Things to do in Angel, Islington
Angel, Islington. Yes it is my hometown, and yes I absolutely LOVE it here.
Despite heavy bombing during World War 2, and the mass erections of council estates in the 70s/80s and 90’s, Islington has become an upmarket residential area with a buzzing cultural scene of impressive eateries, more independent retailers than you could shake your tic tacs at plus cosy pubs, lively bars and lots of nice green spaces.
Islington is one of London’s most diverse and trendiest neighbourhoods, boasting a rich history and a strong sense of community. The area’s “creative meet on the street vibe” is a powerful magnet and has been home to many creative types: locals have included writers George Orwell & Nina Bawden, singers Lily Allen & Dido, Comedienne Kathy Burke, High end shoe designer Tommy Mallet and near enough half the cast of EastEnders.
Angel is a really lovely area, I know it like the back of my hand so I guess it’s only right you get a ‘things to do in Islington’ guide from a true Islingtonian.
The Screen On The Green
The Screen on the Green in Islington is one of London’s oldest cinemas: it opened in 1913 and has been home to a single-screen ever since. In 2008 the cinema was bought by the Everyman chain of luxury cinemas. The cinema saved its iconic neon sign that has become a statement piece of signage on Upper Street. If not visiting for a movie you can be sure to enjoy the sign and the quirky messages from time to time. Although it was an extremely difficult time to get through, I laughed quite a bit when I walked by and saw this. One of my absolute favourites!
(hats off and standing ovation to the creative team that makes these… you truly kept me going some days when we were only allowed out for an hour.)
P.s – House Of Gucci is now showing! Get tickets here.
The first and most reputed farmers’ market in London, open since 1999, Islington Farmers’ Market is the place to go for fresh seasonal produce. Open every Sunday at Chapel Market from 10am to 2pm, the market sells everything from flowers and cakes to fresh pasta and fruit and veg. Perfect place to pick up veggies for your roast or to go for a Sunday stroll.
The Regent’s Canal offers an oasis of calm in the capital. The water runs through the heart of Islington and offers gorgeous views of the canal and its colourful collection of narrowboats. When the weather’s right, it’s so normal to just join the crowds barbecuing and drinking along the canal, or in the colder months settle down at a waterside café with a Hot Choc and watch the barges go by. A walk down the canal is sure to re-charge your batteries. Step off the pavement, onto the towpath and breathe.
Upper Street Cocktails
Islington is a bustling North London hub home to a wide range of bars just waiting to be explored. From chain favourites to crafty independents, there’s something for everyone to enjoy here. Upper Street presents a lengthy choice of places to visit and is guaranteed to liven up any night, no matter what the occasion may be. There are so many cocktail menus on offer, you’re bound to find a tipple you love.
For the purpose of recommendation here are my top 3!
Islington’s favourite cocktail bar and music venue…open till very late and ideally located in the heart of Angel on Upper street opposite Islington Green, 5 minutes form The Angel tube. Review and pics here.
Cocktail – ‘CAIPIRINHA’
Renowned for their bespoke range of martinis, this established bar provides signature cocktails matched with dazzling interiors. Whether you’re looking for a place you can dance away or somewhere for a catch-up with a drink, or two, grab your friends and head to Dirty Martini for a night you won’t forget!
Cocktail – ‘LUCID DREAM”
Simmons bar is a late night cocktail bar in Angel, just off of Upper Street a couple minutes down Essex Road, offering the perfect place for after work drinks, a cheeky dance, or a few tasty cocktails.
Cocktail – ‘GIN-DEPENDANT WOMEN”
Islington has a HUGE amount of restaurants, with the majority of them along Upper Street. But which are the ones you should be paying attention to – here’s a handful of the best in the area.
Islington’s highly favoured Mediterranean restaurants, ask any true Islingtonian where to eat and they will 100% ask if you’ve ever been to Mem and Laz or Kilis Kitchen? If you haven’t then let me prepare you, delicious food, good drinks, impeccable friendly service with menus that cater to all.
Side note – You can’t go wrong with Mems 3 course lunch menu that runs up until 6pm, alternatively If you’re going to Kili’s then ask for the Iskender #chefskiss Full review here.
Terra Rossa brings the flavours of Puglia to London. The land in the south of Italy has been lovingly tended by farmers producing the most sun touched delicious food for generations.
ORECCHIETTE & POLPETTE – Apulian fresh orecchiette with homemade meatballs, tomato sauce & ricotta cheese. Terra Rossa is the only Italian restaurant I have come across in Islington that serves this dish so it was such a unique find and absolutely delicious! Full review here.
Bellanger is an Islington classic, part of the Corbin & King empire, with the same owners of The Wolseley, Brasserie Zédel, and others. It looks beautiful and classy, the service is polished and impeccable, you can order anything from a light snack to a very filling three-course meal. Parisian cuisine at it’s finest, I had been served the most amazing french onion soup here and the creme brulee was exquisite, it was the *crunch* for me.
All services I have used are 10/10 and this is my biggest and loudest recommendation for anyone looking for beauty services in Islington and central London. I absolutely LOVE coming here, I always leave extremely pleased! Girls, we are talking makeup, hair, botox, fillers, lashes, nails, B12 shots, facials the lot. Men’s treatments are also available. Check out the interview with Islington Makeup Artist & Academy: The One Stop Beauty Shop!
Party, Party, Party!
So heres the deal, we are in no drought of bars, pubs and clubs in Islington, what is a bit scarce though is A VIBE.
Depending on what type of party night you want here are my goto’s:
Group fun? – Lucky Voice
A brilliant combination of private karaoke rooms and world class cocktail bar, Lucky Voice Islington caters to all tastes
Pre-drinks – Simmons/ LadyBird/ Wenlock & Essex
The PARTAY! – Bubba Oasis
All the vibes, decent priced drinks and a1 music selecta, the place you want to stay til closing.
I really don’t feel like I need to go anymore in depth here, just trust me on this.
Whatever you want to do in Islington, I got you covered!
Any questions please do drop me a dm on Instagram here.
Stay safe, live your best life and take care,