Crouch End is heaven for breeders. I can say that because I am one. From cafes that offer crayons as standard and don’t wince at the mention of a ‘babyccino’ to independent bookshops and clothes boutiques, living in Crouchy is a soothing balm to the irritation of trying to raise a family in the capital.
Being the mother of a boisterous, wildly energetic toddler the mere thought of going out for something to eat in central London brings me out in a cold sweat. But in this little enclave of North London, the long suffering café owners and restaurant managers are only too aware that to make their business a success they have to open their arms and doors to the hordes of parents and kids in the area. Win. Here are my 3 favourite spots for eats #notanad #iwish #wouldloveadiscount

  • The Haberdashery – this kitsch café does coffee strong enough to bring you back to life after a sleepless night. The walls feature works by local artists and the décor is reclaimed and eclectic. They have a fantastic brunchy menu and one dedicated solely to kids (obvs)

  • Monkey Nuts – If there’s a bigger group of you or you just fancy a more lively atmosphere, bar and restaurant Monkey Nuts is your spot. A great option for the hungover parent – hair of the dog, burgers, a juice if you’re feeling virtuous. The staff here are so friendly and unfazed by errant children that if your kid is throwing a grade-A wobbler they’ll likely step in with a distraction technique so smooth, you’ll be left in awe.

  • Gails – I know it’s like so Metropolitan Elite but I do love a Gails blueberry muffin and by god do their flat whites deliver. I don’t love paying £42 for a loaf of bread and a pot of tea, but never mind. A good spot for people watching, my favourite thing about Gails is the fact my son calls it ‘the café’ which makes me feel, for a moment a bit French.

Once your bellies are full and you’re all hopped up on caffeine, there are plenty of lovely shops for you to mosey in.

  • Niddle Noddle – I adore this charming little store, the window displays alone are worth a gander for décor and product inspiration. They stock a range of indie European toy and clothes brands, books and magazines and nursery décor, plus the kind of nick nacks that older kids can choose from with their pocket money without breaking the (piggy) bank.


  • Pickled Pepper books – 6 months ago the bad boy of books (Waterstones) moved into Crouchy, making locals fear for the fate of this independent store. But Pickled Pepper books is still a firm favourite thanks to the beautifully selected titles, the kids’ art and kitchen area at the back and the fact you can happily get a coffee while your kids browse.


  • Mini Kin – This boutique is notable for the fact it has a kids’ hairdressers at the back which is, by all accounts very good. I cut my son’s mad curly hair every couple of months so I can’t say I’ve tried it, but we have bought clothes and gifts at Mini Kin.

The best of the rest… just because we’re parents doesn’t mean our whole lives revolve around kids right? Right…

  • Bottle Apostle – as the name suggests this is a bottle shop for alcohol aficionados. From the craftiest of beers to wines worthy of Withnail, this store packs a punch. Sampling is encouraged and they host regular tasting events.


  • Just opposite is the Urban Flower Company, and while a little pricey it’s worth a visit for the aroma and the sense of walking into a cooling jungle of greenery and stone. The hipster staff really know their stuff and if succulents are your thing, you’ll be a happy customer.


  • A few stops down is Cassius & Coco a petit homeware boutique that does a great line of wicker baskets, stocks materials from The School of Life, and has ceramics and scented candles galore. Perfect for gifts for yourself and others.


  • Next door is Jealous Gallery and independent art store that does original art, prints and concept pieces at affordable prices. For bigger purchases you can also apply to spread the cost with the interest free Own Art scheme which is backed by the British Art Council.

There you have it, a whistle-stop tour of Crouch End which has more village vibes than you’d expect for somewhere in Zone 3.
Written by Hari Blanch.
IG: @hariblanch
AKA IG: @thesubjectldn
February 13, 2018 — admin