Canonbury is one of those areas that is often considered part of Angel/Islington, north London. It is roughly between Essex Road, Upper Street and Cross Street and either side of St Paul's Road.
In 1253 land in the area was granted to the Canons of St Bartholomew’s Priory, Smithfield and became known as Canonbury, it was developed as a suburb in the early 19th century. The gentrification of the area from the 1950s included new developments to replace war-damaged properties as well as restoration of older buildings.
Canonbury is a small but diverse subsection of Islington, with streets grande in scale. Some parts have a distinct villagey feel whilst others are more integrated into urban Islington. It is popular with a wide variety of professionals (particularly in legal circles), those in the media and working class Londoners, an ideal area to set up home both for singletons and families.
Albeit being very green and leafy in parts, (Alwyne Place comes to mind), Canonbury greatest appeal is its proximity to all that Islington has to offer, being close to Upper Street and North of the hip Essex Road and surrounded by great transport links, plus arts & culture and a multitude of restaurants and bars on the doorstep.
A couple of places to mention are:
New River Walk - The New River, an aqueduct built by Sir Hugh Myddelton to supply fresh water to London, was completed in 1613. The walk is in two parts, with a break at Willowbridge. The southern section received an early National Lottery grant, and has a back-pumping scheme which simulates the water flow of the original aqueduct. A great walk on a crisp day , very peaceful.
Canonbury Square - developed between 1805 and 1830, it includes a variety of distinct styles. In 1812, when few properties had been built, the New North Road turnpike, now known as Canonbury Road, was constructed and bisects the square. Many significant figures from the arts and literary worlds have lived on the square, including George Orwell, Evelyn Waugh and Samuel Phelps.
The Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art is in Canonbury Square. The museum is reopening shortly after undergoing comprehensive renovation of the building and the garden. I will be covering the re-opening and the exhibitions showing in my lifestyle blog at the end of January, so watch this space.
As one must have noticed from my previous blogs about Islington, I am a fan and proud resident; I absolutely love the community feel, the fact that it seems like a self-contained old town, culturally vibrant and with a great night life within a few minutes of the "Big City".
For me though , being a continental foodie, Islington is a glutton's paradise, with new eating places appearing all the time; as a matter of fact you could eat out every night for a year and still not have covered all the restaurants/eateries/foodie pubs there are.
And this is why I'm going to cover monthly in my Lifestyle Feature blog each area of Islington and challenge you, my loverly readers, to share with me (and everybody) your experience eating in Islington, area by area, with #MyBestMealIslington , the #CanonburyChallenge to start.
There are many great places to eat in this area, but I'm going to go as #MyBestMealIslington #CanonburyChallenge with the Alma, a pub in N1 (Canonbury of course) which was voted Winner of the TimeOut LoveLondon Award 2015 & 2016.
The Alma is very friendly , with a totally welcoming vibe, decorated with movie posters and other film paraphernalia, and with a great British menu fresh from their kitchen daily . Being a pub it has, of course, a fully stocked bar with imported and local craft beers, real ales, ciders, wines and spirits.
I recently visited and had their Sunday beef roast with a bottle of red; the beef was delicious and cooked "just right" (some places have the tendency to cremate the meat) this was deliciously pink and the wine complemented the meal perfectly. I was welcomed at the door as if I were family, the staff is fantastic, there is a community feel, the food is great, the music is upbeat and contributes to create "the mood" , is dog friendly AND you can watch sport.
It is not a Michelin star restaurant or pub but for me delivers what food is all about: family and friends, fun whilst eating good quality food, laughter, a great experience - Loved it xxx
So, #tagafriend with #MyBestMealIslington #CanonburyChallenge : which one is your best eat in Canonbury? Can it beat the Alma?
Et Bon Appetit....