In a nutshell… Once a dead-end place where you wouldn’t want to hang out at night, Finsbury Park has undergone a pleasant change in the last decade and as a result has become a rather nice place to be… if you know where to go. The transport hub on Seven Sisters Road may not be the most lighthearted of spots but get onto Stroud Green or Blackstock Road and there are some interesting things happening. The different cultures living in the area make for an excellent mix of smells, sounds and sights. Also home to the mighty Arsenal , Finsbury Park is good mix of proper North London and a bit of bohemia.
If you have a couple of hours… If the suns out, you can’t miss the 115 acres of park and maybe take a turn on the boating lake (rowing boats for hire in the summer months). Next the Stroud Green Road offers excellent refreshment opportunities and the variety on offer is for all tastes and pocket depths. The Korean Dotori and Season Kitchen and Dining room mark a slight upmarket turn for the area whilst long-term favourites such as Jai Krishna (the BEST vegetarian South Indian Restaurant in London- Bring Your Own Bottle) keep eating very affordable. On a back street you will find the unusual old world sports pub, The Faltering Fullback (don’t worry I’m never usually taken by the word ‘sport’ and ‘pub’ in the same sentence – but the decor is old school and interesting, check it out). If you have time, Rowans Tenpin Bowl will provide wholesome family fun or take a wonder down Blackstock Road (a Stoke Newington Church Street in the making perhaps?) in search of that first edition in a second-hand book shop or an original art deco table.
Don’t Even… Go there on a match day (unless you’re intending to go to the football that is). Streets are crowded, Tubes are sweaty and the pubs are heaving with red shirts. It’s no place for a hip and arty urban adventurer! (Words: Laura Thornley)