Spotlight On: Haringey

The view from Alexandra Palace

The view from Alexandra Palace

Guest post by Jacki Davenport

Haringey is a North London borough of history and contrasts. It’s well worth the 20-minute trip by train, tube or bus. Here are five reasons to visit:

Green Space
More than 25 per cent of Haringey is green space and of all London’s 32 boroughs it has the largest number of parks awarded Green Flag status.

Spend an afternoon rambling in Highgate Wood, then follow the disused-railway-turned-public-space of Parkland Walk down to Finsbury Park; one of the first great London parks laid out in Victorian times and home to a boating lake, playing fields, cafe and extensive children’s adventure playground. Or perhaps try a walk on the wild side and follow the River Lee and explore Tottenham Marshes.

Parkland Walk

Parkland Walk

History
One of the highest points in Haringey is Alexandra Palace. This birthplace of the BBC has impressive views to the City and is where the world’s first regular high-definition public TV broadcast took place on 2 November 1936. If you don’t like heights, visit one of the lowest lying areas in the east to find out how Markfield Pumping Station solved London’s sanitation problems in 1886.

History buffs will also love Bruce Castle Museum, the earliest mention of which is a visit by Henry VIII in 1516. Nowadays it houses the local history archives, art exhibitions and, if you believe the rumours, a ghost!

Brunch at Haberdashery

Brunch at Haberdashery

Eating and drinking
Try something new in Haringey. The best Turkish food in London is in Green Lanes. Popular choices include Devran, Antepliler and Gokyuzu, which was Trip Advisor’s #2 restaurant in all of London at one point in 2013. If you’d rather grab and go then Yasar Halim has amazing sweet and savoury Turkish pastries.

Around Turnpike Lane you can sample the world on a plate – Polish (Autograf), Mauritian (Le Chamarel), Indian (Jashan) and Japanese in unlikely looking local pub The Fountain.

There’s also loads of cafes dotted along streets and in parks. Downhills Park cafe rates a mention for its superb coffee and homemade brownies, as does Blend. Further west, Crouch End highlights include Haberdashery and Hot Pepper Jelly where you can sample the famous grilled peanut butter, bacon and hot pepper jelly sandwich!

If you’d like a drink with your meal, The Salisbury on Green Lanes offers a gastropub menu and splendid Victorian interiors. On a sunny afternoon try the Ferry Boat Inn or the Beehive. For live entertainment, there’s Jam in a Jar and The Step.

Soup Dragon

Soup Dragon

Shopping
Shopping malls, high street chains, local boutiques and villagey shopping streets can all be found in Haringey. A few highlights include:

The independent Big Green Bookshop, a hidden gem that offers a small but select range of books, great customer service and activities.

Crouch End has many clothing and gift shops for all ages. We recommend Soup Dragon for a lovely range of traditional wooden toys and colourful kids clothing.

Foodies will have a field day with the Haringey farmers’ markets, but don’t despair if you miss market day! There’s a great selection of local food shops, many still family-owned and run including: Praan (Indian confectionery), Dunn’s (bakery), Walter Purkis (fish and meat), W Martyn (tea and coffee) and particular favourite Cheeses.

Did you know…
The Percys were an aristocratic family who owned large amounts of land in the Tottenham area. The 14th century’s Sir Henry Percy is immortalised in William Shakespeare’s Henry IV Part 1 as “Harry Hotspur” and he’s also recognised in the name of the local football team – Tottenham Hotspur.

Are you a resident or have you visited Haringey recently? What are your highlights? Tell us in the comments below…