21 best things to do in Peckham

August 23, 2019
Best things to do in Peckham: Bussy Building and Copeland park

Peckham is in the London Borough of Southwark in Southeast London. It’s surrounded by East Dulwich, Nunhead, Camberwell and Bermondsey.

It’s been described as the new Shoreditch but actually I think it’s better than that. The chains haven’t quite moved in yet and Peckham Vision have campaigned for redevelopments to be meaningful rather than multiple new build flats. This is why Peckham has become home to an eclectic mix of hipsters and old Nigerian communities where rooftop bars and shops selling dried fish sit side by side.

Here are 21 of the best things to do in Peckham.

Peckham Levels

Peckham Levels began life as a multi-storey car park. It was saved from dereliction and opened in 2018 as workspace and cultural destination. It includes a street food market, bars, yoga studios, hairdressers, as well as co-working spaces. Every level is painted a different colour and as a result there will be at least one influencer photo shoot happening on the stairs.

It’s situated on Rye Lane and the entrance is to the side of the cinema.

best things to do in Peckham: Peckham Levels

Bussey building and Copeland park

Bussey building started life as a cricket bat factory over 100 years ago and was used as an air raid shelter in WW2. The entrance is next to Kahn’s department store on Rye Lane.

It was saved from demolition by Peckham Vision and now the building and surrounding area play host to rooftop bars, nightclubs, yoga studios, art galleries, co-working, gyms and even a sake distillery.. You name it, this place has it.

Copeland park also has regular vintage markets and is home to Peckham Festival in September each year.

Peckham Rye common and park

Yes, Peckham has a bustling high street but it’s also incredibly green. It’s really important to me to be close to nature and I love having so many green spaces on my doorstep.

The biggest park in the area is Peckham Rye common. It’s 113 acres of grassland, playgrounds and ornamental parks. It’s about an 8 minute walk maximum from Peckham Rye train station. East Dulwich and Nunhead stations are also reasonably close by.

The adventure playground is suitable for kids of all ages and includes zip wires, mini trampolines and a water play area amongst other things.

The cafe does a decent pizza and is also licensed so there’s something for everyone.

PeckhamPlex cinema

I can’t believe there is a cheaper cinema anywhere in London than the PeckhamPlex. All tickets are a fiver to see any film including new releases. I think you may have to pay an extra pound for 3D.

I genuinely think the last time I paid £5 to see a film was Titanic in the 90s.

Where to eat in Peckham?

Peckham is a foodie’s paradise and I have made it my mission to try ever single restaurant – purely in the name of research you understand…

I would advise booking on a Thursday, Friday and Saturday because Peckham does get really busy – especially if you’re a big group.

To be honest, I could have given another 6 or 7 recommendations because there are so many brilliant restaurants. However, in the name of keeping things concise, here are some of my favourites.

Mr Bao

Mr Bao is a Taiwanese style restaurant on Peckham Rye specialising in bao, steamed buns and other asian dishes. There’s something for everyone on the menu including vegan choices. The staff are really helpful and always so friendly to my 2-year old.

They’re also opening a bar next door and by the looks of things, it’ll be opening soon.

Miss Tapas

Miss Tapas is an amazing, laid back tapas restaurant on Choumert Road offering authentic Spanish food and wine.

Fun fact, Miss Tapas is the wife of Mr Bao, no really… I’ve even bought pottery from Mr Bao’s Mum (she’s amazing FYI).

The Begging Bowl

The Begging Bowl is probably one of Peckham’s best-known restaurants. It’s on boujie Bellenden Road, which is home to some great boutiques, restaurants and street lamps designed by Antony Gormley.

The Begging Bowl specialises in modern Thai food. It’s fresh, utterly delicious and well worth a visit.


Persepolis is a Persian cafe and shop on Peckham High Street. It’s no frills, cheap and does great food.

The shop sells Middle Eastern groceries including herbs and spices. It’s also BYO at night and has a private dining area for groups.


At first sight, Yadas looks like a disused railway arch but appearances can be deceiving….

It specialises in Kurdish food and is super tasty. The restaurant is BYO and has very reasonable pricing. You don’t pay a corkage charge, which makes it a great place to go as a group.

It’s so cool that every time I go, I feel like I’m in Berlin.

Coal Rooms

The Coal Rooms is just outside the entrance to Peckham Rye train station. It’s in one of the old railway station buildings and offers a range of fish and meat cooked over a charcoal grill. Their Sunday lunches and brunches are legendary, but I actually love their midweek dining menu. Make sure you try their Fatboy potatoes.

Best bars in Peckham

Frank’s Cafe

Frank’s cafe is one of the best-known rooftop bars in Peckham. It’s situated on top of Peckham Levels and has stunning views over the City.

It only opens during summer and is so worth a visit.

El Vermut

Technically, this is in Nunhead but a) it’s one of my favourites and b) it’s on the Peckham borders so therefore I think it can be included.

It specialises in Vermouth but also has other great Spanish wines along with cheese and meats.

Peckham Springs

Peckham Springs is underneath the railway arches just by Peckham Rye station on Blenheim Grove. They sell cocktails, craft beers, food and put on events such as plant markets and record fairs.

Four Quarters

Four Quarters or as it’s known locally, the arcade bar is on Rye Lane. It has old arcade machines as well as a range of craft beers. Its a fun place and there’s usually a DJ on at weekends downstairs.

Where to shop in Peckham


DKUK is a hairdressers with a difference: haircuts are in front of art. They charge gender neutral pricing based on length and complexity of the cut.

Find DKUK on Queen’s Road Peckham.

Little Sister

Little Sister is a vintage shop in Holdren’s Arcade on Rye Lane. It’s the last shop towards the back. Go there for reasonably priced and well-curated vintage fashion.


D.A.Y is a Scandinavian inspired boutique on Bellenden Road. It sells a range of Scandinavian designers and has both women and men’s clothing.

Sage Flowers

There wasn’t a florist in Peckham and so I would have to go to East Dulwich if I wanted to buy flowers (I know, #firstworldproblems). This is why I was really pleased when Sage Flowers opened on Rye Lane. The women that own the shop are really friendly and run the occasional workshop so it’s worth keeping an eye on their instagram.

Traid Peckham

It might seem a bit odd to include a charity shop in a list of recommendations, however, Traid Peckham is really worth a mention. They have a great range of clothes and I always manage to spot something. It’s cheaper and more sustainable than buying new so I feel I can treat myself.

Art galleries

South London Gallery

The South London Gallery is on Peckham Road and has a rotating collection of contemporary exhibitions. There’s also a great cafe and beautiful garden to relax in.

Copeland Gallery

Copeland Gallery is in Copeland Park and has a variety of exhibitions on from photography, to alternative degree shows to sculpture. It’s free to get in and worth keeping an eye on.

How to get to Peckham

Peckham has two railway stations: Peckham Rye and Queen’s Road Peckham. They’re about a 10-15 minute walk away from each other. It’s also served by numerous buses and Nunhead and East Dulwich stations are also about a 15-20 minute walk away.

Peckham Vision

To find out about the incredible work of Peckham Vision, please visit their website or their pop up space in Holdron’s Arcade.


San Francisco with a toddler

July 9, 2019
San Francisco with a toddler leaning against a mural in the Mission District

Are we mad taking our toddler on a long haul holiday?

I had lots of ideas about parenting until I became an actual parent and realised its not always as easy as you think. Which is why I questioned if we were mad to take our toddler son on a long haul flight to San Francisco?

However, we wanted to go before our son turned two (and avoid having to buy him an adult price ticket…) so decided to go for it. I travelled a lot as a child, which is why I don’t find it too daunting. However, I completely appreciate travel is not easy; mentally as well as financially.

I also downloaded every episode of Peppa Pig…

What to do in San Francisco with a toddler 

I used to try and race round cities to cram in as much as possible so I could spend the rest of the time sitting back and people watching with a beer in hand.

Funnily enough, my toddler isn’t really up for watching the world go by. I’ve also learnt that it’s just not possible to rush with a toddler either. There are practicalities involved with what they can do because either their legs get too tired or the terrain isn’t suitable for a buggy.

Which is why this will probably be the first guide to San Francisco ever that doesn’t feature Alcatraz… Next time…

It’s also important that he enjoys the holiday too. We always try to do at least one activity a day, which is just for him. Luckily for us, he loves parks and let’s face it, most of them are free. Win, win, all round.

Even though San Franscico is hilly as anything, it’s such a wonderful city to be in. Everything is quite compact so you feel like you do a lot with minimal effort – which is perfect when travelling with a child.

So here are five things to do in San Francisco with toddler

1.Sea lions at Pier 39

My son is an animal fanatic to the degree that his first word was ‘dog’ (not Mummy…) so he loved looking at the sea lions at Pier 39. I wasn’t hugely enthused by Fisherman’s Wharf itself and found it full of tourist tat. But equally, I’ve also been to far worse places in my life as anyone who’s ever been in Leicester Square on a Saturday night can testify.

San Francisco with a toddler sea lions at Pier 39

Eat the clam chowder in a sourdough bread bowl at the Boudin Bakery Cafe.

2. Mission Dolores Park

I don’t know about you – but I can find parks quite tedious and feel that I’m trying to enjoy being there, rather than actually enjoying it. I’m hoping this is a universal parenting experience…?

However, Mission Dolores Park is a game changer… It’s in the Mission district so go and see the murals first. Incredible views. Surrounded by beautiful houses. Great playground design. Plus lots of people relaxing and drinking beers on the grass to people watch (whilst keeping my beady eye on my child obvs).

San Francisco with a toddler Mission Delores Park

For post park refreshments, check out Bi Rite Creamery, which I’m told is the best ice cream in San Franscico. It was delicious.

3. Cable cars

Other than winding streets, is there anything more San Franciscan than the cable cars? We got the cars from Union Square and looked out of the window at Nob Hill and Lombard Street.

We went early in the morning on a week day after reading that the queues were large at other times of the day. There were still queues at Union Square but we made it on without too much of a wait.

San Francisco with a toddler cable cars

Take coins with you as it’s cash only. Luckily for us, it’s pretty cheap as we were not prepared…

4. Golden Gate Park

For a spot of peaceful restoration, head to Golden Gate park. It’s quiet and has over 1000 acres of park land so our son was able to scamper freely without me worrying about cars (he hasn’t yet grasped the green cross code..). There’s a lovely playground and it’s a nice way to spend a couple of hours.

Golden Gate park

Take a picnic with you and enjoy time in nature.

5. Sausalito

I know Sausalito isn’t technically San Francisco but indulge me in this okay… A standard San Francisco activitiy is to hire bikes and cycle across the bridge. Well, that wasn’t doable for us but I still loved Sausalito. It’s quaint, I loved the houseboats and it’s one of those places where it feels nothing bad could ever happen. I appreciate that sounds like the starting sentence of a Steven King novel…

Sausalito with a toddler

Enjoy a drink in one of the cafes on the waterfront.

Getting around

We used the MUNI and local buses, which were easy enough with a buggy and a toddler carrier. Drivers are patient with you. I can only assume they thought we were quaint…

We also walked a lot and it was infinitely doable although I would suggest getting a bus up some of the hills.

Walking ideas:

North Beach and the Beat area: City lights bookstore / Language of the Birds / Jack Kerouac alley / Cafe Trieste / China Town

Mission and Castro: 24th street for Mexican bakeries / Balmy Alley murals / Mission Delores Park / Castro street / Harvey Milk plaza

Picture postcard landmarks: Haight Ashbury for the old hippy area / Painted ladies

San Francisco with a toddler Golden Gate bridge

Why a festival with kids isn’t as bad as you might think

May 31, 2019

Goodbye nightclub, hello nappies

In the early days of motherhood I couldn’t imagine ever going out again. Sleepless nights and feeding took a toll on my energy levels, but if truth be told, I just didn’t really want to. A night in the pub seemed out of the question, never mind a festival with kids.

However, I now have a 2.5 year old and life seems a bit easier. He has fairly good sleeping patterns (most of the time) and is at the age where he can engage with other kids and have a good time.

I also feel I’ve reclaimed my sense of self and no longer have that rabbit in the headlights feeling of being a first time mum. And one thing I now really appreciate (because the chances are so limited) is spending time with friends.

My husband and I are in the sad position of not having much in the way of family support. We only have my mum left as a grandparent and she lives hundreds of miles away. Weekends away as a couple are impossible. We do get babysitters for nights out but that adds on to the cost of the evening and so we can’t do it as often as we might like.

So when our friends asked if we wanted to join them and their kids at Shindig festival, of course we said yes… My husband had been before and loved it. We’re also reasonably experienced family travellers and so the thought of camping for a few days didn’t seem overly daunting.

Turns out a buggy makes a great festival chair

Shindig festival

Shindig is a boutique music festival in Bruton, Somerset. It’s small and in a beautiful setting surrounded by green, gently rolling hills.

It’s a family friendly festival with lots of kids around. It seems to attract similarly minded parents who want to spend time with their children but also aren’t quite ready to hang up their disco boots.

Shindig festival has more than enough to keep little ones happy. There was so much on offer including a theatre tent, a circus, a climbing wall, hoops for acrobatics and a brilliant DJ in an ice cream van to keep the parents entertained in the kids field.

The food was great and I heard all locally sourced. You could bring a few cans in with you into the entertainment area (no glass bottles), which helped to cut down on costs.

There was a camping area for people with disabilities and also a big wellbeing area. I can’t say I took part in any of the early morning yoga classes but I appreciated they were on offer.

There was a big emphasis on cutting down on waste with composting toilets and recycling facilities. Festivals are notorious for litter and the damage they do to the land and I thought it was great the organisers were trying to limit this.

There’s a brilliant music policy with small dance tents so you feel close to the action. I particularly appreciated the kids hammocks outside one of the tents because it meant we could tag team each other and have a dance to LTJ Bukem.

I imagine it’s great for people without kids. However, I wasn’t out late enough to see the action after hours and I don’t think my husband really remembers…

Being thrown in the air is the best fun ever

Why take your kids to a festival?

It may seem a bit mad to go to a festival with kids, however, not everyone has easy access to babysitters so it’s not as straightforward as that. I also think it’s good to have fun with your children and introduce them to the things you enjoy.

I spent a lot of time as a child travelling with my parents and some of my greatest memories are sleeping in a hammock across the front seats of our van. I think children enjoy a break from the norm and stepping out of their routine.

It’s also great to be able to introduce your kids to live music. Admittedly, there are other ways to do this than paying for a festival. I live in London so there’s often free events taking place and I like to think my son benefits from listening to music – maybe it’s just me who does…

Top tips for surviving a music festival with kids

Choose a smaller boutique kid-friendly festival. Shindig takes about 15 minutes to walk across and wasn’t crowded, which gave me peace of mind. I think most parents worry about their kids bolting (or is that just me?) and it was open enough to be able to see them easily.

Ear defenders are a must. My husband is pretty deaf (although sometimes I think selectively) after years of working in sound. Younger ears are even more susceptible and it’s just not worth the risk for something you can buy pretty cheaply. We have these Peltor ones. Sermon over.

Take tons of wet wipes for you and your kids. I took biodegradable ones to try and cut down on waste. Some festivals have shower facilities but most of the time I don’t bother. Let’s face it, everyone else is in the same boat.

We took a toddler sling and buggy. We didn’t end up using the sling but it didn’t really matter. The buggy was great for afternoon naps and for shoving all our stuff underneath. Other people had carts and they looked great for smaller kids that need to nap.

We froze milk in advance so it slowly defrosted while we were there. For smaller bottle-fed babies, you could bring steriliser fluid and cartons of milk?

Having a camper van was a game changer. Now, before I sound ridiculously over-privileged, please hear me out… We don’t have a car so needed to hire one and buy a lot of camping equipment such as a tent. We worked out that hiring a van would be cheaper overall, particularly as we cooked meals there. We had nice breakfasts, cups of coffee and best of all, dry clothes when it rained.

Bring lots of food and snacks. ‘A hungry man is an angry man’ once sung Bob Marley and never was a truer word spoken.

We also took a potty because we’re going through the joy of potty training. We also relied pretty heavily on nappies.

If camping’s not for you – and it’s not for everyone, then think about a day festival. We went to Jam on the Rye back in 2018 and Rudy had a great time bopping around.

My best tip though is to go with other families. It helps to have other people to keep an eye out if you go to the loo or the bar. Plus when you’re back in the camping area at 9pm because your kids need to sleep, you can hang out with your mates. Winner.

What are the best festival for kids?

Where can I find out more?

The Festival Kidz website reviews festivals with children in mind.

My personal opinion is smaller festivals aimed at a broader audience are probably a good place to start. You can always build up to a bigger one as your kids get older / you gain confidence.


Living the #vanlife – with a baby

June 26, 2018
#vanlife with a baby

I told people about my plans to go on a road trip whilst I was pregnant. “Oh, you’ll never do it,” they said. “It’s impossible to travel once you have a baby”. However, travel has always been a big part of my life and I was determined it wouldn’t change once I had a child. We had the van already and my husband carried out a basic conversion putting in a bed and storage. So off we set to live the #vanlife with a ten-month-old baby and travel around Spain for five weeks.

There are countless images on Instagram of people living the #vanlife dream. They are looking out on to beautiful bays wrapped in Navajo blankets and sheepskins. The truth is a van trip is exciting but it’s not without its stresses. Conditions are cramped and there is nowhere to escape to. We also had our fair share of worrying moments and made silly mistakes. However, the freedom it gives you though is so worth it. We saw places we would never have stumbled across and created beautiful memories with our son to last a lifetime.

#vanlife with a baby
#vanlife with a baby
#vanlife with a baby

How to enjoy the #vanlife with a baby (and still keep your sanity)

  1. Pack the basic essentials. We bought a travel cot based on sizing, which also doubles up as a mosquito net and beach shade. I think it’s absolutely brilliant and lightweight. Although there were some nights, our son found it difficult to settle so I co-slept with him. We took old clothes, washed them along the way and made do with what we had. I found it really liberating.
  2. Overpack the essentials such as food, water, petrol (gas). It’s easy to forget when you live in a 24-hour city in London that shops aren’t permanently open and there may not be a petrol station for several miles.
  3. Do have some sort of route in mind. We had one night where we couldn’t camp up anywhere and had to sleep in a car park. It wasn’t ideal but we survived.
  4. Be prepared for that route to change. We wanted to go further South but Spain was having a heatwave and so we felt it would just be too hot for our little man.
  5. Take time out each day for yourself. Go for a walk, have a beer, anything to have a little bit of space and stop any tensions from blowing up.
  6. Go with the flow. I had lots of ideas about cooking and my son eating delicious camp side meals. The reality was he ate a lot more bread than I’d planned but sometimes you have to be practical too. We all ate well, he had lots of fruit and vegetables and no one got sick. Perfect.
  7. Remember babies are very adaptable. There were moments when I questioned whether I was pursuing what I wanted to do over what was best for my son. However, he spent five weeks with both parents constantly around. There were fewer distractions of everyday life and more time to spend bonding and enjoying being with him.

Travelling with a baby

March 20, 2018

Pre-baby, I had all sorts of ideas of the type of mother I thought I would be. However, the reality was somewhat different. Hypnobirthing and a water birth ended up being a sideways breech baby and a caesarean delivery. Lovingly prepared organic meals are interspersed with Ella’s pouches and I would definitely describe my parenting approach as laissez-faire despite being fairly routine driven in my own life. The only thing I did stick to was travel. It was a big part of my life pre-baby and one that I was determined wouldn’t change. I was brought-up my two travel-mad hippies who thought nothing of travelling with a baby backpacking around Scandinavia. So, I guess you could say, it’s in the blood.

 A combination of circumstance, planning and having to rearrange our honeymoon once we realised I was pregnant meant we travelled a fair amount during my maternity leave on both short and long-haul flights, as well as a five-week road trip in a camper van around Spain.

Travelling with a baby takes forward planning and a mindset of going with the flow. It’s not always easy especially when you throw in sleep-deprived parents into the mix – but the experiences and memories you make are so so worth it.

Here are some things I learnt along the way.

My 16 top baby travel tips

  1. Tell the airline you are travelling with a baby. We flew to Sri Lanka with Emirates and were given a bassinet for our son to sleep in both there and back. He slept for pretty much both flights (I think the hum of the aeroplane sent him to sleep), which meant we got the chance to watch films, eat our dinner uninterrupted and have a bit of sleep ourselves (basically the dream).
  2. Try to go for night flights and a schedule which fits around naps (if you can).
  3. Buy, borrow, beg a travel pram/stroller. We have the Babyzen Yoyo, which we use daily and also folds up to cabin bag size.
  4. A baby carrier is brilliant for getting through airports, particularly at the points you have to pack up your pushchair to take it through security.
  5. Bring twice as much baby food, wipes, nappies and bottles/formula milk than you think you’ll need just in case of delays. Most long-haul airlines carry baby food and milk so my husband thought I was silly for packing Ella’s pouches. However, they had run out so it turned out to be a blessing in disguise. I wouldn’t worry so much about toys for younger children as they can be fashioned from napkins although we did bring a couple of things.
  6. Take spare onesies/clothes into your carry on bag. The chances are you will need to do at least one change…
  7. Pack Milton sterilising tablets and a couple of plastic freezer bags. They take up no space but meant we could sterilise in hotel rooms where we did haven’t access to washing up facilities.
  8. Take baby friendly hand sanitiser and wipes. However, be prepared to go with it. There is an element of just having to appreciate your child will come into contact with different germs and bacteria, which all helps to build up their immune system.
  9. That being said, bring Calpol and a family travel first aid kit. You can buy a small one from Boots or other chemists.
  10. Remember there are shops abroad and you will be able to buy nappies etc. Look up the local translation for Calpol (this came in handy in Spain). It’s pretty much sold everywhere and helps if teething comes on suddenly.
  11. Do look at local shop opening times when you arrive or online beforehand. We went to Austria for some family business and luckily realised in time all the shops were closed over the Easter break. We managed to get some baby provisions with just an hour to spare.
  12. Don’t worry too much about food. I took a Nutribullet with us in on our road trip and never used it. Rudy ate lots of fresh fruit, vegetables, eggs and bread.
  13. Check the sodium content of bottled water. The lower the sodium content the better. Evian is usually ok.
  14. Buy a mosquito net if going further afield and a packable travel cot if you’re backpacking. We took a camping cot on our road trip, which folds up in a small bag and it’s the lightest travel cot I have seen so far.
  15. Give each other a bit of time out each day (if travelling with a partner) to put your feet up, read a book, have a beer. It’s so important to make sure you feel it’s a holiday and you get a bit of ‘me time’.
  16. Go with the flow. Travel does mean stepping out of your routine. However, it’s definitely worth it!

10 ways travel feeds the soul

March 16, 2018

Why I love to travel

For some people, it’s having a decent car, for others, it’s amazing clothes or a fantastic home. For me, any spare money goes on travel. It’s what keeps me inspired and happy. I’ve had some of my best experiences whilst being in different countries and I truly believe it’s expanded my mindset. This is why I feel travel feeds the soul.

Of course, travelling is a privilege. It costs money and it has an impact on the earth. However, with thought and care, then it can also be one of the most wonderful experiences of our lives.

Here are 10 ways, I believe travel feeds the soul.

  1. It broadens our horizons and helps us become more open-minded. We see new ways of living and doing things, which in turn, increases our understanding and empathy.
  2. We break out of comfort zones. I’m much more willing to try new things when I’m travelling and put myself out there than I am at home.
  3. It helps you gain confidence. Travel involves lots of organisation and resourcefulness. We strike up conversations with strangers, navigate long distances on our own. It shows us what we’re capable of.
  4. New places feed our creativity and help us feel inspired. I love seeing different arts and crafts whilst I’m travelling. I think most people do – and it explains why Anthropologie is so succesful.
  5. It opens us up to new experiences. It encourages us to learn new languages and try new foods, or ways of life.
  6. We gain clarity and perspective. Our worries can seem much less important once you’ve taken a break from the routine. It’s amazing how a bit of distance can help make things seem insignificant.
  7. Grow in knowledge and learn about different cultures and history.
  8. Meet people from all walks of life. Travel is such a great leveller.
  9. Go on an adventure.
  10. Make memories to last a lifetime.
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