Brickworks Loves Peckham

Words by

Old Old

When I moved to London from Edinburgh a couple of years ago, I was immediately drawn to Peckham. The quirkiness of the elegant houses with their colourful painted doors next to the chaos of Peckham Rye Lane.

I quickly discovered what a welcoming neighbourhood it is to be part of, with buckets of life –– restaurants, bars, and green spaces. Peckham has so much to offer. I can't imagine why anyone wouldn't want to live here.

There’s a real range of local pubs: some that have been there since before Peckham became part of London, with the patrons to match; some with cheap drinks and cheesy tunes, and some that take themselves more seriously, like The Montpelier, home to a few famous faces.

This part of south London is lucky to have a smorgasbord of international cuisine. Yada's Green Kitchen is one of my favourite places to eat in the area and I recommend the mezze so you can sample as many of their rich flavours as possible. Another unassuming gem is Silk Road. It's voted one of top authentic Chinese restaurants in London, which is not surprising when you try their hand-pulled noodles, and you see the queue out the door.

1. Forza Wine

A secret rooftop bar with sweeping views, a drinks list brimming over with Italian favourites and a curated menu of delectable small dishes: what's not to amor? Warm up with an espresso in the cooler months or sit outside with a Campari in the summertime.

2. Bold Tendencies

Based in the recently renovated rooftop spaces of Peckham's multi-storey car park, Bold Tendencies commissions new art installations as well as hosting live music, dance, opera and readings. Among the food and drink purveyors is Neapolitan powerhouse 081 and bar-restaurant Franks, the site's first permanent architecture project, which opened in 2009 and has been a favourite ever since.

3. Peckham Rye Park & Common

Wandering through Peckham Rye Park & Common in 1767, William Blake had a vision of "a tree filled with angels, bright angelic wings bespangling every bough like stars." Angels may be thin on the ground these days, but you'll still find a great café, adventure playground and the beautiful Sexby Garden, with its fragrant rose beds and wisteria-clad pergola.

4. Ganapati

Ganapati brings southern Indian flavours to the heart of Peckham. The restaurant, which has eat-in and takeaway branches, offers a small and regularly changing menu with delicious dishes that include sea bass curry and to-die-for masala dosa. As the owners describe it, Ganapati pays "homage to the Indian coffee house with its utilitarian feel, mix of colours and fluorescent tube lighting".

5. South London Gallery

This beautiful gallery hosts exhibitions primarily focussing on new work by British and international artists. Lose yourself in the main gallery, but don't miss the Fire Station annexe. Opened in 2018, it is a work of art in itself. Then pay a visit to South London Louie, the sunlit onsite café, for a delicious post-exhibit meal.