Scandi-style houses with the hallmarks of a loft apartment — light-filled interiors with free-flowing open-plan spaces — are available to rent in up-and-coming Finsbury Park.
Set in a gated Victorian mews, the homes replace a drab Eighties office campus and have been designed by the Baxter brothers, creators of the trendy Kip Hotel in Hackney, where monochrome minimalism reigns.
At Fonthill Mews, white-walled interiors have a more textural feel, featuring wide-plank oak floors, London Underground-like glazed brick tiles, exposed steel beams, vaulted ceilings, traditional radiators and Shaker-style kitchens with marble worktops and range cookers.
Crisp, powder-coated doors slide open to decked patios.
Once through the entrance gates, winding communal gardens punctuated with footlights and raised lamps signal the way to the homes.
Living in Finsbury Park: the lowdown
Living in Finsbury Park: the lowdown
1/11 The lowdown
The north London neighbourhood has long been eclipsed by its better-heeled neighbours but thanks to a beautiful park, a busy transport hub, a well-known fashion street plus a modern and successful theatre, the area has been transformed. Regeneration can be seen in the City North development at the junction of Fonthill Road and Wells Terrace - a mixed-use scheme with new flats, shops, restaurants and a cinema, arranged in a series of four buildings including two tower blocks.
Finsbury Park station is on the Piccadilly and Victoria Tube lines for travel to the West End, and there are trains to King’s Cross and Moorgate for the City. From 2018 Thameslink trains will connect Finsbury Park with Blackfriars. Twelve bus services with useful destinations either pass through Finsbury Park or start there, including the No 29 to Trafalgar Square, the No 19 to Knightsbridge and Sloane Square, the No 4 to Waterloo, the 153 to Moorgate, and the 236 to Dalston and Hackney Wick.
Almost all of Finsbury Park’s primary schools are well respected and doing well. The following schools are judged to be "outstanding" by Ofsted: Gillespie in Gillespie Road; St John’s Highbury Vale CofE in Conewood Street; St Aidans VC in Albany Road, and Woodberry Down in Woodberry Grove. The same can be said with all the state comprehensive schools who are also judged to be performing well. Highbury Grove in Highbury Grove and St Aloysius RC in Hornsey Lane are judged to be “outstanding”.
Top-performing private schools are to be found nearby in Highgate.
Wholesale fashion boutiques can be found along Fonthill Road - these are also open to the general public. Away from Fonthill Road, Finsbury Park’s shopping spreads out along Seven Sisters Road, Blackstock Road and Stroud Green Road. On Stroud Green Road, MoseyHome is good for mid-century furniture and Hettie Holland sells “quirky, classic, contemporary gifts and homeware mixed with mid-century furniture and found vintage pieces”.
5/11 Finsbury Cycles
Len Marangos is the manager of a specialist bicycle sales & repair shop on Seven Sisters Road. Finsbury Cycles has been a popular fixture of the area for 13 years and specialises in offering a same-day repairs service for busy commuters.
Owner of Image Tailors, Munever Ibraham, has been based in Fonthill Road for over 20 years. The tailoring & alteration specialist take on any project ranging from wedding dresses to household items like curtains.
The choice of restaurants and cafes in Finsbury Park is endless. Independent cafés and delis can be found along gritty Blackstock Road, including Blighty Coffee house. All coffee is sourced from Commonwealth regions & roasted in-house. Manager Ed Yarnton, pictured, has helped to make the cafe a brunch hotspot.
Well known pizza restaurants Pappagone and La Porchetta are extremely popular in the area. Dotori Japanese and Korean restaurant often has queues out of the door. Head to Stroud Green Road for a wide selection of restaurants including neighbourhood favourite Season.
8/11 The Happening Bagel Bakery
The Happening Bagel Bakery is a Finsbury Park institution specialising in handmade Jewish challah bread and bagels. Manager Bekim Koraci, left, and owner Isaac Cohen, right, sell 3-4,000 bagels per day.
9/11 Yard Sale Pizza
From left to right, Dan Spinney, Nick Buckland and Johnny Tate are the co-owners of Yard Sale Pizza, located on Blackstock Road. They specialise in high-end large pizzas using double-fermented dough and stonebaked. Their signature slice is the "Holy Pepperoni", which incorporates three kinds of pepperoni; a local specialty called Cobble Lane, a standard thin-slice sausage and spicy Nduja sausage.
10/11 Lesiure and the arts
Since the Park Theatre opened three years ago, it has frequently been given rave reviews. Creative Director and co-founder Melli Bond, pictured, wanted the theatre to be like a park space with an eclectic mix of people of all ages & social backgrounds. The two nearest council-owned swimming pools are Park Road Pools and Fitness, in Crouch End, and the Clissold Leisure Centre in Stoke Newington.
11/11 Open space
Thanks to a £5 million restoration in 2005, Finsbury Park has been transformed with a boating lake, a running track, an art gallery and flower gardens.
Nearby Clissold Park has a café and function rooms in historic Clissold House, plus an aviary and animal enclosure, an organic food-growing area, a paddling pool and tennis courts.
A new nature reserve, Woodbury Wetlands, is managed by London Wildlife Trust and was opened by Sir David Attenborough. The adventurous should take advantage of the Stoke Newington West Reservoir Centre which offers open water swimming and sailing and kayaking courses.
Rents at Fontwell Mews start at £2,200 per month. Call Davies & Davies on 020 7272 0986 for more details.