Discover the community feel in St John’s Wood: this North London enclave is still drawing in new fans today
Most recognisable for Lord’s Cricket Ground and the famous Abbey Road zebra crossing, that features on The Beatles’ album cover, there is much more to St John’s Wood. Neighbouring Regent’s Park and Baker Street, St John’s Wood has the charm of a village feel within the capital, full of independent shops and quiet pockets for a moment of peace.
St John’s Wood: First Impressions
The leafy wide streets lined with handsome period houses that typify St John’s Wood are known throughout the world thanks to one of the most famous album covers in history – the Beatles’ Abbey Road. But it’s not just fans of the Fab Four flocking to NW8, as St John’s Wood has thrived in recent years as a ‘best of all worlds’ London area.
“Although just a stone’s throw from central London, St John’s Wood offers a sense of village living with its atmospheric and boutique high street,” says Zach Madison, of Savills St John’s Wood office.
“Families favour the area for the green open spaces of Regent’s Park and Primrose Hill, as well as the schools here. Residents get the best of both worlds the West End bustle being just a few stops away on the Jubilee Line,” says Madison. In addition, its attractive villas have made it one of the most desirable areas to live in London. “The principal appeal of the area is the low-density nature of the pretty architecture and the diversity of residents making both UK and international buyers feeling very much part of the community,” says Mark Pollack, director of Aston Chase. He adds, “All of these factors are underpinned by the presence of the ASL (American School in London) which is a magnet for international business people relocating to London”.
Demand has stoked recent house sales which, says Pollack, include a magnificent residence on Hamilton Terrace for close to £23m and another property close to £30m. Prestigious areas lie to the east of Avenue Road and near St John’s Wood High Street, as well as the ever popular Clifton Hill. Luxury flats even come with a view over Lord’s Cricket Ground.
A day in St John’s Wood
Put a smile on your face
Why don’t you treat yourself to a FaceGym work out? Products and online classes are designed to train the 40-plus forgotten face muscles, combine a set of signature moves, that can lift, tone and sculpt, delivering both instant and long-term results. Pop into FaceGym on St John’s Wood High Street to join the movement.
Browse the boutiques Tara Jarmon, Paulie and TWENTYONE (where proprietor Elaine Davis advises London’s best-dressed women) en route to The Good Life Eatery. Find everything from chestnut and almond waffle, to BYO-avo toast (that’s build your own avocado toast). Eat in, or take your cold-pressed juice away to enjoy within the St John’s Wood Church gardens.
Strike a pose
Step on undoubtedly the most famous zebra crossing in London, on Abbey Road. Recreate the iconic 1969 Beatles album cover, following in the footsteps of the Fab Four. And feel free to write on the Abbey Road studio wall, or pop into the studio to browse the Abbey Road Shop. You can even record some music, if you’re feeling especially brave.
Lunch like a star
Lunch at the legendary Panzer’s, London’s original Jewish deli, which has been serving the community for 75 years. Or dine al fresco at the much-loved brasserie Cafe Med on Carlton Hill.
The home of cricket, be sure to go to Lord’s Cricket Ground. Activities take place on
the Nursery Ground, experience the MCC museum, book a tour or even afternoon tea. Look out for the Finals of the Hundred (3 September) and the fourth series of Lord’s Dining Club this autumn.
Admire the architecture along St Ann’s Terrace, and try to spot sculptor Barbara Hepworth’s blue plaque.
St John’s Wood: Ask a local
Maria Ensabella, Founder of LondonCryo, St John’s Wood, says, ‘I was really excited to be opening in St John’s Wood. It’s got a great sense of community with a mix
of families, professionals and people who take a interest in looking after their health and wellness. At LondonCryo, we offer services that specialise in wellness and recovery, and in particular cryotherapy, so locals can come in and feel energised, boost their immune system and accelerate recovery and muscle repair: just what is needed now life has returned back to normal. A few of my favourite spots – aside from LondonCryo of course – are Heartcore (the fitness studios), Panzer’s (the café and deli) and Unico (for delicious Italian gelato). The area really does cater for everything.’
St John’s Wood: Food and Drink
60 St John’s Wood High St
The informal neighbourhood rendezvous, Soutine is part of The Wolseley Hospitality Group. Inspired by the boulevard cafés of Paris and St John’s Wood artistic heritage, Soutine offers a classic French café menu. Enjoy Parisian favourites, from steak tartare to coq au Riesling, and sweeter delights like tarte au citron and mousse au chocolat. For those who can’t decide, the prix-fixe menu is available all day. soutine.co.uk
120 St John’s Wood High St
The Ivy is synonymous with convivial brassiere-style dining. It showcases the very best in modern British cuisine. From café classics to bountiful vegan and vegetarian options, The Ivy St John’s Wood, has a dish for everyone. Its alfresco Parisian-chic seating is perfect for the warmer months, while their semi-private dining area can seat up to eight guests. theivystjohnswood.com
3 Circus Road
Opened in July 2021, the newest addition to the Chucs family is a stone’s throw from St John’s Wood recognisable spots. Famed for its Italian cuisine, Chucs serves all the classics, such as linguine al pomodoro, risotto verde with wild garlic, morels and goat’s cheese, as well as Cotswold lamp rump. chucsrestaurants.com
28 Circus Road
East meets West at Maido, the neighbourhood favourite. Located in a former post office, Maido’s founders were the preferred suppliers of sushi-grade fish to the capital’s Michelin-starred restaurants. Guests can either have a casual dine-in experience, grab food on the go, or even pick up some of those fine ingredients from their grocery and sushi section. maidosushi.com
49-51 St John’s Wood High St
AT feast is passionate about wholesome food, using local suppliers who share its values on carbon-neutral, plastic-free, organic and low- intervention dining. Chef’s recommendations include the black bean burger with sweet potato fries and the intriguing fish and chips with a twist. atfeast.com
St John’s Wood: Schools
St John’s Wood is awash with good schools. At prep level, Arnold House School for boys aged 3-13 and Abercorn School, a co-ed family of schools (this September opening a senior school for children aged 13-14 which will grow organically, are both well-respected, popular choices for families. Trevor-Roberts School, in nearby Eton Avenue, Swiss Cottage is also highly spoken of for both girls and boys ages 5-13. The North Bridge House family of six schools, for children aged 2 to 18, has locations in nearby neighbourhoods Regent’s Park, Hampstead and West Hampstead. However, it is the ASL (the American School London) on Waverley Place which is a magnet for global business people relocating to London. With its lower-, middle- and high-school structure, it provides an outstanding American education to a diverse, international student body, with 70 nationalities currently represented. A new headteacher is taking the reins next summer.
St John’s Wood: On the market
Melina Place, Savills.com
1A St John’s Wood Park, astonchase.com