have been a resident for 22 years and my business has been based here for the last five. I’m based in Marty’s Yard, a lovely cobbled courtyard just off the High Street, but as a resident and a local estate agent, I know the whole area like the back of my hand.
What are your top three favourite things about Hampstead?
I think it has a very special village vibe, with a real personal touch in many of the local shops. And, of course, the Heath!
Where do you like to go that no one else knows?
St John’s Church cemetery in Church Row.
What would be your recommendation for a newcomer to the area to familiarise themselves?
Walk around and book yourself into one of the many Hampstead historical tours.
What are your top recommendations for a day in the Village?
Start with brunch at Mani’s on Perrin’s Court. It looks simple but the food is great. After wandering through the back streets between the High Street and the Heath or north of Heath Street, take lunch at Roni’s. They are a local business that recently opened a branch on Rosslyn Hill and they do the best bagels. You have to see the Heath – it is a Hampstead ‘must’. After exploring, people-watch with a coffee at the Coffee Cup on the High Street, or grab drinks at the Freemasons Arms on Downshire Hill. It is close to the Heath and has a nice large garden. Try the Wells Tavern for dinner (Well Walk), the menu is sophisticated but unpretentious.
Describe your perfect Saturday in Hampstead?
A lie-in followed by a trip to my gym (UCS Active in Frognal), followed by brunch and work in the garden/walk on the Heath, then dinner either in or out and a film at the Everyman.
Any upcoming festivals that people ‘must’ see?
The Christmas Fair in November.
How does Stella Lange fit into the Hampstead community?
We are an independent boutique agency with a very personal service and an abundance of local knowledge. We go out of our way to keep our clients happy.
Why did you decide to base the business in the area?
I love the area and lived here for years.
How do you provide a ‘local’ service for people looking for property in Hampstead?
We are based in the village and supply additional information about schools, amenities etc, both in person and on our website.
Why do you find people are choosing Hampstead?
Because, although it is close to the centre of London, it has got its own unique vibe and flavour, and a genuine villagey feel about it.
What are your top three tips for buying property in Hampstead?
As Hampstead is a hot spot, it is important to have all your paperwork and finances ready, be available for viewings and move quickly when you see your dream property.
Which are the best areas for different types of people?
Hampstead Village is perfect for families and has a bit of a bohemian vibe. West or South Hampstead is in general chosen by younger families and couples.
What recommends Hampstead as an area to live in?
It has got something to offer everyone and it is genuinely a happy place.
Stella Lange are residential property consultants and search agents for North London.
020 7794 4821
3 Marty’s Yard, Hampstead High Street, NW3 1QW