Why go there?
Because you like nice things bought from nice shops. Sounds nice, doesn’t it?
What’s the vibe?
Far quieter than nearby Islington, Highbury is home to people who consider a good brunch part of their daily routine. Parents compare toddlers’ after-school clubs while picking up meat from Godfrey’s butcher, or Mrs Lovell’s Greengrocer on Highbury Park. Things busy up when Arsenal are playing, but the fans are jolly polite.
What’s that smell?
Lager on a match day. Coffee any other time. The best of the cafés – Maison d’Etre, Vagabond N7 and Le Péché Mignon – are all just a short walk from Highbury & Islington tube station.
Any celebs about?
The big man himself: you can spot the mayor and his straw-coloured barnet padding along local jogging routes.
How about a local delicacy?
Le Coq on St Paul’s Road does a fine line in roast chicken. For more choice, head along Holloway Road for Tbilisi’s generous Georgian bakes and stews, as well as Piebury Corner – the award-winning ‘pie deli’ which originally sold its proper pies and creamy mash from the pavement along the route to Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium.
Now I need a drink…
The Lamb on Holloway Road offers a warm welcome, forgivingly low lighting and plenty of Irish craic. Or else ask the expert staff at Highbury Vintners on Highbury Park to recommend a prosecco, then find a sunny spot in Highbury Fields in which to sip it- because you’re that fabulous.
Where’s the party at?
The Garage, which has hosted indie gigs for over two decades on Highbury Corner. Or for late-night dancing seek out Buffalo Bar’s dingy-but-cosy little basement next to the entrance of Highbury & Islington station. Just don’t drink any of the flavoured shots. Trust us. You’ll regret it in the morning.
And if I only do one thing…
Wander along Highbury Park road, pausing to admire the nineteenth-century clocktower,on your way to spending too much money at La Fromagerie – which is the French way of saying ‘the cheese shop’. C’est délicieux!
By Ashleigh Arnott, who lives in West Highbury (aka Holloway).
Find more things to explore in Islington.