South London Hip Cafe #1: The Peckham Pelican

South London Hip Cafe #1: The Peckham Pelican

If it’s not an Irishman writing your blog, then he’s making your coffee and sandwich at the Peckham Pelican, which opened beside the local fire station about a year ago. The café is a spacious affair at street level of a council block of flats. Stu (not Irish), one of the co-founders, explained it was an arts hub. There was lots of evidence of this, including some serious looking sound equipment and a stage area with a large movie screen. They’ve just launched a series of evenings featuring new writing and short playlets.

You can choose your own mug in this upcycled spot for a bargain cup of Monmouth coffee at £1.20, although curiously there was no espresso machine. The menu includes soup salads and bagels. We sampled the New Yorker, a tasty sandwich of salami, pickle, cheese and mustard on sourdough bread even if the filling could’ve been more generous at £5. They also serve a good selection of cocktails with a regular happy hour early in the evening, for those who imbibe.

We visited on a quietish bank holiday afternoon, but I imagine this place gets quite busy in the evening, it being open till 11pm most nights. Lots of mismatched chairs (only one Ercol, though!)  and a few leather Chesterfields make this a easy venue for catching up properly with friends. There was an interesting selection of art for sale on the walls and also a library of books, DVDs and VHS tapes, alongside a handful of games, but alas no Scrabble – as friends and readers might know could be a painpoint for this blogger.

Parents will pleased with the baby changing facilities, and whilst the loos could perhaps do with more monitoring, I absolutely loved their ’60s magazine “wallpaper”. I like this place, and it was great to witness my usually-overly-busy partner actually read her way through two whole newspapers curled up on the sofa.

Where is it?

What’s next for The Joy of Cab?

You can look forward to more in this series – and tidbits about proper coffee – because I’ve been having this nagging idea to perfect my knowledge of every interesting venue within a mile of my home by Myatt’s Field Park. I was thrilled recently to find three other new cafés within the mile, and I’d love to enroll other cabbies to join me in my One Mile Expert endeavour. Come on, folks!