Enfield is easy to place, right? You’ve got to be careful that you’re not referring to the London Borough of Enfield, Enfield Southgate constituency and definitely not Enfield, Connecticut. Once you’ve narrowed the locale down, you’re sure you’ve not gone to Enfield Chase? Enfield Highway? Enfield Lock? Enfield Wash? Enfield Island Village?
The bewildering array of different Enfields confuses the life out of me, but I think I’ve got my geography sorted now. Enfield Town itself is really the beating heart of the area – or at least, mildly throbbing. More akin to a provincial town centre than a suburb of the Big Smoke, it’s a bustling little high street with requisite marketplace and church, all the high street shops you could need, even a shopping centre with Waitrose, Marks and the wonderful Pearsons (chairs! cookware! haberdashery! wool!).
Though the legendarily-grim Eros nightclub has now shut, there’s still chain pubs a plenty for a Saturday night – all in all, just like being oop north.
It being sometime since the last visit to Enfield town, I can only recount past joys with a twinkle in my eye. One of the best (of many) stripy shirts that I wear for the office came from Enfield – a double-cuffed number in deep pastels thats really quite fetching. It has a tendency to unbutton itself, Hulk-style, across the chest, but it’s a small price to pay for such a small price to pay.
That was from a large but sadly very temporary Romanian Relief store next to The Goose, a sticky-floored beer and burger affair which invariably comes across as a more pleasant alternative to the nearby heaving Nandos. Also on the best named street in the area, The Town can be found the marketplace with cheery bookstalls, flower sellers and the like, and the quaint old church – follow the route through to get to the achingly cute Gentleman’s Row. We also have a fairly decent Oxfam and a reliably ramshackle North London Hospice, and one or two more. Not the most culturally-stimulating afternoon out, nor the classiest maybe, but throw in two storeys of TK Maxx and a Lidl and you’ve got yourselves a bargain-hunters day out.
Find: Enfield Town @ Google Maps
Transport: Enfield Town station
Consume with: chunky chips and a pint of coke in the Goose
Visit: if you’ve got the day, do the Town in the morning then go up to Crews Hill for the afternoon – the biggest garden centre complex probably in the universe.
Overall rating: three English Patients
EDIT: It strikes me I’ve been a little unfair to Enfield. I actually quite like spending a couple of hours up here, and have come away with some good bargains. There’s a not-too-expensive Oxfam, and a couple of decent others, so worth a pop. Warning: I do change my mind sometimes.