In our latest neighbourhood guide, we take a trip to Lambeth, South London, with Caz Facey as our guide. Caz is a director at ING Media, a built environment agency, and an occasional columnist for the Evening Standard. She is also a trustee of the Twentieth Century Society. She lives in Wellington Mills, a 1970s housing estate designed by Barbara Bienias (check it out in Perambulation Nº12 — which annoyingly is out of print. I’ve not timed this very well, have I?)
Lambeth by Caz Facey
What's the best breakfast spot before a walk?
Saturday mornings are for making a hearty breakfast, popping out for papers, watering plants and chatting to the neighbours on the internal street on the estate. It’s my favourite time so I wouldn’t miss it except to make sure we have coffee and bread. I’m a novice gardener and my alliums are getting the kids on the street excited – they think I’m growing onions.
Where is the best place to grab a quick lunch?
Edwin Heathcote and Sue Barr’s book on caffs inspired a London lifetime of fry-ups, and Maries Cafe is one of my favourites – it’s a Thai restaurant but with a great English breakfast menu. The frontage on Lower Marsh is a really cheering sight.
I also love Italo on Bonnington Square. People travel to the square from across London as it’s very chic these days, but the laid-back feelings date back to when the area was squatted and saved from demolition. It’s a mix of ages and backgrounds, regulars and their dogs and people visiting from afield.
90 Lower Marsh, London SE1 7AB
13 Bonnington Square, London SW8 1TE
WHERE’S THE BEST PLACE TO GRAB COFFEE?
Little Bread Pedlar on Lower Marsh is my local and pitstop for caffeine. It’s in an old butcher’s shop and has a lush summertime courtyard that reminds me of my hometown Melbourne.
20 Lower Marsh, London SE1 7RJ
BEST POST-WALK PUB?
Cleaver Square is so well situated, and The Prince of Wales pulls a decent pint. The square has a lot of history; there are usually cute old cars parked there, and you can play boules if you have a set.
48 Cleaver Square, London SE11 4EA
WHERE IS THE BEST PLACE FOR A BUDGET DINNER?
Gogo Pocha on Lower Marsh is a Korean restaurant where you can catch some K-Pop and a no-nonsense bite. It has an enjoyable shopfront and a relaxed feel and is especially good in deep winter when we all need food to cheer us up. Do yourself a favour and try the seafood pancake.
30 Lower Marsh, London SE1 7RG
WHERE IS THE BEST SPOT FOR A FANCY DINNER?
Without a doubt, The Anchor & Hope on The Cut. For me, being a regular somewhere is one of life’s luxuries. At the Anchor and Hope, it’s always a warm greeting, a convivial room and excellent food.
36 The Cut, London SE1 8LP
IF YOU ONLY HAVE TIME TO VISIT ONE SHOP IN THE AREA, WHERE SHOULD YOU GO?
The Calder Bookshop on The Cut is on the way to your fancy dinner at The Anchor and Hope, and you can buy a book on theatre or philosophy while you give the shop cat a stroke or browse the secondhand books outside. You may find something on English folk customs, Frigates, the Satire Boom of the 1960s or a guidebook of modern Texan architecture. It keeps you on your toes.
51 The Cut, London SE1 8LF
WHERE’S THE BEST PLACE IN THE AREA TO SPEND A FEW HOURS WITHOUT SPENDING ANY MONEY?
I’d take a long and leisurely walk from Waterloo to Clapham, calling in at some of the galleries on the way: The Sunday Painter, Cabinet Gallery, Sundy and Matts Gallery — which has now moved to Nine Elms (technically Wandsworth). I’d end up at Studio Voltaire in Clapham, which is one of London’s best arts organisations and has magnificent loos—which you’ll probably need by then!
The Sunday Painter
117–119 South Lambeth Road, London SW8 1XA
63 Black Prince Road, London SE11 4QH
6 Charles Clowes Walk, Nine Elms, London SW11 7AN
1A Nelsons Row, London SW4 7JR
Image: Installation view of Emily Kraus: Nest Time. Photography by Ollie Hammick, courtesy of The Sunday Painter.
WHAT‘S AN INTERESTING FACT ABOUT LAMBETH THAT ONLY LOCALS MIGHT KNOW?
The Museum of London has a useful book on archaeology and Lambeth and identifies all the sites along the Thames where the ceramics industry flourished from Roman times until recently. This part of the river was full of industry, from domestic products to plumbing and building products. The former Royal Doulton building (pictured) serves as a nice reminder if you’re in the area.
Finally, what’s your favourite building in the area?
It’s a toss-up between Central Hill Estate (designed by Rosemary Stjernstedt, 1966-74) and the Broadwall Housing at Coin Street (designed by Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands, 1995). Both are the kind of housing that we need more of in cities.
Central Hill Estate
Norwood, London SE19 1AB
Broadwall, London SE1 9PL
Image: Children playing alongside houses on the Central Park estate. Photograph by Sam Lambert. Courtesy Lambeth Archives.
Thank you Caz!