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Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

Pazzi's Restaurant near the entrance to Finsbury Park in what is today a Lidl

If you had been making your way along Seven Sisters Road in Finsbury Park early in the twentieth century you would have noticed a large Union Jack flying over a restaurant sandwiched between the entrance to Finsbury Park and the London Hippodrome cinema. 

Advert in Hornsey Journal 18 July 1896 (from the original held in the archives of the Hornsey Historical Society)

An article published in History Today traces the progress of Pietro Pazzi who emigrated from Italian Switzerland in 1870 and opened his Finsbury Park restaurant in 1874 with the help of loans from his family.

History Today says:

The location of Pietro’s establishment at 271 Seven Sisters Road was well chosen. Though it was then on the outer periphery of London and therefore, presumably, relatively cheap, it had enormous potential. Finsbury Park had opened just a few years earlier in 1869. Its station then marked the north-eastern limit of the suburban railway and tram network and what was to become the London underground system....Over the following years Pietro became a family man with a home in nearby Stroud Green Road, where his son Guerino was born in 1877 and his daughter Florida, or ‘Florrie’, in 1879, to be followed finally by his fifth child, Rosa, in 1883.

                                   Pietro 'Peter' Pazzi flanked by his sister-in-law, Antoinetta, and his brother, Massimo, c.1900

The full article tells of Pazzi's involvement in the politics of his homeland whilst running his Finsbury Park restaurant.

Pazzi died a wealthy man in 1914 and is buried, as ‘Peter Pazzi’, in one of the most prestigious locations in Highgate Cemetery, the Circle of Lebanon vaults, surrounded by the great and the good of England. 

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Shows very well just how early the internationalisation of British food began. Amazing piece of history. Thank you. 

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