A long-underappreciated neck of the woods, Holloway and Archway combine (on the whole) large houses on leafy streets, reasonable pubs (there's certainly lots of choice such as The Landseer) and easy access to the olde-worlde splendour of Highgate to the north and the trendy buzz of Upper Street to the south. On Holloway Road itself, you have the iconic Daniel Libeskind building, which is part of London Metropolitan University. Tube and train stations are tolerably spaced along the main drag, with a good mix of grocery, takeaway, hardware, bike and vintage clothes shops. The definite sense of community is at its best on match days, when Arsenal fans fill every last neighbouring boozer with red shirts and good-natured bantz.
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Restaurants in Upper Holloway
Things to do in Upper Holloway
Shaolin Temple UK
It's not every day you get the chance to train with a genuine Shaolin, but Shi Yanzi is a thirty-fourth generation fighting monk sent by the Abbot of the Shaolin Temple in China's Henan province to spread the word in the UK. Archway is where he pitched up, running a busy programme of kung fu, tai chi and sanshou (Chinese kickboxing) classes for all ages and standards – plus, for those wanting to learn more about the culture, occasional workshops in Mandarin, calligraphy and Buddhism. The Temple also has an offshoot in Lewisham.
Bars and pubs in Upper Holloway
There's a firm foodie feel to this attractive old boozer tucked away in the backstreets just south of Highgate Cemetery. The seasonal produce is all meticulously sourced from the likes of Billingsgate Market, Barrett's and Stoke Newington's The Fishery, and menus read a step above the usual gastropub fare. Dishes range from lobster ravioli and citrus-cured salmon to haunch of venison with roasted butternut squash, braised shallots and juniper jus, wood pigeon with a red onion tarte tatin, and pan-fried hake with a kohlrabi gratin, pot-roasted oxtail nuggets and girolles. A short wine list focuses on the old word. It's all served in a suitably rustic room, with exposed brickwork, chesterfield sofas, mismatched furniture and an open fire roaring through the winter months. An al fresco courtyard proves popular come summertime.