From cheap international restaurants to vintage market stalls, music pubs, renowned foodie havens, pricey boutiques and clean bright bars – this bubble of Islington has a diverse arsenal of attractions. And it has the ability to appeal to both the boho crowd and the sleekest of City types.
Angel starts from halfway up Pentonville Road and goes all the way north east towards Dalson to the end of Essex Road, but its heart is firmly fixed on Upper Street, which runs through its centre.
“Angel is eclectic,” says Nathan Khider from Next Move estate agent in Upper Street. “It’s got great restaurants and nice people. It’s very media-orientated but also very financially-orientated. A lot of actors, singer-songwriters live here, too.”
And it’s Upper Street that brings in the crowds, who tend to be in their late 20s and early 30s.
It’s busy but relaxed, and you’ll find chain-stores in the N1 shopping centre; handy supermarkets behind it; vintage and antique shops and stalls in Camden Passage; as well as far too many bars and restaurants from which to choose.
These range from the cheap The Bull (good food, great sangria;) to the character-laden Tenshi (Japanese for ‘Angel’, the tempura rolls are amazing) in Upper Street.
While Tenshi attracts arty types and those of the more hipster persuasion, the ultra-trendy Ottolenghi, which serves beautifully presented desserts made from the highest-quality ingredients (ottolenghi.co.uk) keeps the banker contingent happy.
Bar crawls in Angel can have you hopping from gastro-pubs such as The Hanbury Arms in Linton Street, to London boozer The York, in Upper Street, to a cocktail bar such as The Bar With No Name . Then, chances are you’ll end up throwing shapes downstairs in The Winchester on Essex Road or at one of the O2 Academy’s indie or cheese clubnights (Feeling Gloomy or Club de Fromage; o2academyislington.co.uk).
Venture further and you’re a 20-minute walk from nights out in Shoreditch and a forty-minute walk or 15-minute Tube ride into central London. Transport couldn’t be easier, says Jonathan Rogers from Chesterton Humberts estate agent in Upper Street. Angel is also close to Moorgate – a 30-minute walk or 10-minute bus ride.
“The Northern Line is on one side and the Victoria Line and the Overground are on the other. It’s a popular area.”
And the best bits? Duncan Terrace, St Peter’s Street, Barnsbury Square, Lonsdale Square and Thornhill Square – all the squares and anywhere near Upper Street, basically, says Rogers.
Living in Angel will set you back a fair bit in terms of rent, as you are paying for the location and properties tend to be at a high standard inside.
As with all of London, period conversions are pricier and ex-council is cheaper. Sweet deals are notoriously hard to find, but then again, Angel is in Zone One. Residents have it pretty darn good, and you definitely get what you pay for.
Words: Clare Vooght