Where to Eat and Drink in East Dulwich | Eating & Drinking | London Northerner

Eating and Drinking

East Dulwich plays hosts to some of the best pubs in the capital. We’ve compiled a list of the best pubs on offer in the area, the crème-de-la-crème, if you will. Whether you’re eating or drinking, we have you covered.

Best beer garden

The Herne Tavern

Your correspondent’s favourite pub. The Herne is a beautifully traditional South London pub with friendly staff, fantastic beers, and the best beer garden in the capital. Rumoured to have been the home to the National Front, the place now boasts a much-more respectable clientele.

Slightly off the beaten paths of Lordship Lane and Peckham High St, the pub sits at the base of Peckham Rye, perfect for a well-deserved beer after a long weekend stroll in the sunshine. Dogs are very welcome.

Though a little on the pricier side (a fiver for a Fosters), its authenticity and charm make it hugely popular with the locals. As soon as the sun even hints at coming out to play, you can rest assured that all 7,000 square feet of the leafy sun trap will be bursting with revellers. There are more picnic tables than you can shake a stick at, and even a barn to rent out for functions. When the sun sets, gas heaters provide some much-needed warmth and laced fairy lights enclose the atmosphere. It’s a really special space which you must visit.

Food is brilliantly British and well-priced at just under £15 for a very substantial main course. The pub quiz is also something of a local legend, the prize was unclaimed for so long that it sat at an eye-watering £800 in April, 2019. Winner of the quiz or not, visitors are sure to leave richer than they arrived.

Best atmosphere

The East Dulwich Tavern (EDT)

The EDT comes alive on a Sunday afternoon. Picture the scene, a sea of blue and pink spilling into the surrounding streets as the Dulwich Hamlets fans discuss their darling team’s performance at Champion Hill over a pint of Hamlet Pale Ale.

Beers on tables at The East Dulwich Tavern

Inside, the pub is divided into two clear sections. The front is for the beer drinkers, its stripped-back and hosts the rowdier twenty-somethings crowd. Further towards the back lies a room which is decorated like a haberdashery, perfect for slow Sundays and nesting in for a hearty pub meal. The food is excellent, reasonably priced, and caters well to vegetarians.

Best Sunday roast

The Cherry Tree

Just go in and have one. Whole chickens arrive beautifully crisped in a rustic roasting tray. Roasted potatoes pour over onto the wooden tables.

The Cheery Tree’s façade aptly describes the place, it is luscious, slightly decadent, and wouldn’t appear out of place in Cheshire. Beers here are largely upmarket lagers, hugely enjoyable in the spacious beer garden which lies at the back of the pub. The crowd here is refined, even on match days.

Best drinks

Watsons General Telegraph

Take a look at the beer menu and you’ll know what we’re talking about. Watsons General Telegraph is a very interesting space just up the road from the Herne Tavern. It’s worth the short walk.

Home to another great beer garden, Watsons General keep theirs covered by a vast tepee with comfy sofas sprawled around convivial fire pits. Djs are often heard spinning tracks in this area, adding to the festival feel.

Check out the bottomless burger bingo on the last Thursday of every month, it’s wild.

Best places to eat

The Palmerston

Described as the gourmet sibling of The Herne, The Palmerston lies at the heart of Lordship Lane. Its reputation as the place to eat in East Dulwich is sacrosanct. A divine menu and wainscoted interior make the pub ideal for convivial family meals and special occasions.

The Palmerston is a very attractive British pub on Lordship Lane

We love the branded plates, which feature a silhouetted profile of the pub’s 19th century reformist namesake. A-la-carte entrees start at around £17, but we haven’t heard anybody complaining. The food is genuinely fantastic, more so than a typical gastro experience could ever offer. Vegetarians may leave feeling slightly ill-catered for.

Two pints of Timothy Taylors and a bowl of nuts checks in at £10, fine value for the capital.

On the whole, quite probably the best place to eat in East Dulwich. Tables can be filled months in advance. But hurry, the pub closes its doors for good on June 3rd. We shall mourn its closure.

Best for watching the football

The Actress

Plenty of big screens line the walls of The Actress. Wood fired pizza blends with cheers from football fans to fill the air inside. Sitting just off Lordship Lane and ten minutes walking distance from East Dulwich train station, the pub is a great place to watch the football in East Dulwich.

If you’re after something more rowdy, take a look at our guide to the New Cross pub crawl. Lying slightly to the East, New Cross is young, coarse, and lively.

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New Cross Pub Crawl | Eating & Drinking | London Northerner

Eating and Drinking

New Cross to London is, in many senses, what Kreuzberg is to Berlin. It’s young. It’s artistic. It’s gritty. And it’s an awful lot of fun.

As we wouldn’t recommend moving here unless you’re about to enroll on a fine arts course at the beautiful and esteemed Goldmith’s University, we’re here to talk about what to do. This is a bread and butter sort of food and drink post. We cram in arguably the capital’s finest pub crawl.

The Rose Pub, New Cross

Once completed, check out our guide to the best hangover breakfast spots in New Cross. In advance, you’re welcome.

The Infamous New Cross Bar Crawl

It all begins at the New Cross itself. On the intersection of the Old Kent and Queens roads, a crisp pint at the White Hart acts as the liquid amber starting gun. The run totals 6 pubs, we advise two pints in each to allow for optimal absorption of the beautiful boozers, local vibe, and city-leading music selection. It also helps that rounds in the selected pubs don’t cost an arm and a leg in exchange for getting legless

The entire route clocks in at just over half a mile. Allow at least 3 hours before the last pub as it’s a real corker and you’ll want to be parading through its doors around midnight. Friday and Saturday nights advised for optimal buzz.

Here goes.

1.     The White hart

In many senses, it’s a real shame that the Geography of New Cross necessitates that the White Hart is the first port of call. As a standalone pub it is fantastic and often plays host to some fine music.

Comfy sofas make this a great zone for a winter crawl, whilst ample outdoor benches provide a sociable starting point for sharing that start-of-crawl cigarette as you wait for the troops to assemble.

2.     The Rose

Home to a mighty fine enclosed beer garden which feels as though it was plucked straight from the set of Alice in Wonderland, The Rose is a convivial, upmarket boozer. This is handy because you’re in with a chance of remembering pun number 2, and you’ll want to. Grab some beers and tuck in.

3.     New Cross House

This is pub number 3. It’s also the final on the crawl that could be objectively described as “nice”. All deadweight should be shed at this point, they can finish off their lager tops and leave.

Take a look around at the Oak Furniture Land interior and enjoy the final moments spent with your more sensible and reserved friends.

From here on in, it’s the nasties. 6 pints are down, at the very least. A fine row of kebabies and tabaconists lie across the road for a pit stop before pub number 4. Refill you baccy pouches, reload on Rizzlas, fill yourselves on falafels while you can.

4.     New Cross Inn

A fantastically shabby establishment. Unchanged on the outside for decades, it’s stylistic advertisements for brandy and whiskey set the tone. Both are probably a fine idea at this stage, if not only for washing the falafel from your gnashers.

Inside, local selectors and a wonderfully laid-back atmosphere set the scene for the second half of the evening. This is the foggy haze of drunken nostalgia, happiness, and camaraderie. It’s good. Take some time to sup on your local ale and revel in the wonders of the crawl.

5.     The Marquis of Granby

It’s Irish and you’re really going to get quite stupidly beered at this stage. Its brickwork has been meticulously painted like a mystical landscape to help make that Guinness taste even more magical.

In the highly unlikely event that you’ve stuck to anything like the plan, you should at this stage be knocking back drink number 8, and it should be around midnight.

Now is the time to rally the troops for an assault on what may be the finest late-night boozer in London…

6.     The Amersham Arms

With any luck, you’re in fine spirits. Your group is unified. Your wallets are not quite empty. You’re still, inexplicably, thirsty.

Enter the nirvana of late-night sing-alongs, arms-around-shoulders, and outrageously good music. You can plant yourself in the Amersham until after half 2 and goof grief how you’ll want to.

Remember to explore upstairs and out back, where a fine atmosphere and brilliant smoking spot collide to make for a truly fabulous evening end. Enjoy, and make sure you defend against the almighty hangover with some fried food and our New Cross hangover eatery guide,

Please come back soon!

The Practicals

New Cross is connected via its two train stations, one of which is served by the Overground, the other by Southeastern Rail from London Bridge. It lies no more than 15 minutes from Tower Bridge and can be accessed all hours by a roster of night buses.

The nearest night tube is London Bridge, which is a £15 Uber to the North if things get desperate.

We expect the crawl should set a normal human back about £80 if they factor in travel, a pack of cigs, about 10 pints of normal beer, and a kebab or two.

Please drink relatively responsibly, New Cross is a fine place and it would be nice if it could be saved from becoming the Magaluf of the Costa del Thames.

 

 

 

Lewisham | South East | London Northerner

South East

What’s it like living in Lewisham?

In the 10th Century, King Alfred the Great was Lord of the Manor of Lewisham. Today, roughly 60,000 people call the broader region home.With affordable house prices fantastic connections to Canary Wharf, The City, and Victoria, Lewisham has been favoured by commuters since the 1850s.

There’s something about that Lewisham blue

It’s name harks back to the 6th century, when pagans settled on the higher ground of neighbouring Ladywell. Developments in the past few years have built a formiddable skyline, with bold towers climbing out of the bowl to face financial towers north of the Thames.

Lewisham Shopping Centre’s homage to the area’s history

Since leaving Kent to formally become a member of the County of London in the 1960s, Lewisham hasn’t always been viewed in the best light. The arrival of the DLR in 1999 led to creeping gentrification, and started a serious climb in house prices in the area. Now it’s even got an M&S.

Roads behind the high street are more serene

Considering the 10 minute commute to London Bridge, or 15 minutes to Canary Wharf, a normal human would deem the rent to be reasonable. This is especially when considering how lovely neighbouring Ladywell and Saint Johns are for food, drinks, and green spaces.

A castle fit for King Alfred

Lewisham Shopping Centre sits bang in the middle, and genuinely hosts almost all the retail giants that have destroyed high streets all over the country. Only here, they provide an island of familiarity amindst a swarming bazaar of market stalls and independents. And yes, there is a Wetherspoons.

A brand new 1 bed flat overlooking Canary Wharf will set a young couple back £1,400. A big lovely family home is more in the region of £600,000, at time of writing.

There are gyms, supermarkets, and a silly amount of fried chicken shops. But for any serious liveliness, New Cross is the nearest centre for nightlife, 10 minutes to the North by bus. So, time for the scores:

The verdict

Feel: 2.5

Buzz: 3.5

Diesely Air (lower is thicker taste): 1.5

Connectedness: 4

Gentrification (at time of writing): 2

Boozers: 2.5

Expensiveness (lower is more expensive): 4

Shoppers: 4.5

Flight Path (higher is quieter): 4

Green Space: 2.5

Lewisham scores: 32/50

 

Ladywell | South East | London Northerner

South East

What’s it like to live in Ladywell, Lewisham?

Sitting just south west of Lewisham town centre lies the leafy university village of Ladywell. Connected to London Bridge by it’s cute little train station, it’s slightly more reasonable house prices and quiet loveliness make a tantalising offer for anyone looking to move to the capital.

Welcome to Ladywell

Think of Ladywell as the shallow end of the swimming pool, a warm and inviting part of a big and often daunting place. It’s history dates back to the 13th century, when pilgrims would stop at “our lady’s well” for some healing. The area still has a healing feeling of calm today.

The boulangerie and sourdough pizzeria which adorn the centre help with the idea that Ladywell is an extension of neighbouring Saint Johns and Brockley. As do the Georgian family homes that line its converging streets.

Gorgeously wonky houses across from Ladywell station

At the North end of the small high street, a nice normal boozer offers some respite from the pretences you’d expect from a drinking hole in the capital. The ratio of takeaways to residents is genuinely astounding. If you’re after something more lively, Peckham is almost walkable, and New Cross lies just North.

Practical information

Helping the budgeteers, an Aldi is a 5 minute walk South from the train station. Lewisham shopping centre also hosts some good shops, think:

  • Wilko’s
  • Sainsbury’s
  • M&S
  • H&M
  • Next.

Four or five rains headed for London Bridge leave from Ladywell station every hour, continuing until past midnight.

For a more relaxing take, Ladywell is surrounded by green. The beautiful Hilly Fields rises above the area and boasting great views and quiet expansiveness. Ladywell fields lies just south, sealing the envelope of greenness that encloses the village’s residents. Here you’ll find a babbling brook, as well as some sports an gym equipment. If nothing else, it brightens the 10 minute walk to Catford.

Reading on a sunny authumanl Sunday in Hilly Fields

Housing prices and options

A house here will set you back about £550,000 for a charming terrace, or £2,100 to rent a 4 bed. Prices slightly lower than Brockley and Saint Johns reflect the weaker connections to lively areas.

Ladywell Fields with the university in the background

But hey, you can’t put a price on clean air and peace and quiet.

The verdict

Feel: 3.5

Buzz: 1

Diesely Air (lower is thicker taste): 4.5

Connectedness: 1.5

Gentrification (at time of writing): 2.5

Boozers: 1.5

Expensiveness (lower is more expensive): 4.5

Shoppers: 3.5

Flight Path (higher is quieter): 4

Green Space: 4

Ladywell scores: 30.5/50

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How to Get a Spare Room in London | London Northerner

Practical Bits

So, you want to move down south? It sounds great, but in reality, the move can be a hectic maze of fees, websites, and jargon. We at the London Northerner have been through it all and are here to help.

The best websites for flat sharing in London

Spare room

  • 1. Facebook
  • 2. Airbnb
  • 3. Zoopla and Rightmove
  • 4. Gumtree

Before making any moves, have a think and seriously consider the following:

  • where do i want to live? Our whole site is dedicated to showing you what areas are actually like to live in, take a look!
  • What will my commute be like? Citymapper is great for gauging an estimate of costs and times.
  • What is my absolute budget for rent, bills, agency fees, and commuting?
  • Do i have enough money to place a deposit equivalent to 6 weeks rent + the first month’s rent + agency fees (which can be around £250 per person) + a month’s bills?

Once this is all sorted, here’s where to start looking.

Spare room

Spare room is the main hun for flatting activity on the interweb.

Our first advice is to write a generic statement, including; your age, gender, occupation, move in date, hobbies, and preference in flat environment (we found “clean and quietly sociable” was a winner).

Our second nugget of wisdom is to never contact an agent unless you need to move pronto, and don’t care if the place you enquire about isn’t that place. London is filled stories of people going to meet these agencies, in Ellis Island style offices, finding and moving into a new home that same day. It’s ruthlessly fast and manic. But if you’re desperate- agencies are your friends!

Facebook

You want move to London? Have you told absolutely everyone on Facebook of your intentions? People know people. Call in a favour, it is an incredibly fruitful strategy.

Also, here are our top pics of Facebook groups you need to join if you want to find somewhere in the comfort of having seen your new flatmate’s holiday photos from 2014.

Airbnb

Rooms can be found on Airbnb for £25 per night. That’s about £775. In other words, Airbnb is a surprisingly good avenue for finding nice and secure shelter in the capital.

The review system keeps things transparent, payment is clean and safe, and bills are naturally included.

Zoopla & Rightmove

Yes, they are house finding sites. If you fiddle around with the advanced search features, you should be able to find a room advertised.

What’s more, the filters are unrivalled in allowing you to target preferred areas and other “musts” you may have.

Gumtree

Gumtree is the wild west of the house/ room search. You may well find some gold. Take a look now and again, what harm will it do?

Some general houseviewing advice

Remember that any viewings are two-way interviews, “flatting” is a big commitment to a long-term relationship with random humans. Take off your shoes, shake hands, and compliment their house. This applies even if it smells crusty and the beds are unmade.

As a boring person would say, let someone know where you’re going. You’re likely fine, but just do it anyway.

Finally, be prepared for heartbreak. You likely won’t find the house you love. You may cycle over town for hours to find that the landlord is a no show or let the flat 10 minutes earlier. Get over it. Bounce back, rebound, and find somewhere else. 10 million people live here and most of them managed to find a bed.

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London Cycling Guide | The London Northerner

Practical Bits

Everything you need to know before peddling around the capital

Here at The London Northerner, we’re always asked one question:

“Is it safe to ride a bike in London?”

Yes, we reply.

Then we get asked:

Where can I find a cheap bike in London?

Facebook is your friend here. When it isn’t trying to steal your data, the social media platform is a cavern of two-wheeled wonders.

£100 and some serious legwork can buy some amazing views

Be smart, don’t expect to much, and set a reasonable budget. The benefits of cycling in London are the flexibility and cost savings. If you overspend, you’ve already lost half of the benefits. This is the commute, not the Tour de France. And plus, you’ll need to save some bread for gloves and lights.

Take a look at the marketplace and be patient, you don’t want to make a trip to Bexleyheath alone in the dark for a stolen rust bucket. Repeat this question to yourself as you peruse your options: “how long will it last before it breaks and leaves me stranded alone in the rain, on the Old Kent Road in the dark?”.

All the gear; no idea

There’s only one place to get kitted out with your high-vis lycra spandex illuminous cycling gear. That place is Decathlon. The closest to the middle of London is the new Surrey Quays superstore. It’s a day out in itself and is 10 minutes from Tower Bridge by bus.

It’s possible to source; a helmet, a lock, some gloves, some undergloves (oh yes, you’ll be needing those!), a high vis waterproof, some shorts or lycra bottoms, some lights, a saddle bag for your spare innertube, and a basic repair kit for about £90. We know because we’ve done it.

This brings us to our final question.

How much does it cost to start cycling in London?

Less than £200 if you aren’t fussed about lap times at the Olympic Park and brand names don’t register highly on your list of priorities.

 

Tips and tricks

When planning a route, choose the one with the fewest traffic lights. These really ruin a rider’s flow. There are some very nice cycle routes from Brixton to Waterloo and from Canary Wharf to The City.

So, don your lycra and get ready to weave between the stagnant traffic. Be careful not to eat too much diesel as you go.

 

Saint Johns | South East | The London Northerner

South East

What’s it like to live in Saint Johns?

Whilst not London’s largest, loudest, or best-known area, Saint Johns is certainly among its nicest. It sits just south of the grungy New Cross to the north, and just North of the less easy-on-the-eye Lewisham to the south. A Goldilocks zone, you might say.

Historically, the place was created by some Victorian philanthropists hoping to expand Deptford with their quaint architecture. Today, yummy mummy’s, Goldsmith’s art students, and locals who are contented by their house price inflation roam freely.

If this were the North West, prices would be bonkers. At the time of writing, a 3 bed terrace can be bought for £600,000, or rented for £2,400pcm. This is not expensive for housing in the big smoke.

Before visiting the area, a basic knowledge of Mr Pink is assumed and it is highly highly recommended that this video is perused. There’s also a cute old phone box which, after having been made redundant by mobile phones, has been made unredundant again with a new role as a second-hand book swap.

The home of Mr Pink, St Johns’ most famous resident

Equipped with this knowledge, and thirsty from absorbing all that history in a format of such brevity, a parched individual simply must stop for some food and drink. So, here are your options.

The best pubs in Saint Johns

1. The Talbot

When it comes to beer gardening, as it often does, this place delivers the goods. A beautiful community-feel pub which serves brilliant beer in the middle of the village, The Talbot even manages to attract an animated herd of well groomed doggos. Prices are a little steep for the south east, but £2.50 mystery pints on a Thursday are always on hand to deliver that much-needed Friday hangover.

Two £2.50 pints on a Summer’s evening

2. The Rising Sun

Interestingly reminiscent of a wild-west saloon bar, this Milwall pub is pure Lewisham, or “Lewshaaaarm” as its frequenters call it. Open from silly-o’clock until silly-o’clock, and filled with through-and-through Millwall supporters, the “Rising Fun” is a brilliant pub to call your local. Smiths, Pride, and the usual lager suspects are sold at decent prices. Lovely.

Open all day; and most of the night, too

3. The Brookmill

Technically the only one of these pubs actually within the Saint Johns boundary, very nice also.

The best eating spots in Saint Johns

There’s a true mix of the fast and the fancy, but here goes:

1. L’Oculto

A ridiculously tasty and authentic Tapas restaurant with an ambience which cuddles its diners in a warm light and steamed windows. In summer, the Rioja swilling and sea food savouring pours into the streets. Maybe £30 a head for one of the best meals to be enjoyed in South East London.

Spanish food so good that it has to be disguised as a chemist

2. Everest Curry King

£6 buys a quite frankly stupidly tasty selection of 4 vegetarian curries. More could be said, but this South Indian wonder is rammed from noon until night and that tells its own story.

3. Perfect Fried Chicken

PFC. P-F-C. Multiple sources swear by this place serving the finest fried chicken in Britain’s fair isle. £2 buys 12 wings and probably some chips and a drink if you make the frier laugh.

4. Middletons

It’s new. Never been, but it just looks good. Take your mum, she’d love it.

What amenities are there in Saint Johns, Lewisham?

Quickly,

  • Big Asda
  • Tesco express + filling station
  • Many convenience stores claiming to be “The Best” and one which handily sells Bitcoin
  • About 4,000 barbers, most of which are open until about 4am
  • A 24hr Gym
  • A Tailor
  • A minicab office

How can I transport into and out of St John’s, Lewisham?

  • South Eastern trains from St Johns to London Bridge take 10 minutes (Zone 2)
  • New Cross 10 minute walk away (Overground, buses)
  • Lewisham Station 5 minute walk away (DLR, more trains)

What is there to do?

  • Hilly Fields park
  • That’s about it, but you live in London so you’ll find something

The verdict

Feel: 4.5

Buzz: 2

Diesely Air (lower is thicker taste): 3.5

Connectedness: 2.5

Gentrification (at time of writing): 3.5

Boozers: 4

Expensiveness (lower is more expensive): 3.5

Shoppers: 4.5

Flight Path (higher is quieter): 1.5

Green Space: 3.5

Saint Johns scores: 33/50