We’re in Yummy Mummy country this week. If ever there was a hive for these insidious equivalents of the ubiquitous American soccer mom, Crouch End is that. Despite being raised about a million cool points for being Simon Pegg’s home in Shaun Of The Dead, Crouch End is still mired in that post-gentrification yuppyism: like Muswell Hill, residents take pride in not really living near a tube station, having swathes of Victorian terraces, the highest pushchair-sized coffee shop to resident ratio in the Western hemisphere, and odd little boutiques and quirky restaurants.
The Broadway is not really big, or exciting enough to warrant the hordes which upon it descend, and yet descend they do, wielding cotton ‘Crouch End Shopper’ totes, designer wellies and carefully scruffed hairstyles. As such, visiting Crouch End can be something of a tortuous experience, but the good news: it’s just about worth it.
The big draw, charity shop wise, is the Oxfam: no ordinary overpriced Oxfam, this is the books and music special, and it really is pretty good. On display this visit we found a large and impressive selection of comics (impressive to me anyway, I have little clue about these sorts of things), a set of radio scripts for The Hitch Hikers Guide, a Norman Mailer account of Ali vs Foreman, and all sorts more I could spend money on.
Oxfam’s on Park Road; meandering onto the Broadway we have Cancer Research where, miracle of miracles, an actual, factual choice of jeans that fit. I chose the cheapest. Also around are a Marie Curie, a North London Hospice (horribly crowded) and a bit more upscale (if you can have such a thing), Hornsey Trust.
Crouch End is worth a fleeting visit, I think, but you won’t find much to justify anything more than that.
Find: Crouch End @ Google Maps
Transport: Hornsey or Finsbury Park stations for train/tube, or buses W3, W5, W7, 41, 91, 210.
Consume with: coffee and cake from any one of the many fancy patisserie-style coffee shops – I’ve always fancied the look of Hot Pepper Jelly
Visit: The Parkland Walk goes all the way from Highgate to Finsbury Park
Overall rating: three tote bags