The streets are strewn with lights and, soon, every other front door will be sporting its wreath of red and green. Meaning? It’s time to get Christmas shopping. While the hoards head to busy Oxford Street, we’ve decided to stay a little closer to home. Join us for a peaceful stroll along Islington’s Upper Street.
Start at Angel and, before heading north towards Highbury and Islington, nip into narrow Camden Passage to the right of Islington Green. If you’re craving caffeine, drop by The Coffeeworks Project for a morning coffee. Then pick up some beautifully packaged teas from Katsuke 100 and stocking fillers – from bobble hats to picture frames – from lifestyle boutique Haygen.
Next, cross the green and visit After Noah. This homely shop sells everything from vintage toys to chunky clocks and elegant mirrors, making it the perfect place to find gifts for both adults and children. Back across the street by the church is the beautifully arranged Dansk Flowers, where you can pick up some pussy willow or a bunch of something sweet-smelling for yourself – not all gifts need be for giving.
The rest of Upper Street is lined with a smorgasbord of shops. Neal’s Yard Remedies for face and hand creams, Toast for a snug pair of slippers, Le Creuset (because who doesn’t love those mini, colourful casserole dishes?) and Albam for a cosy jumper (lucky him). Post Albam, nip next door to Ottolenghi to end with a well-earned piece of carrot cake and a warming fresh-peppermint tea.
Photo: Celia Katsampe.