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London Neighborhood; Upper Middle Class, Dining, Shopping

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Hi, Fodorites.

Looking for some guidance on some neighborhoods that might be of interest to me.

Is there a neighborhood of London that might be comparable to, say, my hometown's (Chicago) Old Town or (New York's) Brooklyn Heights?

Meaning, upper middle class. Independent bakeries/cafes and restaurants and shops. I'm too old for a "hipster" scene. Clean, wide sidewalks. Few panhandlers. A place where thirty-forty somethings live, who are employed and have things to do.

I have this fantasy of finding a nice restaurant with a view of a lively street or park where Londoners live.

Is Hampstead such a place? And I recall wandering a short strip a little southwest of Notting Hill (Holland Park?) that felt quiet, somewhat "posh." What about Spitalfields? Or Hackney? (Though I confess, I'm only lured there by the possibility of spying Michael Fassbender. Such is the dream of all American spinsters.) What of Richmond (saw a bit of this on my way to Chiswick and Kew last year, and it seemed to have its charms).

Any ideas? And if yes, any suggestions for restaurants? Would be keen on Indian (for the curry) or Japanese (as there's no respectable ramen joints in Chicago.)

Thanks to all!

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