Detour | Dulwich Park & Peckham

boating dulwich park

boating dulwich park

So I’ve lived in London for over 14 years.  Yet until two weekends ago, I had never been to Dulwich Park, and Peckham has only been on my radar over the last few months. I just wish I’d clued up to these places sooner!

It was a sunny Saturday, and I planned to make the most of it, so I’d thought about hitting up the Serpentine Lake to hire a row boat.  But then I thought about it.  It’s a sunny day. It’s a Saturday.  We have had the most miserable summer in London.  Therefore.  Every man, his dog, and grandma would be making their way to Hyde Park to row boats.  I just couldn’t deal.  So I Google searched row boats in London, and badda-bing, up came Dulwich Park.

Boating Dulwich Park

I grabbed my bag, raced out the door and made my way southbound to Dulwich.  A short walk from the train station we arrived at the park, and I was immediately struck by how beautiful it was.

Dulwich Park

We passed this sweet little house at the parks entrance, something that you see in storybooks.

Dulwich Park

The flowers were in full bloom, and the park felt calm and serene.  A huge contrast to the aura of Hyde Park on a summer’s day, which is loud and chaotic.

Dulwich Park

Boating Dulwich Park

Locating the boating lake, we settled on a pedalo boat for 30 minutes, at £4 per person.  In we jumped, and off we pedalled.


boating dulwich park

The lake is A LOT smaller than The Serpentine, but it was still super fun, until my thighs started burning and hating on me.  Have you been on a pedalo? It’s hard work!

Dulwich Park

As we pedalled around the lake, we passed all sorts of bird life, some that were too busy diving for dinner to take any notice of us.

Dulwich Park

But then others were intrigued.  And this little guy, who we named Terry, would not leave us alone.  He swam next to our boat for the longest time, it was hilarious.  I think he’s clued on to the idea that there might be a chance of being fed by these strange people pedalling and rowing around his lake.

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I have to admit, I gave up on pedalling, and moved up front to our boat.  I needed to take photos y’know?  Otherwise I would have totally pedalled the whole way (*cough yeah right).

dulwich park

All that lazing up the front of the boat pedalling soon worked up an appetite.  For something sweet of course.  And on sunny days ice cream calories totally don’t count.  Did you know that?  Well it’s true.  So we purchased ice creams and wandered around the park, finding the calmness of Dulwich Park a bit of a novelty.  Because lets face it, London and calm don’t always work together in the same sentence.

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By the way, did you like my boating attire?  I think I looked extremely nautical with my Zara blue and white striped top and blue denim Topshop dress, finished off with my absolute favourites, white Superga shoes.

Franks Cafe Peckham

At around 5.30pm we were feeling thirsty, and the sun was still beaming down, so working out that the walk from Dulwich to Peckham would take about 30 minutes, we made tracks towards Peckham Rye and over to my favourite rooftop bar, Frank’s Cafe.

Franks Cafe Peckham

First stop: The bar.  We ordered some drinks, and just a pointless little note here, if you do find yourself at Frank’s, take a peak at the beer machine behind the bar.  It fills maybe 12 or so glasses at once, and it’s the coolest little machine ever!

Franks Cafe Peckham

Despite the gorgeous evening attracting a decent sized crowd to the rooftop, the one in one out policy means you always find a seat.  We took our drinks and found somewhere to settle in for a couple of hours.

Franks Cafe Peckham

Franks Cafe Peckham

No surprises here that my order was an Aperol Spritz.

Franks Cafe Peckham

Franks Cafe Peckham

Something I love about Frank’s.  They let dogs and kids in.  It’s awesome.

Franks Cafe Peckham

This husky put on a real show for everyone, howling away, before it all got too much and he needed a lie down.

Franks Cafe Peckham

Franks Cafe Peckham

As the sun sets behind the iconic buildings of London, a good percentage of reveller’s whip their iPhones out to take a snap.  It’s hard not too, because the setting is so pretty!

Franks Cafe Peckham

Franks Cafe Peckham

We finished up our drinks just as the sun went to sleep, and having nabbed a cancellation spot for dinner at Pedler, we wandered back down the road, stepping over the tumble-weave rolling down the main street from the many weave salons that exist in this part of town.

Pedler Peckham Rye

I was so excited we’d managed to get a reservation at Pedler. It had been on my must-eat-at list for the longest time, and finally I could tick that box!

The restaurant is the cutest, with a very cool interior and an even cooler menu.  They even gave me a special ‘you can eat this/but you can’t eat that’ menu for my irritating gluten issues.

Pedler Peckham Rye

Choosing what to order was so difficult!  We wanted EVERYTHING! But we finally narrowed down the options and settled on a bunch of different dishes.  The menu changes regularly, but I can honestly say, hand on heart, it won’t matter what you order, you will-fall-in-love-with-every-dish.  I mean, I love broccoli, but I’ve never loved that vegetable as much as I did that evening.  And how can you go wrong with something called Frizzle Chicken with Attitude Sauce?  You can’t. I am now trying to figure out when I can get down there for brunch, because the menu sounds a-maz-ing.

I’m a total 100% Dulwich and Peckham convert.  I never thought I’d utter those words about Peckham, but the place oozes edginess these days, and you’ve really just gotta get yourself down there.  Shoreditch is so 2014.

Let me know if you try any of these spots out, or if you have a favourite Dulwich or Peckham spot you like to visit?  I’d love more recommendations!

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