I’m sure you can guess what’s leading me to write this.
I’ve lived in and around Peckham for the last 7 years, give or take. Of those 2555 days, I’ve spend at least 60 feeling like I’ve been dragged through a hop field by a dray-horse. Peckham has some great bars, and they’re improving as the months go by, and it’s this constant improvement that I’ve come to blame. Luckily, there’s also a few places that can expertly curb the feelings of dehydration, hunger and loss. Be it a pick-me-up on a walk of shame, or a more sustained and thoughtful bit of nutritional therapy, put your cosy jumper and flip flops on and try one of these.
– Ali Baba Juice – the speedy option.
Chances are, you’re in the state you’re in because that which you imbibed had the nutritional value of a pair of fuzzy dice. Now you’re weakened, alone, and in a mad dash to get out of Peckham before you’re recognised. Get yourself down to 125c Rye Lane, and choose from one of about 12 freshly-pressed juices to restore you to a semblance of normality. It’s across the road from the Overground station too, so escape is a hairs-breadth away.
– Small White Elephant – for a buzz.
Caffeine after a night on the sauce is never a sure bet. It’ll either fly you home on earthy, smoky vapours, or drown you in unwanted stimulant. If you’re craving a kick, all sorts of delicious, naturally occurring stimulants are available over the counter. Get a decent dose of the Alchemist coffee in you, and follow it up with a brownie, millionaire shortbread, or some coconut toast. You can find the cafe on Choumert Road, just up from the Montpelier pub. You remember that place, right?
– Banh Banh – something entirely different.
Banh Banh is something of an oddity, even by Peckham standards. Vietnamese street food in a spaced shared with a record store, underneath the Bussey Building. Though it may sound farfetched, a portion of their king prawn summer rolls, or a Banh Mi baguette brings you back to planet earth with a delicious bump. Extra-clean flavours, rich and spicy sauces and fresh ingredients are a real force for good, and draw the positive vibes to your digestive system like a lightening rod.
– The Nines – to sit and think about what you’ve done.
When it comes to a spot to contemplate your evening’s victories and failures, The Nines in the yard of the Bussey Building is the perfect spot. Inside it’s airy, slightly dark, and full of the soothing aromas of booze, coffee, and food. Outside there’s a table tennis table, and a load of benches for you to replenish your vitamin D on. Get yourself some poached eggs on toast, or a pork belly sandwich (my favourite) and let the memories come flooding back.
– A Y A – for those who stand and fight.
Maybe you don’t like the way this headache tries to push you around. Maybe, you think that a massive sandwich and a cup of tea is all you need to get back out there and join the human race. Well then, get yourself down Holdron’s arcade and find A Y A cafe, because these sandwiches have to be seen to be believed. Smoked salmon, chicken, avocado, bacon – they’re all there, and they’re waiting to meet you. The last sandwich I brought from here negated my hunger for an entire day. It took me the best part of 25 minutes to eat it, but it was worth it. There’s Brick Brewery beer here too, so if you’re feeling extra-brave, add the hair of the dog to your agressive recovery plan.
So there you have it, a comprehensive beginner’s guide to shaking off the beer sweats in Peckham. All the places listed are also very nice to visit when you’re not feeling like death warmed-up, and would be excellent spots to start your night out the right way. But for now, grab yourself some food, and stretch out on the Rye in the sun, you’re going to be fine pal.