BAR FLY

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The Independent Culture
Paradise By Way of Kensal Green 19 Kilburn Lane, London W10 (0181-969 0098)

Paradise, just north of Ladbroke Grove, is where smooth west London gets a little rough: more a bar for local residents than for fashion victims.

Having said that, no one could accuse the bar of lacking pretence: it's trying to be like something from Star Wars, sort of futuristic but falling- apart. In the stark, central space there's a lot mangled metal decor, and brightly lit bottles line the back wall. Drinks are baptised with ice from a medieval-looking font, and you half expect Luke Skywalker to stroll in off the Harrow Road.

There's (surprisingly all right) art on all the walls, and fake Louis XIV furniture and urns in the slumber room. The rest of the (more rickety) seating seems to have been borrowed from someone's garden shed.

There's a large restaurant with live jazz on a Sunday, and - upstairs - a very cool, but pricey, function room.

Just to complete the grungy, boho image, the title of the place comes from a Chesterton couplet, alluding to the nearby cemetery: "For there is good news to hear and fine things to be seen, Before we go to Paradise by way of Kensal Green."

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