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5 hidden gems that make Islington the place to be in 2016 - Essential Living

5 hidden gems that make Islington the place to be in 2016

London Lifestyle

With its many winding alleys full of hidden delights and its mixture of artisanal local coffee and food outlets, Islington is one of London’s trendiest boroughs.

Whether you’re looking for the chicest cocktail bar, somewhere to dine on five-star cuisine or a quick pick-me-up coffee, there are plenty of hidden gems in Islington, all of which are a tube ride away or short walk from Vantage Point in Archway.

Camden Passage

On this cobbled passage, you’ll find a treasure trove of market stalls, selling everything from vintage clothing and antiques to old London paraphernalia. Camden Passage is the perfect place to stop for a quick drink on a Saturday afternoon, with many cafés offering little courtyard garden seating areas.

Full of charm, Kipferl is a must-visit for Kaffee und Kucken, offering an authentic Austrian menu including Apfelstrudel and Viennese iced coffee. Their breakfasts are also especially recommended for early-risers or those looking for a spot of brunch.

For an artisanal offering, Pistachio & Pickle hosts a delicatessen with some of the finest British cheeses and chutneys. Choose from their wide selection of homemade freshly-baked breads, air-cured meats and fine wines to complement their cheese and chutney platters for the ultimate brunch.

The Reading Room

Just around the corner from Union Chapel and Highbury & Islington station, The Reading Room is a Parisian speakeasy hideaway, bringing a more chilled vibe to Islington’s vibrant nightlife area. Located above The Library, Islington’s premier late-night cocktail bar, The Reading Room oozes the decadence you would expect from a Parisian-inspired haunt.

With vintage lanterns, low lighting and old-fashioned leather chintz armchairs, there’s an air of mystery about the secret bar. Choose from their wide selection of absinthe and cocktails, and escape the hustle and bustle of the city below with their regular live music nights.

The Dead Dolls House

Not to be overlooked from the outside, the three-storey townhouse building that makes up The Dead Dolls House hides a number of different rooms, each with their own unique décor. Boasting a gastro menu and mind-blowing cocktails, it will take you through the whole day from morning to night.

The bar-cum-restaurant exudes exclusivity, with public and private rooms for hire making it the ideal venue for a special party. On the ground floor, The Parlour is open to everyone, serving up cosy cocktail evenings and live DJ sets; The Library on the middle floor is an intimate private room with its own boutique bar and Victorian-inspired interior; The Drawing Room is fitted with long dining tables for larger parties; and The Ballroom on the top floor doubles up as  a fine restaurant and an opulent late-night cocktail bar.

The London Cocktail Club Islington

Cheekily tucked away behind an ‘Apothecary Off Licence’ shopfront on 108 Essex Road, The London Cocktail Club is a speakeasy bar that captures the heart of London. Islington welcomes the fifth LCC but its trendy location on Essex Road and its pharmacy-themed get-up make it perhaps the best LCC yet.

Navigate the rooms and secretive nooks and crannies to find a doctor’s Waiting Room, A&E (Alcohol & Entertainment) room, and the Apothecary Off Licence & Tasting Room. Unwind in the evening and be treated to classic and apothecary cocktail-making masterclasses or be served your favourite choice of bitters and liqueurs.

69 Colebrooke Row

Nothing is more sleek than the Bar With No Name, 69 Colebrooke Row. Purposely difficult to find, the bar is a haven of sophistication, serving a fine menu that is a luxury twist on bar food. The cocktails are something a bit more special, with Black Rose Liqueur topped with Champagne, and Honey & Pollen Bellinis among others.

Blending 1950s Italian café with film noir interiors, the bar emanates a soothing vibe, with live music throughout the week, including house pianist Maurice Horhut on Thursday and Friday evenings. The bar’s intimate space and exclusivity are ideal if you’re looking for somewhere a bit more unique.

Discover Islington with Essential Living

Whether you’re on the search for a light bite to eat for brunch, a cocktail with a difference, or a fine dining restaurant, Islington boasts a number of hidden gems. Have we missed out your favourite secret spot in Islington? Let us know below or tweet us @EssLiving.

And don’t forget that you can be in the heart of this trendy London borough by renting an apartment at Vantage Point.


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