Your little ones hankering after some sweet treats? Or perhaps it’s time to change those shoes? Whatever you need, Islington has it sorted as Nicola Baird (islingtonfacesblog.com) picks 12 of the best
1 After Noah
An old fashioned toy emporium full of pocket money spending possibilities. There’s a big range of learn to do it books (eg, magic) and also all sorts of neatly arranged collectables (eg, model animals, toy cars). Use the mini sweet rack with lots of old school favourites including Dib Dab and sweetie bracelets to distract while you pick out stocking fillers and goodie bag treats.
121 Upper Street N1 1QP; afternoah.com
2 Three places for icy treats
Udderlicious – eat ice cream made in the store sitting on the uber-cool swing seat (187 Upper Street). Then try Samba Swirl – a place to let kids have a go on their own helping themselves to frozen yoghurt plus toppings (approx. £3.50 for half a pot, 23 Islington Green) Or let the staff do the work at the slightly more delicious Frae Frozen Yoghurt – if it’s sunny try sitting outside playing spot the dog (or people watching) at 27 Camden Passage.
3 Smoothie stall
No place as such, but on the corner of Upper Street and Liverpool Road you have the opportunity to try a fab fruity concoction to give you and the kids the energy to get home.
This might be the place your little one consents to get their curls trimmed at the child-sized hairdressing area. While there have a look at the kids’ toys, shoes and designer clothes. It also has very useful back-to-school stock – not just pens, but also cute looking lunch boxes, easy to open drink flasks, wellies and ballet slippers.
300 Upper Street N1 2TU; iglookids.co.uk
A former tram shed, then antiques mall recently reopened (July 2014) with the brand kids seem to love – a place to let them get lost and then re-emerge clutching an alumni bag or an extra small vintage T-shirt.
359 Upper Street, N1; superdry.com
Revel at an astonishing range of American sweets and brightly-coloured sodas, which just about compensates for the long-missed pick ‘n mix at Woolworths. As a plus or minus point it’s also where your child is sure to meet school friends out Angel shopping on their own.
29 Upper Street N1 0PN; cybercandy.co.uk
7 Jimmy’s Shoes
This has all the sensible school shoes, but it has plenty of fun options too including coloured and patterned DMs, Hi Tops, Vans and fake-fur linings for your Crocs. Plus you get the chance to explain that the shop name could be a pun on Jimmy Choo if this Essex Road institution hadn’t recently celebrated its 25th year.
129 Essex Road, N1 2SN
8 Paul A Young chocolates
Where you can choose just one perfect fondant in the atmospheric, chocolate-scented shop. It’s a good place for a gift (so long as your child can eventually make up their mind without needing too many tastes). You can also get ice cream or take away their dairy free hot chocolate – stunning taste experience whatever the weather.
33 Camden Passage N1 8EA; paulayoung.co.uk
The trendy Mexican food chain where you queue for your burrito, but that’s part of the experience. After you’ve eaten, top up your child’s maths skills as you test whether the restaurant really is ‘just 833 and a half burritos’ from the Angel bus stops.
334 Upper Street N1 0PB; chipotle.co.uk
10 CoffeeWorks Project
On your way to the basement garden peep into the intriguing grotto created from broken white furniture. Then take the kids for a stroll through Camden Passage looking for the sort of things they love or give them a treasure hunt challenge to snap on their mobiles – perhaps antlers, forks and old signs.
96-98 High Street Islington N1 8EG; coffeeworksproject.com