Last month we took the Overground to bustling Harringay Green Lanes for an evening out; this time we alight just west at Crouch Hill and climb the steep incline over into bucolic N8.
It’s a very chilly blue-sky Saturday morning, so we’re glad to take shelter in popular beans-joint Coffee Circus. The slender room is packed to the rafters with microscopic kids screeching, mates catching up and laptop-wielders: against the chaos we perch on two wooden stools by the unlit fireplace and sip a reviving americano.
We continue down Topsfield Parade on Tottenham Lane, where a dozen food and drink joints are clustered near the Picturehouse cinema. One that tempts us in is the cutely-named Small Beer, a minimal watering hole owned by the Duke’s Head in Highgate (bargain-spotters should note the 2-for-1 pizzas on Saturday lunchtime).
The latter is on nearby Park Road, a street that’s an essential stop on any Crouch End tour, with its buzzy mix of art galleries (like Jealous ), eateries and lifestyle stores.
And it’s there that we spot Bar Esteban, a simple but chic tapas den from ex-Moro head chef Joan Ramon Benapres, with mismatched chairs and an appealing window for people-watching.Sister to N16’s acclaimed Escocesa, the small plates indeed impress, especially seared tuna with salmorejo, rare Iberican presa with ajo blanco (main pic, above) and octopus with peas puree and tarragon.
After coffee, we spy places to tick off on future visits, including the Crouch End Cellars, a wine bar with cosy back room and garden, and the Harringay Arms – before a digestif at art nouveau landmark pub The Queens, which dates back to 1902.
But that’s it for this trip – we’re out of time and the shiny orange Overground beckons us beyond the hill.
Got a Crouch End tip? Let us know.