Top Four 'I'll Do It My Way' January Plans
Written by: Sophie Taylor
New year, new you? Or have you ripped up your resolutions and realised you’re fantastic just the way you are?
Now that January is here and we’ve dragged our lumpy bums back into the office, let’s celebrate our own uniqueness.
Here’s our top four suggestions to celebrate January in your own way.
Chinese New Year
The usual: Walking slowly amongst the throng on the streets of Chinatown, Soho with an overpriced oyster pail of sweet n sour pork balls.
North Four alternative: Of course, you could frequent one of the many delectable Chinese restaurants in North London (Honeymoon in Crouch Hill anyone?) but you will need to book ahead. Instead, why not avoid the crowds and order in from the msg free Zing Zing on Blackstock Road or from top rated and cheap Fortune Express in Tufnell Park. Then, if you’re attempting a spot of light cultural appropriation here, get on board with the philosophy behind the year of the Rooster. It’s all about being observant, frank, ambitious and confident. Divas rejoice. Throw on some red for good luck and embody the little red rooster inside with a Mick Jagger strut down your local, then learn how to say happy new year in Cantonese (“San Nin Faai Lok”) and Mandarin (“Xin Nian Kuai Le”) if you don’t already.
The usual: Quote Auld Lang Syne incorrectly, eat some undercooked haggis, do the Ceilidh badly in a kilt, fall over.
North Four alternative: It’s Robert Burns birthday. I reckon he’d be pretty chuffed that people are still celebrating it at all, never mind getting it all a bit wrong. Let Narrow Boat events help you commemorate the poet properly and have your night catered for on the canal in Angel. There’ll be a five course banquet meal, whiskey sampling, the traditional ode to Robert Burns and proper Scottish short breads gift bags. Get more info and enquire at firstname.lastname@example.org
If drinking whisky on water isn’t your thing, Bourne and Hollingsworth, Islington are putting on the whole Burns night shebang complete with piper, recitals and dancing.
London Boat Show
The usual: Look at 400 boats in the ExCel centre over a period of 10 days. Get excited. Remember you can’t afford rent never mind boat. Get sea sick.
North Four alternative: Get a real taste of the sea in North London with a hearty fish and chips supper. Try Toffs in Muswell Hill for award winning haddock from these National Federation of Fish Fryers members.
38 Muswell Hill Broadway N10 3RT, 020 8883 8656.
Or how about a salty feast in Islington from Des McDonald at vintagesalt.co.uk You can choose from rock oysters to shrimp burgers and wash it down with happy hour cocktails (5-7pm if you must know).
198 Upper Street N1 IRQ, 020 3227 0979
The usual: Fall over in astonishment at the Central London prices of novelty hot alcohol. Fall over again on your arse, spilling said hot novelty over yourself.
North Four alternative: Alexandra Palace ice rink, of course. It’s often overshadowed this time of year by all the other rinks opening with festive cheer, only to close again as soon as you’ve mastered the art of staying upright. But Ally Pally ice rink is open all year round, every day, offering reasonably priced lessons and courses. Become the backwards skating, spin jumping Jane Torville you always secretly hoped you were.
Test the waters and get booked!
Joined by over 50 other artists incorporating printmaking, painting, digital art, photography and small-scale sculpture, Tomorrow’s World presents us with utopias, dystopias, predictions, prophecies and visions of the future. We hit up the private view last Friday and it was pretty damn bleak, in the best sense of the word.
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.