islington has changed so much, more upmarket shops and places to eat and that includes art galleries too;  you can visit the Estorick Collection with its Italian art collection in the handsome Canonbury square, or take a short walk to the wonderful lofty spaces housing the victoria miro and parasol galleries.  they are kind of connected,  and share a courtyard garden with a particularly lovely water installation and work by Robert Montgomery.  I really liked the work by Idris Khan – very architectural.  close by Suzy Harper has reopened with other makers at 99 Essex Road – lovely knitwear, and individual clothes.   I have worn suzy’s cotton tops for many years and they never date and work with everything.   we popped in for a coffee at the Bellanger  – another French brasserie by Corbin & King; what with the Ivy opening up everywhere, they are all seeing to be too commercial now – and less of a special place to visit- more of a typical Parisian brasserie.

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