When I told my Mum that we were heading east to explore Peckham her immediate thoughts were of high rise concrete blocks similar to those characterised in Only Fools and Horses; but much like the rest of South East London the area has changed vastly over the past few years. Photos of Peckham fill my Instagram feed daily and there seems to be a new bar, café or restaurant opening every week (far too many to try and review in an afternoon). The area is popular with young professionals, families and hipsters alike all trying to get a slice of the action.
We decided to visit at the end of January with my cousin who is currently living with us whilst she settles into London life. She was excited to see the workspaces of the Bussey Building and Copeland Park and was amazed by the variety of produce available on the High Street.
It was a spur of the moment decision to visit and I hadn’t had chance to plan out a route for the day as I normally would but I needn’t have worried because as soon as we stepped out of the station we were immediately presented with numerous options to choose from. A brief discussion ensued before we all agreed upon Forza Win in Copeland Park. This industrial space has been converted into a modern Italian. Large windows at one end provide lots of natural light and the wood stove gave out a lot of heat making it feel very cosy. We were the first diners of the day so we chose the long table closest to the stove and pulled blankets over our cold legs and soon we warmed up whilst we enjoyed a pre-lunch cocktail. The seasonal daily changing menu was short but there was plenty of choice for 3 non fussy eaters. My cousin and I opted for a pasta dish each (one veggie, one meat) whilst Mr B opted for a sausage and bean casserole. The simple dishes were extremely well executed and the quality of the fresh ingredients really shone through. We all left very satisfied and I’d be very keen in future to head back for one of the supper clubs.
After a quick explore of the Bussey Building we walked down the bustling High Street to Peckham Rye Common whilst quickly making mental notes of places to try on our next visit (we’re coming for you Pedler, Mr Bao, John the Unicorn, Banh Banh). Despite the cold afternoon the common was very busy with dog walkers, runners and families. We wandered around the frozen lake and Japanese Garden before the cold got too much and headed to the Herne Tavern.
The Victorian terraced streets around Bellenden Road and Choumert Road are the most popular in the area; it’s easy to see why with such a range of amenities on your doorstep and the station only a short walk away. General Store is a lovely place to pick up groceries and weekend treats and with restaurants such as Begging Bowl and Artusi regularly receiving plaudits you really don’t need to go far at all.
We all loved our afternoon in Peckham, it provided much food for thought for my cousin who has only really spent time in Zone one tourist London and Clapham previously and it got Mr B and I thinking about our potential move once more. We won’t leave it so long before we visit again, especially now we have a list of places on our must visit list!
Mrs B xx
Pubs we visited along the way
The Rye -A lovely modern pub with a bright dining area overlooking the garden. Mr B was impressed with the ale selection and although there is sport shown it wasn’t over bearing or too busy. The garden was very inviting and I can imagine it would get pretty busy on a summers’ afternoon. 7/10
The Herne Tavern – From the outside this pub doesn’t look much, but inside there is an abundance of character. Families sat playing board games alongside the open fires and diners finished up what smelt like tasty lunches. The cask beer selection was very good with lots of local options available and there was also a large array of gin including locally produced Little Bird. A great location at the end of Rye common with a huge garden. 8/10
The Flying Pig –This pub has a very modern industrial style interior and it even had the fun factor with a table football table. Lots of craft beer options which pleased Mr B, a select but great gin selection and agina family friendly which reflects the area. 7/10
The Montpelier – We arrived early evening and it was very busy exposing a lack of seats. There good choice of gin however I had to stop the barman ruining it (he almost put in tonic from the tap – why do bars still do this?!) very good craft beer range. 3/10