South Tottenham – busting with potential

The hood in East Haringey between Turnpike Lane and Seven Sisters tube stations, is a rising star. Young professionals priced out of Stoke Newington are slowly creeping their way North, where many of my friends and I have lived for three years.

Green Lanes has just received a development grant from the Mayor of London to renovate the shop fronts and bridge and create ‘mini squares’ at junctions. Exciting news for the area!

artist impression of the new Green Lanes!

Existing great things about the area:

  • Superb transport links – Seven Sisters is on both the Victoria line and overground to Liverpool Street, stopping at London Fields on the way. Green Lanes buses get you to pretty much anywhere.
  • The Salisbury – a fantastic, friendly and unpretentious pub – with great food and beer, lots of cosy corners and booths and a back room which can host special events


  • The best Turkish restaurants in London – try tasty  lamacun (a steal at £1.50) , paticlan soslu (aubergine, tomato sauce and yogurt) or succulent lamb chops accompanied by fresh mountainous salad. Favourites are Antepliler(47 Green Lanes) and Gokyuzu (27 Grand Parade)
  • Jai Krishna – home cooked, good value, delicious South Indian vegetarian food owed by an extremely lovely mann
  • Yasir Halim, Green Lanes- cheap fruit and veg, amazing bakery, vats of different olives


HOWEVER There aren’t any nice little cafes. Not really. Not that have a nice atmosphere, comfy chairs, tasty snacks and great coffee, newspapers and specials. Not that have quirky little objects or postings of cool stuff in the area. You have to go all the way to Stoke Newington, Dalston or Crouch End for that – where they are sprouting up every day.

My favourite cafe in London is in Stroud Green – the Front Room cafe. It just has the right combination of wood, big windows, tasty cakes, cubby holes, privacy and chattiness and some tables outside as well as lots of interesting little objects and artwork to keep your eyes happy.


My friend Richard and his local Haringey friends are organising the first planning meeting for a cafe/community hang out in our area on Monday. A group of people coming together to chat about how to make this happen. Very exciting! I will keep posting any news on this…

Blogs about the area I will keep adding to: The author of this award-winning food blog lives in the hood and often writes about the great food in the area

Harringay online – an online community for local residents

Potential leads/links to funding/partnerships are:

  • Unltd – a charity supporting social entrepreneurs
  • HAVCO – linking volunteers to worthwhile local projects
  • Tottenham Hotspur – staying in the borough since the Council agreed a regeneration budget for the area

Tottenham treasures and Escaping the City

Before I gave up my job, I couldn’t begin to imagine what I would do all day if  I didn’t work.

I thought I’d feel guilty, bored, restless. But having time off is JUST BRILLIANT.

I am so lucky that I have by hook or by crook managed to create this space in my life . So, I’ve been busy:

1/ Painting walls in my flat white. It makes SO much difference. I’ve covered up my rather amateur Orla Keily rip off stencil outside the kitchen and it actually looks better white. And just when I got so hungry I could hardly get down from the step ladder, I found some TRANSFORM -A-SNACK spicy crisps on top of my cupboards. I am hoping they are not Cathy’s (who is living in my flat) as she may have stored them up high to prevent temptation. They pretty much saved my life.

2/ Carla and I met in Cafe Oto in Dalston. I always used to cycle past on the way to work and thought ‘one day, I will just hang out there’. It looks really cool from the outside but is a bit soulless with uncomfy chairs inside. BUT we made a new plan to get cheap flights to Mexico and to travel and work/volunteer down through Central America.  And to go on 6 February. A plan that we both feel excited about and that feels right. I am keen to check out The Hub in Oaxaca and meet social entrepreneurs who are based there.

3/ I went to the first Escape the City meet up at the private members bar Adam Street Club and met  a few interesting people  who are doing unconventional things with their lives – Tom from Tomax talks, Umaang – an investment Manager whose Foundation may be able to help projects in Central America and Mark from A Life at Work who is running career retreats for those unsure what to do next.

4/ I have had such fun hanging out on my friend Richard’s Brompton bike. It took a trip with Richard’s partner Guy and their newly adopted son to the very sweet Downhill’s Park Cafe. Downhills Park Café is a social enterprise that supports adults with a learning disability into employment. There aren’t that many nice wee places to go in the Tottenham area, so this is a welcome newcomer. Also, we discovered massive changes at Lordship Rec – a massive grassy park next to Broadwater Farm! Granted money from the Lottery, it is getting an environmental centre, biking loop and city farm! I would like to get involved when I come back.

5/ I have found the Wood Green gem Big Green Bookshop, voted no. 2 bookshop in London and the South East by the Independent! 

Tim West and Simon Key opened the Big Green Bookshop in March 2008, after the big chain store where they worked in Wood Green closed, leaving the area with no dedicated bookshop. They are now hosting little farmers markets, promoting local products, singing workshops for kids and generally being very helpful and nice. They showed me a book about the regeneration of Haringey which would make a very useful read.

Useful regeneration / sustainable development websites

These are some sites I am finding useful at the moment. thinking about my future career.

London Bio Packaging


DSC Regen

The International Ecotourism Society

Good innovation

3si is an international regeneration consultancy specialising in European training, employment and work placement programmes. Our work focuses on social inclusion, transnational collaboration and cultural integration. 3Si is committed to improving peoples quality of life, the places we live, and the ways we support those changes.

Creative Development UK is a multi-disciplined consultancy that seeks to animate and develop the creative and third sectors through programmes of support and innovation. It has extensive networks within in all areas of the creative industries and is regularly in consultation with government, regional and local agencies.


Three Hands Group brings together expertise in learning & development and community engagement to deliver experiential learning programmes, innovative community projects and flexible consultancy.

Business in the Community is a business-led charity with a growing membership of 850 companies and a further 10,000 engaged through our campaigns, from large multinational household names to small local businesses and public sector organisations.We advise, support and challenge our members to create a sustainable future for people and the planet and to improve business performance

Monkeybiz / real site

Traidcraft: Our mission is to fight poverty through trade, practising and promoting approaches to trade that help poor people in developing countries transform their lives. Established in 1979 as a Christian response to poverty, we combine a trading company and a development charity. We build lasting relationships with producers, support people to trade out of poverty and work to bring about trade justice.

Red Ochre mission is to improve the performance of individuals, organisations and businesses that deliver social change

Forum for the Future are a non-profit organisation working globally with business and government to create a sustainable future.

Sustainability toolkit

Good and Green Guides: Good & Green Guides are sustainable travelguides that show inhabitants and tourists how to enjoy a city and at the same time taking care for people and the environment.

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