The CEO of Square Up Media, Tim Slee, takes us on a tour of Peckham.
Tim is 'Chief Carrot' of Square Up Media of which is home to over 20 media brands. Magazines from Hedge and Foodism to skateboarder's online heaven: Sidewalk. Tim loves doing things first and is always looking for the next adventure. When he's not flitting around the office, you'll find him and his exceptionally good vibes at one of his Peckham favourites.
You know what they say about Marmite? Well, the same goes for Peckham. I took one friend there and within 30 seconds of him arriving and getting a discarded afro Caribbean weave stuck in his shoelaces and then nearly run over by a market trader pulling a cartload of yams, he had declared he was far less than enamoured with the place and was in no rush to return. For others, myself included, that's exactly what I love about it. It's random. And that's the thing with Peckham, you've got to keep your eyes peeled, there's something new for you to get involved with wherever you look. You might find yourself stumbling across an opera in a multistory carpark (as I did earlier in the summer), or rummaging through a car boot sale in an ex-cricket bat factory (also guilty), it's a damn sight different to other London boroughs, that's certain.
If yoga is your thing as it seems to be for plenty of people in Peckham, then start your day in the Bussey Buildings, which act as an unofficial HQ for the whole of Peckham. Within this charmingly old and tatty warehouse complex (and ex-cricket bat factory) you'll find multiple bars, cafes, restaurants, pottery classes, a rooftop cinema, art galleries, cross fit, churches, and the best yoga set up in London. Whether you've done an early morning session or not, then you can't go to Peckham without going to the Pedler: good all day long, but I love it most for breakfast - get some 'cheesy grits' into your life! Just off Peckham Rye, you'll find a shed load of places for lunch, The White Horse is good but you've also got Babette that's just opened up tucked away around the corner. If you fancy an early evening walk, get up to the Ivy House, London's first co-operatively owned pub, bought by 371 residents to avoid it being turned into flats, it's a great choice for good beer and live music.
Everyone's been to Frank's, right? If not, go - it's the best place to watch the sun go down in London, and tuck into some quality food, too. Just check that it's Summertime, otherwise you will be out of luck and you'll have climbed to the top of a multistory carpark for nothing.
Miss Tapas, Peckham
Late evening, grab small plates and good wine at Miss Tapas, or move down to Bellenden Road (great name) and get into some of the pubs there - it's also good for a bit of shopping in the day. If the drinks are flowing and the pubs are shutting, then you'll either want to go to Bar Story and set up under the railway arches, or if you want a massive slice of South East London hipster in your life go to Four Quarters on the High Street - expect local beers and every arcade game from the 80's and 90's that you can remember.
If you don't want the night to end, roll straight out the door of Four Quarters and into Canavans. I won't tell you what Canavans is, as if you don't know, well, you're in for a good night, but maybe no need to put your new pair of trainers on for this one. Do all that in a day, and you'll be doing well.
Bar Story, Peckham
There's one last absolute gem that I'm almost reluctant to tell you about. Somewhere in the old cricket bat factory's grounds, is a very small garden shed. If you find it, you'll find 8 seats inside and a man called Francesco, if you've got that far, then you should also have brought your own bottle of red with you, and if you've ticked all those boxes then you'll just be about to eat the best pasta of your life. And if you manage to do that, then you've found my favourite restaurant in the whole of London.