Area Guide: Islington

Islington is a large residential area with a wide variety of building styles and therefore a wide range of property prices.  Upper Street is always vibrant and has one of the highest concentrations and variety of restaurants in London.  As Islington’s popularity has grown many of the independent shops and restaurants have given way to lager chains, however there are still enough around to make it feel like a buzzing community.  There are multiple transport options and The City is easily accessible making Islington very popular with young affluent professionals.   

 

Transport:

 

Tube –

Angel (Northern line)

Highbury & Islington (Victoria Line)

Holloway, Arsenal, Caledonian Road (Piccadilly Line)

Kings Cross (Northern, Victoria, Metropolitan, Hammersmith and City, Circle Lines, Piccadilly Line)

 

Overground –

Highbury & Islington, Canonbury, Caledonian Road & Barnsbury

 

Property Prices:

 

1 bed flat - Approximately £350,000+ / £1,100 per month+

2 bed flat - Approximately £425,000+ / £1,400 per month+

3 bed house - Approximately £700,000+ / £2,100 per month+

 

 

Eating out:

 

Upper Street is full of a variety of restaurants from Thai to Lebanese.  Many of the large chains are here as well such as Byron Burger and Nandos, but the restaurants below are great places to make an evening if it. 

 

Ottolengi – Restaurant chain from the renowned chef Yotam Ottolengi.  Mediterranean/Israeli dishes and deli at the front.

Drapers Arms – Tucked away just off Liverpool road, a nice quieter atmosphere for drinks and a lovely meal.

Pig & Butcher – Gastro pub feel with very good food.  As the name suggests the pork is exceptional.

The Smokehouse – If you like meat then go here.  Clever take on traditional dishes, and a good selection of wines and beers.

Le Mercury – Excellent value, simple recipe, good food.

The Canonbury – Large gastro pub with a separate restaurant area and an interesting menu.

Le Sacre Coeur – Classic French restaurant with all the favorites on the menu.  Authentic décor and intimate feel,. 

Bellanger – Higher end restaurant based on traditional French Brasseries of Paris.

The Albion – A bit out of the way but worth the walk.  Exceptional Sunday lunch although quite pricey.

Rabieng – Thai restaurant on Upper Street

 

Pubs, bars, and going out: 

 

There is much more of a ‘pub’ feel about Islington and if clubbing is your thing, then you will struggle to satisfy your beat lust.  There are however plenty of late pubs and bars, many of which have DJ’s and music, and there a few small theatres that are worth going to.

 

The Queens Head – Good lively pub atmosphere and at the weekends there is a dance floor and DJ.  Live bands also play here and the general décor is like the smoking rooms of an old stately house.

 

Ladybird Bar – Saturday night vibe, and the downstairs dance floor is sweaty and compact playing the current chart tunes. 

 

Wenlock & Essex – Cross between a pub and a bar, lots of tables and places to sit, the music is turned up and gets busier at the weekend.

 

Lucky Voice – Karaoke bar serving cocktail.  Enough said.

 

Dirty Martini – City style cocktail bar chain.

 

Brewhouse & Kitchen – Great for a burger and a beer while watching the football.  Good selection of beers, big place so you can usually get a seat.

 

John Salt – Versatile bar that is good for a mixed group.

 

Union Chapel – Lovely venue for gigs and concerts, very atmospheric, and some big names play there.  You will most likely have to pre-book to get tickets.

 

The Almeida Theatre – An internationally renowned theatre showing a wide range of plays, with an elegant bar and plenty of restaurants very nearby.

 

 

 

Shopping:

 

Angel Central - A small shopping centre has a collection of high street shops including H&M, GAP and Tiger.  There is also a Vue cinema as well as the O2 academy Islington

 

Camden Passage – Islington has a history of antique dealers.  This small passage is an antique market full of character.

 

Montes Italian Deli – Everything looks delicious and they stock unusual ingredients.  Stumped by a Jamie Oliver recipe?  Try this place. 

 

After Noah – Vintage furniture and traditional toy shop.  Great décor that puts you back a few decades.  Careful, you might leave with a toy…

 

Oliver Bonas – looks a bit like a typical Islington-ite’s living room inside, sells a bit of everything, great for small gifts.

 

Chapel Market – traditional daily street market selling everything from phone chargers to fresh fish. 

       

Gill Wing cook shop – Santa’s grotto for cooks who love kitchen gadgets.  All types of kitchen utensils available and all good quality.   

 

 

Green Spaces:

 

Highbury Fields – Good social space, bbq’s are allowed, gets very busy in summer so don't expect to be able to play ultimate frisbie without stepping on someone’s terrier.  Tennis courts with a decent playing surface can be booked.

 

New River Path – A quiet artificial river walk tucked away from the busy surrounding roads.  There is a good selection of trees and plants and ducks are always on the water. 

 

Paradise Park – Meduim sized grassed area with a 6 aside astro turf football pitch.

 

Barnard Park – Huge kids playground that looks more suited to Pirates than kids, cinder football pitch that is always empty.

 

What type of person lives in Islington?

30 – 40 years old, has a young family, works in The city, trendy dress sense but would not be seen dead in something from a charity shop. 

 

The Verdict

 

Pros – Good transport, close to The City, Great selection of bars and restaurants, everything on your doorstep.  Good range of property types to suit most tastes.

Cons – Upper Street is being taken over by big chains and property is expensive. Islington is characterized by lavish looking Georgian houses next door to a 1960’s council block, which many find charming but puts some people off.  

 

Interested in moving to Islington?  Get in contact to discuss your search!

 
 
 
 Compton Terrace

Compton Terrace

 
 
 
 
 After Noah shop on Upper Street

After Noah shop on Upper Street

 
 
 
 
 Union Chapel music venue

Union Chapel music venue

 
 
 
 
 The Old Queens Head

The Old Queens Head

 
 
 
 
 Arundel Square has modern flats next to Georgian terraces typical of Islington

Arundel Square has modern flats next to Georgian terraces typical of Islington

 
 
 
 
 A semi-detached house in Canonbury

A semi-detached house in Canonbury