A hill! In London! Really! And it’s bloomin’ lovely, too.
Why go there?
Because it’s one of the few places that really lives up to the ‘village London’ tag. Once home to London’s greatest ever band, The Kinks, it’s now filled with affluent job-in-media types who like to live on the capital’s peaks when they’re not off skiing. Very Alpine.
So I need a Platinum AmEx to cross its borders?
No. But it does help. There are a large number of tempting boutiques – Whistles, Mint Velvet, White Stuff and a few indie fashion stores beckoning along Muswell Hill Broadway and Fortis Green Road. The Broadway also boasts high-end shoe shop Kate Kuba, ensuring that the well-heeled stay, well, you know what’s coming.
But I’m not made of money!
Don’t worry, there’s plenty for normal people here too. W Martyn on the Broadway is typical of the true charm of Muswell Hill. A proper old-fashioned family business,with shelves piled high with preserves, dried fruits, coffees and sweet treats. Locals are keen supporters of independent traders and making village life here unique. For starters, there’s Art for Art’s Sake for art supplies and Crocodile Antiques (both on the Broadway) for quirky homewares. There’s also the excellent Muswell Hill Bookshop and the knowledgeable Children’s Bookshop (both Fortis Green Road), which has regular visits from big-name authors.
Take that, Amazon! Let’s celebrate with a slap-up meal.
Give Chriskitch (Tetherdown) a go. Its counter groans with incredible bakes and vast bowlfuls of salad. When the sun’s out, the tables out front are the perfect place to soak up the N10 atmos.
Anything other than salad?
I was thinking of something a little stronger.
Ah, got you. The best pubs are a stroll away. The Clissold Arms (Fortis Green) has fireside tables, an impressive wine list and outside tables for dining, while heading down towards Crouch End you’ll find The Victoria Stakes, which is grand and airy.
I’ll bear that in mind. Any other nightlife to speak of?
Muswell Hill is one of the few places where the local fleapit has survived and still stands proudly as an Odeon. And for those who consider a boob tube and thermal gloves a strong look, there are disco nights at the ice rink at Alexandra Palace.
By Laura Lee Davies, still searching for the perfect north London pub quiz.
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