College Road: Crazy Lights and Different Shades

By Wills Morgan
There is a spring of delights that can be found in a casually placed crop of shops close to the northern end of College Road. Come with me and take a walk…

There is no real logic to the mixture of houses, schools and shops that stretch upwards from Kensal Green Station. But for the writer of this script there has always been a sensuous beauty about College Road.

It is especially beauteous at this present time: when the seasonal cold has peaked and the daylight returns, saying: ‘Hello mortals! Did you miss me?’ The trees, the groceries, the local bridge and the launderette respond in a chorus of silent worship: “Yes we did!”

Everything is fresh and new. There are additional opportunities for drinking, gambling and (if you are of an appropriate age) picking up your pension. And where there are schools, you will be able to find more than a shock of pupils: often as not in the company of their ‘desirable dads’ or yummy mummies’. How lovely!
NOT PIZZA EAST: it's the Island! And there's the sun!!!!
I’ve chosen to write these particular words because there is a small corner of College Road that has just been re-made. How so? Well, the Island is now under new management: and the building that houses its present activities has an ultra-modern winter coat. And our favourite mouth-watering deli that is L’Angolo has chosen the winter season to have a little lick of paint applied.

Gracelands Café has gone even further. Paint for the wall; new toys and abacuses for the children: and a new exhibition of vintage Polish film posters via an interesting company called Eyesea.

But even more interesting and exciting than this is the fresh new look created by Simone Russell and Penny Meachin for Verandah, our local cave of interior gifts and goodies.
Penny and Simone have smartened up the place for the New Year: and if I say so myself (and I do say so) they have achieved a spectacular success. What’s most needful now is a little publicity.

Blowing your own horn is not easy: especially so if you know you’ve got a good product and a loyal following. So (I thought) I’m a bit of a cultural commentator…I think I can get the right information and access to a few machines…why don’t I do it?

I persuaded local photographer (and mate) Hannah Anketell to rush up to College Road to take these shots. The sun was out and about for a brief period: we had to make serious hay. Thanks to Hannah’s command and control, I’m able to give you an idea of what Verandah looks like.VERANDAH: a jewel by HANNAH ANKETELL

And the style and beauty of Verandah is very much a microcosm of the world that is College Road itself; a veritable Aladdin’s avenue full of gifts and drinks, trees and schools, pensions and gambling. Oh! Such luscious, crazy lights! And such daring, delicious and different shades of dark!


VERANDAH has two stylish lifestyle emporiums: one at 117 Chamberlayne Rd, Kensal Rise and the newly stylish one as pictured here at 116 College Rd, Kensal Green.

GRACELANDS CAFÉ is next door to Verandah.
L’ANGOLO FIORI is next door to Gracelands.
THE ISLAND is across the road and you can get a drink there.
Photographs of Verandah by HANNAH ANKETELL. 

WILLS MORGAN blows his own horn at THE ISLAND EXPERIMENT every Wednesday night @ Paradise by Way of Kensal Green. He also blows his own nose in socially acceptable parties.
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