Something for the weekend – Crystal Palace

In South London on January 27, 2012 at 9:40 am

Like most of my so-called ‘training walks (did I mention I’m doing the Moonwalk in May?), this one involved a 50 minute all-out brisk walk, followed by a less-brisk browse around an interesting area I hadn’t visited for a while (in this case Crystal Palace), culminating in an impromptu spot of lunch somewhere new I’d spotted (in this case dim sum at Urban Orient). OK, so it’s unlikely I’ll lose any weight through this training regime, but I can tell that my team mates (several of whom seem to view exercise as an end in itself – weird!) are secretly jealous of my laissez-faire workouts.

Even though Crystal Palace is only just far enough from where I live to work up a sweat, and that’s mainly because it’s uphill, I don’t go there nearly as often as I might. So I was pleasantly surprised to find it full of even more interesting junk shops and nice cafes/restaurants than last time and, of course,  amazing views. On that Sunday, the ambiance was humming with a relaxed local vibe – busy, but not the sort of oppressive busy you get in East Dulwich on a Saturday. Just about the perfect amount for a sunny Sunday.

Here’s some of the bits that caught my eye:

Cool junk shop with serious coffee in the front. 32 Church Rd.


After the junk-shop-cum-coffee-shop, this time a pub-cum-vintage-clothes shop.

Whaddaya know? Another pub.

Look! An old-fashioned 'modern' barber's pole!

I'm assuming this place is owned by someone called Julie. And that it sells goods that have been made by hand. Looked pretty. 3 Belvedere Rd.

As seen in Herne Hill and East Dulwich. The cinnamon pastries are a personal favourite.

Urban Orient, 74 Westow St, 020 8616 4511. Scene of impromptu siu mai snack. Also do Bahn Mi, which seem to be having a moment.

South London stalwart. Fantastic bookshop. One of husband's favourites (and he really likes a nice bookshop).

Well, not really all that secret.

Vegetarian cafe. But nice despite that.

Every aspiring urban village has to have a bike shop.

Another pub. Looked like they do a nice Sunday lunch.

My friend Lou is very excited about the cheese here.

Old-fashioned (in a good way) brasserie.

No idea if this place is any good or not, but it looked fancy. Anyone eaten there?

Was lucky enough to review this place last summer. One of the loveliest Sunday lunches I had all year. Big on English prodcue, including the sparklilng wines.


Treasure trove on about eight different floors. I own a v nice 1970s Czech factory clock and a Polish film poster (birthday present) from here.

Nearly impulse-bought a cheese dish. As you do.

P.S. Overheard on Westow Street: ‘So where’s the actual Palace?’ – You’re 76 years too late, mate.

  1. Toy reminded me of how I’ve neglected the palace, And also how it a lot of those Quieky shops & restaurants long before ED, it was the place I used to hang out when I 1st moved to London 15yrs ago. I’m not veggie but used have marvelous brekkies at Domali …& the secret garden keeps my garden full of colour during the summer.Theres always a cry for sushi in ED but we forget there’s a couple just on our doorstep in CP. thanks for reminding me of a place I need to go back to more often 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: