Suzi Bergman thinks friendly locals, brilliant views and peace and quiet make Highgate one of London’s most attractive postcodes
How long have you lived in Highgate?
It was the first place I settled when I moved to London from Manchester in 1998. I fell in love with the villagey feel, and I’ve been here ever since.
What do you like most about the area?
There are so many fantastic pubs and restaurants, and so much green space, but for me, the main attraction is that everyone is so friendly – surprising considering it’s such a central area.
Describe the area in five words?
Community spirit (is that two?), good location, schools, friendly and sociable – that’s five things, too many words though!
What are your favourite local cafés and restaurants?
I’m a fan of Côte, and there are numerous coffee shops for catching up with friends. Le Pain Quotidien is also lovely, and even the pubs do great food – the Red Lion & Sun is a particular favourite of mine.
Where do you go for an after-work drink?
Either the Red Lion & Sun or The Angel.
Where do you like to shop locally?
Walter Castellazzo Design specialises in furniture made to order, but their design-led accessories also make lovely presents, then Highgate Stationers for every household need imaginable (from electrical items and cleaning products to gardening equipment and DIY supplies) and, of course, Raj’s Corner Shop for groceries
Describe your perfect local day
It would begin with breakfast at Le Pain Quotidien, followed by a leisurely stroll around Waterlow Park. Once I’d worked up an appetite (again), I’d head to the Red Lion & Sun for a lazy pub lunch. In the evening, I’d plan a trip to Upstairs at The Gatehouse – it’s an award-winning London fringe theatre, which presents a programme of drama, musicals and fringe productions.
What did you look for in a property?
We wanted a convenient location, great views, plenty of space and somewhere with a sense of peace. You’d think it would be impossible to find a property that ticks all of those boxes in London, but that’s the beauty of Highgate
If you hadn’t chosen here, where else might you have looked?
Hampstead or Belsize Park – definitely nowhere south of the river!
Describe your interiors style
As co-founder of Storksak (www.storksak.co.uk) and Babymel (www.babymel.co.uk) changing bags and Marshall Bergman (www.marshallbergman.com) work and travel bags, you could say I’m an expert in the design of bag interiors. But when it comes to house interiors, well, that’s left to my husband!
Finally, what’s new for you?
Well, 2014 is another exciting year for us: we’re expanding, and will be moving office –thankfully only next door though. Since 2003 we’ve been working hard to develop our three brands. Storksak and Babymel are now both brand-leaders in the parenting bag market. Storksak is now being sold in more than 24 countries worldwide and we’re very proud of our new Babymel ‘Explorer’ children’s collection that has garnered a huge following already. Marshall Bergman is also going from strength to strength, with exclusive collections for Apple and an exciting new collaboration project range planned for AW14 consisting of chic and stylish laptop bags, iPad cases and work bags for men and women. At the moment we’re in the process of launching our new SS14 ranges, which is always an exciting time for us. With Storksak we’ve tried something different with the Ellena, a more relaxed, boho-chic style of bag, and also the Bailey, which is our first ever hospital bag. It will be great to see the response to those