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Published: 27 March 2008

Yuksel Karagac outside her Archway café and boutique (inset right)
Resurrection enlivens roundabout

Yuskel Karagac’s café and boutique may be one of Archway’s best-kept secrets – but with food and fashion this good, it won’t be long till it’s a local landmark, writes Siobhan Sheerin

YUKSEL Karagac’s popular vintage fashion shop can be found on the windblown Archway traffic roundabout amid the unrelenting roar of vehicles.
Fortunately she also has a coffee shop next door to the Resurrection Boutique for those who decide to make the pilgrimage to discover her range of vintage clothes.
Yuksel is originally from west Turkey but moved to Islington in 1985 and liked it so much she never left.
She currently lives in Highbury New Park.
Yuksel opened the boutique last year, and admits she had doubts about the location at first.
But on the advice of her brother and friends, she took the plunge, and also snapped up the place next door, turning it into a coffee shop, with the aim of livening up the corner.
Yuksel showed me around the small boutique, which is packed from wall to wall with clothes and jewellery.
She says she knows quality when she sees it, and this is no surprise when she reveals her background: “I worked for fashion designer Nicole Farhi for 10 years in the sample room as a manager – I can’t work with cheap materials.”
Her stock is definitely aimed at the discerning fashion lover, selling vintage, designer samples and seconds of labels such as Gucci, Armani, Valentino and Prada.
She also recycles good quality materials such as leathers, under her own label, Odsh.
I have a feeling I will incur the wrath of fashionistas all over north London who thought the Resurrection Boutique was their little secret.
Yuksel is also keen for me to try the delights of her café next door, which boasts Islington North MP Jeremy Corbyn as a customer, and is currently being managed by a friend.
“I am allergic to wheat and dairy, and for years have had problems dining out,” she says. “I wanted to create a different kind of café, somewhere special to fill a gap in the market.”
She’s very keen for me to try a soya latté: “It is very good – just wait and see,” she says.
I’m dairy intolerant too, so I like to think I’m a bit of a soya expert.
The latté comes in a tall glass accompanied by a home-made biscuit.
I can see why Yuksel is justifiably proud. It’s absolutely gorgeous – the best I have had, creamy and full-flavoured.
And the biscuit is a really nice touch. It’s quite simply delicious – light and almondy, with just the right level of sweetness.
Yuksel takes pride in the quality of her food at the café: “My motivation isn’t about profit,” she says. “It’s about activating the corner.”
The café is small, friendly and cosy with a tempting array of healthy food. Vegetarians are very well catered for, with lots of healthy veggie Turkish food, but they also offer fish and chicken dishes. I try a home-made filo pastry dish filled with cheese, parsley and spring onion. It’s scrumptious.
There are also home-made cakes – wheat and dairy free – and organic home-made soya yoghurt.
All the ingredients are fresh, with Yuksel refusing to use anything artificial and trying to use organic goods where possible. With food, and coffee, as good as this, it’s no wonder people make the trip over the road to the triangle.
It’s well worth the effort.

* The Resurrection Boutique and Café are at 3a Archway Close, on the Archway ­triangle

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