East Finchley is the only place to live in the opinion of some local residents, and they are a growing band. In the fifteenth century the area was part of the Bishop of London’s hunting ground known as Finchley Common. A road was built through it, and where there’s a popular route, popular pubs follow – some, like the White Lion, The Bald Faced Stag and The Five Bells, are still with us today.
We can’t talk about east Finchley without lauding the Phoenix Cinema. This exceptional venue opened in 1912 and is the second oldest continuously running cinema in the country. The first films it showed was about the tragic Titanic ocean liner which had recently sunk – but the Phoenix has survived through difficult times and now has an illustrious list of patrons including, Benedict Cumberbatch, Maureen Lipman, Mike Leigh, Ken Loach, Michael Palin, Bill Paterson and Mark Kermode. There are many well-known actors living here – and with all its attractions we understand why people are starry-eyed about East Finchley.