TOP 4 'Let's-Do-One' North London Parks
Written by: Harry Corton
1. Highbury Fields
There’s a nice local, communal feel about this place. A much warmer atmosphere than the parks in Central, that are often filled to the brim with out-of-towners *shakes stick*. Set slap-bang in the middle of North London, this wonderful green space is a worthy locational compromise for you and your crowd. Particularly with its proximity to Highbury & Islington station (a two-minute walk), which will tempt your set of Hackney based pals to this delectable area via the fast and easy Overground line.
On hot days, expect vast gatherings of affable sunbathers, ball game players and plumes of smoke and great smells emanating from multiple BBQ’s, which the council welcome. The field is big enough to not feel cramped, but small enough to make for a sociable, chilled out vibes.
BEST FOR: Grilling meat and halloumi with your best pals on the weekend. Don’t forget the boombox!
2. Clissold Park
An absolute gem of a discovery. The park’s centrepiece is the old 18th century manor house (which has just undergone a multi-million pound makeover), now home to a wonderful café with seating on the well-kept lawn outside. There’s surely no better spot in North London to enjoy afternoon tea after a stroll.
Gawp at the animals who call the park home (you’re never too old) such as deer, goats, exotic birds and chickens. In 2006 the park was awarded a Green Flag Award, which recognises the best green spaces in the UK.
A vast offering of fun means that everybody’s leisurely desires are well catered for. Equally, the vastness means you could always find a quiet spot to get some work done when it’s just too sunny to be cooped up inside.
BEST FOR: Showing your visiting folks you do actually know some nice cultural spots to take afternoon tea and discuss the referendum.
3. Hampstead Heath
Spread across 800 acres, this is one for the intrepid fun forager inside all of us (often only escaping when the mercury rises). The real novelty of this space is that, when city living is trying your patience and you need a reminder of the countryside you used to inhabit before you upped sticks and moved to the big smoke, this place is your sanctuary… quite literally, as it’s a hub of biodiversity.
It will change your perception of what an adequate amount of activity to fit into Sunday fun-day is. There’s a zoo, a lido, three swimming ponds if you want to go full Bear Grylls (minus the danger as they’re monitored daily by lifeguards), as well as a tonne of organised sporting activities like tennis and cycling.
BEST FOR: Replacing lolling about at home on a Sunday nursing your hangover (to no avail). Get out, get walking, get fit and clear your head. Earn that roast dinner. Thank us later.
4. Gas Holder Park
It’s impossible to forget the urban industrial heritage of the area here, but it’s more of a polite reminder than an overbearing dictation. The gas holder itself has been restored and shiny new columns now line the perimeter making this small space seem ten times bigger. George Clarke eat your heart out!
It’s happily tucked away on the north bank of Regents Canal, with the train tracks on the other bank, providing colourful views and thankfully well away from any dusty roads and stress-inducing traffic noise.
Unfortunately, it currently feels (in fact, is) like it’s in the middle of a building site, with flats being finished (this Xmas) around it. Don’t let that put you off though, as on Bank Holidays and Sundays there’s no work being done, allowing you to enjoy the sacred bliss of the canal-side in peace.
BEST FOR: Impressing that architecture student from Tinder with a bottle of wine one evening, perhaps after a cycle along the canal from Camden Town, under the low bridges.
Carouse founders Chris, Theo and Ben – the charming folk behind Kentish Town’s Rose and Crown – have a new venture afoot and we couldn’t be more bloody excited to see it. We’ve been creeping in their windows, peering through the paint and sneaking glimpses at builders’ bums for a few months now (okay, maybe not the last one), watching these guys transform this cosy corner of Crouch Hill into a rather cool little boozer. Now they’re opening and everyone is invited. Come one, come all, and try all 20 of their beers on tap with us.
Last month I decided to try clubbing again. I don’t quite know what came over me, but I actually (brace yourselves) enjoyed it. I went to Body Hammer’s monthly party in Manor House and I’m here to tell you to go too, whether you love clubbing, hate clubbing, or really couldn’t care either way. #notspon
Rich, fried, buttery, potato-y vessels loaded with flavor combinations that go down rather well with craft beer, late nights and good times. Ha, who am I kidding, EVERYTHING goes down well with beer. You heard that right buddy, loaded potato skins are back with a bang (and a generous portion of bacon) and are currently being served at Old Street's The Magic Roundabout by street food pop-up Skins and we could not be any happier. Well, unless they were to stuff it with, say, Mac and Cheese or risotto. Oh, that's exactly what they do? Well paint me green and call me a cucumber.
Magical gifts, wonderful gifts, marvellous gifts, beautiful gifts, gifts, glorious gifts glo-ri-ous giiiiiifts. Please Sir, I want some more. It’s that time of year again and whether you love it or loathe it gifts will be purchased and presented into expectant hands. Stroud Green's very own Pretty Shiny Shop have compiled a gift guide to help ease the shopping shock. Imagine only having to trot to your local gift shop and tick off your entire shopping list in one fell swoop. Done, finito, terminado! To make it that little sweeter, it's also all very affordable... so you won't even have to pick a pocket or two.
Alright guys, it’s happening. The frosty charm of December is, once again, being beaten to a pulp by the capitalists’ wet dream: Christmas. The hideous twinkling of artificial outdoor lighting is starting to appear, with tourists flocking from far and wide to watch D-list celebrities press a button. Invitations to Christmas parties flood in from your multiple part-time jobs, ensuring you make bad decisions bi-weekly til next year. Supermarkets are selling 12-day advent calendars containing confetti, cookie cutters and candles for a flawless £50. And oh, how the mulled wine flows.
Who doesn’t love a cheeky statistic, correctly sourced? You know we do. Well, did you know that for every £1 spent with a small business, 63p is re-spent in the local area, as opposed to a measly 40p in every £1 re-spent locally with larger businesses? An absolute travesty, am I right? That 23p has to mean something, right, guys?! Guys? Guys, where are you going? Wait, there’s freebies involved too!
By gum there are a lot of winter markets this year. Fueled by sickly sweet mulled wine and overpriced pulled pork sliders, we’ve managed to wade our way through the murky waters of winter markets and find some decent looking ones round this here part of town. Don’t let our Grinch-esq vibes put you off (I’m more of a Pancake Day person myself) because, if you’re into markets, you’ll probably like these. Read on, if you’re merrier than us.
Take a short walk along Finsbury Park’s own sunset strip and you’ll find MoseyHome, an interiors retailer and styling consultancy who have invited us to collaborate with them on an exciting new series titled 'Style My Shop', in which they invite some of London's most talented interiors experts to quite literally style their shop. Interiors porn at it's finest.
Why was the snowman sad? Because he had a meltdown. Much like us, every year, when winter comes. It’s cold, it’s dark, and we know Christmas is on its way. But hey, it’s not all bad – the events round this time of year can be pretty swell. So don your scarf-shawl-blanket and get your frolic on, it’s time for fairy lights, scarfing mulled wine and stuffing your face!
Touch, taste, smell, hear and create art. Smith & Sinclair, purveyors of the Edible Cocktail, presents The Flavour Gallery: a multi-sensory adventure that’ll seduce your senses and tickle your taste buds beyond all imagination. Ooh matron!
Brush the cobwebs off your sexy banana costume; it’s that time of year to make a tit of yourself in fancy dress again. We’ve rounded up the most spine-chilling Halloween happenings in North London and, trust us, they sound horrendous. Be afraid, be very afraid.
God bless the Queen... of Hoxton. Or, more specifically, their rooftop - which happens to be one of our favourites in this here city of London. These guys are well known for creating beautiful, seasonal pop-ups which have included the Nordic Viking themed 'Skye Halla' and the Neverland inspired 'Bangarang'. This winter make way for 'The Moroccan Medina', a sky high hideaway inspired by the romanticism of the beguiling ancient city of Marrakesh.
Next time you need a caffeine hit why not take it from a cup brewed from Jamaican beans grown under a canopy of rainforest-preserving trees, whilst eating a home made vegan banana bread as you sit among an array of sweetly scented blooms. Welcome to Mento, Finsbury Park.
Pilgrim, the newest kid to Hackney's pop-up scene, is a unique dining experience inspired by the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage. This six course tasting menu includes regional dishes with a contemporary twist not yet seen before in London.