Revel in the family-friendliness and shabby chic of this north London village.
Why go there?
For boutique shops, arty events and charming pubs – all radiating out from the modernist Hornsey Town Hall.
What’s the vibe?
Sophisticated-but-scruffy London village. Join the local culture-lovers for films at the Arthouse cinema (Tottenham Lane), pop-up events at the Haberdashery café (Middle Lane) and ace live modern folk at Kiss the Sky bar (Park Road).
What’s that smell?
Freshly baked bread from Dunn’s on the Broadway. They’ve been kneading exceedingly good loaves here for more than 100 years. Just be careful not to trip over cupcake-munching toddlers.
Any celebs about?
James McAvoy and Anne-Marie Duff as well as the latest Doctor, Peter Capaldi. And you’ll probably rub shoulders with other quality Brit actors at new high-end ‘meat shop’ Muddy Boots (Broadway Parade).
How about a local delicacy?
Sophie’s Homemade Ice Cream. Dessertmaking daredevil Sophie Pyett sells unusual flavours online and direct from Lightfoot Road (though phone ahead) and supplies two local restaurants: La Bota (Broadway Parade) and Pradera (Hornsey High Street).
Now I need a drink.
Good, because there’s no shortage of boozers. Try the Harringay Arms (Crouch Hill), respectfully referred to as ‘the old man’s pub’, or the delightfully ramshackle former British Legion club Earl Haig Hall (Elder Avenue). For an alfresco coffee or cocktail, sashay on down to Villiers Terrace on Park Road.
Where’s the party at?
It’s got to be Bar Esteban on Park Road, where you’ll be shown to your table by the bubbly Naroa, a maître d’ who greets you like she’s known you all her life. Have a go on the test-your-strength bull’s-head machine.
How about a nice sit-down?
The slopes below Alexandra Palace allow you to pause for thought with a fantastic view over London. Or why not go one further and take a stoic snooze in the Philosopher’s Garden in Priory Park?
And if I only do one thing?
Do Harry’s Pub Quiz at Earl Haig Hall. Hosted by comedian Garth Cruickshank, it’s so funny you that won’t care if you lose miserably.
By Laura Lee Davies, who managed not to mention the lack of a tube sta… D’oh!
For more best bits of London take a look at our guide to the South Bank.