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Rose Rouse of ‘Not On Safari in Harlesden’ chooses her five secret NW10 spots

Posted at 3:15 pm, June 16, 2012 in Arts & Entertainment, Secret London
Rose Rouse of Not on Safari

Harlesden may not have had the best press in the past, but all that only makes the news that NW10 is on the up all the sweeter. It’s claimed Louis Theroux as the town champion, and Leeroy Simpson and the Harlesden Town Team are stirring up a new urban vision, starting with Love Harlesden Day this Sunday June 17. Rose Rouse’s blog is called Not on Safari in Harlesden, and she’s picked five secret Harlesden spots for us. Which, presumably, do not involve any wild animals.

O Tamariz, 156 Manor Park Road, NW10 45R
‘I was walking and talking with marvellous ex-gas meter reader and poet Sue Saunders when we happened upon the best Portuguese café in Harlesden. Cosy, friendly and provider of an amazing range of custard-stuffed pastries. Mainly frequented by lovely Portuguese families, it’s a great place to hang out when you feel the urge for sugar and coffee.’

Willesden Junction Station, Harrow Road, NW10
‘Yes, despite the misleading name, it is in Harlesden. Oh, the bleakness of that caged, industrial walkway. But even a falling-down arts and crafts generator building and blackberry bushes can look beautiful. You can wend your way across a 19th century iron bridge and through an industrial estate to the Grand Union Canal. Last year I invited eight friends to dress in red and dance with me on that pathway. A short film Dance Willesden Junction (above) is the result. Watch out for the maintenance man in high-vis really getting down to Al Green!’

The Misty Moon
‘Legendary former cinema The Coliseum where The Slits (fabulously fierce punk women) played their first gig supporting The Clash in 1977. First art deco cinema, then fleapit, the venue is now recovering from being Wetherspoon-ed and hosts the Lexi’s Nomad cinema once a month.’

Roundwood Park Harlesden
Roundwood Park

‘This hidden treasure of a park has a fantastic cafe which is always full of laughing children and sells lovely home-baked cakes. Often the scene of a craft market, but if there’s no shopping to be done, venture up the charming hill where you can look over North London. Harlesden’s Primrose Hill, but with a view in the opposite direction. Oh and there are ancient bowling people and gaudy flower beds. Ideal for romance because no-one will spot you.’

Faisal’s Barber Shop, 238 High St, NW10 4TP
‘Not just any old barber shop but the super duper Faisal (Gappy Ranks and James de Gale are regulars). It’s never empty. In fact it’s usually full of barbers in fetching red and white checked shirts. Run by Faisal Abdu’allah, a dapper dude, barber and  internationally acclaimed artist (he went to the Royal Academy with Chris Ofili) who has just had a 3 floor show at a modern museum of art in Gran Canaria. He’s a visiting prof at Standford University, always entertaining, has potential as Harlesden’s Mary Portas, and still cuts hair on Saturdays. Wow!’

Read more from Rose on the Not on Safari in Harlesden blog, or see the Not on Safari in Harlesden Facebook Page.

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