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.
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 loath 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.