Written by Gifted Local Founder, Helen Robinson
Muswell Hill has a lovely village feel but it’s still just a quick hop right into the centre of London. Many families are attracted to it for its great schools, green spaces and vibrant high street. The area is named after a natural spring believed to bear miraculous properties called ‘Mossy Well’ and if eternal youth and the like is not enough, I recently discovered that The Kinks grew up here! Here are some of my, and the Gifted Local sellers, favourite places:
Dubbed ‘The Creative Hub of Muswell Hill’, Avenue Mews is easily missed so look out of it. Home to vintage shops (ChaChaCha Vintage and Can't Buy Me Love Vintage) and special tap room Muswell Hilly Billy Brewers. It’s a wonderful place to spend a few hours every Saturday when the shops are all open.
Photo credit: Muswell Hill Billy Brewers
Avenue Mews, London, N10 3NP
Chriskitch is a bit of a find as it's off the beaten track but has received rave reviews from the likes of Jay Rayner and Giles Coren. The food is outstanding (the owner previously worked at three Michelin star Royal Hospital Road) and it has a lovely outside area for when the sun is shining. Bookings can be made for groups of three or more, and children and well behaved dogs are welcome. Currently open for breakfast and lunch - we hope it opens for dinner soon!
7a Tetherdown, Muswell Hill, London, N10 1ND, 0208 411 0051
Cheeses of Muswell Hill
Not much we can add about this place that hasn't been said. If you like cheese you've probably already heard of it - it's one of the very best cheese shops in London. If you don't like cheese then you could still pop along for their impressive wine and spirit selection, just hold your nose! Oh, and they also host cheese tasting evenings as well... what more could anyone want in life?
13 Fortis Green Road, Muswell Hill, London, N10 3HP, 020 8444 9141
W. Martyn's of Muswell Hill
One of the oldest shops in London, this tea and coffee specialist was founded in the late 1800s and is still owned by the Martyn family. As any local will know, passing by the door offers such a heady waft of quality coffees, teas, chocolates and dried fruit it's impossible to resist a peek inside.
135 Muswell Hill Broadway, London, N10 3RS, 020 8883 5642
Open since 2017, new kid on the block Aleion's mission is to provide an earth-friendly dining space at the heart of the community. We love the simple, tasty, healthy food and the fact that, where possible, they source locally and care about minimising food waste. They have just opened a homeware boutique in the basement which this month houses the N10 Creatives Collective.
Photo credit: Zoe Norfolk
346 Muswell Hill Broadway, London, N10 1DJ, 020 8883 9207
A wonderful café with great coffee and arguably the best macarons in town. Located on Fortis Green Road near the Everyman Cinema, this light and airy cafe is the perfect place for a local shopping pitstop. They're really supportive of local artists and makers so always have beautiful products on their shelves for sale.
Photo credit: Claire Jury, La Dinette
3-5 Fortis Green Road, London, N10 3HP, 07756 326730
Encouraging a love for books is a wonderful thing and Children's Bookshop in Muswell Hill makes it easy with their extensive selection and very knowledgable staff. Visits from authors such as Julia Donaldson doesn't hurt too. They offer a subscription service: one book a month, beautifully wrapped and tailored to the child's taste. A gift that keeps on giving!
29 Fortis Green Road, Muswell Hill, London, N10 3HP, 0208 444 5500
Walter Purkis & Sons Fishmongers
Award winning independent fishmongers selling a huge range of seafood from sushi grade tuna to live lobsters and everything in-between, including the tricky to find Samphire. We love the fact they clearly label how and where the fish were caught such as 'from Scottish farmed sea lochs' or 'wild line caught in N.E. Atlantic'. They also have another shop in Crouch End which houses London's oldest working smokehouse.
52 Muswell Hill Broadway, Muswell Hill, N10 3RT, 020 8883 4355
A childhood favourite, this award winning fish & chip shop hits the spot and it's not just for Friday! A huge range of fish from the obligatory cod and haddock to salmon, sea bass and the very special Dover Sole. Your choice of fish can be fried or grilled (sans batter) and is served with a range of sides including chips. Oh, and don't forget the old school puds like spotted dick and chocolate pudding with custard. I'm getting hungry...
38 Muswell Hill Broadway, Muswell Hill, London, N10 3RT, 020 8883 8656
North & Ten
Olly and Kate serve Caravan coffee, huge salt beef bagels and make crepes to order (among numerous other amazing goodies). Their friendly cafe is a world away from the sterile wifi hubs that make up most of the other high street chains.
Photo credit: North & Ten
23 Muswell Hill Road, Muswell Hill, London, N10 3HS, 07739 319388
Crocodile Antiques Café
Kid friendly café and gift shop in a unique setting off the main drag. It's a limited menu but anywhere that makes bubble and squeak has my vote and the little playhouse and toys do a good job of distracting the children while you enjoy a cappuccino.
Photo credit: WhatSilvSees
120 Muswell Hill Broadway, London N10 3RU, 020 8444 0273
We couldn't omit one of London's most iconic venues. It’s so easy to get there from Muswell Hill or any of the surrounding areas and with so many things to do all year round Ally Pally is a must for any weekend visit. Hosting many world class gigs and events as well as an ice rink, boating lake, playground, Little Dinosaurs soft play and café, Go Ape, garden centre, skate park, the famous annual fireworks display and a weekend farmers market.
Photo credit: Miky.Mea
Alexandra Palace Way, London, N22 7AY, 020 8365 2121
An old abandoned railway line is now a local nature reserve that runs for four and a half miles from Alexandra Palace to Finsbury Park. Legend has it that part of the Parkland Walk inspired Stephen King’s short story ‘Crouch End’. A surprisingly still and pleasant sanctuary where in the know dog walkers and joggers enjoy the peace and quiet. Keep your eyes peeled for a very small and rare species of deer called the muntjac.
Photo credit: Grey A Version
Muswell Hill's family run very own recording studio complete with practise rooms, equipment hire as well as options for hosting a children's party and are this year celebrating 20 years in the business. Run by dedicated husband and wife team, Brian & Deanna, please check them out at 13-14 The Viaduct, St James Land, N10 3QX, 0208 883 9641, Bonafide Studio website
One of my favourite Muswell Hill based businesses (who cover the whole of North London) is this a community-based company that acts as an organiser between the tradesperson and the client. They also have an all female team which is so popular there is a long waiting list! If you have any work needed on your house or garden, please get in touch with them 0208 292 7835, visit their website