Welcome to the Theatre-land of North London: Upper Street  

  • By The Alchemist About Town
  • 24 Aug, 2017

Summer in the City Guide: Islington & Upper Street

Pic from bbc.co.uk

Ok, it is week 4 of my Summer in the City, Summer Edit intimate travel blog covering the charms of Islington. Well welcome to Upper Street, Islington's buzzing high street and the Theatre-land of North London. There is a HUGE amount of restaurants and bars,  fashionable shops, pubs, and many theatres here but still feeling villagey rather than commercial.

Bit of history ( indulge me):

  • The hilltop village of Islington originally consisted of two streets in addition to the High Street: Upper Street and Lower Street, which diverged from the High Street at Islington Green and both date back to at least the 12th century.Henry VIII hunted duck in the ponds off Upper Street, while Walter Raleigh lived in Upper Street and owned a pub in Lower Street, since renamed Essex Road.
  • In the 18th century Upper Street started to be redeveloped from an agricultural to a residential area and it became later notorious (late ninetheen century) for its night-time entertainments. In 1870, Charles Dickens described the area as "amongst the noisiest and most disagreeable thoroughfares in London."


How things have changed; if I say so myself, Upper Street is now a vibrant cafe culture/art scene/entertainment island to rival the West End (did I say I love Islington?).


St. Mary's Church, Islington, rebuilt in 1754, dominates the Islington skyline and is still in full use today.

There is a children's puppet theatre in a former Temperance hall, called Little Angel Theatre  , behind the church.

Directly opposite St. Mary's Church is the King's Head Theatre, founded in 1970, the first pub theatre in the UK, located in the back room behind the bar at the King's Head pub


Recommended this week:

Food and drinks

Practically every other door in Upper Street is either a pub, a restaurant or some kind of eatery, a mix of well know chain-brands and smaller independents, too many to mention; there is certainly something for all tastes and price brackets.

A couple of gems worth mentioning for me:

Casa Manolo  , a tiny bit of Spain in the heart of Islington, offering eating-in as well authentic products for sale (  jam on iberico, Yum :-p ).

Islington is the biggest Ottolenghi and a proper restaurant. A Mediterranean influence with ever changing and experimenting menu as well as take-away food, it seats about 50 in the cool, sophisticated-yet-laid-back environment, mostly around communal tables. The restaurant is just opposite the Almeida theatre ( see below) and serves hot breakfast, lunch from the counter and hot food from the kitchen at dinner time, served to share in mezzo size portions. If you want to have brunch on the weekend try to arrive early, to avoid the long queues.

Udderliscious Ice Cream , an independent ice-cream parlour toward the Highbury end of Upper Street, making utterly deliciously scrumptious ice cream; they often experiment and they even do flavour requests ( yes, that's right). You have to try it.


 Entertainment

Screen on the Green , love love love this "experience" cinema, offering a mix of independent, foreign language, culture, classics and the latest blockbusters movies (and you can drink a nice glass of red whilst enjoying the movie too, priceless). Showing now.

The Almeida Theatre  ,  is a 325-seat studio theatre off Upper Street opened in 1980.. The theatre produces a diverse range of drama and exists with the  purpose is to launch the next generation of British talent into the world stage. Now showing Against (12/08-30/09), Christopher Shinn's new play, directed by Ian Rickson, with Ben Whishaw.


The Kings Head
 , the first theatre pub since Shakespearean times, Victorian pub with famous theatre and live music. The Kings Head Theatre is  currently showing Coming Clean (25/7 to 26/8)  Kevin Elyot’s landmark drama questions the nature of fidelity and the limits of love, headlining the Kings Head Theatre's 2017 Queer Season. Hurry up if you want to see it. And from 29/08 until 23/09 you  will be able to enjoy OutLaws to In-laws 7 new short plays by 7 leading gay writers spanning the decades from the 1950s to the present day exploring gay lives against a rapidly changing social history from intolerance, violence and hate through to the legalisation of homosexuality and gay marriage.


Shopping

Twentytwentyone  , new and vintage meet in this design store beloved by architects, designers and other trendies (or people who want to be trendy). Quality, beautifully-designed homeware is carefully sourced and advice on investing in classic retro furniture available.

Little Paris , for the lovers of French home deco, Little Paris offers a time trip through an eclectic range of vintage and unique furniture, curiosities, contemporary fashion and home accessories directly sourced from France. The shop is constantly restocked, so it is worth popping in regularly.

You must come and visit, what are you waiting for?

The People Alchemist Blog

By The Alchemist About Town 22 Sep, 2017
I am so utterly delighted that my book is now out, available to order both on paperback and on Kindle edition just in time for Business Women's Day - YES!!!!!! :-) 

STOP IT! It's all in your head   is my labour of love and my way to encourage, inspire and empower women to achieve what they want professionally and not be confined by societal, religious, family paradigms of what " women should do/are like" and, most importantly, the restrictions in their head.
If that is being CEO of a Global Company or a stay-at-mum or Director of Paperclip ( whatever grabs your fancy) so be it.

Writing this book was also a personal challenge ( the 30 days thingy) which confirmed to me once and for all that you can really do whatever you set your mind to, if you really want to that is.

Couple of tips for writing a book from me:
  • write about what you are passionate about, you know more than you think.
  • free-write about the parts/chapters in the book you like the most and you are most interested in first - that will give you a great boost at the beginning - you can edit and add the boring bits later - by then most of the book will be almost there
  • keep your own voice - write as you speak so to speak ( people do need to understand you though..)
  • keep an open mind, ideas will flow into you mid-way through the project
  • a deadline and going public is good to beat procrastination ( but if that stresses you out too much don't do it) - the deadline certainly helped me.
You can do it too!!!

If anyone would like to be part of the book launch, the event is live on Eventbrite and you can buy an Early Bird ticket now:
SMASH YOUR CEILING - #STOPITBookLaunch 
Thursday 12 October at 18.30
Business Design Centre
Islington
London

To pre- e-meet other super fab women in business attending the event, please use the following hashtags:
#SMASHYOURCEILING
#STOPITBookLaunch
#BDCWorks

I'm so excited about this book and I genuinely hope you will like it- I hope to meet you soon, in person or through the pages of my book.

Laura x


#Hustle #GirlBoss #SmashThatCeiling
  #SmashYourCeiling
STOP IT! It's all in your head 
#dreambig #believe #youcan



By The Alchemist About Town 19 Sep, 2017
The time is getting closer and closer to the release of   STOP IT, It's all in your head   my new book ( 22 September for Business Women's Day - US) .

I have now  received the proof copy of the paperback which looks absolutely fabulous: a couple of things to correct but overall I am super happy with the result.
A lot of marketing to do now between Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google+ ( which is PS: looking like more work than the actual writing of the book).

The book event/launch/talk is live on Eventbrite and you can buy an Early Bird ticket now:
SMASH YOUR CEILING - #STOPITBookLaunch 
Thursday 12 October at 18.30
Business Design Centre
Islington
London

To pre- e-meet other super fab women in business attending the event, please use the following hashtags:
#SMASHYOURCEILING
#STOPITBookLaunch
#BDCWorks

I'm so excited about this book and I genuinely hope you will like it.

Laura x


#Hustle #GirlBoss #SmashThatCeiling
  #SmashYourCeiling
STOP IT! It's all in your head 
#dreambig #believe #youcan



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