An insider’s neighbourhood guide to Peckham

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In 2000, the Peckham Library became the first (and to date only) library to win British architecture’s highest accolade, the Stirling Prize. Seven years later, Peckham landed on the hipster radar with the arrival of Frank’s Café – a Campari bar plonked on an empty car park rooftop. And ever since, the surprisingly under-rated south London neighbourhood has been spawning a long list of fun attractions, drawing cool seekers from across the city. Here’s where to go and what to see in Peckham.

  • An insiders neighbourhood guide to Peckham

    Market

    For those who didn’t think there was a warehouse left in Peckham not already refurbed, we’ve found one. Market Peckham is the latest neighbourhood opening on Rye Lane (at the entrance to Copeland Park and the Bussey Building) that’s getting hipsters talking. Specifically freelancers, given that the main function of this seven-storey building is as a coworking space – with studios as well as hot and fixed desks for rent. But there will also be a rooftop restaurant and terrace, Forza Wine, from favourite local Italian restaurant Forza Win, and a Tonkotsu ramen bar. Meanwhile the basement will host late-night music nights.

    Address: Market, 133 Rye Lane, London SE15 4ST


    Telephone: +44 20 7232 2296


    Website: marketpeckham.com

  • An insiders neighbourhood guide to Peckham

    THE BUSSEY BUILDING, COPELAND PARK

    Saved from demolition in 2009, former cricket bat factory the Bussey Building houses the CLF Art Café, which stages theatre productions and gigs, bringing hordes of millennials to Peckham every Saturday. Yoga studio Yogarise holds summer sessions on the rooftop, and later in the day the same astro-turfed spot is turned into an outdoor cinema. In the basement night-time music venue Rye Wax sells vinyl, second-hand books and comics during the day. Also in the Copeland Industrial Park is Oi spaghetti + tiramisu, a tiny restaurant with about two-and-a-half tables serving nothing but spaghetti… and tiramisu, local Italian favourite Forza Win, and bar Social. There’s also art at Copeland Gallery and The Kiln Rooms ceramic studio, which runs workshops for every level. Fashion label Chanel has even grabbed a slice of the action, popping-up inside one of the empty warehouses with a mirror maze installation created by stage designer Es Devlin. Crossfit community, The Yard, spill into Copeland Park in the summer months when the garage doors are up – and inside there are excellent Hiit classes at sibling gym, Crank.

    Address: Copeland Park & Bussey Building, 133 Copeland Road, London SE15 3SN


    Telephone: +44 20 7635 0000


    Website: copelandpark.com

  • An insiders neighbourhood guide to Peckham

    FRANK’S CAFE

    Not many neighbourhoods can claim a multi-storey car park as their most-valued asset. And yet, Frank’s Café is still probably the only place in the area a non-Peckhamite could name. With Frank’s also came Bold Tendencies, an annual sculpture show on top of the same car park, which firmly established Peckham as a thriving site on London’s art scene. The lower levels have also hosted classical concerts, including the Proms (apparently the concrete ceilings are excellent for acoustics). On the ground floor is the retro Peckhamplex cinema; scruffy but locally loved, it sells tickets for £4.99 – to any film, all day long.

  • An insiders neighbourhood guide to Peckham

    PECKHAM LEVELS

    Taking over the six floors below Frank’s is Peckham Levels. Windows have been installed in the former car park, and with them comes an exciting food-and-drink hub. Visit the street-food stalls on level six for mezze platters and falafel burgers from Nandine, chicken wings from Other Side Fried and Chinese street food from Hao Hao Chi. There’s also yoga centre LEVEL SIX, and cool hair salon Cahoonas Hair Hub, as well as studios belonging to artists, ceramicists and even a 3-D printer.

    Address: Peckham Levels, F1-F6 Peckham Town Centre Carpark, 95A Rye Lane, London SE15 4ST


    Website: peckhamlevels.org

  • An insiders neighbourhood guide to Peckham

    BELLENDEN ROAD

    This is probably the most transformed corner of the neighbourhood, and it could really be called ‘the village’ because on one single street there is first-rate butcher Flock & Herd, extremely pretty grocer The General Store and some of Peckham’s best restaurants: Ganapati for South Indian, The Begging Bowl for Thai sharing plates and Artusi for homemade pasta. There’s also the independent Review Bookshop, run by novelist Evie Wyld, which hosts its own literary festival. And the leafy back streets have a colourful art trail: Antony Gormley’s rusting bollards and drain covers, Tom Phillips’ mosaics and a giant dog/rat by Belgian graffiti artist ROA. Conveniently, Bellenden Road is home to Peckham’s only place to stay. Upstairs at The Victoria Inn (pictured) are 15 simple Scandi-style bedrooms; head back downstairs in the morning for scrambled eggs with smoked salmon or kippers on toast.

  • An insiders neighbourhood guide to Peckham

    Peckham has long been a base for artists and designers due to its proximity to Camberwell College of Arts and Goldsmiths, as well as its relatively cheap rents. And when they’re not sipping Aperol Spritzes at Frank’s, art enthusiasts hang out at the South London Gallery. It’s been on Peckham Road since 1891, but the art on display is cutting-edge, including huge installations, video shorts and an annual resident-artist programme. On-site restaurant The Habit cooks up small plates of leek and tarragon arancini, dry-roast pork belly with fennel slaw and braised octopus. And just a few doors down, in the old Southwark Town Hall, is Spike + Earl, a buzzy café from social enterprise coffee roasters Old Spike.

    Address: South London Gallery, 65-67 Peckham Road, London SE5 8UH


    Telephone: +44 20 7703 6120


    Website: southlondongallery.org

  • An insiders neighbourhood guide to Peckham

    RYE LANE

    In Victorian times Peckham’s Rye Lane was the Oxford Street of south London, home to department stores Jones & Higgins and Holdron’s. While the goods being peddled have changed, Rye Lane is still Peckham’s main artery. There’s now an independent coffee shop on every corner and breweries, bakeries and barber shops popping up around the slightly grubby, always fishy but wonderfully authentic street. Just behind Rye Lane, underneath Peckham Rye station, are arches packed with artisans, including Blenheim Forge blacksmith’s, which handcrafts London’s smartest kitchen knives. Head to Brick House Bakery for the best coffee, and Peckham Refreshment Rooms for a deliciously flakey pain au chocolat. Later in the day, visit Bar Story for happy-hour Negronis and Serious Pig for plates of charcuterie, followed by the Brick Brewery tap yard for craft ale followed by Coal Rooms for a meat-focused meal.

  • An insiders neighbourhood guide to Peckham

    PECKHAM LIBRARY

    A little further north, where Peckham High Street meets Queens Road, is the Stirling Prize-winning Peckham Library, designed by Alsop and Störmer. Outside it, and also worth stopping for, is the Peace Wall, a permanent public artwork honouring the mosaic of Post-it notes that were stuck to a smashed Poundshop following the 2011 London riots. Just five minutes down the road is Queens Road Peckham, a smaller neighbourhood hub that’s definitely on the up and up too. Head to Aside for brilliant Sunday roasts, Kudu for South African food with a twist, The Stillroom to pick up sourdough and eggs, or Blackbird Bakery for great coffee and the best almond croissant in town.

    Address: Peckham Library, 122 Peckham Hill Street, Peckham, London SE15 5JR


    Website: southwark.gov.uk

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  • An insiders neighbourhood guide to Peckham

    Spike + Earl, Peckham

  • An insiders neighbourhood guide to Peckham

    Brick House Bakery, Peckham

  • An insiders neighbourhood guide to Peckham

    The Victoria Inn, Peckham

  • An insiders neighbourhood guide to Peckham

    Diners at Spike and Earl, Peckham

  • An insiders neighbourhood guide to Peckham

    South London Gallery, Peckham

  • An insiders neighbourhood guide to Peckham

    The General Store, Peckham

  • An insiders neighbourhood guide to Peckham

    The garden at South London Gallery, Peckham

  • An insiders neighbourhood guide to Peckham

    The Victoria Inn, Bellenden Road

  • Hannah Barry Gallery, Peckham

  • An insiders neighbourhood guide to Peckham

    Blenheim Forge, Peckham

  • An insiders neighbourhood guide to Peckham

    Granola at Brick House Bakery, Peckham

  • An insiders neighbourhood guide to Peckham

    The Kiln Rooms, Peckham

  • An insiders neighbourhood guide to Peckham

    The Victoria Inn, Peckham

  • An insiders neighbourhood guide to Peckham

    Blenheim Forge

  • An insiders neighbourhood guide to Peckham

    The Kiln Rooms

  • An insiders neighbourhood guide to Peckham

    Blenheim Forge, Peckham

  • An insiders neighbourhood guide to Peckham

    The Kiln Rooms

  • An insiders neighbourhood guide to Peckham

    Making beer at Brick Brewery, Peckham

  • An insiders neighbourhood guide to Peckham

    Rye Wax, Peckham

  • An insiders neighbourhood guide to Peckham

    Hannah Barry Gallery, Peckham

  • An insiders neighbourhood guide to Peckham

    Brick Brewery, Peckham

  • An insiders neighbourhood guide to Peckham

    Brick House Bakery, Peckham

  • An insiders neighbourhood guide to Peckham

    Delivery bicycle at Flock & Herd, Peckham

  • An insiders neighbourhood guide to Peckham

    Blenheim Forge, Peckham

  • An insiders neighbourhood guide to Peckham

    South London Gallery, Peckham

  • An insiders neighbourhood guide to Peckham

    Blenheim Forge, Peckham

  • An insiders neighbourhood guide to Peckham

    Peckham Library

  • An insiders neighbourhood guide to Peckham

    Rye Wax, Peckham

  • An insiders neighbourhood guide to Peckham

    Bookshop at South London Gallery, Peckham

  • An insiders neighbourhood guide to Peckham

    The Habit at the South London Gallery, Peckham

  • An insiders neighbourhood guide to Peckham

    Peckham Levels, London

  • An insiders neighbourhood guide to Peckham

    Peckham Library