Epsom is one of Auckland's oldest suburbs and unlike modern-day pockets of affluence like Parnell and Ponsonby, which have seen their days of workers' cottages and slums, Epsom has always been considered largely well-heeled. Not that the Epsom of today is solely the preserve of the rich - there is a mix of residents and housing and that's what the locals like about it.
Families today are drawn to Epsom for its central location, excellent schools, great transport links and leafy, wide streets. Charlotte Marshall from Harcourts Epsom says the suburb is special for its intriguing history, the fact it's surrounded by volcanic cones and also has two of New Zealand's top secondary schools, Auckland Grammar and Epsom Girls' Grammar. One of Charlotte's picks for best-kept Epsom secrets include Mt St John, "one of Auckland's best parks".
"The best Epsom cafe without a doubt is Espresso Workshop Boutique Roastery & Cafe," she says. (You'll find the Espresso Workshop at 2 Owens Rd, ph 630 9397.) There are fantastic antique stores and two favourite eateries are One Tree Grill and, for cheap and cheerful Malaysian food, KK Malaysian Cuisine (463a Manukau Rd, ph 630 3555).
Diana Buczkowski from Barfoot & Thompson Epsom says Epsom's school zones are one of its strongest attractions for families.
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"As well as the top secondary schools, we have an excellent decile-10 primary school and private girls' schools St Cuthbert's College and Diocesan School for Girls."
Cornwall Park and One Tree Hill Domain are popular recreation spots and there are a number of other parks and reserves in the area as well.
Greenwoods Corner is a shopping hub with a range of cafes, restaurants and retailers including a butcher, fish shop, clothing boutiques and gifts and homewares. The ASB Showgrounds are home to events such as the Easter Show and trade fairs throughout the year. Alexandra Raceway next door is a popular venue for those who like a flutter on the horses.
"Overall, Epsom is a leafy, family suburb," Diana says.