The London Borough of Lewisham has all the ingredients to make up a perfect weekend, especially now that the sun is gracing us with its presence more frequently. From rising out of bed on Saturday morning, to crawling back in as mundane Monday begins to rear its ugly head, Lewisham has everything you need to relax, explore, hangout and soak up London’s summer vibes.
To start your day, a trip down to Hither Green will provide you with the delightfully quaint Good Hope. Located on Hither Green Lane, this community-led cafe is the perfect way to ease into Saturday. A range of teas and coffees and a mixture of homemade snacks and pastries are on offer, as well as a scrumptious breakfast menu. If the weather is particularly pleasant, venture out into their large garden, a wonderful space filled with flowers and ornaments.
After brunch has been taken care of, you might wish to partake in some exercise or a refreshing walk to take you up to lunch. A short walk from Hither Green will take you up to Blackheath Common. As you pass through the village take a look at the Bookshop on the Heath. Have a scout about inside to see if any of the second hand gems stand out and then take your book out onto the heath. With 2 ponds and 211 acres of green space, you won’t need to fight for a spot to relax in the sun.
Lunch is now creeping up and another short walk down Blackheath Hill will take you into Deptford. Now food-wise you have a range of options. If you want to get indoors head along to The Greenhouse Deptford on New Cross Road. This is an eco-driven, independent company who deliver outstanding lunch and breakfasts and cater for any diet. With local art cladding the walls and in house filtered coffee, this is a real treasure for Deptford. However, if you fancy eating on the go and maybe sitting down by the river, make your way to Deptford Market. Foods from across the globe are on offer in this vibrant London Market. If you didn’t quite find what you were looking for in Deptford maybe head along to Brockley Market. Another lively market with award winning food stalls; it’s just a 5 minute walk from St. Johns train station.
Now once the afternoon starts drawing to a close, you need to start thinking about getting everyone together for the evening. I would say that there are certainly 4 places you must try out this summer. If you are in the Deptford/New Cross area, head along to Wünderlust just next to the Birdsnest Pub in Deptford Bridge. The bar/restaurant is situated in an old London Routemaster Bus and serves up succulent hotdogs and burgers. With a fully equipped cocktail bar and resident DJ, this is a great place to relax, chat and “get on up”. Just down the road is the newly opened Buster Mantis. Under the arches of the railway line this bar brings a bit of Jamaica to the South-East. Low-lit, with a great bar and reasonably large dancefloor, this place is growing in prominence and popularity every weekend and attracting more and more people.
The final two on my list are Model Market and The Fox and Firkin in Lewisham. Open in the summer months under the Street Feast banner, Model Market is a must see. An open air mini evening-festival occurs every weekend in the heart of Lewisham. With bars, street food, dancing and live music all in one place, the entry is free and the night is long. Now lastly, The Fox and Firkin on Lewisham High Street is a favourite amongst most Lewisham residents. With possibly one of my favourite beer gardens in London, live music on a regular basis and putting on acts such as Congo Natty and Reggae legend Johnny Clarke, the Fox and Firkin is a great place to spend an evening.
That Sunday morning sun has come glaring through the window, causing you to screw up your eyes and hide your thumping head under the pillow. But once you’ve propped yourself up with coffee, make the most of the day and relax in the Horniman Museum in Forest Hill. A gem in South-East London, the Museum boasts a huge Natural History exhibition that houses the famous Victorian Giant Walrus. With beautifully kept gardens and petting areas, once you’ve explored the exhibitions on African Culture or the History of the Musical Instrument, take a stroll through this idyllic part of Forest Hill.
With so much more of Lewisham still to discover, let’s hope this summer is kind to us and the sun hangs around long enough for us to really dive in to all that Lewisham has to offer.
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