Albert Road Recreation Ground

Budding Olympians will love the wide range of sporting and recreational facilities at this beautifully kept local park. With two expansive playing fields for football or cricket, floodlit tennis courts, a bowling green and basketball courts, they will be spoilt for choice! Tennis courts and lessons for kids and adults can be booked at

Those of a more sedentary nature are also catered for with a cafe serving up delicious homebaked cakes, coffees and Mediterranean style food. On sunny days, the cafe terrace is a great vantage point for observing the action on the playing fields, keeping an eye on errant children or enjoying the view over to Alexandra Palace.

Albert Road Recreation Ground at nightChildren will love the brightly coloured, well maintained playground and adventure play area as well as the park’s wooded slopes which are small enough to be safe but wild enough to be exciting to mini explorers.

If your trip to the park ignites your passion for nature, you can stock up on gardening essentials, plants and accessories at Sunshine Garden Centre next door.

The park hosts a varied calendar of cultural and sports events including the Jazz Fest in September, summer tennis clubs, football lessons, the AP and Beyond art and music trail and Australian rules football. The Pavilion Cafe can also be booked for parties and events.

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Avenue Mews Late Summer Mews Fest gallery

The Outdoor Animated CinemaOnesie ladies at Late Summer Mews FestIMG_3031Lazy Heart Parade at Cha Cha ChaOlympic animation - The Outdoor Animated CinemaLazy Heart Parade at Cha Cha Cha
Lazy Heart Parade at Cha Cha ChaIMG_3011IMG_3009Acoustic pop at Cha Cha ChaLazy Heart Parade at Cha Cha ChaStreet party at Avenue Mews
Outdoor animations at Avenue MewsLazy Heart Parade at Cha Cha ChaAvenue Mews - street party in full swing!Lazy Heart Parade at Cha Cha ChaIMG_3010Watching the bands at Cha Cha Cha
Lazy Heart Parade at Cha Cha ChaMural at Avenue Mews, N10Cakes and kids at Cha Cha ChaIMG_3008Cocktail bar at Can't Buy Me LoveIMG_3015

Photos of the Late Summer Mews Fest, 8 September

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Avenue Mews, Muswell Hill

Avenue Mews the creative hub of Muswell HillTucked behind the main drag of Muswell Hill Broadway, Avenue Mews is a little known hive of creativity. Inside the mews buildings decorated with pretty murals, you will find a cornucopia of art and vintage beauties to delight your senses and provide an alternative to the banal offerings of the high street.

First up is Come Buy Me Love, a small but beautifully formed vintage shop stuffed with mid-century clothing, collectables, homewares, books and vinyl. It’s only open on Saturdays between 11am and 5pm but well worth searching out. Come Buy Me Love also run a Vintage Market (post coming soon!) every last Saturday of the month at the Boogaloo bar on Archway Road.

Come Buy Me Love vintage shop DJNestling elegantly next door is the atmospheric Cha Cha Cha Vintage selling a gorgeous selection of vintage clothing, jewellery, homewares, lighting, books and furniture alongside lovingly crafted recycled goods. We particularly liked the flowery 60s lampshades in a range of colours. Cha Cha Cha is open Thursday to Saturday from 10:30 am to 5:00 pm. The rest of the week, they will open if you make an appointment with them.

In contrast to the cheerfully cluttered interiors of the two vintage shops, theLOCALgallery is housed within an airy minimalist room with bleached walls and stripped floorboards. Here you can buy the work of professional photographer, Matt Humphrey, as well as that of other local artists and photographers. The gallery is open Thursday to Saturday 9am – 5pm “and other times during the week when the red bike is out on the Broadway.”

Muse studios is home to more local artists and photographers: Leonora Richardson (ceramics), Sarah Lindsay (Jewellery), Helen Klee (painting), Ellie Tomkinson (artist) and Ben Vickers (artist)

Avenue Mews hosts loads of fun and free events throughout the year. The Late Summer Mews Fest street party this month was packed with local hipsters, families and teens enjoying an open air cinema, bands in the street and shops plus delicious dainty cakes and Pimms in Cha Cha Cha and a mini cocktail bar in Come Buy Me Love. A mobile wood fired pizza oven provided sustenance and you could dance off the calories to northern soul and motown in Come Buy Me Love. The mews was decorated with fairy lights and bunting. A lovely way to spend a precious warm September evening. Join the Avenue Mews mailing list to find out about future events.

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Alexandra Palace and Park

Ally Pally goes DutchThe jewel in the crown of the Northern Heights is Alexandra Palace and Park (known fondly to locals as Ally Pally). The Palace has long been neglected (plans are afoot to return it to its original glory) but remains an iconic, magnificent building standing proud on the horizon. Its TV antenna has even featured in Dr Who! The peaceful facade of the palace hides a checkered history. The Victorians knew it as the Peoples’ Palace – a place of leisure and pleasure for the area’s affluent middle classes. The BBC Tower was the home of the first TV broadcast in 1936. During the war, its basement housed internees, who left their mark by creating the rose garden. It has twice been badly damaged by fire, once only sixteen days after it opened in 1873 and again in 1980. During the 2012 Olympic Games, the Dutch made it their home and turned it orange (literally – it was illuminated at night with orange lighting).

Alexandra Palace viewThese days, you can while away the hours admiring the view across Central London and beyond to Essex and Kent, have a go at the pitch and putt, enjoy a drink or meal at the bar and restaurant, go ice skating or boating on the lake or meander though the leafy groves. For nature lovers, there are deer and ducks to feed. Children will enjoy the playground, Little Dinosaurs soft play and skate park. On snowy days, Ally Pally’s steep slopes provide the best sledging for miles around! There are two independent cafes at the Palace (plus a cafeteria in the ice rink) – one by the boating lake and one in The Grove. They serve decent coffee and light snacks. The one in The Grove will provide a blanket so you can sit outside if it’s chilly. For the green fingered, there is a garden centre you can lose yourself in with a roof top cafe if you get peckish. Foodies will love the Farmers’ Market on Sunday mornings. Take a stroll up to the Palace on a summer evening to watch the sun go down and the city light up.

A lesser known feature of Alexandra Palace is that it is connected to Highgate Woods by the Parkland Walk, a disused railway line with magnificent views across London. This means you can get to Highgate Woods without leaving the peaceful greenery of the park and provides a safe cycling route for children and adults alike. It is also a popular route for local runners.

Alexandra Palace is blessed with the proximity of a duo of excellent pubs serving top notch grub – the Victoria Stakes and the Maid of Muswell. Posts on these will be coming soon…

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Alexandra Palace and Park photo gallery

Alexandra Palace signpostAlexandra Park skate park graffiti artAlexandra Palace boating lakeLeo the LionBoating lake and cafeBoating lake
Boating lakeRose gardenView towards Central LondonThe People's PalaceDetail of Alexandra Palace windowBBC Tower
Orange flowers were planted for the DutchThe PalaceOlympic Park from Ally PallyHaringey terracesOlympic wood sculptures

Alexandra Palace and Park, a set on Flickr.

More photographs of Alexandra Palace and Park

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