Ally’s backyard adventure

August 04, 2021

While I struggled to be apart from friends and family and longed for catch-ups over coffees or pints, the lockdowntaught me a lesson I will struggle to forget - the beauty of staying local. 


So, when restrictions lifted and many ventured out of the city for a much-needed break, or down to Soho to go out to the restaurants and bars, I walked two minutes down the street to my favorite pub where I nestled in for the summer. 


I didn’t miss the underground, the rush of central London, or heading East to go out. I liked, perhaps a little too much, being close to home. The park was now my gym, the nearest pub, my night out, and although I did still have to travel to see friends, I did so far less often. 


While staying in my neighborhood, I discovered that behind high streets stuffed full of retail space were charming courtyards that I had never noticed before. These secret backyards would see me through the rain, the storms, and the heatwaves of a typical British summer.   


The neighborhood pub… 


The Tufnell Park Tavern is a local family hangout, where urban farm meets modern pub house. Surrounding tables in their gardens are home-grown fruit and vegetable – from tomatoes to rosemary, to sour cherries, it's a truly impressive selection.  


Their Mediterranean menu is as seasonal as their kitchen garden. Changing monthly, its fresh take on classics will keep you contented throughout the whole year. It’s a place to take friends, with a choice of dishes that suit all dietary requirements.  


For a pub so large, the tavern is a great place to cozy in for the day. Being pet-friendly, you can spot all the new pups in the neighborhood (and I sometimes even bring my cat). The only fault is that the service is perhaps too good. Expect to get caught out drinking one too many beers.  




For sobering Sundays… 


On days when I prefer a quiet coffee, I go up the road to Rustique. Pinpointing what exactly makes this café so nice, is difficult. Whether it’s the kindness of the owner or the homeliness of the interiors, once you find a place to sit, it's hard to leave. And in a manner that mimics eating out on holiday in Spain, there is no pressure to do so.  


The bookshelves on the wall encourage customers to get wrapped up in a story and stay for the day. The calmness sifts into the courtyard out back where mosaic tables are surrounded by wild plants and flowers. When the sun is out, it’s an idyllic spot to enjoy a bite to eat. Having refrained from succumbing to brunch spot trends, their continental menu is down to earth, tasty, and reasonably priced. 


All though I will have to creep out of my comfort zone eventually, for now enjoying the pleasures of all the local offerings, makes each weekend feel like a holiday. 


At Siren, we’re passionate about supporting local businesses in any way we can. Supporting them by being loyal customers and visitors, but also with a range of flexible short-term PR solutions available. If that sounds like something you might need, take a look at the options and get in touch.