Maison Bleue Canteen has a certain je ne sais quoi.
A well-established favourite in N5, the blue-fronted deli is the second site from the team behind what was Maison d’Etre. Sadly the original café has since closed, but silver linings abound in this bigger site located on the corner of Calabria Road and Corsica Street.
Inside the part café, part gift shop, part greengrocer, the space resembles a cornucopia brimming with produce. There are store-cupboard heroes like homemade ONGGI kimchi, alongside muslin-topped jars of Brindisa Navarrico Chickpeas next to tins of Ortiz capers. Enamel bowls brim with seasonal produce; one week you’ll find plum-hued aubergines and rotund pears, the next you’ll see heritage tomatoes and nectarines the size of your palm.
Plenty of space is also spared for non-foodie items from homeware trinkets and greetings cards designed by local artists such as Leonie Wharton, Diana Stanga and Isabel Canvas. It’s well worth having a peruse as you’re likely to find something you wouldn’t come across elsewhere.
After a browse, why not stay for a bite to eat? There are tables to perch at outside, and on a clear day, the south-facing shop front is quite the sun trap. Expect to find plenty of knock-out baked goods, including banana bread, cinnamon buns and tahini cookies speckled with sesame seeds, with the option of an all-day breakfast menu.
Before you set off elsewhere, pick up some supplies for dinner along with a powerhouse condiment to elevate your al-desko lunch – or how about a Union of London scented candle that smells almost good enough to spread on toast?
Consider this a one-stop shop for beautiful gifts, breakfast delights and a blue-sky attitude.
NOTE: Maison Bleue Canteen is open from Wed – Sun. You can check out their opening hours HERE.
Maison Bleue Canteen | 19 Calabria Road, N5 1JB
Like discovering local gems? See these other great things to do in Islington
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