Hampstead is an area I've heard about time and time again for being one of the loveliest neighbourhoods in London. Those people are not wrong. It has a village feel and would be simply wonderful to live in. It's full of little shops, markets, cute side streets and is located right next to the Heath. There's only one catch: you pretty much have to be a millionaire to afford it.
I walked from Finchley Road station, which is only about fifteen minutes away from me on the tube, so I got to see quite a lot of the area. I also stumbled into a charity shop which had a load of cool, vintage dresses that would be great for fancy dress! It took about twenty minutes to walk, uphill mostly, and went from huge redbrick Victorian houses to chocolate box Georgian places once I got to the village. I've heard Hampstead is a bit 'yummy mummy' and I did indeed see a lot of prams and leaflets for children's activities. There were very few of the usual high street shops to be found, instead there were artisan bakeries and expensive designer boutiques.
The only downside to Hampstead (apart from the price) is that it didn't feel very 'happening'. I couldn't see many bars or arty type venues. I can imagine it would be the perfect place to raise kids, or if you want to get away from it all but still stay close to the action. With three train stations (two tube and one overground) in close proximity to each other, it's a really, really fantastic area of London. Unfortunately, I'm never going to live there.