The North London Guide
Many would describe London as a series of villages, each with its own architecture, mom and pop shops, and quirky characters, and nowhere is that more true than in North London. The villagers of Hampstead and Primrose Hill are lucky to live near two of the most gorgeous parks with beautiful views of the city below, while Islington’s charm lies in its quiet, tree-lined streets, which house many of London’s politicians—Brexit Boris included—and classic, old-school gastropubs. Meanwhile, King’s Cross and punk-ish Camden are both undergoing a major revamp, leaving their village roots behind with glitzy restaurants, shops, and theaters moving in and luring the tourists along with them.
John LewisBrent Cross Shopping Centre, Barnet | +44.20.8202.6535
John Lewis is great for home goods, kitchenware, clothing basics, and more. You'd be surprised at what you can find here. They deliver, and very quickly at that, making it so convenient you never even need to step foot in the store, here or on Oxford Street. Don't miss their home section for great, affordable, and durable English design.
Press3 Erskine Rd., Primrose Hill | +44.20.7449.0081
This is a favorite among Primrose Hill natives. Tucked into a small street, you have to ring the doorbell to get in. Once through the door you'll find a quiet and intimate shop that offers plenty of APC and Raoul, Vivienne Westwood, and Humanoid.
People all around London flock to Primrose Hill for the breathtaking 360 degree view. On summer days the hill is covered in picnickers taking in the sun. On winter days, there's always a dog walker or two, and when it snows, this is a prime sledding park.
Straddling Westminster and Camden, Regent's Park features the largest grass area for sports in London, plus an Open Air Theater, Regent's College, Regent's Canal, the London Zoo, restaurants, cafes, and much more. Every October, the park hosts Frieze, with two enormous pavilions and sculptures throughout the park.
RoundhouseChalk Farm Rd., Camden | +44.300.678.9222
From the Reverb festival that brings modern excitement to classical music, to hosting the hip Camden Crawl festival every May, Camden's Roundhouse is a hub for London's music scene, with young people at its heart. Acting as a community center of sorts, the goal of here is to inspire young adults to become interested and trained in the arts. Check their website for listings and details of their current events: expect rock, jazz, classical, folk and everything in between.
The Organic Pharmacy44 Hampstead High St., Hampstead | +44.20.7435.9045
The Organic Pharmacy specializes in herbal and homeopathic treatments and supplements and is a place where you can get a custom mix made according to your specific needs. You'll also find a great range of beauty and skincare products that you can buy on goop. There are locations throughout the city in Chelsea, Covent Garden, Kensington, Soho, and Hampstead.
TwentyTwentyOne274/275 Upper St., Islington | +44.20.7288.1996
This is the place where young couples go in Islington to furnish their East London homes with high-end, contemporary and modern classics created by the likes of Le Corbusier, Hans Wegner, Robin Day, and many, many more. The shop has recently expanded, but the floor is still just the tip of the iceberg. Make a point to inquire about their other stock.