In an earlier pre-Didsbury Dad incarnation I spent a couple of months based around Notting Hill working with a director so tragically fashionable that if he put his pants on inside out he would quote “The Face” as his justification and compare it to a petting zoo in which he had filmed the world’s coolest llama. Even then this aching need to be hip struck me as being similar to the crowd scene in “Life of Brian”.
Brian cries “You’re all different” and as one they respond “Yes – we’re all different” before the “I’m not” punch line”. This is all a tortuously long way of explaining that when I hear of some of some suburban outpost being feted as the ” New Notting Hill” I think of a street full of pointless, daddy’s boys and girls with more money than taste, more drugs than Boots and more reasons to bypass it.
Until Saturday Night in West Didsbury when the early autumn warmth bathed Burton Road in an atmosphere that Notting Hill would maim for (killing is SO last year). This felt to me to be the feeling Notting Hill hopes to convey; independent, fashionable, creative and louche with an urban edge.
Me, Didsbury Wife and a pram full of Baby Gap, George and Sudocrem decided to stroll down to West Didsbury for a change of scene and a little al fresco dining. What we found was a lively, unpretentious and stylish stroll that stretches from beyond the Metrolink to the gates of Withington Community Hospital ( I recommend their coffee and artwork). Even the Burton Road pound shop has a good window display and to join in the vibe – The Canadian Charcoal Pit had chained two school chairs to the front door. I offered Didsbury Wife the opportunity of extra toppings on her Prairie Dog if we could decamp there but no …
Past the Morcilla toting Pinchjo’s, the magnificent chaos of Folk and magnificent ethos of Cachumba we looked longingly at the unchild-friendly Saturday night ambience of The Violet Hour and Mary & Archie’s. This was Notting Hill without the downside of Trustafarians and eye-popping prices for small portions.
Burton Road is in bloom and with all this beautiful choice we somehow ended up squeezed in a corner of a rush-hour Metro packed Great Kathmandu where the hour and five minutes we waited for food allowed the babies to sleep through boredom and us to stare into each others’ eyes, whisper sweet nothings and moan about how tired we were.
Thank you West Didsbury.