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.
Love the look of the place. It looks like it serves up a mean piece of cake.
As a North Londoner who is soon to move, Crouch End is definitely on my list of possibilities. The lack of tube is annoying, though. x
Yes, but a 10-minute bus ride (a frequent one) brings you to Finsbury Park Station. I thought like you at the beginning, but really it’s no big deal… and well worth the little trouble for living around here.
watch out for the yummy mummies tho!
Crouch End is indeed a wonderful place to live!….it is actually not too hard to get to as the overground train is walking distance and the busses are pretty good ! Crouch End is also noted for it’s eccentric dressers….
Laura – its a very nice place – the cakes were yum 🙂
Caroline – you should def check it out – some lovely flats too. I’m not sure about living off the tube yet but some great places (Herne Hill etc) aren’t on the tube…
Kelsie – have heard about the yummy mummies!
Raliel – good name and thanks for the tip! It seems I’m right that those who live in Crouch End feel strongly about it!
I didn’t know you are a fellow crouch end’er. lovely to connect
Oh no I’m a Brixtonite – was just visiting 🙂 Love your website btw – you should look at my post on kindness, always keen for ideas of good deeds to do… Sasha x
Crouch End is good in that it’s near amazing places like Stroud Green and Harringay Green Lanes, for all your kebab, cat-themed thai restaurant and heroin needs.
Shame it doesn’t have a station, though. It used to, once upon a time.
Am still struggling to picture the cat-themed thai…
Crouch end is great, if the lack of a tube bothers you you’ll be surprised how little it matters. The nickname of “Nappy Valley” could not be truer…
Agreed – one of these things that just takes getting used to I suspect. Once you’ve been in London a while you tend to stick around your manor at the weekends more anyway 🙂
I love living so close to Crouch End, it is just such a lovely place! Same could be said for Highgate and Muswell Hill but I think Crouch End is my favourite. Haven’t been to The Haberdashery yet though, will have to keep an eye out thanks!
TRY THE RAINBOW CAKE PLEASE – your lovely photo makes me think you are the sort of fabulous gal who should eat it! x
Crouch end and public transport?
Well as Jamboshine says Crouch End used to have a station on an overground railway line that ran from Alexandra Palace, by way of Highgate (now tube) station through the Crouch End area to Finsbury Park. It got closed down in the 60’s. Mistake. Bad thing.
It got turned into the Parkland Walk, an extraordinary “linear park” .
A country walk in North Central London, which winds along embankments and over bridges mostly planted on both sides with mature trees, often self seeded. A success! Good thing.
Its also true that the w7 bus route is very frequent and runs from Finsbury Park Station which is on the Piccadilly and Victoria Lines and is also an overground station – Cambridge in 45 minutes, Moorgate in ten.
I’m trying to decide if I should move to Crouch End….how ‘mixed’ is the community though? I’ve been to check it out a couple of times and seems lovely and from what’s above it sounds like it’s really nice but also I’ve heard it could be potentially a bit pretentious and more for young couples with children than for say, I don’t know……young (30ish) single types?
I don’t mean to be disrespectful by asking – just want to know
Thanks in advance for any answers!
Hi there – thought I’d put my tuppence in 🙂 I don’t live in Crouch End but the two people I know who do are both single and in their thirties. I’ve been to lovely family run Italian restos, but also nice jazz bars and cool little cafes. As I said in my post, the people who live there RAVE about it – so definitely not a bad bet! x
Crouch End is a lot more “mixed” than people often realise. It does have a lot of glitterati, true. Although a lot of these lived in Crouch End before they glittered… Crouch End not having a tube and a lot of large houses, was for a long time a good place for people, like actors and musicians, who did not have a regular commute and did not mind the “no tube” and who lived in shred large houses. Over the years it has gentrified, and more and more of the houses have moved back to being large family houses. Hence the babies and mothers and so forth, and a lot of “arty” and not well off types who got in before the gentrification still live there. So although there are less 30ish types with little money who live there because its cheap than there were, partly as its not cheap anymore, it is still a feature of the place that there are a lot of below forties about.
Thanks for your reply David.
I have to say – from the times I’ve been there it has struck me as a lovely place to be – although I’d agree it certainly isn’t cheap to live there! I think the fact that I don’t seem to have found anyone with a bad word to say about the place (other than the public transport thing – which I suppose can be viewed either way) it’s got to be a fairly safe bet!
I’m a 30 year old arts freelancer who doesn’t have any money, and I live in Crouch End! There are a lot of pubs, and quite a lot of late 20/early 30 somethings. I used to live in Earlsfield – which is definitely young couples with kids territory – and I hated it. But I love Crouch End – as much, if not more so, that Stoke Newington…
Delighted to make your “acquaintance” ElfMusic.
I did say “less” and not “none” (thirty year olds with no money)
And I am really pleased to see the tradition continues. Its just that at one time, when I first knew it (about 1982) Crouch End was a place you could get a low cost rental flat or room in a multiple occupation, And a lot of your neighbours were actors, musicians etc with little paid work. It does seem to have changed a bit. . But then everywhere, in London has really. I am an owner occupier and I could not afford to buy my house at current prices; could’nt have afforded it for years in fact. And its useless “wealth” as I have to live somewhere…. (I live off Hornsey Lane about midway between Highgate and Crouch End )
But I like Crouch End even tho’ you can no longer get change out of a ten bob note when you buy a coffee…
Thanks Sasha and ElfMusic as well for your replies and thoughts – definitely good to hear that Crouch End isn’t just “no tube and young mums”! I think I’m definitely sold…maybe see you in one of those cool cafe bars soon!
Thanks again to all
I live in CE ( although I regard sharing my’hood with Pegg and “Minty” as a cost rather than an asset), and have a habit/pathological addiction to hanging in it’s cafes. I thought the Habberdashery a bit cramped and not sure about the bread-in-flowerpots thing. Have you been to Riley’s opposite Budgens? There are lot of places to choose from; you could almost write a whole blog about it. Oh wait, I have! http://www.allthemacchs.wordpress.com
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