When you think of East London – the areas of Shoreditch, Hackney and Dalston probably come to mind, but they’re all north of the river, so why not consider heading south of that big blue water thing and visit the east, but also south area of Peckham?
A few years ago the Overground (that orange line on the tube map) opened and linked up Peckham with Clapham, Shoreditch and all the way to Highbury stopping off at Dalston and Hoxton too – so if you’re near those places you’ve got no excuse to not hop on the air conditioned train and see what’s what in SE15. Here are some of my favourite stops.
The Peckham Pelican has to be my favourite hideaway, and not only because it’s ridiculously cheap compared to other parts of London. As it’s on my way to do groceries I use the fact that it’s cheap as an excuse to have a bagel, or Earl Grey Gin & Tonic
if it’s later in the afternoon, and post 6pm for the pizzas! It’s one of those places where you go for brunch at 11 in the morning and stay till the last orders at 11 pm, and don’t forget they display artwork on the walls and even exhibitions.
South London Gallery is a contemporary art gallery founded in 1891, offering free exhibitions, live art, film and education events, bookshop & next to it you will find No.67 – an all-day cafe/restaurant which as far as I know, do not serve 67 types of coffee but the ones they do are pretty decent.
I also have to make a stop at Persepolis Cafe/deli, their nuts mix is to die for. And it’s a great place for a cheap (vegetarian) brunch, you won’t regret the mezze platter from their Snackistan menu.
A bit further away from the high street (Rye Lane) is Bellenden Road – an picture-perfect hip, but somewhat small area where you’ll find curated stores and places to eat, drink and generally buy artisan food to fill your bike basket.
Trio is a cute space that lure you in with their foods and drinks and cute cards that you can buy. Then you start noticing kids. A lot of kids and find out it’s a ‘taking your kids is an encouragement’ kind of place. They even have a space that hosts events for pre-schoolers. If kids bother you, avoid during rush hours but do go in as their iced tea was top notch.
Around Rye Lane you’ll find the less polished Peckham with street food stalls, shopping centres and other places. One of those great places is Peckham Plex, I mentioned it here but they do movies for 4.99, which is pretty unique in London as tickets usually start at 12.00. Also, you can’t leave Peckham and not have a signature Alibaba Juice.
Summer is in full progress and with it comes barbecues, trips to the park, afternoons spent in the pub, and most importantly, the return of open air cinemas. One of the much loved ones is the Rooftop Cinema Club. Located atop a car park it offers a wide range of movies from May till the end of summer season, with everything from classics like When Harry Met Sally to recent dramas like Still Alice.
Another much loved activity in summer are rooftop bars and I like to follow everyone else to Frank’s Cafe, which is one of those places . There is a reason this is in my ‘Best Rooftop Bars of London’ round ups. A view that you just wanna turn off your phone, interrupt the person you’re talking to and just stare at.