+ Highbury Area Guide: Things to do in N5, London

It’s been almost a year since we moved to the N5 area (between Highbury and Finsbury Park). In that time I’ve seen a few new businesses pop up and seriously think it’s only a matter of time before it becomes the next up-and-coming London neighbourhood to watch.

What I love most about the area is that N5 has only a handful of chains and the majority of local businesses are one-off London gems. The N5 area is also super close to the hip and hippy Stoke Newington, and Clissold Park is just two minutes’ walk away too. See below for my Highbury area guide:

Green Spaces: Within the grounds of Clissold Park is the impressive Clissold House, as well as a deer enclosure, butterfly dome (although it’s currently devoid of butterflies), tennis courts, a skate park and two large lakes. Ok, it’s absolutely pissing it down outside right now, but I firmly believe it’s one of the best places to run in London when the sun is shining! What’s also great about N5 is that you have Finsbury Park about ten minutes’ walk up Blackstock Road, so there’s no shortage of greenery, and absolutely no excuses for not heading out for a jog (of course, with exception of the rain)!

Brunch Heaven: Since we moved in, a couple of very on-trend cafés have opened up in the local area. On Blackstock Road is Frank’s Canteen, which I’ve reviewed over at Yelp as well. As you can see from the photos below, the food is pretty extraordinary.

Also recently opened is the unique Fink’s Salt and Sweet Deli. I walk past this place everyday and while they have a loyal lunch crowd (especially at weekends), it also welcomes a few local trendsetters in the evenings for some low-key glasses of wine.

Another fave of mine (which I don’t have photos of yet) is the Blackstock Kitchen. We always go for the chicken & avocado sandwich and a tuna & sweetcorn toasted sarnie to share. Very friendly staff, a nice local feel and some space outside to enjoy the sun, whenever it comes out!

Furniture Shops: Gathering Moss is a beautifully kitted out shop featuring shelving units and bench tables made from reclaimed wood, trinkets, candles and general boho chicery. Ned and I actually found our much-loved bench table from this shop, and the shop staff actually delivered it to our flat within 30 minutes of purchasing! There’s also a hidden-away furniture shop called Bennet & Brown which sells gorgeous pendant lamps, 20th-century trinkets and wooden furniture.

 Other Places to Try:

Primeur – This place was initially hard to book as you had to go in person days before you’d decided to eat there, but they now have a Twitter account to take bookings (@primeurbookings). I haven’t been to this restaurant yet, but will definitely take advantage of this and book asap!

Garufa – An Argentine grill that does the best brunch, as per my Yelp review, and they’ve also recently started advertising Malbec Monday’s where they offer all wine bottles at 50% off. I hate Mondays but love Malbec so need to give it a go.

Exeter Street Bakery – I spotted this when I walked north of Finsbury Park the other day, and the bread looks world-class!

 Cafe Vintage – The food varies in quality but even so I really appreciate having a quirky, multi-purpose business down the road. This non-chain cafe always has great seasonal window displays, nice coffee and the odd piece of clothing to buy too.

Seasons and Blossoms – Kaleidoscopic selection of organic fruit, veg and they even sell ‘biodynamic’ bananas! Will definitely go back again to try out their coffee.

La Fromagerie – They often have events, but of course the main draw of this place is their locally made cheese and wine selection.

For more info, you can see all my Yelp photos and reviews.