From sweet shops to kids clothing, Islington’s Upper Street has a variety of shops to suit, says Jo Gardner
1. Gill Wing Cookshop A tiny shop packed to the rafters with kitsch kitchenware, from linen to china, pots and pans and everything you need for baking. Great for gifts, you’ll also find retro blenders, gingham tablecloths and lots of other quirky ideas. Be warned though: it’s both small and popular so you may have to fight your way to the till.190 Upper Street, N1 1RQ. www.gillwing.co.uk/kitchen
2. Cyber Candy A cute sweetshop importing a huge range of delicious goodies from all over the world — from recognisable brands to the downright bizzare: roast beef flavoured bubblegum anyone? The shop also sells 100 different brands of soda and will create lucky dip gift box sets for those after something a little more unusual or outlandish.29 Upper Street, N1 0PN. www.cybercandy.co.uk
3. Euphorium Bakery Traditional bakery and deli with a window display that makes you stop and stare. Beautifully crafted cakes sit alongside freshly baked, warm pastries, cupcakes and quiches, while inside there’s plenty of space to sit, order a freshly brewed coffee or tea and take your time. The bakery also has a new range of salads to tempt you. There are seven branches throughout London including Belsize Park, Hampstead, Covent Garden, Chapel Market and Whiteley’s Shopping Centre near Queensway.202 Upper Street, N1 1RQ. http://blog.euphoriumbakery.co.uk
4. Maggie and Tom Cute kids’ clothes shop, recognisable by its pale green exterior and hand-drawn sign, offering a colourful wardrobe for girls and boys aged between six and 12, with many original designs as well as practical items like raincoats and shoes. Also sells hand-crafted toys and stuff for dogs including jumpers and booties. 345 Upper Street, N1 0PD. www.maggieandtom.co.uk
5. Oliver Bonas Beautiful homeware store with branches throughout London including South London’s Clapham, selling books, candles, mugs, mirrors, furniture and lighting, as well as accessories, jewellery and gifts. Each store is a joy to browse, with stripped wooden floors and retro decor. Buying a gift for a loved one? Ask the delightful staff to wrap your purchase for you free of charge.147 Upper Street, N1 1RA. www.oliverbonas.com
6. James Freeman Gallery Modern paintings, photography and sculpture by young artists from Europe and Asia adorn the walls of this small gallery located at the north end of Upper Street. The James Freeman Gallery also hosts regular exhibitions from well-known names in the world of brushwork, sculpture, photography and pottery. Founded in 2003, the original concept was to display work by emerging artists by providing them with a professional framework to develop their particular craft. 354 Upper Street, N1 0PD. www.jamesfreemangallery.com
Road distances to London are measured from Trafalgar Square, where you can find a brass plaque marking the "centre of London" near the statue of Charles I.