A couple of weekends ago, Joe and I hopped on a bus and decided to spend the weekend exploring postcodes more local to us than W1. Living in London, it’s almost a natural reflex to hop on a train into central, straight to bustling Oxford Street, trendy Shoreditch or Notting Hill- forgetting that the wonders that lie South of the river are quite literally perched on our doorstep. With recommendations gathered around Dulwich, Herne Hill and Crystal Palace we decided to tick off some of the latter to begin our journey around South (but not before a brunch at Brockwell, of course)…
Although a bus away from the other tips on this list, we’d be wanting to sample the brunch at Brockwell Lido for a little while now (and pool, weather permitting)- so having a bit of time to kill, decided to wait out the Sunday morning queue (always handy if you can book in advance) and be patient, which, was absolutely worth it. Seated outside next to the lido (which is so, so beautiful in summer) we tucked into a breakfast of poached eggs, doorstop toast, fresh juices and delicious granola which were all delicious and rapidly served up. Although the menu also boasted plate sized waffles and fresh salads, we know we’ll be back soon to start ticking more off (especially as it starts to warm up)…
Brockwell Park, Dulwich Rd, London SE24 0PA
400 Rabbits is one of those places you’d wish you’d discovered sooner (and then wonder why you hadn’t heard of it before). With a pink and turquoise hued interior, fuelled by geometric shapes and perfectly tiled sideboards, it’s a Pinterest dream without even mentioning the food. But let’s be honest, we’re here for the food right? Right? The menu is packed with pillow-crusted stone baked pizzas, light salad sides and a gelupo menu for afters with flavours including strawberries and cream and salted caramel too. It’s so much of a complete dreamboat of a restaurant that I now check Deliveroo to see if they’ll come to me yet. Maybe one day…
30-32 Westow St, London SE19 3AH
Bambinos/Boyce Da Roca:
One of the main treasure troves in Crystal Palace is Church Road, which is pretty much lined with second hand, antique and vintage furniture (and the odd) clothes shop. One of my favourites along this strip has to be Bambino (with Boyce Da Roca next door and adjoining the shop). With a delicious cafe and coffee shop both inside, basement filled with rows and rows of records, as well as vintage menswear and more home trinkets than you can wrap your head around- it’s an absolute must visit for any second-hand lover.
32 Church Rd, London SE19 2ET
I couldn’t do an area guide without planting a suggestion of where to pick up a good slice of cake now, could I? Having actually initially discovered Blackbird Bakery after picking up handmade batches of their Buttermilk pancake mix and Five Grain granola- they had me before I even picked up a crusty loaf. With shelves lined with everything from classic British bakes, homemade sandwiches, loaves to go and even juices- it’s the perfect place to swing by to grab something to go (or even while away an hour with a book too). Picnic anyone?
59 Westow St, London SE19 3RW
The Crystal Palace Market:
This isn’t actually somewhere I’ve had a chance to eat in yet (apologies, apologies) but with several people giving me a heads up on how The Crystal Palace Market is a bit of a local must-visit (and even Kristabel mentioning it in a here)- I wanted to include it incase anybody has the chance to get there before me (reviews on a postcard, please)!
3-7 Church Rd, London SE19 2TF
Every time I visit Flaming Nora I so wish I had a home to deck out with furniture. Having been tempted by a dressing table, House of Hackney foot stall and many beautiful ’60s chairs upon each visit- I’m waiting for the day I can finally justify a purchase here. For now it’s worth the pop-in just to swoon at the interiors, but I’m vowing soon enough I’ll save enough to take one home too.
40 Church Road, Crystal Palace, London, SE19 2ET