Late-night hedonism? Not so much. Foodie heaven? Damn straight!
Why go there?
To hobnob with the yummiest mummies in town. And because you’ve always wanted to be in ‘Spaced’.
What’s the vibe?
A leafy, pram-tastic area filled with enough tapas bars, artisanal bakeries and French bistros to put continental Europe out of business for good.
Ah, you noticed.Well, Del Parc on Junction Road arguably pioneered this development with its unique take on tapas back in 2005. Newest on the culinary block is Shoe Shop (Fortess Road), but don’t be misled by the name: the French bistro-style food here tastes nothing like new trainers. For breakfast (as well as lunch, afternoon tea and dessert), there’s Bunny Little’s Bakery (Campdale Road), which pinched its baker from Raymond Blanc and has fully exploited her skills.
I’m stuffed, must be time for a drink…
The boozers round here are many and varied. Tufnell Park Tavern (Tufnell Park Road) is home to a monthly farmers’ market. For beer without frills, there’s the Southampton Arms (Highgate Road), an old-fashioned, no-nonsense pub that does what it says on its many, many taps. The Star (Chester Road), meanwhile, draws in gin-lovers thanks to its supply of brilliant spirits from independent local distillery Sacred.
And when the pubs close?
Head to Aces and Eights on Fortess Road or go home. Tufnell Park isn’t exactly known for its wild all-night raves – got to get back for the babysitter – but the late-closing bar here offers decent beer and cocktails, live comedy, gigs and the tune-spinning services of local party-starter DJ Plimsoles.
Anything that doesn’t involve food and drink?
There are boutiques aplenty on Fortess Road, so you could go shopping for: hand-printed cards from letterpress workshop Harrington & Squires; Scandinavia-meets-Shoreditch homeware from Future and Found; vegan shoes from Third Estate; or eclectic gifts and jewellery from Soho Hip.
Looking for something more cultural?
Enjoy the art at the Red Hand Gallery upstairs at Tufnell Park Tavern or try a comedy night at the Hideaway Bar on Junction Road. And there’s always the local Odeon (Holloway Road) which, as well as showing films, is an impressive Grade II-listed building.
And if I only do one thing?
Make it an ice cream, whisked up out of organic milk, free-range eggs and homegrown fruit at Ruby Violet (Fortess Road). Out of the way, kids, these are some seriously adult desserts.
By Clare Finney, who is still hoping she might turn into Daisy Steiner.