Crouch End is one of those places where everyone who lives there seems to absolutely love living there, and when you get a place like that – I’m reminded of Brighton and San Francisco – it makes it feel very community-friendly and happy. Although I think that’s possibly where the similarity to San Fran ends. It’s a bastard to get to so perhaps it has become its own little oasis – there are some great cafes, pubs and delis along the central drag, quirky and local and gastro and cute. And the streets are lined with celebs. Or at least Simon Pegg, and Minty from Eastenders.
I ended up there on Saturday, to help Emmissima move into her new flat and visit my friend Max of the Nandos Bike Club. Max took me to The Haberdashery on Middle Street for coffee – and it was lovely. It felt very seaside England – bunting and white-washed walls with cakes and mis-matched china and huge bowls of coffee. And a rainbow cake that was quite scary (see below). The sort of place you can sit for ages feeling quite comfortable and homely and apparently they do craft jumble sales too and play old vinyl. North London does coffee shops like this really well, although Brixton’s getting there with Rosie’s Deli.
So I’m sort of jealous I don’t live in Crouch End – but pleased I now have even more reasons to visit. Like everywhere in London, its developing too – and maybe it will lose its quirkiness as it gains popularity, with the onset of chain stores and cheesy bars. But for now its a nice little escape from busy London life.