THE INSIDER'S GUIDE TO PECKHAM LEVELS
By Marcela Ferreira
In October 2017, Peckham Levels opened its doors to SE London.
Peckham’s disused multi-story car park was transformed into a cultural and creative hub, housing artists, creatives and independent and local businesses.
It’s a grass roots project about community, creativity and inspiration. And us SE Londoners are taking it all in.
If you haven’t visited, then you should. And if you need a little push, let me give you a hand…
The Daytime Visit
Take the family for lunch or early dinner as it will be quieter– plus the kids will have a lot of the space to themselves. Be sure to point out the bubble writing sign as you approach the entrance and enjoy the bright coloured stairwell all the way to the top.
The dedicated children’s area has a large carpeted skate-style ramp which is guaranteed to keep the kids entertained for longer than you would expect. Mine spend almost two hours running from one side to the other, and they weren’t the only ones. As the carpet ensures minimum injury, tears were also absent during our visit – a definite plus.
The seating area is vast, and the open plan style means you can keep an eye on the children even if you want to sit away from their noise. Plus, there is no need to leave the dog behind – as they are also welcome during the day.
The pop up food area has seven street food traders, two bars and a restaurant. You can grab yourself a craft beer or organic wine from Lady Godiva or a cocktail from Near and Far (we loved their ginger beer too). Food wise, you can start by ordering Nandine’s Kurdish mezza and plenty of O.S.F’s dirty fries. We love the dumplings from Ha Ho Chin, and the burgers from Canard - you also can’t go wrong with the chicken wings from Drums & Flats. Vegetarian and vegan dishes are also wildly available.
The view is not as grand as upstairs neighbours’ Franks Bar for obvious reasons, but it’s still beautiful, and great for spotting some much-loved London landmarks. The added bonus being that you don’t need a coat and extra layers to enjoy it.
Thinking about visiting without the kids? That’s okay, you are allowed to. Peckham Levels also carries its relaxed, positive vibe into the night. It’s the perfect place to share with friends, try out new foods, and soak up the atmosphere. Go find The Fandangoe Kids’ uplifting messages (too sweary for young kids) and enjoy the live music if on show. And don’t forget to take the obligatory pictures of the eye-catching staircase - it really is hard not to.
Peckham Levels is still a baby, and it will be interesting to see how it evolves. The same people behind it created Pop Brixton, and so my expectations remain high. I'm particularly keen to see what their kid’s activities will be. Keep an eye out for coding clubs, arts and crafts, reading and cooking workshops during the school holidays.
For now, go enjoy the ambiance, food and space either with the family or just with friends. It can only get better.
Note: Peckham Levels have new businesses scheduled to open throughout 2018, so it’s possible that not all restaurants/bars/food pop-us are covered in this article – surely another reason to visit?
Peckham Levels | Levels -1 to 6 Peckham Town Centre Carpark | 95A Rye Lane | London SE15 4ST