Date: SPRING 2010


Photography: RUDA CECH


“Her name may sound like the school square but rest assured, The Betsy Smith is the new minx of Kilburn High Road. The recently opened north west London hotspot is a hedonistic temple of kitch that’s just dying for you to come out and play.

Legend has it that the Victorian born Betsy was a daydreamer and fantasist who busied herself with writing stories and fairytales of talking badgers and flamingos in top hats. On the evening of her 25th birthday, her phantasmagorical friends leapt from her musings for the mother of all parties. And now Betsy’s eccentric world has been recreated from sketches and cocktail recipes secreted in a biscuit tin…

But however it happened, the venue’s cubby holes and crannies are the perfect place in which to escape the big bad modern world. Themed hideaways include a red velvet-draped mezzanine level overlooking the dance floor that features a unique scratch n’ sniff gallery by New York’s Flavorleague, The Burrow complete with ‘badger chairs’ and The Wardrobe which would make Carrie Bradshaw sack Mr Big on the spot.

The Betsy Smith is the third venue from the team behind the Winchester in Islington and The Lodge Tavern in Ealing Broadway and Kai Design’s Michaela Reysenn and Landis Middleton are responsible for the decor – albeit with a little help from the inimitable Betsy.

Cocktails garnished with jaffa cakes and edible rose petals come served in teacups and jam jars but the food menu is satisfyingly real with wood-fired pizzas, hearty breakfasts and contemporary pub grub. With a 3am licence on Friday and Saturday nights, weekdays are peppered with traditional pub quizzes, salsa dancing, speed dating and sports screenings.

Paradise by way of Kensal Green, your days of Kilburn dominance are numbered!”

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