Itinerary Location: Islington | Duration: 6 Hours
You love to laugh – of course you do, that’s just good science. So treat yourself to a double-helping of comedy, at two of London’s finest independent institutions, and visit one of the best brasseries in London whilst you’re at it.
➊ THE FREE ASSOCIATION | 3:30pm
Say ‘yes-and’ to improvised comedy that doesn’t make you hate yourself, by taking an afternoon class at The Free Association, London’s premier improv school. Teaching longform improv in an inclusive, welcoming environment, the FA’s classes are jam-packed with fun, easy-going and genuinely normal people, who are all just interested in learning to make people laugh without a script. It’s easier than it looks, and it’s truly fun – your afternoon will fly by, and it’s highly likely you’ll have made a number of friends, with whom the prospect of a crisp pint in the downstairs pub will feel like an essential after-class pit stop.
It’s also become the home of a number of long-running shows in its snug upstairs performance space — but save that for another day, because you’re taking a 20 minute stroll along the picturesquely residential Northchurch Road, and left down the lively Essex Road towards…
➋ BELLANGER | 6pm
Can one still go to Corbin & King’s renowned restaurants in good conscience, after they were unceremoniously booted out by some faceless financial entity? It’s a tough question – the smart answer being “Perhaps, at least whilst the talented and hard-working staff are all still there, before Corbin & King open somewhere new and poach them all and we all go there instead.” With that in mind, head to the restaurateurs’ Islington outpost in good conscience (sort of), where they’re currently offering an exquisite al fresco dining experience.
So grab a table outside and a martini, and enjoy Bellanger’s timeless Mediterranean dishes and warm hospitality before crossing Essex Road again onto St. Peter’s Road, swinging a left onto Raleigh Street, and landing at…
➌ THE BILL MURRAY | 8pm
You’ve dipped your toe into the world of improv comedy – now sit down and enjoy some stand-up. Spoken of in hushed, reverential terms by comedy aficionados, The Bill Murray is the baby of Angel Comedy, the legendary night at the Camden Head, which continues to (astonishingly) offer incredibly high quality comedy, free, seven nights a week.
The Bill Murray is the pub that they own, bought with the crowdfunded help of their supporters, and it’s lovingly programmed full of brilliant shows; you’ll see Work in Progress gigs from the likes of John Robins, Jayde Adams and Nabil Abdulrashid, and it’s entirely possible you might bear witness to set from a bona-fide legend like Rob Delaney or Eddie Izzard – all keen to try out their latest material in the friendliest room in town.
Looking for more inspiration? Take a look at Islington’s best bars