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Photograph: Shutterstock
Photograph: Shutterstock

A love letter to... Wood Green

As part of our Love Local campaign, Time Out writers are paying homage to their neighbourhoods. Here, Phil de Semlyen dishes his feelings about Wood Green

By Phil de Semlyen. Brought to you by Uber Eats
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Heard of Love Local? It’s our campaign dedicated to celebrating and supporting the independent businesses which make life in our city so vibrant. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be backing crucial campaigns to save our venues and shouting about Londoners doing their part to support their communities. 

As part of Love Local, we've paired up with Uber Eats, to publish 10 love letters to neighbourhoods across London. Thousands of restaurants are available for delivery via Uber Eats, so you can enjoy the tastiest meals from local eateries. So much more appealing than cooking, right?

Read all 10 love letters here.

Time Out Love Local campaign
Time Out Love Local campaign
Image: Time Out

A love letter to... Wood Green

Sure, to the naked eye, central Wood Green may look like an explosion in a shopping centre factory – although where else can you walk from one shopping mall to another without touching the ground? – but beyond The Mall Wood Green and The Market Mall (and their interconnecting walkway of hope) there is so much to cherish about this bustling, restless corner of north London. I love the energy of the place, the feeling of perpetual motion, the sense of different cultures coming together and enjoying the heck out of each other’s company. The unironic way it’s named after the only two things you have to leave the area to encounter. 

It’s also full of little nooks and crannies to discover. I’d been here at least a year before I realised the red Cakes and Ladders bus in Blue House Yard was actually a board game café and not just a double-decker parking fail. Ditto the tiny Bean + Brew, which does equally fab coffee. I’ve become a little obsessed with the diced lamb pide at Kervan Sofrasi. When it comes to Turkish food, Green Lanes is basically Little Istanbul, which in a way makes this Wood Green outpost Tiny Istanbul. It’s been a lockdown home delivery lifesafer.

We’ve got our own brewery too, in The Goodness Brewing Company. It’s tucked away in the quieter back streets, so craft beer aficionados can enjoy a citrusy Session IPA and a slice of home-cooked pizza away from the bustle. 

The nearby Alexandra Park and Lordship Rec more than compensate for the shortage of woods and greens (though the grass in front of The Prince N22, the best pub in the area, gets an honourable mention as a great spot to bask with a pint). One park looms invitingly just to the west; the other sits to the east – both boast a fine array of ducks, playgrounds, woods and serene spots to get away from it all. (Or most of it, at least.) Is Ally Pally better because it offers incredible views across London and was once home to Britain’s first TV broadcast, or does Lordship Rec pip it thanks to its dope BMX track and actual model traffic area for tiny cyclists? Almost impossible to say. Do what we do since we moved here and head to both. You can grab a tasty coffee and a chicken shish on the way.  

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