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January 2012 / Food & Drink / by Liz Skone James

My London: Jamie Barber in Highgate

Jamie Barber, the restaurateur who founded Villandry, Sake no Hana, Kitchen Italia and the recently launched Cabana Brasilian Barbecue, tells us why Highgate will always be home.

Why did you buy in Highgate?
I grew up in Highgate and went to school in Hampstead. I’m only a few roads away from the house where I lived as a child: buying in Highgate felt natural.

What do you like most about the area?
Most of my restaurants are in town, and my offices are in Mayfair; I am constantly exposed to the life and vibrancy of the city, so when I come home I want some calm, and to see green spaces and breathe clean air. Walking the dog at Kenwood and taking my girls to Channing School is a tremendous soul-enhancer!

What are your local favourites?
You can get wonderful steak at The Red Lion & Sun, and The Bull & Last serves an excellent Sunday roast. Dogs are welcome, so we often head there after a walk on Hampstead Heath. I also think you can’t beat a night out at The Everyman Cinema in Hampstead.

What do you look for in a home?
Character is important. Our house is mid-1800s and all the rooms have large proportions so there is a wonderful feeling of space.

Does the design of your restaurants reflect your style at home? In many ways the house has a similar ethos to Hush, which is (hopefully) elegant, classic and not overly contemporary.

Speaking of restaurants, tell us about Cabana
Cabana is a relaxed, vibrant and affordable new Brasilian barbecue restaurant, which we opened at both Westfield Stratford City and Covent Garden last month. Both restaurants embrace the Brasilian vibe, with banquettes created from recycled jeans from Sao Paolo favelas, walls lined with Brasilian printed posters and scaffold plank wood flooring.

For more information, see www.cabana-brasil.com