W

e chose to move to Stanmore initially as it was near my in-laws and we knew that once we had children, being close to family would be such a bonus… it takes a village.

Since moving here, more of our immediate family have chosen to live in the neighbourhood so our village is expanding fast.

Stanmore is also close to lots of good schools and has a great ethnic diversity, which was important to us as a British-Nigerian family.

I live in a family home that is actually made of two former workers’ cottages knocked into one. The house has been a perfect canvas for me to redecorate in my interior style that I call “Afro Aristo meets Caribbean nan chic”.

Eating and drinking

Oak Caffe on Church Road is a wonderfully friendly local cafe serving the best omelettes and oat milk lattes in town. Diaar Turkish Restaurant on The Broadway serves deliciously fresh food. It’s our go-to for takeaways.

Where I work out

Chilli Pilates on Sparrows Herne for brilliant reformer Pilates. I was doing this workout before Lori Harvey got the world into it.

For a culture fix

Bentley Priory Museum is home to some fabulous stories as it was the Headquarters Fighter Command in the Battle of Britain. Aside from this I am afraid Stanmore is rather lacking in culture, with no cinemas, theatre or galleries to speak of. Although this is where the proximity to the Tube comes in handy as I am always “popping” into central London.

The area has no shortage of nature trails and reserves to explore. Wood Farm and Stanmore Country Park are good places to start

/ Matt Writtle

To commune with nature

Nature is one thing Stanmore has to the max, which was such a privilege during lockdown. There is no shortage of nature trails and reserves to explore. Our favourites are Wood Farm with its awesome view all the way to the Shard and Stanmore Country Park. We love the history here, too. Local legend has it that Queen Boudica and her army camped in the ponds a stone’s throw away from our home.

Grocery shopping

Andrew’s greengrocer on the High Road has a wide variety of fruit and veg, and he is always on hand to help you choose. Then there is Shenel’s on The Broadway. What would I do without Shenel’s when shopping for my Nigerian dishes? This is where I get really lovely plantains, garri to make my beloved eba dish and tilapia fish.

Shenel’s supermarket on The Broadway, near Stanmore tube station

/ Matt Writtle

Getting around

Not being a driver, I get around mostly with buses and walking. I then head to the Tube if I need to get further afield.

Dream street

My dream street is Priory Drive. It is a gated community of beautiful homes and gardens. The gates are open in the daytime for pedestrians as it is a thoroughfare for the nature reserve and we often walk down there admiring all the properties and planning which one we would buy if we won the lottery.

As someone passionate about design, I love the myriad architectural styles found in Stanmore, from art deco mansions to Swiss-style chalets to Georgian cottages such as my own or Sixties architectural gems; pretty much anything goes around here. Our local estate agent kindly always shows me interesting homes that pop up as, although I am not ready to move, I love looking at the interiors of the unusual properties.

Something you only see in Stanmore

Well, Stanmore is the location of quite a few scenes from the TV drama Killing Eve. Some scenes with Villanelle (Jodie Comer) were shot in nearby homes and my in-laws’ driveway was used by their production team, which was extremely exciting for me as I am a huge fan.

What’s the catch?

The aforementioned lack of places to get your culture fix is definitely a catch. Also, so many houses are being pulled down and being replaced by giant, not particularly architecturally inspiring, blocks of flats. It’s really adding to congestion in the area, which used to be a sleepy little suburb, with road networks that reflect that.

In three words

Green. Eclectic. Diverse.

Visit Instagram @cottagenoir and thecornrow.com

Schools

There are several primary schools in Stanmore rated good including Avanti House Primary School and Whitchurch Primary School. For secondary education, Bentley Wood High School and Park High School are deemed outstanding. North London Collegiate School is an independent day school for girls aged four to 18.

What it costs

Buying in Stanmore

  • Average house price: £607,900
  • Average flat price: £337,700

Renting in Stanmore

  • Average house price, pcm: £2,120 pcm
  • Average flat price, pcm: £1,340 pcm

Source: Hamptons

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