Itinerary Location: Barnsbury, Islington | Duration: 4 Hours
Summer is he—ah. Never mind, you missed it. Wait! It’s back! Quick! Here’s how to make the most of a beautiful day on the Barnsbury side of Islington.
➊ BRUNCH AT SUNDAY | 12pm
First things first, you’ll need some energy – so to that end, treat yourself to a brunch of kings, by snagging yourself a table at Sunday (if it’s not the weekend, you can phone up and book one in advance). Time your arrival right, and you might just get an outside table.
Everything about Sunday just feels right. The décor is light and airy, the service is warm and welcoming, and the food is exactly the right balance between wholesome and indulgent (i.e. the cauliflower and tabouleh salad is balanced out by the sweet potato and salt beef hash).
➋ TAKE IN SOME ART AT BARNSBURY GALLERY | 1:30pm
You’ve eaten, you’ve caffeinated – now it’s time for some food for the soul. Take a short stroll — past Barnsbury Square Garden – and head into Barnsbury Gallery. It’s a welcoming, airy space, full of beautiful pieces for sale — but good news for anyone who doesn’t have two grand burning a hole in their pocket, there’s absolutely no pressure to buy. So just give yourself some time to enjoy the range of prints, paintings and illustrations, all the while quietly delighting in the fact that you’ve done the thing you always claim you’ll get round to, ie. Actually Go To An Art Gallery. On display: 18th century sketches, designs by Henry Moore, and contemporary abstract pieces by young artists to watch.
Taking a left out the gallery, and hobbling a few yards down the road, it’s time to –
➌ HOG THE BEST SPOT IN THE ALBION’S BEER GARDEN | 2:30pm
Take a seat. Relax. You’ve arrived. You see, there are beer gardens and then there are beer gardens, and The Albion – that beautiful, leafy respite from the horrors of day to day life – has a beer garden. It’s as though a team of scientists had been tasked with calibrating the perfect location in which to hunker down on a warm afternoon surrounded by a select gathering of friends, order a cold pint, and talk absolute gibberish.
There’s a lovely wine list, too – in case you come to the conclusion that a bottle of Picpoul de Pinet feels like the most sensible way to stay hydrated. A sun-dappled lazy afternoon, relaxing with good company in one of the most breathtakingly picturesque pubs in London? After a hard day of brunching, a gruelling seven minute walk, and an interlude subjecting yourself to an array of beautiful art – you’ve earned it. Cheers.
➊ Sunday | 169 Hemingford Road, N1 1DA | Book via 020 7607 3868 (walk-in only on weekends)
➋ Barnsbury Gallery | 24 Thornhill Road, N1 1HW
➌ The Albion | 10 Thornhill Road, N1 1HW | Book a table
Looking for more inspiration? Check out the best pubs in Islington.
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