Highgate - London
When I first moved to Highgate I have to admit I had never actually heard of it let alone been there. Naturally, I turned to Google and was informed that this leafy part of North London was Kate Moss’s old stomping ground. That was really all of the endorsement I needed to feel confident that we were heading in the right direction… to the North.
Highgate Village is a Pub Crawlers dream; The Flask is a stunning 17th Century treasure with a beautiful beer garden that plays host to the best summer drinking sessions. On sunny days this shady beer garden is heaving, the barbecue is fired up and Jugs of Pimms are on hand to keep the masses hydrated, providing a perfect oasis for a Summer day in London. Speaking of Oasis, we once had a pint with Liam Gallagher here… well to be honest we were actually at the table next to him and couldn’t muster much more than a nervous giggle.
For the craft beer aficionado it doesn’t get much better than The Dukes Head. They fiercely support independent local breweries including my husband’s favourite, Beavertown Brewery (please take the time to see just how deep is his love is for their beer by clicking here). They were endorsed by CAMRA as the Pub of the Autumn Season in 2014. The Sacred Gin Bar has some amazing Gin cocktail offerings, the Sloe Gin Fizz is a must!
In order to get the most out of their beverages, you are going to need to line your stomach. Luckily, The Dukes Head have that covered too. They won the Best Restaurant in Highgate in the Time Out Love London Awards for 2014. Their pop-up kitchen changes monthly and they seem to only provide a temporary home to the best that London street food has to offer. BBQ Dreamz, AlliHopa, Squid Kitchen, Stake Haus and Le Bao have all filled the Dukes Head with their delicious specialities.
There are so many more spectacular pubs that deserve a mention, in fact they all justify an article each (I will get right on that!). The Red Lion and Sun and The Bull are Gastropubs at their finest. The Wrestlers has a massive roaring fireplace, making it the perfect winter pub. The Prince of Wales is your typical English pub, nothing pretentious; excellent drinks, great service and a friendly crowd.
My love for this place also lies in its green spaces. Waterlow Park is a great spot to walk off that Sunday Roast and provides some of the most stunning views of London. At its base lies Highgate Cemetery, the eerily beautiful resting place of Karl Marx. The Swimming ponds of Hampstead Heath are only a 10-minute walk from the village, 10 minutes further walk to the south and you will end up at Parliament Hill or 10 minutes further to the North and you will find yourself amongst the grandeur of the Kenwood House Estate. Parkland walk is like a natural tunnel, enclosed by leafy trees that takes you all the way from Highgate station to Finsbury Park.
If you are looking for an escape from the hordes of tourists in Central London, feeling you are lacking in the facial hair for east London or a lack of an Aston Martin in West London or just need to see what is well north of the river, enjoy a slice of the high life in Highgate for a day.