Perched high above a private, gated courtyard off the Holloway Road, this bright three-bedroom flat combines the generous space of a loft with the clean-lined character of a mid-century home.
Empire Square, Holloway, 3 Bed. Flat
"Hidden gem" is a well-worn superlative, but it fits the bill for this three-bedroom flat: how else to describe a loft that gazes down on a courtyard block shielded from the hubbub and completely concealed behind an unassuming gate on the Holloway Road?
The whole space has a secret-clubhouse feel, but with the airy atmosphere of a California Eichler in the sky—all vaulted ceilings, exposed timber beams and huge skylights that lure in light from all angles. This flat was born to entertain, but its clever layout keeps the quiet bedrooms separate from the spacious sweep of the communal areas. The mid-century vibe persists in the modern pastel palette, subtly shifting from the warmth of the master suite to the freshness of the subway-tiled bath to the cool of the open-plan living space. Rare and refined, this top-floor roost is (quite literally) a cut above.
Empire Square is a short stroll to stations on four lines—Northern, Piccadilly, Victoria and Overground—so it's easy to get anywhere from Hampstead Heath to King's Cross to the City (and everywhere in between). Cafes, shops, restaurants and pubs dot Holloway and Seven Sisters Roads all the way to Finsbury Park. And there's no dearth of green space, with some of north London's best parks, walks and playgrounds within easy reach.
POINTS TO CONSIDER
The EPC gives a current Energy Efficiency Rating: D.
In the Borough of Islington, the flat falls into Council Tax Band E (£1,896 in 2020/21).
One of 23 in the building, the flat has 978 years remaining on the lease and a ground rent of £300 p.a. There is a yearly service charge of circa £2,500.
Over the past five years, the current owners have fitted two new bathrooms, inserted a partition wall to create a third bedroom, added a modern fire alarm system and installed a new boiler.
THE OWNERS SAY
Stepping away from the hurly-burly of Holloway Road into a quiet, quaint courtyard lined with geraniums and a particularly exuberant palm tree was the first sign that this flat was a unique proposition. As soon as we entered the light-filled living room, with its atypical combination of soaring ceilings and cosy corners, we knew it was too good to pass up. We love hosting parties; this is the unusual space that, no matter how many people pile through the front door, it never seems crowded. But it’s a very restful flat, too. Backing onto North Library, Manor Gardens and the imposing Beaux Arts Building, it’s wonderfully peaceful, with friendly neighbours and a community feel.
Holloway has changed since we first moved in, and we have come to love its quirks. Our local is The Swimmer at the Grafton Arms, which does a decent pub quiz and a solid pre-match and commiseratory post-match pint. Hana Sushi, Girasole, Osteria Tufo and new addition Big Jo, sister restaurant to Jolene and Westerns Laundry, are other haunts, along with Clissold Park to the east, and Waterlow Park (our favourite) up the road. Provisions, the Holloway deli, has provided us with wine and heaving boards of cheese. We will miss this corner of North London, full of lively local characters and unstudied charm.
THE LEGAL BIT
While we endeavour to maintain accurate photographs, floor plans, and descriptions, these are intended as a guide and purchasers must satisfy themselves by personal inspection. Total floorplan measurements have been rounded for ease. Distances are also provided as an approximate.
Explore North London
1 Landseer Arms
Tucked away behind Holloway Road, this is a gem of a pub is found at the end of a quiet residential street of the same name. Totally family friendly, the owners have managed to create a genuine community feel which is rare these days. Parents will appreciate the paved outside seating area, which is right opposite a small park – the kids can play in the playground while you have a glass of something cold. Nice!
2 Big Jo
Much more than a bakery (though it’s most definitely, deliciously that), this foodie-favourite spot serves up delectable slices of Roman pizza and a daily changing menu of mouth-watering small plates and puddings.
3 Kitchen @ 149
With a backdrop of exposed brick, chalkboards and shelves full of knick-knacks, this friendly independent cafe is a great place to meet for brunch or indeed dinner. The burgers and truffle chips (covered in parmesan) will not disappointed, but they also offer some delicious veggie and vegan options.
4 The Spoke
One of the very first of the new wave of cafes to open, that hints at the area around Upper Holloways rapid evolution, the Spoke serves up top-notch food and coffee in a familiar format, but they do it bloody well. For us, it's hard to choose from a tasty veggie fry-up, delicious (millennial) chilli avocado and onion on toast or one of their fish finger sandwiches...
5 Tufnell Park Tavern
There’s a sunny beer garden in the back of this corner pub near Tufnell Park tube, and the food has a distinctly Mediterranean flair, thanks in part to the wood-fired pizza oven. Families, four-legged friends (including Stevie, the resident cat) and celebrities (notably Bill Nighy and Jeremy Corbin) are all welcome.