So Hot It’s Cool
Hyperbole alert! There’s that unmistakeable frisson in the mild breeze on a hot day upon exiting the refurbed Queen’s Road Peckham Railway Station. It’s the delicious combo of the arty and the artisanal: skateboarders working their moves outside Blackbird Bakery. The 19th century birth and the 21st century rebirth of Peckham are both really down to the railway. Its invention turned a village into a suburb; its extension transformed a down-and-out address into a ready-to-party postcode.
Even before Time Out ranked Peckham as the 11th hippest place on the planet (Embajadores in Madrid won prize position although our personal favourites are No. 27 Phibsboro Dublin, No. 41 Palermo Soho Buenos Aires, No. 43 Kadıköy Istanbul and No. 46 Langstrasse Zürich), Bellenden Road (Peckham south) was a gastrohub. Now it’s time for Queen’s Road (Peckham east) to shine.
The corner of Queen’s Road and Asylum Road forms the fulcrum of all that is current. At its very epicentre is Kudu, a local restaurant with a South African flavour, run by Amy Corbin and Patrick Williams. Amy’s father is Chris Corbin, one half of celebrated restaurateurs Corbin + King (The Delaunay, The Wolseley, Brasserie Zédel and so on). What does bliss look like? Shakshuka, eggs, parmesan crisps and burnt kale brunch served in a pan on Kudu’s plant filled sun drenched terrace.
Kudu had barely opened when it received a Bib Gourmand accolade. Other south London restaurants to bask in this Michelin recognition include Trinity Upstairs in Clapham and José on Bermondsey Street. The former is our local on the Common. The latter reminds us of Atlántico in Arroyo, Buenos Aires, with stools lining a tiled bar. Elevated bistro fare.
Asylum Road is lined with insanely attractive houses and lilac trees. It links Queen’s Road to Peckham’s finest terrace, the Bristol sounding Clifton Crescent. These Grade II listed mid 19th century houses are transitional in style. Georgian leftover? The steps to the piano nobile entrance doors of course. Regency reminder? That’ll be the lead canopies. Victorian era? The red brick for sure. This shallow curve of architectural delight overlooks leafy Brimmington Park. It’s time to add SE15 to the Monopoly board!