Why Islington is a Cultural Hub

art in islington

Today’s post is provided by Essential Living, a London property developer.

Often overlooked as a cultural destination, Islington has become a hive of vibrant activity over recent years. From art galleries to distinctive foods from all over the world, Islington has something to offer everyone who is looking for a bit of culture at the weekend.

art in islington


Islington is an ideal place to visit if you are an art lover. The Estorick Collection, located in a stunning Georgian building in Canonbury Square, houses beautiful works from some the greatest European artists in history. Specialising in Italian Futurist pieces, this gallery is home to renowned pieces from Umberto Boccioni, Gino Severini and Carlo Carrà to name but a few. Unique to Islington, this popular gallery attracts thousands of visitors each year.

The gallery also holds multiple exhibitions, classes and events throughout the year. Catering for everyone from schoolchildren to adults, the Estorick Collection is bound to hold a class or workshop that will inspire you. If you would like a break from studying the art in the gallery, there is a wonderful bookshop, art library and cafe in the building, too.

theatre in islington


Islington is home to exciting theatres that attract thousands of visitors year after year. The most well-known theatre is the King’s Head Theatre Pub. A very small venue that was previously home to a boxing hall, you could be forgiven for overlooking the King’s Head and thinking of it as a tiny old pub, but this theatre is steeped in British theatrical history. Famous for launching stars such as Alan Rickman, Hugh Grant and Joanna Lumley, this theatre is renowned for showcasing the best in British talent. Due to its history, the King’s Head remains one of the most popular theatre venues in London.

Islington also boasts the Almeida Theatre. Home to many undiscovered talents, the tickets are usually quite cheap – but that certainly isn’t a reflection on the quality. Some of the most talented actors and directors in London work here, putting popular shows on every night. Tickets sell out quickly and the interior is very traditional, offering you an exciting and authentic theatre experience.

dining in islington


Islington has a wide range of diverse restaurants serving up fantastic cuisine from all over the world. 500 is a small, traditional Italian diner that serves authentic seafood and pasta dishes. It is run by just seven people, which makes for a cosy and friendly atmosphere. The sauces and pastas are all made from scratch every day and they usually work with staple Italian flavours, tomato, steak and parmesan.
Del Parc is another hidden gem of Islington. Offering dishes that are strongly influenced by Spanish and North African flavours, this restaurant is a true testament to London’s love for authentic food from all over the globe. As it’s a tapas restaurant, the food is designed for sharing and sampling something new with friends. Boasting everything from cheese and vegetable combinations to specially cured meats, it has something for everyone.

The Little Viet Kitchen is exactly that: an authentic Vietnamese restaurant serving some of the tastiest dishes in North London. The food here is renowned for being naturally light and healthy, making use of plenty of Vietnamese vegetables and spices. If you like your food with a tasty oriental twist, you should definitely try the Little Viet Kitchen this weekend.

Kilis is well-known Turkish restaurant that offers all of the Turkish favourites like baklava, lahmacuns, kebabs and pides. It also loves to go that extra mile by producing homemade snacks such as home-grown pistachios. Lebanese and Syrian flavours are also prominent on the menu, serving dishes like mezza and grills.

market life in islington

Market Life

If you want a real taste of London, visit the Islington Farmers’ Market. Every Sunday morning, as it has done for many years, the farmers’ market opens up for business. With countless meats, vegetables, fruits and cheeses available, this market is a hive of bustling activity.

Londoners love to come here to buy the local produce and support local traders. It also one of the few places in London where you can buy genuinely fresh, organic food that is responsibly sourced and sold directly from the farmer to the consumer.

Experience Islington Culture
If you’re hoping to experience a little culture this weekend, make sure you visit Islington and sample its many cultural hotspots. For more information about where to eat, drink and have fun in the area, read our full Guide to Islington.

Bio: Essential Living is a London property developer that provides stylish new apartments in Islington and throughout London. 

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