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Highgate area guide

Time Out's guide to Highgate's best restaurants, pubs, parks and things to do

North-east of Hampstead Heath, Highgate has long been a distinguished neighbourhood. It has been home to notables for centuries: Dickens had James Steerforth live there in 'David Copperfield'. There's also the famous Highgate Cemetery, where people like Karl Marx and Douglas Adams are buried.

If hanging around a cemetery (however beautiful) isn't exactly your cup of tea, there are several great restaurantspubs and bars in the area as well. Boogaloo, for example, is a pub that hosts a market and themed DJ nights.

What are your favourite Highgate haunts? Let us know in the comments.

Highgate highlights

Things to do

Hampstead Heath

Wild and undulating, the grassy sprawl of Hampstead Heath makes a wonderfully untamed contrast to the manicured lawns and flowerbeds found elsewhere in the capital.

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  • 5 out of 5 stars
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Attractions

Highgate Cemetery

The final resting place of some very famous Londoners, Highgate Cemetery is a wonderfully overgrown maze of ivy-cloaked Victorian tombs and time-shattered urns. 

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  • 5 out of 5 stars
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Theatre

Jacksons Lane

Jacksons Lane is all about the experimental arts and its heritage speaks for itself. Matt Lucas and David Walliams performed their first ever double-act show here, and companies such as Complicite and Shared Experience have found a platform at the Highgate venue. 

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Attractions

Waterlow Park

This 20-acre green space – neighbouring Highgate Cemetery – is one of the capital's hidden gems. Its three ponds make it a perfect place for wildlife-spotting.

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Restaurants and cafés near Highgate

Restaurants

Pavilion Café

The setting is idyllic: on the edge of 70 acres of ancient woodland and a huge open field, with a wisteria-clad picket fence and a large outdoor terrace. But we particularly like this place because the food and drinks are better than they have to be. Rustic Mediterranean cooking comes in huge portions: a special of fusilli pasta with balsamic-roasted red onions, rocket and tomatoes saw us through lunch and dinner. On another day, you might find slow-cooked pork belly. Streusel-topped blueberry muffin had a pleasing homemade character and the vanilla ice-cream was good enough to impress both kids and adults. The mix of bar ordering and counter service is confusing and seems to change with each visit; there’s also a sign asking customers to wait to be seated, though none of the staff was attending to this. They were, however, friendly and prompt when it came to ordering. Note that there aren’t many tables inside.

Time Out says
  • 4 out of 5 stars
Users say
  • 2 out of 5 stars
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Restaurants

Bread and Bean

This nice little place opened in November 2011 and it’s a big hit with young locals. It’s easy to see why they come. From the copper lamp fittings to the quirky decor to the massive windows giving a full view of the street scene, this is very pleasant place to while away an hour or two. There’s just one coffee on offer, Union Coffee Roasters’ Revelation blend, and it’s well handled with just one complaint: the cup wasn’t hot enough, so inevitable the brew wasn’t, either. The food ranges from cooked breakfasts to sandwiches, baked spuds and a daily soup and salad. Plus the inevitable baked goods, most of them made on the premises.

Time Out says
  • 3 out of 5 stars
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Restaurants

High Tea of Highgate

A local tearoom with London-wide appeal, High Tea of Highgate sets itself apart from other local spots by virtue of its nostalgic charm. Crockery and cute kitchen knick-knacks are for sale and waitresses bustle around with pots of tea and healthy portions of British bakes. There’s no set afternoon tea menu, but you can piece together your own (apart from the sandwiches) with scones, chocolate buttercream sponge, lemon drizzle or lavender cake among those on the menu. It’s a classic, simple and, dare we say it, slightly boring selection. Still, everything is own-made and together with a pot of loose leaf tea, there are worse ways to while away an afternoon.

Time Out says
  • 3 out of 5 stars
Users say
  • 3 out of 5 stars
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Restaurants

Fish Fish

A more cheerful spot than its location and black frontage suggest, this laid-back neighbourhood restaurant features pot plants, lanterns and various accoutrements of the sea. The meat content of the menu has been beefed up in recent years, but most come here for the fish, which can be charcoal-grilled, poached, deep-fried in batter or shallow-fried in breadcrumbs. There are a few fishy pasta options too, plus classic starters such as calamares, mussels, whitebait and taramasalata. Our exquisitely fresh grilled sea bream with salad was the sort of fare made memorable on Mediterranean holidays. Traditional British battered haddock and chips was a fine rendition, and we were greatly impressed by the quality of the own-made fish fingers for kids. The brief wine list has some decent bottles, but the familiar brands seem overpriced outside a supermarket setting. Thinly populated on our weeknight visit, this is nevertheless a handy and friendly joint locals would do well to support.

Time Out says
  • 3 out of 5 stars
Users say
  • 5 out of 5 stars
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Comments

3 comments
Artway Emporium
Artway Emporium

Art & Antiques Emporium on Archway Road, just next door to Jackson's Lane, directly across the street from Highgate Station. You can find lots of hand crafted items, such as clothing, jewellery and artworks, also specially selected Vintage clothing, antiques and curiosities, kids toys and greeting cards. There is also an art gallery in the basement with various exhibitions and installations changing weekly/monthly. Highly recommended for Christmas shopping!

philip green
philip green

Great dog groomers and pet boutique on Highgate High street . The Boutique A new concept dog and cat boutique with the aim of sourcing and creating a well-designed stylish range with particular emphasis on handmade, natural, recycled & organic products. We also carry a range of dog walking accessories for humans including Carhartt, Pendleton, Love from Australia, LAARK Luxury Knitwear, Evercreatures and Le Chameau walking boots. The Groomers A state of the art environment, using the highest quality spa pet products, our advanced professional senior groomers are dedicated to making your pet's groom a gentle, relaxed and happy experience. Fees are charged dependent upon pet size and coat condition. We also offer a hand stripping service. At the time we schedule your first appointment you will be provided with an estimated spa groom service fee. For your convenience, as well as a full groom, we will also provide a wash and dry only service. Our groomers are happy to take bookings from 9am. Bookings taken on 020 8340 4030. Address 24 Highgate High Street, N6 5JG London, United Kingdom · Get directions Phone 0208 340 4030 Website http://www.hairofthedoglondon.com

Brigitte
Brigitte

For immediate release: On the 3rd of December Artway Gallery in Highgate hosts a special event for the art installation Svet Luni Serafin is loosely translated as 'Moon Lit Angel'. ( Free entry, voluntary contribution) Russian sculptor and doll maker Olga Lunina has the pleasure to announce her collaboration with up-cycled designers Brigitte Antal and Piotr Searfin under the name VICTORIA ROAD. The amazing hand sculpted dolls displayed with quirky up-cycled carpentry pieces and lighting create a combination of the worlds of Tim Burton and Jean Pierre Jeunet. VICTORIA ROAD relies on skilled handcraft to create pieces that have a sense of history but also meaning and purpose- a true testament to their craftsmanship and vision. The fascination with things that have soul is intrinsic to Olga Lunina's work. Her clay dolls are pure magic yet shockingly human. The exhibition is currently on at Artway Gallery (Free entry) and runs until the 9th of December, with a special open event on the 3rd of December, 11am - 5pm. For more information please contact info@victoriard.co.uk Artway Gallery www.artwaygallery.co.uk 273 Archway Road, N6 5AA VICTORIA ROAD www.victoriard.co.uk Olga Lunina www.olluna.ru