Advertisement

Why I live in Seven Sisters: fashion designer Sinéad O’Dwyer on feeling at home in 'local' north London patch

Sinéad in the Bernie Grants Art Centre (Daniel Lynch)
Sinéad in the Bernie Grants Art Centre (Daniel Lynch)

I’ve lived North-ish since moving to London, and ended up in Seven Sisters after taking over a studio space nearby. My wife and I used to live in a warehouse in Finsbury Park but now we share a Victorian house with a friend.

I’m from a small town in Ireland, the countryside outside the small town really, so I like how local it feels. I’m always discovering new places that are really well used by lots of people. It’s also quite cheap for how incredibly easy it is to get around the city from here.

Best eating and drinking

Seven Sisters is known for its South American community. I love Pueblito Paisa Cafe, which is a Colombian Peruvian spot in the indoor market by the station. It’s changed name a few times and I think it’s smaller than it used to be, but it’s just really nice, affordable food.

There’s also True Craft for pizza and a really good cafe called Perkyn’s on West Green Road for natural wine and vegan pastries.

Perkyn's cafe does good vegan pastries (Daniel Lynch)
Perkyn's cafe does good vegan pastries (Daniel Lynch)

The High Cross is a fun pub on Tottenham High Road that used to be a public toilet. I think it’s a micro-brewery but I don’t drink beer, so that’s lost on me, though they always have a pie and I love a pie. The Palm on Philip Lane does a nice roast.

Where I work out

I struggle to find time to exercise regularly at the moment but I do go and watch my wife play tennis. There’s a really nice tennis community in Chestnuts Park and Downhills Park. The guy they all go to is called Lennie — he’s king of the courts.

To commune with nature

The local parks are nice, but I love Tottenham Marshes. It’s huge so you can be there for ages. It’s a “do I have 45 minutes or three hours?” situation. If my partner and I have a day together that’s one of our favourite things to do – just get up and start walking.

Downhills Park, with its tennis courts, is a go-to for shorter walks (Daniel Lynch)
Downhills Park, with its tennis courts, is a go-to for shorter walks (Daniel Lynch)

For a culture fix

The Bernie Grant Arts Centre is a beautiful building and a hub for the community. They do lots for small businesses, like providing spaces for a year on the back of a grant. I’ve used the shoot facilities a couple of times.

I love Roller Nation, which is a roller rink in Bruce Grove. Different nights have a different music focus and they often collaborate with local DJs on a Sunday.

There’s also a really nice small venue called The Post Bar that does a lot of South American music. For films I’ll go to the lovely ArtHouse cinema in Crouch End.

Grocery shopping

We’ve got a good Turkish supermarket near our house, or I’ll walk over to Green Lanes, but otherwise it’s the huge Tesco Superstore near the station or the Aldi further up.

An organic shop opened last year and was closed after about five months. There are so many small shops with fresh vegetables along West Green Road so I think people were like, “Why do we need this new one that’s way more expensive?”

West Green Road is not short of fresh fruit and veg (Daniel Lynch)
West Green Road is not short of fresh fruit and veg (Daniel Lynch)

Tottenham Town Bakery is a great Caribbean bakery and Tottenham Wine has every alcohol you can possibly imagine. Natural wine, locally made punches, every type of mixer. Any time I’ve been trying to find something niche, they have it.

Getting around

I love cycling from Seven Sisters to my studio in Hoxton. I don’t go down the congested Dalston route; the side roads are such a nice cycle with lots of green on the way.

Maybe I just like the idea of having the Victoria line — though I do use it when I’m going out at night.

Seven Sisters is served by the Victoria line (Daniel Lynch)
Seven Sisters is served by the Victoria line (Daniel Lynch)

Dream street

I love where we live, though we have a friend who moved round the corner recently and is now right beside Chestnuts Park. I guess living right next to one of the parks would be the dream.

There are also some beautiful old houses set back from Seven Sisters Road on the way to Stamford Hill.

Something you only see in Seven Sisters

The indoor market with all the small South American businesses, though it’s constantly under pressure. The community is forever working to stop it being developed.

Pueblito Paisa Cafe is part of the indoor market (Daniel Lynch)
Pueblito Paisa Cafe is part of the indoor market (Daniel Lynch)

What’s the catch?

It’s becoming more and more popular and it’s going to get really expensive soon. People are realising how well-connected it is.

In three words...

Feels like home.

Schools

There is a cluster of primary schools in the area rated outstanding or good, including Crowland Primary, Seven Sisters Primary and Earlsmead Primary schools. Gladesmore Community School is an outstanding secondary near South Tottenham station.

What it costs

Buying in Seven Sisters

Average flat price: £379,610

Average house price: £670,380

Renting in Seven Sisters

Average flat price, pcm: £1,710

Average house price, pcm: £2,750

Source: Hamptons & Land Registry