Islington is a lovely Northern London Neighborhood. Exploring London’s neighborhoods I have come to the realization (and please excuse me if this is obvious) that neighborhoods consist of a “high street” with shops and places to eat, all located together, and around that, comprising the bulk of the neighborhood is residential. That is in essence a neighborhood. And most cities are simply a compilation of neighborhoods, or rather, little villages all joined together. The main financial area of a city differs from this neighborhood formula, in that although there is still what one could call a high street, instead of houses there are offices. That is pretty much it. And this neighborhood/village formula is pretty much true of any city in the world, be it London, Paris, Milan, San Francisco, you name it that is what it is.
Now back to Islington. As I said, it is a very nice Northern London neighborhood, whose High Street is I would say jam packed. The High Street in Islington is called Upper Street. Basically you exit the tube at Angel and walk a little to the left and then on and on and on. Upper Street has everything, one off stores, eateries, boutiques, makeup, broken glass, human fire hydrants …..wait no, those last bits were from an SNL sketch - I love and miss you Stephan!
Shops I noticed included Jigsaw (you may remember the Duchess worked there briefly as an accessories buyer), Space NK Apothecary, Benefit Cosmetics, Uniqlo. There are also real estate agencies everywhere. Which I suppose tells you this is a popular residential area. There is a lot of stuff to eat and buy in Islington. Which frankly I find a bit scary.
Personally, I was on a mission to find Ottolenghi, the upscale food boutique founded by an Israeli chef, who’s cookbooks I own and cherish. I am going to save my discussion of him for a another post.
Before I went on my long walk along upper street, upon exiting Angel Station I wandered to the right and into Camden Passage. In terms of cuteness, this pedestrian alleyway is adorable. There were cute little boutiques here, and places to eat of course, and some antiques for sale. All very lovely and very pleasant to meander and enjoy. Small but fun, and much more fun than the upper Street in my opinion.
Down from Camden Passage, you can wonder over to Duncan Terrace/Place which consists of lovely brick Georgian homes, with brightly colored doors. Very cute.
To conclude, although I enjoyed exploring this Northern London Neighborhood, if you are in London for the first time or even the second, I certainly wouldn't bother. London is huge and this is not a must see. If you are looking for a place to live, or you have seen most of London, then this is certainly worth a visit.
Of Note in Islington:
Camden Passage - Pedestrian alleyway with small boutiques, eateries, antiques.
Duncan Square/Place - Residential area with brick buildings with brightly colored doors.
Upper Street - lots of boutiques - some high street names (Jigsaw, Uniqlo), some one off places, eateries - beauty (Space NK Apothecary), fashion, interior design boutiques - real estate agencies everywhere.
Of note particularly for me was Ottolenghi : 287 Upper Street, London N1 2TZ
Really is its own village or city within a city