Last year, when my friends and I had the audacity to live in Peckham, it was not well received. Usually, it came in form of winces, sucked in breaths or comments such as: ‘But didn’t someone get stabbed there?’
Well, possibly. But there is a very vague concept for somewhere as expansive as Peckham.
Truth be told, Peckham is one of the hidden gems of London. The streets are full of life and vibrant characters with incredible styles and personalities, which I have yet to find anywhere else.
Fresh fruit and veg are sold off market stalls, offering you amazing culinary tastes like Plantain for a fraction of the supermarket price.
But let’s be honest, as great as cheap food and easy transport lines are, what you are really interested in is the nightlife. Trust me, there is plenty for all tastes and preferences.
For the hardcore all-nighters, there is the one, the only, Bussey Building. Officially titled the CLF Art Café, this building offers various art, theatre and dance workshops throughout the day, but its main attraction is the night events. Wide open spaces, amazing beats and a queue that snakes down the Peckham high street tells you all you need to know. If you want to go hard on a budget, then this is the place to let loose.
For the more laid back, a drink or two but nothing more, you have two options: Frank’s Bar or the Peckhamplex. Frank’s is a bar only open in the summer months, but eagerly awaiting its emergence during winter was sometimes the only thing that got me out of bed.
Set atop an abandoned multi-storey car park, Frank’s offers cheap drinks underneath a canopy of twinkling fairy lights, but its main selling point is the panoramic view of London at night.
No other place in London matches this breathtaking view. Take your non-London friends and impress them with its cool underground and one-of-a-kind scenery – a unique, ‘in the know’ vibe.
The Peckhamplex, on the other hand, offers a night of cinema entertainment for only £5 a ticket. Oh, and yes, it does accept Orange Wednesday codes, so for you lucky Orange members, the latest blockbuster can be yours for only £2.50.
I’ll admit, it is small, with only five screens, but tickets are cheap and the film collection is always up to date. A bigger bonus is that sometimes the screens are empty, save for you and your friends, so you can pretend to be wealthy enough to have your own in-house theatre.
So yes, someone did probably get stabbed there, and maybe the characters on the street occasionally veer from eclectic to crazy, but come on, it’s London: what’s a horror story or two?
Oh, and when you do pluck up the courage to visit Peckham, ask for ‘Football Style Nachos’ at the Peckhamplex.
You can thank me later.
Image by Ewan-M courtesy of Flickr