London’s Villages: Paddington

Paddington
Paddington illustration by Heather Gatley

HAVING UNDERGONE A SERIOUS POLISH, THIS WELL-CONNECTED PATCH OF CENTRAL LONDON HAS SEEN ITS STOCK RISE, WITH BUYERS BEING LURED BY ITS HEADY MIX OF THE HISTORICAL AND CONTEMPORARY

Paddington is known the world over for its station, whisking you to Heathrow airport or the dreaming spires of Oxford in under an hour. And, of course, for its eponymous bear, fan of marmalade sandwiches and disarming hard stares.

First Impressions

Paddington
The Paddington Partnership

As a place to live, Paddington has never attracted the attention of neighbouring Little Venice or Hyde Park. Until now that is. The development of the Paddington Basin area, with its new apartments, shops and restaurants, and the opening of the Elizabeth line station, have polished up this pocket of London.

“Paddington benefits from exceptional transport links and is known for its leafy streets, garden squares and canals, which makes it an attractive option for buyers,” says Dylan James, sales director at Chestertons Hyde Park. “The local property market is further fuelled by professionals who might have a permanent residence in Oxford or Bath but require a pied-à-terre in the city.”

James has seen growing buyer demand for new developments around the Paddington Basin area but also streets such as Westbourne Terrace, which boast stunning period homes with a more traditional feel. “Buyers will find one-bed apartments priced between £500,000 to £800,000 and two-beds from £850,000 to £1.2m. Three-bed apartments sell for up to £2m, while houses have an average asking price of £3.5m upwards,” he says.

The Paddington area has undergone a “remarkable transformation”, adds Aidan Coates, associate director at Hamptons in Hyde Park and Bayswater. “At Paddington Basin, a modern hub of residential and office buildings nestled along the historic Grand Union Canal, contemporary apartments have become highly sought after by international families looking for a London base, as well as an investment opportunity.”

A day out

Paddington
The Paddington Partnership

9AM

Trailing away

Marking the end of the Grand Union Canal that starts in King’s Cross, there’s no shortage of sights. On Fridays, watch the rolling bridge unfurl, or visit the striking floating pocket park next to Merchant Square. For younger visitors, why not follow in the footsteps of the area’s most famous resident and star of two Hollywood films, by embarking on Paddington’s Pawprint? Starting in the station, visit the spots linked to the Michael Bond classic series.

11AM

Floating show

On a beautifully converted barge, find the UK’s only floating puppet theatre, moored in Little Venice at Puppet Barge Theatre. With Monty Python actor Michael Palin as patron, the theatre has been a fixture for more than 40 years. The next show, The Insect Circus opens on 3 February, with another performance on 17 February at 11am.

1PM

Light lunch

Paddington is full of places to eat, both on and off the water. Find healthy and colourful dishes at brunch favourite The Daisy Green Collection, in Paddington Basin’s Merchant Square, while Temper Paddington is part of the award- winning group of smokehouses.

3PM

Open-air gallery

Discover Paddington through a new medium at the Paddington Art Trail where a mixture of bridges, bronzes, busts, and bears are spread out among 22 works. Celebrate the area’s royal, stage and scientific connections.

5PM

Say cheese!

End the day canalside by booking a table at Vagabond. New to Vagabond is its Sunday roast, or try out the Cheese+Wine night, pairing five Vagabond wines with cheeses, and build up your culinary knowledge. Find tickets to the next one, on the 13 February.

Ask a local: Brian Woulfe, Interior designer and founder of Designed by Woulfe

“Its central position couldn’t be better, with access to the Heathrow Express and the Elizabeth line making visits to the east so easy!

My favourite things to do include a walk across the iconic Little Venice Bridge to visit the tranquil Clifton Nurseries, which is London’s oldest and certainly most beautiful garden centre.

Our design team love escaping the office to enjoy lunch at one of the many floating restaurants and cafes along Paddington Basin, surrounded by shiny modern buildings. A wonderful architectural contrast to the impressive period homes in the surrounding areas.”

designedbywoulfe.com

Food & Drink

THE GRAND DUCHESS

Sheldon Square

Paddington London

Set sail with The Grand Duchess on Paddington’s esteemed canal. Most of the fish comes from Kernowasahimi & Wild Harbour. They also represent a network of Cornish day-boat fishermen. Tuck into seafaring British crowdpleasers, such as beer-battered fish and chips, or rainbow trout with salsa verde. Be sure to visit its nearby sister restaurant The Prince Regent, which is housed in a carefully restored barge on North Wharf Road.
londonshellco.com

BONDI GREEN

1-2 Canalside Walk

Paddington
Fancy Bacon Roll + House Made Granola

Part of The Daisy Green Collection that brought Australia’s famed coffee and brunch culture to London postcodes, Bondi Green is one of the three ‘Greens’ in W2. Others include Darcie & May Green, and Beany Green in Little Venice. Associated with vibrant healthy food and drinks that brighten up any Instagram feed, book a culinary trip Down Under. daisygreenfood.co.uk

THE UNION

4 Sheldon Square

Paddington

For vibrant dining, The Union is the go- to destination for a warm and inviting atmosphere. A neighbourhood favourite, whether meeting for a spontaneous after- work drink or reserving for an occasion, The Union’s doors are open. From small plates such as chorizo croquettes to the beloved brunch favourite shakshuka, tuck in. paddington.theunionbar.co.uk

PEARL LIANG

8 Sheldon Square

On drier land, find authentic Chinese cuisine in the sophisticatedly modern interiors of Pearl Liang. As one of London’s most celebrated restaurants, dim sum, sweet and sour pork, and Peking Duck are a handful of its specialities. New menu highlights include Chilean sea bass and foie gras. pearlliang.co.uk

JAMUNA

38 Southwick Street

Inspired by South Asia’s rich culture, the family-run establishment fuses British grill with aromatic Indian flavours. Jamuna invites diners to go on a voyage of culinary discovery, through dishes such as jackfruit biryani, venison and grilled halloumi or mushrooms in mint and yoghurt. jamuna.co.uk

SCHOOLS

Paddington
Abercorn School

Being so centrally located, Paddington residents can access a wide variety of local schools for tots and teens. Micky Star nursery and pre-school has places for September 2024, and has an open day on 27 January. Set just off the Edgware Road, close to Edgware Road and Paddington stations, it offers ample facilities for children aged 0-5.

When it comes to preps, Connaught House on Connaught Square offers a family-run co-ed school. Hyde Park is on the doorstep and local facilities are used for dance, football, gymnastics and more, while years 1-6 learn to swim at Kensington Leisure Centre.

Principal Victoria Hampton is the third generation of her family to lead the school. For an all-through experience, Abercorn School caters for children (from nursery to year 2) at the Lower School in St John’s Wood and for older children (years 3-11) at the Senior School on Paddington Street. Facilities include a purpose-built theatre, sports hall, art studio and DT workshop, while Paddington Street gardens offer outside space.

ASK AN AGENT: PAUL CHRISTIAN, SENIOR SALES MANAGER MARSH & PARSONS, LITTLE VENICE

“Located between the picturesque canals of Little Venice and the open spaces of Hyde Park, Paddington offers a unique balance of urban buzz and green tranquillity.

Known for its stuccoed terraced townhouses, forming iconic garden squares, the area has seen a rise in modern architecture and stylish waterside developments. This mix of office spaces alongside contemporary residential apartments creates a new-age dynamic in the area.

Providing Underground, Elizabeth line, National Rail and speedy Heathrow Express connections, Paddington’s world-renowned station connects commuters to Greater London and the country.

There has been a continual demand from buyers and tenants across the capital and we don’t expect this to slow down. Residents also benefit from all the culture and history on offer.” marshandparsons.co.uk

BLOMFIELD ROAD

Paddington

Situated across the upper floors of a Grade II white stucco-fronted building, this three-bedroom upper maisonette offers views across the waters of the Little Venice basin. With a beautiful front garden, master bedroom with walk- in wardrobe and double reception, it benefits from generous proportions. Guide price £3.25m Agent: marshandparsons.co.uk

NORFOLK PLACE

Paddington

Freshly redesigned, this trendy three-bedroom flat in the heart of Paddington. The period property benefits from open-plan living and excellent public transport links. £975,000 Agent: chestertons.co.uk

CELBRIDGE MEWS

Paddington

Set on a private mews in Royal Oak, this three-bedroom house is ideally located
for the shops, restaurants and bars of Queensway and Westbourne Grove. £1.85m Agent: dexters.co.uk

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