Once upon a time, Islington was to Londoners what Hackney is now; a buzzy creative centre with people from all disciplines – arts, politics, media – mixing it up, mingling and making things. Then New Labour's Blair and Brown had 'that' dinner at Granita and suddenly Islington wasn't just for north Londoners in the know but somewhere you might meet powerful and interesting people. The neighbourhood was on the map. Granita closed down in 2003 and became a Tex Mex joint called Desperados, which pretty much sums up the direction Upper Street took – the main drag still has a lot of chains – but cultural hotspots like The Almeida, the Union Chapel, Screen On The Green and art galleries like the Victoria Miro and Estorick Collection attract the kind of people who don't want a Five Guys. Look around Islington's corners and there's some sophisticated eating, shopping and arts to be found.
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