Top Six "Oh, I Haven't Tried That Yet" In Finsbury Park
Written by: Sophie Taylor
There’s a reason our glorious Finsbury Park was awarded the prestigious Green Flag Award in 2007 and has retained it ever since. The grade II listed Park was officially opened in 1869 as a People’s Park and still is just as… blah blah we all know this already. So that’s why we’ve put together a convenient to do list for you to peruse and say OH I’VE DONE THAT or OH YEAH SURE I’VE SEEN THAT TOO.
1. Get pissed up with your dog
At the pub that sells dog beer. Yes, just over the road from Finsbury Park, Brownswood Pub sells DOG BEER. It’s non-alcoholic chicken flavoured water though so don’t go trying to steal your pooch’s pint when you’ve finished yours alright? You won’t enjoy it and neither will they. Paws off greedy.
2. Get to know the birds and the bees
In a slightly different park. Just opposite Finsbury Park Station on Seven Sister’s Road, a mosaic plaque marks the entrance to local nature reserve and ‘Site of Metropolitan Importance’ Gillespie Park, hidden behind towering brick walls.
Follow the path by the railway and find a gate to the left, at the top of the steps. You’ll find yourself wandering down shaded pathways to a chilled out nature reserve with meadows, lily ponds and the home to over 200 plant species, almost 100 different birds and a whole load of butterflies amongst other insect children partying on down.
You’ve basically crashed the Ugly Bug Ball you lucky little grasshopper.
3. Try a drumming circle
On a Sunday evening at the bottom of the garden in the Art Hut, you might hear the sound of West African and Middle Eastern rhythms played on African drums, congitas and bongos. It’s the Djam drumming circle, one of the Finsbury Park Art Club activities that started 10 years ago.
Free to try and open to anyone, why not give into the beats. Better than batting away your hangover with yet more fried chicken buckets and Irn Bru.
4. Become an amateur arborist (tree surgeon)
Yes, we had to look that one up.
Teach yourself about the tree life with the Finsbury Park Tree Trail. The trail starts outside the café next to the boating lake. It is about a mile in length and can be walked in 20-25 minutes, which includes time for stopping and going, ‘ooh yes the handsome Hornbeam. Apparently, the bark is used for piano keys’ before waddling off to the next poor, unsuspecting tree.
5. Pretend you’re on Crufts
Have you spied the dog training corner of Finsbury Park? This fenced off area is decked out with dog-sized walkways, hurdles and tunnels ready for some serious dog play. So obviously that means pretending you’re on Crufts and trotting round the obstacle course shouting, ‘Heel Archibald!’ with or without a Schnauzer bouncing at your heels. It’s Finsbury Park, no-one will mind.
6. Get even More Fit
Opposite the American Garden in the north-east of the park you’ll find the outdoor gym baring its naked muscles with 14 pieces of equipment and 20 exercise stations. Again it’s free, with no need for an induction for all aged 12 and over, oh and it’s open all hours of daylight God gave ya. There’s also the Finsbury Park Running Club, the Better Haringey Walking Trail, various Yoga in the park groups and Tennis Courts for you all. NO EXCUSES LEFT.
Our exclusive meeting with Eroc: the Beyonce of the skateboarding dog world. Eroc the french bulldog is making waves. With fans like Tony Hawk, BBC Radio and over 30k followers on Instagram (and counting), Eroc has also become something of an online sensation. His viral status comes and goes, randomly popping up on online social media channels every now and again to generate hundreds of thousands of views and clicks via the likes of Buzzfeed, Time Out and rogue iPhone filmers.
We all have our own ways of dealing with life when things get shitty. Having a big cry and getting it all out can be incredibly therapeutic, and even more so when we find ourselves repeating the same line over and over through the tears. “He’s a dick!” or “I’m not a bad person!” These little lines of reinforcement help us push through the crappy feeling. Sometimes we might even revert to a hearty little stamp on the floor / kick of some unsuspecting object. It feels surprisingly satisfying when the rage sets in and we feel helpless.
This Friday sees the release of Malian master musicians, Trio Da Kali’s new album Ladilikan. Fusing rich, expressive vocals with traditional instruments like the balafon and bass ngoni, this is a beautiful mix of ancient Mande culture and contemporary Malian sounds. Luckily for us North Londoners, we have the opportunity to see the trio play live in the rather fitting ethereal surrounds of Stoke Newington Church next month.
Walking along Monsell Road in Finsbury Park, we spy the charming exterior of a shop looking like something out of a children’s book circa 1932. Beneath a green and white striped awning, a whimsical new world of mini animals awaits. Once inside we stumble about the store in hushed awe, reaching over a book of minuscule carpet samples/ family of miniature otters to tap a tiny bell.
Whether you’re looking for something to entertain your kids, your friends’ kids or that particularly large man child in your life, you might just have lucked out. Snug are hosting an open air screening of The Incredibles next Saturday evening. There will be tasty sourdough pizzas from Sodo Pizza (Upper Clapton) and ultimate authentic curries from Rice n Spice, Northwold Road.
Coming soon to a Tufnell Park near you is a whole new vegetable patch of delights / wheat field to run vicariously through. It’s time to get excited for Ceremony: a brand new bar/restaurant serving modern British veggie cuisine. Although the website remains tantalisingly mysterious, you can glean more info from their well stocked insta.
Sound baths, pit parties, fake cheese and nipples, these are a few of our favourite things, said no one ever. Bored of drinking down the pub every evening? Unlikely, but bare with me. Sometimes you just want to let down your hair, shake it off and do something down right odd of an evening... followed by a pint at the pub.
It’s been a few months since the last instalment of Online vs Offline. I deleted Bumble, Happn and Tinder, flirted with the idea of match.com, went to a friend’s wedding, heard the vicar call my name instead of the Bride’s and reflected briefly on the crushing inevitability of my own spinsterhood before realising everyone was laughing in the pews and I should probably join them.
Gluten-free cake consumers, vegan cheese enthusiasts, craft beer connoisseurs, lovers of pies and drinkers of tea; your time is now. Buy food of a quality & variety you can’t easily find in the shops, from organic meat to vegan cheese, fish caught that morning to pickles which have been fermenting for months, at Stroud Green market.
Who’s up for free entry, free cake and free folk (except for a jaunty little hat that is passed around for donations)? Get down to The Finsbury this Wednesday eve for a little mid week hootenanny and celebrate some of the best in new live music from the ‘acoustic, singer-songwriter & indie-folk scene’. Host with the most, Zoe Konez (“Ridiculously talented, Konez handles her guitar like she was born with it” - For Folk's Sake) will be deftly introducing each act from gin soaked folk popster herself, Penniless Cove to German indie band, Kalon.
What if you could mix the joys of your local Sunday car boot and all it’s dog perving potential with your favourite vintage clothes shops and high end antique markets? Within the sparkling depths of Dalson’s former ABC cinema, you’ll find The Big London Flea: London’s largest indoor vintage market.
Well, last Saturday morning gym memberships gave way to lie-ins and sleep finally bowed down to some serious carb cravings. Finding ourselves at Oslo later that morning, it was a case of hangover meets diet, salmon vs chorizo. If you’re not feeling too peckish, Oslo isn’t the place for you.
Joni Belaruski’s following has accompanied the artist from her Northern Irish roots and drummer beginnings with punk folk favourites, The Great Malarkey, to a plethora of London gallery shows. This September sees the painter join photographer Karla da Silva at The Beaucatcher Salon with new show, Jupiter Waiting For The Moon. Belaruski's paintings are at times dark and playful, while da Silva’s dreamy imagery is other worldly, creating both mystical landscapes and colourful smoke-filled portraiture.
Get your glad rags on darlings. It’s time for a happening in Dalston. Farrs School of Dancing are recreating Andy Warhol’s Factory next Sunday with live performances, music, films and.. well, not quite silk screening but some good old school colouring-in to get stuck into. This is your chance to finally wear that suede fringe bolero and feather boa combo you gleamed from Crisis last October. The best dressed will receive their fifteen minutes of fame, in true Warholian screen test style.
Until five minutes ago I would’ve believed Pet Nat was a holistic dog food brand / veterinary business in Wood Green. I’m half right actually*, but in the boozios world it’s a fizzy wine. Pétillant Naturel is light and fizzy, usually pretty low on the alcohol scale and rather sweet. Think the opposite of a dry red wine.
As part of our Beyond The Binary series we asked stars of the upcoming Come As You Are Festival which gender specific expressions that really grind their gears. We started with Man Up! whose first answer came from the title of their show.