Highgate Woods Muswell Hill Road Highgate London N10 3JN
The traffic may thunder along Archway Road 10 minutes’ walk away, but the old cricket pavilion in Highgate Woods is a small slice of country in the city. Given its setting amidst ancient forest, it’s no surprise that this is all about al fresco dining on the wisteria-clad terrace – there are only a few tables inside anyway. Expect fresh homemade soups, toasties, filled pittas and dips, perhaps a seasonal main course at weekends such as winter braised belly pork, as well as the usual afternoon tea with homemade cakes. So what’s the downside? Just one: on sunny weekends it is besieged by young families with boisterous tots – tranquil it is not.