This characterful B&B was established as a wine bar in the 1960s by an Italian and a Cypriot refugee, Bernardo and Androulla Stella. In the 1970s the wine bar was complemented by a full-blown Italian restaurant, with hotel rooms above. Not an awful lot has changed since then. La Gaffe is still run by the Stella family, and is a friendly, welcoming, if somewhat idiosyncratic place. Indeed, the restaurant deserves a preservation order for its Italianate rococo decor. The rooms have been nicely spruced up over the years and include a splendid family room (£129) with four poster and an inner room for the kids; and regular doubles are £99 – all a bit of a bargain when you’ve got Hampstead on your doorstep and Hampstead Tube a hop and a skip down the road.

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