Ham & High

London A-Z - Angel

Angel is a bridge between the milk teeth of north London and the gnashers of the city. Noted for its attractive squares which were measured out with protractors in the late 1790s, fashionable Angel is famed for having more bars than residents. It is also known for possessing so many restaurants that a stroll along Upper Street may lead to indigestion. Angel's main drag famously played host to a meeting between Tony Blair and Gordon Brown in 1994, when Blair promised to stand down after two terms as Prime Minister (this is where the phrase 'meal deal' comes from). The restaurant where the rendezvous allegedly took place, Granita, is sadly no longer there and has been replaced by a large vodka Red Bull.

You cannot say you've truly experienced all facets of life until you've been taken up the Camden Passage. Here, people meet to purchase Japanese prints, browse outlandish objects d'art or convene at the Elk In The Woods and feast on fennel roasted pork belly. The rustic delights of The Elk come complete with wines of the world, church chairs and elk skulls mounted on the walls. It's a great location for a date in fact I met both my third and fourth wives there.

Sir Walter Raleigh, inventor of tobacco and the potato, is believed to have resided on Upper Street. Former Kray associate 'Mad' Frankie Fraser is a current resident, though personally I won't have a word said again him. Other famous inhabitants past and present include witty hitchhiker Douglas Adams, animal farmer George Orwell and shorter-than-expected comic presenter Angus Deayton. I know Deayton lives there because my friend Upbeat Tim used to rent the flat next door on Duncan Terrace. From above we'd stare at his thinning crown.

Angel tube possesses the longest escalator in Western Europe, with a vertical rise of 90 feet. Whole books are read on the way up, meals eaten on the way down, and in the summertime Mayflies are conceived at the bottom and expire naturally at the top. Last year a man posted himself on YouTube skiing down said escalator. The authorities took a very dim view of this, though personally I found it unbelievably funny.

© copyright 2008 Saul Wordsworth
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