Wednesday, 28 January 2009

In praise of Essex Road

I always thought of Essex Road (in London's fashionable Islington district) as Upper Street's poor relation: a bit down at heel and even slightly threatening of a weekend evening. But getting to know it is getting to love it. In fact I reckon it must comprise the best and most interesting and most useful selection of shops it has ever been my good fortune to live near (I'm really referring to the bit between Packington St and New North Road).

Where else can you get within 50 yards some of the best fresh fish (Steve Hatt), meat (James Elliot) and bread (Raab's) in London? And a good selection of nice, well-priced veg (Market Garden). It has a shop which sells 'stuff' (I mean things like string and paint) (SX). A retail taxidermist (yes really) and a shop/atelier selling handmade, self-designed clothes (can we call it couture? Yes, why not) (Comfort and Joy). Amazing gourmet but good value Italian cafe (Mood for Food). Traditional London funeral parlour (WG Miller). And there's really loads more covering just about your every need and desire.

So those of my huge audience who hail from within a decent walk of this road: go do some marketing, as the old people used to say.

(PS there's also a Banksy on the side of one of the shops)

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