Side step: last chance to eat a crêpe in Hampstead?

14 Jul

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The little crêpe stand that’s been stationed on Hampstead high street for the past 33 years is a much-loved landmark and true Hampstead institution.

It’s one of the many reasons I’ll travel that far up the Northern line, but possibly not for long with news that La Crêperie de Hampstead may be shutting for business.

The little stand dishes out amazing sweet crêpes and savoury gallettes that take me back to my year abroad in Paris – the kind of freshly-made pancakes that ooze Belgian chocolate layer after layer, served just like in the City of Light. There’s always a queue, rain or shine, and the van stays open till late, perfect for midnight snacking.

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But the charming atmosphere has been tarnished recently, with news that La Crêperie de Hampstead is being “evicted” by the pub next door.

Signs have been plastered on the van asking locals to sign a petition to save the crêperie, and warn that “this may be your last crêpe”. The business has got a lot of attention from the media and their online petition has well-exceeded their target with 1,441 signatures.

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The pub has responded to the uproar, and in an open letter to the press and public explained that they have been providing the crêperie with storage and refrigeration facilities in their garden, free of charge, for several years.

The pub now needs the space back, and offered the crêperie an alternative section in their kitchen, for a fee, which they rejected.

The crêpe war continues but at the time of visiting, the signs stated that they could be closing in just fourteen days, so sometime in July. Given their backing and popularity, and the fact that La Crêperie de Hampstead has sold more than three million crêpes since opening, I doubt we will see the van driving away.

But just in case, get yourself to Hampstead and savour the crêpes while you can.

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The details:

Location: 77a Hampstead High Street, Hampstead tube

Opening times: daily 10am-11pm

Prices: average £4 a crêpe

To see the petition online, click here.

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