Primrose Hill is not only where Eluxe’s headquarters lie, but it’s also the best part of London, in my book!
By Chere Di Boscio
London isn’t just about historic buildings and narrow, cobblestone streets. It’s also home to a rather green area called Primrose Hill.
Up until the 19th century, Primrose Hill was a lush woodland filled with wild animals, including wolves. But since it was used as a hunting ground by the English monarchs, those animals eventually disappeared, sadly.
It is believed to have been named Primrose Hill due to the number of primroses which once grew here; (although not much of them can be seen today), but some experts believe it was named after Archibald Primrose, who was famous for the expansion of the London underground.
A climb up to the top of the hill during sunrise and/or sunset is the definitely the best time to visit the area, and you’ll be stunned by the panoramic views over the entire centre of London.
This is arguably London’s most fashionable neighbourhood, whose residents have included Kate Moss, Noel Gallagher, Russell Brand, Gwen Stefani and Lily Allen. Currently, Jude Law, Eva Green, Daisy Lowe, Robert Plant, Matt Smith and Douglas Booth are just some of the stars who live here, and even more celebs come to hang out in the many cafes, pubs, restaurants and chic boutiques in the quaint little village.
But Primrose Hill isn’t known only for its star-studded streets: it’s now becoming one of the ‘greenest’ areas in London, attracting conscious tourists who want an authentic slice of London life away from the overpopulated, highly polluted centre.
Maybe the old, thick trunked trees in the surrounding, hilly parkland inspired it. Or maybe health conscious celebs, fresh off the plane from LA, have had some influence. But there can be no denying the proliferation of eco-friendliness in this area.
Here’s a selection of some of the most sustainable stuff going on in London’s best barrio.
What To See And Do In Primrose Hill
This pioneering veggie restaurant serves its chic clientele seasonal, local produce creatively concocted into hearty meals. Spaghetti and ‘meat’ balls, homemade veggie ‘sausages’ and organic mash, spicy ginger pumpkin soup and a decadent chocolate fondant are just some of the typical menu offerings, which change every week. This place fills up days – if not weeks – in advance, so reservations are a must.
The newer kid on the block is a rustically decorated organic spa and restaurant. Stressed out locals take a break in one of the 7 treatment rooms here, where each ache is teased out via massages of various types. Later on, they head upstairs to beautify with an organic mani, pedi or blow dry, and then break for lunch – hard to resist when the menu includes fresh-made veggie juices, crushed avocado on toast, all-day veggie breakfast burritos or homemade soups.
Fancy donning a fringed leather vest that Ms Moss once wore to Glastonbury? Or maybe a pair of Chanel sunnies given to Lily Allen that didn’t quite suit her? Here, at this beautifully organised charity shop (run by Mary Portas, Queen of Shops), you can recycle treasures discarded by the glamorous locals. Not only is this an Earth-friendly way to shop, but all money raised goes to Save the Children too.
Children go through clothing in, quite literally, months, meaning their parents are forced to buy new stuff all the time. But that’s not really eco-friendly, is it? Especially if you want your little ones to look as cool as you do. Farrah solves this problem by selling good-as-new pre-loved designer kids wear.
Why not get the little ones loving vintage early? Every purchase helps disadvantaged children and teens in Romania.
Possibly the greenest hair salon chain in London, Gary Ingham uses only natural products such as those by Aveda on your mane. Like how they feel? You can buy them in the salon to take home. Staff are well trained and experienced, with many having worked on runway shows and photo shoots, too.
A hotspot for the young and the famous, this gastropub is well known for its fresh, seasonal produce and for offering a wide variety of vegetarian and vegan dishes alongside more traditional pub fare like fish & chips. In the summer, its beautiful garden is always packed, making reservations a must.
Part of the charm of the area is that there are no hotels in Primrose Hill, really–it’s strictly for those in the know! But don’t despair, there are plenty of private rentals to be found. Just check out places like One Fine Stay, Turnkey or Airbnb to rent of the sweetest little bijou apartments that will make you feel like a true local.