The Local: Viks’ guide to Peckham

When I think of South London, I think of Viks. She embodies all the good things I associate with this side of town: real ale, awesome politics, and a big-hearted authenticity that would be impossible to replicate. She’s lived in Peckham/SE15 with her wife, Pudds, since 2005 in houses filled with Lego, flat caps, bicycles and a tortoise named Archie – and has been a shining light in my life for the past 8 years.

Here are the best bits of her part of Pechkahm, in her own words.

Want to discover more of South London? Check out my area guide here!

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I love Peckham. It’s the place I’ve lived the longest, and my first real home.

So at home, in fact, that I even had a wheelbarrow race down Peckham high street to the registry office on my wedding day!

Time has changed Peckham but it still has its epic vibe and uniqueness!

Here are a few of places I love about this colourful place:

The Gowlett: my local for 10 years + / that’s all I can say.

The White Horse is a friendly local boozer with a pool table, jazz on Sunday and at the back of the pub you will find The Donkey Sanctuary mixing up damn fine cocktails on a Thursday – Sunday!

The Montpelieris a nice enough pub but for me, its The Backroom Cinema is the best way to watch something independent that wouldn’t be shown at the Plex.

Bar Story is still going and so is the cocktail happy hour: 6-7pm BOGOF.

The Bussey Building: there’s so much going on, in and around that place from gigs, theatre, film, art & comedy to South London Soul Train! Definitely not one to miss!

Peckham Plex: the best and cheapest cinema in London (for blockbusters). Tickets are just £4.99 – or £5.99 bargain!

The South London Gallery is a free contemporary art gallery with an international reputation for exhibitions, film and performance events. Attached to the gallery is cafe/restaurant No. 67: the best place to get a hearty brunch and great coffee.

Persepolis is a Persian grocery and craft shop which now features a Middle Eastern cafe/deli. It’s worth going there to meet the owner Sally and check out her much-loved cooking books!

Banh Banh is run by Peckham locals, the Nguyen family, who make authentic Vietnamese street food.

Mr Bao is a new addition to the area. They serve up ‘cloud like’ steam buns with melt in your mouth fillings!

Right at the back of Rye Lane Market, you will find one of my hidden gems: the beaming smile of Zionly Manna, cooking away in his vegan restaurant.

There is only one place to get jerk chicken, salt fish pattie, brown stew chicken or curried goat rice and peas and that’s Copeland’s Jerk Centre! Home cooked goodness!

Peckham Farmers’ Market is open on Sundays from 9am – 1pm, under the arch by the library. Fruit & vegetables, meat, poultry, wet and shellfish, herbs, fresh apple juice, jams & chutneys, eggs, cheese, posh bread & cakes as well as plants & herbs.

Peckham Rye Park is epic all year round, this park has many secret bits to explore: Japanese gardens, a public bowls club and the turtles that live around the sides of the pond. It’s also host to a rare mulberry tree – I always try to get there at the right point in the season to climb it and have a little mulberry snack!

Khans: for all your random shopping needs! From fresh veg to random electronics! Its Peckham’s own Aladdin’s cave!

Don’t forget to grab yourself a copy of the best local paper going: The Peckham Peculiar, a free community newspaper. You’ll often find free popcorn vouchers in there for the Plex!

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Want to discover more of South London? Check out my area guide here!

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