Local Area

Local Parks and Gardens

Islington, although being one of Londons most urban locations, does benefit from some spectacular parks and city gardens. Fortunately for Highbury Gardens, over 100 acres of the most loved parks and gardens are within a 30 minute walking distance of Highbury Gardens. As well as the renowned 29 acre Highbury Fields, there are a number of other destinations worth a visit, some of these are listed below.

  • Canonbury Square - 10 minutes walk
    This is Islington's earliest square, being laid out in 1800, though it only became council property and open to the public around 80 years later. The original railings were lost in World War II. The layout was changed in 1950, at which time The Evening Standard described it as London's most beautiful square. Former residents include Evelyn Waugh and George Orwell. Today, Canonbury Square is considered by many to be the most perfect square in London.

    Barnsbury Square - 1 acre - 18 minutes walk
    A garden square with shrubs borders and notable trees. Barnsbury Square Gardens has shrub borders, raised herbaceous beds, notable sycamore, lime and horse chestnut trees, and rose beds. A visit to this square during spring will delight the senses.

    Paradise Park - 4.5 acres - only a 10 minute walk
    Perennial meadows and a peace garden, children's play and mature trees make this a fabulous place to spend some time on weekends. Take a bottle of wine with you, read the papers and relax in the sunshine.

    Barnard Park - 9 acres - 25 minute walk
    This space is for the more adventurous at heart with football pitches, children's water play, an adventure playground, and green grassy spaces for kicking footballs or throwing a frisbee.

    St Mary Magdalene Churchyard - 4.5 acres - 2 minute walk
    Lovely rose beds, shrub planting, and annual bedding displays feature here amongst the 250 year old lime, horse chestnut and ash trees. Take a stroll and enjoy the well cared for gardens of this lovely grade II* listed church building and its grounds.

    Clissold Park - 54 acres - 30 minutes walk
    This large park has so many things to do you will most certainly visit more than once. Features include a butterfly tunnel, an aviary, a paddling pool in the summer months, a large lake, and an animal enclosure hosting dear, goats, rabbits and chickens. A café rests within the grounds so you can grab a coffee or a bite to eat before continuing on a stroll through the many trees planted during the 18th century.
    Visit Clissold Park

    Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art - 8 minute walk
    The Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art opened in London in 1998. Its new home - a Grade II listed Georgian building - was restored with support from the Heritage Lottery Fund and contains six galleries, an art library, cafe and bookshop. The Collection is known internationally for its core of Futurist works, as well as figurative art and sculpture dating from 1890 to the 1950s
    Visit Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art

Local Restaurants

Islington is famed in London for its broad range and quality restaurants and gastro pubs. Highbury Gardens is positioned to take best advantage of this and we have highlighted some of our favourites below. Enjoy!

  • Ottolenghi - 287 Upper Street, N1 2TZ (15 minutes walk from Highbury Gardens)

    Time Out Rating - 5 stars, ££

    This Islington bran of Ottolenghi produces food from breakfast until late. The all white interior is the perfect backdrop for the colourful and varietal foods on offer, whilst giving diners a setting that is sleek and cool.

    At breakfast, the shared dining table plays host to a spread of breads, muffins, pastries and other continental delights. Lunch is focused on modern and inventive Mediterranean styled salads and meze-sized plates for sharing.

    At Ottolenghi's you can certainly sample the delights of owner Yotam Ottolenghi's cookbook hits without ever getting bored. This place is so popular that you must book.
    Visit Ottolenghi

    Bryon - 341 Upper Street, N1 0PB (20 minutes walk from Highbury Gardens)

    Time Out Rating - 5 stars, £

    This is hamburgers the way they should be. All are served medium, with soft buns and tasty accompaniments like pickles, lettuce, tomato and maybe a slice of cheese or bacon. The restaurants interior is rustic with exposed brick, but this doesn't take away from the satisfaction of the ultimate comfort food - the traditional American styled hamburger. If you are wandering home from a night out on Upper Street, then this is the place to grab a bite before your head hits the pillow.
    Visit Bryon

    Sabor - 108 Essex Road, London, N1 8LX (15 minutes walk from Highbury Gardens)

    Time Out Rating - 5 stats, ££

    You won't find this place empty even during the week. Its fabulous range of old and new world wines and the range of cocktails means it's a great place for a drink, as well as somewhere to sample the action packed menu with everything from Colombian Street food to Cuban classics.

    This place is informal and full of locals; we wouldn't be surprised if you ended up on first name basis with the staff!
    Visit Sabor

    Morgan M - 489 Liverpool Road, N7 8NS (less than 5 minutes walk from Highbury Gardens)

    Time Out Rating - 5 stars, £££

    This restaurant is not 5 minutes from Highbury Gardens. French Chef-patron Monsieur Morgan Meunier creates a dining experience that is unexpected for such a small and unassuming building. The space inside is smart, intimate and well dressed. The best way to experience his fine cuisine is to opt for the five-course tasking menu, and why not take them up on the wine pairings to complete the experience. This restaurant has been an award winner since opening in 2003; recent awards include:

    • Best Meat-free French in Time Out Guide 2010
    • Best French (£45 and over) in Harden's Guide 2010
    • Best Vegetarian and Best Restaurant in Islington in Zagat Guide 2010

    Perfect for a celebration or if you feel like spoiling yourself, Morgan M has that special something that will leave you raving about the food, the wine, and the experience.
    Visit Morgan M

    Carluccio's Café - 305-307 Upper Street, N1 2TU (15 minutes walk from Highbury Gardens)

    Carluccios food is freshly prepared on the premises everyday using the best, fresh and natural ingredients, and where possible from Italy.

    Carluccio's offer a fine selection of regional Italian foods including ready made dishes and fresh bread as well as fresh wild mushrooms and truffles. There is a delicatessen and food shop on the premises.

    Food writer and TV Chef Antonio has received the Commendatore Omri for service to Italian gastronomy and in January 2007 he received an honorary OBE. He has written over a dozen books, all published worldwide.
    Visit Carluccio's Café

    Le Mercury - 140A Upper Street, N1 1QY (10 minutes walk from Highbury Gardens)

    Time Out Rating - 3 stars, £

    This restaurant is an Islington institution for its French bistro-style dining on a shoestring. Always packed, and perfect for a pre theatre meal, the simple yet classic menu will engage any diner. From starters at £3.95 each, through to mains such as minute steak for £6.45, and then the delights of crème brulee, the menu is simple and to the point. The place is candlelit to perfection, lively and great for dates as well as small groups of friends. And hey, if you can't be bothered cooking then why not pop in to Le Mercury for a bite on your way home after a big day at work!
    Visit Le Mercury

    Trullo - 300-302 St Paul's Road, N1 2LH (5 minutes walk from Highbury Gardens)

    Time Out Rating - 4 stars, ££

    Time Out Says "A Trullo is a traditional building in Apulia, southern Italy, built with drystone walls and a conical roof. It looks a bit like a short windmill (without the sails), or even a Bronze Age building. The curiously sombre name of this Italian restaurant does nothing to prepare you for its modernity or its playful food.

    With slate-grey wainscoting, shelving made out of planks and industrial-style pendant lamps, Trullo has the utility chic look that has designers reaching for their mood boards. Match this with cheery, chummy service, and dishes that all look appealing, and it's only a matter of time before Trullo appears in a Sunday colour supplement's 'lifestyle' section near you.

    Manager Jordan Frieda is ex-River Café, while chef Tim Siadatan is a former Jamie Oliver's Fifteen 'graduate'. They've set the tone for mood and for menu with a strongly seasonal, daily-changing menu that's in the River Café vein - only much cheaper. Trullo's excellent value for the standard of its dishes."

    The Charles Lamb - 16 Elia Street, N1 8DE (20 minutes walk from Highbury Gardens)

    Time Out Rating - 4 stars, ££

    Dishes at this freehouse change daily, and are always seasonal. Meals are prepared fresh for lunch and dinner. This pub doesn't take bookings, so arrive early, and settle in to sample the all-UK line up of draught beers. Try one of the house made sausage rolls as a snack between meals, or some pea and goat cheese pāté or onion and parmesan tart as a pre meal appetiser. This is pub is one of Londons best, so you wont begrudge the wait if you arrive a little later than planned.
    Visit The Charles Lamb

    Public House - 54 Islington Park Street, N1 1PX (9 minutes walk from Highbury Gardens)

    Time Out Rating - 4 stars, ££

    Public House is a relative newcomer to the Islington scene but it certainly has made its mark. It takes its place as a bar more than a dining venue, even though the food is delicious.

    The ultra cool setting of low lighting, candles, arty wall hangings, deep leather sofa's and the odd designers chair makes this place the perfect destination for a date, a mid week cocktail, or a Saturday night out. Cocktails are inventive and coupled with the venues décor, you will feel like part of the Islington urban chic set in no time.

    Slightly off the beaten path that is Upper Street, this is definitely a place where locals will absorb as their own.
    Visit Public House

    Duke of Cambridge - 30 St Peter's Street, N1 8JT (20 minutes walk from Highbury Gardens)

    Time Out Rating - 4 stars, ££

    This place, having been open for ten years, is at the top of the list when it comes to commitment to organic food and drinks. Dishes are seasonal, and more akin to restaurant quality creations than simple pub fair. Drinks are selected for the discerning, including notable wines, organic cocktails and boutique beers on tap. Large wooden tables set in a light filled corner pub, set this place up as the perfect location for a Sunday roast or an afternoon pint while reading the weekend papers.
    Visit Duke of Cambridge

    The Drapers Arms - What is 'following'?44 Barnsbury Street, N1 1ER (12 minutes walk from Highbury Gardens)

    Time Out Rating - 3 stars, ££

    The contemporary British fair matches well with the handsome Georgian-style Islington building that houses this gastro pub. The décor is simple in pale tones with wooden tables and trendy black and white painted floor boards. The garden will see you laze away your time on a sunny weekend; pimms or pint in hand. The food menu changes daily, and focus on seasonal produce with a distinctly British feel.

    The service is impeccable, the food incapable of challenge, and the atmosphere is as perfect as any pub gets.
    Visit The Drapers Arms

    The Albion - 10 Thornhill Road, Barnsbury, N1 1HW (15 minutes walk from Highbury Gardens)

    This urban gem has a true country feel about it. The Albion provides a retreat from London life in its relaxed space with roaring log fires inside, or from the pretty walled sun drenched garden to the rear.

    The service is impeccable, the food incapable of challenge, and the atmosphere is as perfect as any pub gets.The Guardian, The Observer and The Independent all rate The Albion for its food and drink. Just like the fine Georgian buildings surrounding this London pub, the food has the tradition of Britain at its heart, serving hearty meals in a contemporary way. The Sunday roast is a mainstay, where you can pre order a slow roast suckling pig for 10, or go for the Sunday regular feature of a slow roasted shoulder of lamb for four delivered direct to your table.
    Visit The Albion

    Marquess Tavern - 32 Canonbury Street London N1 2TB(14 minutes walk from Highbury Gardens)

    Times On Line, 2007, 10 Best Gastro Pubs

    The recently refurbished Marquess in the back streets of Islington has set a new standard in combining the pub with the grub. Lovely plush leather sofas, white walls, chandeliers and lots of dark wood set the scene for great food using ingredients sourced from the remarkable suppliers nearby, including the Ginger Pig butchery of Borough Market and Marylebone, Steve Hatt the fishmonger around the corner on Essex Road, and La Fromagerie in Highbury. Then they go and top that with a superb range of more than 40 bottled beers and 50 malt whiskies. Deservedly Time Out magazine's Gastropub of the Year for 2006.
    Visit Marquess Tavern

    Islington Farmers' Market, off Upper Street, N1 (11 minutes walk from Highbury Gardens)

    Located in the William Tyndale School playground just off Upper Street, this Sunday market feels like the secret enclave of keen and green Islington shoppers. Fresh fruit and veg abound, as well as many meats and dairy products. This market has been going since 1999, a testament to its success and it continues to draw crowds every Sunday.

Arsenal Football Club (Emirates Stadium)

Arsenal Football Club is situated at the end of the Holloway Road and on Hornsey Road and regularly hosts local and international games for one of England's most beloved past-times; football.

Interesting Facts

Some famous residents of the area are Charles Cruft (who started Crufts dog shows on Highbury Grove), Nick Hornby (writer), Clive Anderson (TV presenter/writer), Sade (singer), Rowan Atkinson (comedian), Jimmy Carr (comedian), Ainsley Harriott (famous chef) and Leona Lewis (singer) grew up here. Charlie Chaplin lived here and performed in many of the local venues, his father was a regular performer at Saddlers Wells. The fictional character Charles, played by Hugh Grant in Four Weddings & a Funeral lived by Highbury Fields, and the film Fever Pitch was filmed around the Arsenal stadium. Former Prime Minister Tony Blair moved to Stavordale Road in Highbury in 1986 and then to Richmond Terrace in Barnsbury in 1992.