10.00 Brunch at The Breakfast Club
The Breakfast Club were doing brunch long before it was THE thing to do. The Angel branch was the second cosy addition in what is now a collection of family-run Breakfast Clubs across London. Although you’ll probably have to queue for a wonky table in this ramshackle all day venue, the fun bright décor and plates piled high with pancakes and bacon are definitely worth it.
Where: 31 Camden Passage
11.00 Explore Camden Passage
This pedestrianized passage just off Angel High Street is one place in Islington that hasn’t changed much over the years. Along the Camden Passage cobbles you’ll find an open-air antiques market, vintage clothes specialists and the sweet-smelling boutique of artisan chocolatier Paul A Young.
Best time to book: If you book your flights 15 weeks in advance, you can save roughly $119 (5%) compared to the average price paid over the year to the U.K.
12.00 Snag A Second-Hand Bargain At FARA Charity Shop
Shop for vintage fashion and fun costumes without the guilt at FARA Charity shop. You’d never know this vast and well-designed store was a charity store except for the fact of the very reasonable (for London) prices. Donated wedding dresses hang along-side secondhand handbags and the profits from anything you buy go towards the charity’s programmes for disadvantaged children and young adults.
Where: Angel House, 28-32 Pentonville Road
13.00 Coffee At Saint Espresso
Next door to FARA is the minimally designed Saint Espresso who claim to ‘craft coffee with religious care.’ They rotate the carefully selected beans on offer and after road testing their Flat White I’m happy to say it meets Aussie standards!
Another good place for a Flat White in Angel is the award-winning CoffeeWorks Project. This speciality coffee house showcase seasonal Single Origin brewed coffee and espresso, with often 6 or more variations to sample. The cakes, baked fresh in the on-site kitchen, are also addictive.
Where: Saint Espresso, Angel House, 26 Pentonville Rd and The CoffeeWorks Project, 96-98 High Street, Islington.
13.30 Cake At Ottolenghi
Photo credit: Flikr/Ewan Munro
I dare you to walk past the giant, pastel-coloured meringues in the window at Ottolenghi and not want to buy one! This restaurant and deli is named after its owner, Israeli-born British chef Yotam Ottolenghi, who has risen to fame over recent years through his popular recipe books, Guardian column and regular TV appearances. You have to book well in advance for dinner at the restaurant but can just pop in and take away one of the fresh Mediterranean salads or scrumptious looking cakes from the deli at any time of day.
Where: 287 Upper Street
14.00 Shopping On Upper Street
There’s oodles of shops to discover in Islington. In Angel Central you’ll find a handful of the usual UK high street heroes (H&M, Accessorize, M&S etc) but if you wander along Upper Street towards Highbury Corner the boutiques get a little more independent and interesting. A great place to browse for gifts or fun old-fashioned toys is After Noah – a retro furniture and toyshop. Budding cooks will love Gill Wing Cook Shop and Aria and twentytwentyone are great for contemporary homewares and furniture.
14.30 Matinee At Almeida Theatre
The Almeida Theatre is a small and intimate venue with a big reputation internationally for launching new British talent. The programme features new work as well as reinvigorated classics such as the new adaption of 1984 by Robert Icke and Duncan Macmillan that is currently playing.
Where: Almerida Street, just off Upper Street
17.00 Drinks At Frederick’s
Frederick’s looks like an old-fashioned British boozer from the outside but has a surprisingly light and airy restaurant space hidden out the back. Known for their extensive wine list, pull up a seat at the bar and discuss your day as you work your way through it.
Where: 106 Islington High Street
18.00 Curry At Zaffrani
You find almost every worldly cuisine in Islington, thus making the decision for where to have dinner overwhelming for a visitor. Take it from a local, however, that you can’t beat the great British curries at Zaffrani. This family-run business has been hot with locals for years and for good reason. Creamy curries, giant fluffy naan bread, succulent paneers and an endless stream of cold beers make this a great place for a long leisurely meal with friends.
Where: 47 Cross Street
20.00 More Drinks at Barrio East
Barrio East is a lively Latin bar where you’ll find Mexican beer, quirky décor and even quirkier cocktails. (My favourite, the Ram Berry Jam, has a Jammy Dodger biscuit on top!) The small dance floor gets rammed when the DJ starts his set so reserve an area in ‘La Caravana’ (an actual caravan spliced in half!) for a bit of elbow room.
Where: 45 Essex Street
21.00 Karaoke Session At Lucky Voice
Lucky Voice is where karaoke gets chic, or less embarrassing depending on which way you look at it! Made up of a handful of sound-proofed private booths, you can sing your heart out at Lucky Voice without being worried about making a fool of yourself. The high tech system is completely digital; you simply load up the songs on the system and wait for your turn to shine. There’s a box of props in the corner if you need a Tina Turner wig to get into the swing of things and drinks service comes to your door at the press of a button.
Where: 173-174 Upper Street
23.00 Dance Off At The Old Queens Head
The Old Queens Head is a classic London pub with battered old leather sofas, comforting carbs on the menu and scores of people on the benches outside whenever the sun is shining. The upstairs bar hosts a DJ and dance floor on the weekend and if you time your visit right you could be in for a proper dance off when the noughties and nineties classics come out.
Where: 44 Essex Road
01.00 Dance More At Club De Fromage
There’s nothing cheesier than Club De Fromage at the O2 Academy Islington every Saturday! Promising just what it says on the tin the creators of Club De Fromage, DJ Fat Tony and his son Slow Alfie, only play the type of music you’re embarrassed to admit liking. There’s always some form of fancy dress and surprise novelty acts on stage to up the cheese factor. It’s an absolute riot but, put it this way, it’s not a place to go sober!
Where: O2 Academy, 16 Parkfield Street
03.30 Head home and have a rest – you’ve earned it!
12.00 Sunday Roast at The Albion
After a night at Club De Fromage there’s only one thing to do, gather your mates and toast the hair of the dog in a buzzing beer garden. The Albion is regularly voted one of the best pubs in London for its mix of great food, Georgian charm and flower-strewn facades. Their Sunday Roast menu is one of the best; featuring all the key items like Slow Roasted Hampshire Pork Belly, Sage & Onions Stuffing and Yorkshire Puddings.
Where: 10 Thornhill Road
Book your tickets to London today! Get the best deals for your flight, hotel and car hire with Skyscanner Australia. For more adventures on-the-go, download our mobile apps!
About The Author
Jayne blogged her way around 40 countries before her 30th birthday and then moved from London to Sydney in search of sunshine and sweet treats. Keep up to date with her travels on blog Girl Tweets World.