Mums in the ‘Hood: Marie-Claire McGlade

Each month we ask a local London mum to tell us about her neighbourhood and what she loves about it. This month we talked to Marie-Claire McGlade, Highbury resident and mum to two boys. She told us what’s great about her corner of North London.

Tell us a little about yourself.

My name is Marie-Claire McGlade, and although I am originally from Northern Ireland, I have lived in London for 16 years, 14 of them in Islington. I arrived in London with the intention of staying for just a year to study but quickly fell in love with everything this vibrant city has to offer. I enjoyed a career as an accountant at two large city firms for 10 years. I took a career break after the birth of my two sons, but within the last year I have become really excited about the growing parent tech industry in London and the opportunities it offers for truly flexible working. I am the North London Editor for Bubele app and a Mum Ambassador for Coo app.

Which area do you live in, and what do you love about it?

I live in Highbury, North London. I love the fact that it is a really family-friendly area. There is a lovely sense of community, with a great park and sports facilities on our doorstep, and a fantastic variety of independent shops and restaurants within walking distance.

Where’s your favourite neighbourhood place to hang out as a family?

Weekend afternoons will often involve a huge Sunday roast at the Highbury Barn pub or coffee and cakes at one of the great cafés in the area such as The Barn. We will then burn off some energy afterwards walking, scooting or cycling in Highbury Fields or Clissold Park.

Where’s your favourite place to escape in your area for a little ‘me’ time?

A relaxing massage at Neal’s Yard on Upper Street followed by lunch with a friend at Morito on Exmouth Market and a browse around the eclectic mix of shops on Upper Street.

What local activities do you and your family take part in?

We have tried pretty much every class in the area over the years! Sparky Songs weekly preschool music show is an institution in Islington. Saturday mornings are spent at swimming lessons at Highbury Fields pool. Having two boys and living moments from the Arsenal Stadium means that football has a huge following here. Coaching takes place in Highbury Fields every afternoon during the week and on weekends. There are plenty of tennis lessons in the area all year round. We are also regulars at the delightful Little Angel Puppet Theatre, which puts on a fantastic programme throughout the year. My two-year-old loves getting messy and painting on the walls at Artburst. My six-year-old enjoys the action-packed science workshops run by Kids With Brains.

Is there a little hidden gem in your area you’d like to share?

Screen on the Green cinema is fabulous, both for Baby Club and also perfect for a kid-free night out!