In ”Hood You’ll Love” I want to take you into the lesser known neighbourhoods of London, everyone’s heard of Camden or Chelsea but have you ever thought of giving Camberwell a visit? Now gentrification is in full power, places like the South-East district of Camberwell have started to bloom and bike shops have found their way in and it’s become perfectly safe to stroll around on a sunny Saturday afternoon. In case you ever end up in SE5 (Denmark Hill is on the London Overground orange line) and you feel lost between all the fried chicken, betting and off-licence shops here is a guide of places to drink, eat and little bits to see.
The Sun of Camberwell on Coldharbour Lane is a pub that does great beer and burgers and has a big outdoor space out back if you don’t fancy watching buses go past in the front court.
Love Walk Cafe on Denmark Hill is a reason alone to make your way south of the river. They serve up delicious breakfasts, lunches and a variety of lovely tea and cakes, and don’t forget there’s a giant neon sign with a heart on the wall; avoid during peak hours as it gets a bit too packed with kids.
Just across from Love Walk is a little vintage and second hand shop that you must visit to find that missing tea set your grandma had in the 70s, and you can probably find the dress she was buried in too.
So Nando’s might not be high end, but if you have to have it then make sure it’s in Camberwell, you’ll be surprised this is one of the fanciest branches (if fried chicken, chips and unlimited refills can in any universe be considered fancy!)
Say what?! A healthy shop where you can get your chia seeds, buckwheat and whatever nut milk is now declared as the next best thing? Yup, Camberwell has it. Next to it you will find a shop called Kim West – it has nothing to do with the Kim Kardashian West and should be avoided at all times unless you want to fall into a 90s fashion nightmare blackhole (we’re talking Interstellar but with horrible sequin dresses instead of Matt Damon at the other end of the wormhole)
There is also an art gallery, just saying.
A few steps down the road you’ll find a flower shop where you can get your cacti, various fauna or take a workshop in pruning, arranging and generally not killing plants (as I tend to do).
Keep going till you hit the traffic lights and Camberwell Green, then turn right into Camberwell Church Street, where you’ll stumble across some more gems…
For cheap vegetables hit up this grocer who also sells exotic stuff – yeah varieties I can’t name or even guess what they are (it might even be a fruit!?!). It’s going to be one of your favourites if you live in the area.
If you cross the road you’ll see the place where everyone comes together, just kidding, it was recently renovated and is now the home of the Camberwell swimming pool and health centre. Pretty fancy right?
The Greek Bakery is where you get your cheap but delicious bread. The amazing cakes they do remind me a lot of the cakes my aunts in Bosnia make – a bit more subtle and less artificial. They also do great lunches to go with your choice of fillings, plus there’s always a ton of people sitting down inside which adds to the old-world feel. So many wins!
If you are looking for your local Italian then make sure you put Caravaggio on speed dial. It’s run by the loveliest people, the food is pretty decent and ridiculously cheap and there’s paintings on the walls. Most importantly of all, they offer calzone.
Vegan, gluten and vegetarianism has also wormed its way in the neighbourhood too! It’s in the form of Maloko a place you must visit for the crepes.
You know an area is changing when a Bike shop/bar opens. Camberwell has more than a few of them, but this one happened to be on my route so I snapped a polaroid. But I am pretty sure it’s pretty dandy, their bikes all seemed to have wheels and seats, which is a start right?
Do you have any neighbourhoods in your towns/cities which should be shouted about?
all photos taken with Instax 210