Exit Angel Station and join the bustle of Upper Street. Continue past the Halifax bank on your right and walk underneath the arch towards Camden Passage. The architecture of the Passage was inspired by that of the notorious Newgate Prison, which may explain why the space feels rather confined.
Take the stairs towards The York pub on the corner but carry on to Islington High Street; where your journey begins.
Walking along you’ll swiftly encounter a children’s boutique called Felix & Lily’s. The charm of the staff, who staff welcome mums, kids, and browsers alike, takes the edge off the tricky business of shopping for tykes.
Childrenswear & Toys
A mighty fine baby boutique in North London's Camden Passage featuring original, high quality, rare and affordable clothing and toys for cool kiddies with attitude.
3 Camden Passage, N1 8EA tel: 0207 424 5423
Continue past Felix & Lily’s along the narrow path alongside Islington High Street, towards the famous Pierrepoint Arcade. Crammed with antique dealers it has the lively atmosphere of an old-world market.
Small stalls offer everything from quaint toys and beady-eyed dolls to military paraphernalia; antique silver items, jewellery, ceramics and a great deal more. The selection changes daily, even hourly, and the knowledgeable traders make shopping here part commerce part impromptu history lesson.
Tempting as it is, don’t exhaust your resources here. Beyond the arcade lies the High Street and another cluster of enticing antique shops.
Pause for a Viennese iced coffee and Kaiserschmarrn (pancake with cherries) at Austrian café Kipferl just off Charlton Place, or pause for a bite at the Breakfast Club (they do lunch, too).
If it’s a sugar hit you need, step into one of the three London outposts of master chocolatier Paul A Young, a world-renowned craftsman of decadent cocoa-based treats. One of the bright young stars of the British culinary firmament, Paul worked as head pastry chef for Marco Pierre White before concentrating on chocolate. His award-winning recipes are executed in-store, using artisan techniques, and the finest fresh ingredients. Be warned: you’ll never want to eat Dairy Milk again.
Cravings satiated, continue your journey with a visit to local institution Annie’s Vintage. A watchword for elegant, feminine, one-of-a-kind items, Annie’s Vintage is a firm favourite with fashion designers such as Nicole Fahri and the late Alexander McQueen. Models and rockers including Kate Moss and Pearl Lowe regularly nip in to refresh their wardrobes from its ever-changing array of beaded flapper dresses, lace shawls, shimmering silk gowns and glitzy sequined numbers. Pick up some inexpensive luxuries from the bargain rail or enlist Annie to help you find a unique treasure and leave feeling like a fashion superstar.
There are more vintage treats in store at Fat Faced Cat and Decadent Vintage. The Tardis-like Fat Faced Cat is bursting with an eclectic mix of women’s and menswear, so it is easy to find something to love. If not on the clothing racks, prowl through the vintage accessories or nab some cool memorabilia. Seemingly every item has a story so be prepared to linger, relax and chat.
Collectors Vintage & Designer
Decadent Vintage started 10 years ago on a stall in on Portobello Market. The ultimate place to find the best of vintage clothing from 1920’s to 1980’s eras.
26 Camden Passage, N1 8ED tel:
Decadent Vintage, which relocated from a stall in Portobello Road eight years ago, lures fashion models, ladies who lunch, and anyone who cares passionately about how they look. You can look a million quid for considerably less thanks to its exquisite dresses from the 50s to the 80s, luxurious furs and glamorous accessories.
Another antique market marks the end of the road, along with a few stalls of assorted whatnots. This is also home to the weekly Thursday book market, a haven for bibliophiles. Those who prefer gastronomy to literature arrive on Sundays for the farmers’ market, which offers a welcome break from supermarket shopping.
Toast your journey through Camden Passage with a pint at The York. A traditional English pub known for its selection of cask ales and homey meals, it offers outdoor seating so on a sunny day you can relax and savour the parade of weird and wonderful passers-by.
If you begin your stroll at Highbury & Islington Station you need to turn a right out of the station and walk all the way along Upper Street until you see signs for Camden Passage/Islington High Street.
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