NFT London Southwark Park

Southwark Park

Bordered by tower blocks and the unfortunate juxtaposition of a nursing home and undertaker's, you might toy with taking your picnic elsewhere. But step inside, because it's every bit the oasis that local hero Dr Salter hoped it would be. Well-spent investment has given it a boating lake, rose garden, wildlife area, and the inspired Café Gallery Projects. Nip to The Angel afterwards for cheap beers and river views.


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Posted By:  henneke sharif
Photo:  henneke sharif

Rotherhithe Picture Research Library
The V&A achieved infamy for running an ad campaign calling itself an "ace cafe, with quite a nice museum attached." I think the Rotherhithe Picture Library should steal that campaign. Just down from the epic Mayflower Pub--so good the pilgrims stopped there before they went to find the new world--this little area of St Marychurch is truly beautiful with cobbles and lovely warehouse conversions. It's also an area with layers of history, all recorded and catalogued in the Rotherhithe Picture Library. The cafe has got that arty farty squatters cafe vibe going on, and it does it well. You can sit here and think about Brunel building the first tunnel under the Thames which starts here, about the pilgrims off to find the New World, or about Jack the Hat McVitie, killed by Reggie Kray, and whose body was dumped outside St Marychurch by Tony Lambrianou. No pictures of that in the library though I don't think...

Posted By:  henneke sharif
Photo:  henneke sharif

The Famous Angel
Since its revamp the Famous Angel is obviously feeling a bit shy--it now just calls itself The Angel. It's (at least me and my drinking partner/neighbour think) the oldest galleried pub in London. As a Sam Smith's establishment the drink selection is always a bit strange, but it's got its own thing going on--and at very good Bermondsey prices. This is a great place to go to chill out with some friends, especially if you want the place pretty much to yourselves with a lovely upstairs room and a balcony with an amazing view of the river.

Posted By:  henneke sharif
Photo:  henneke sharif

The Boatman
The Boatman is part of a circuit that old time Eastenders know about. The Boatman on Jamaica Road, the Palm Tree in Mile End... Everybody goes in their Sunday best, it's pints for the men and port and lemon for the ladies. Beside you at the bar will be a small elderly gentleman with a signet ring, ordering a pint. And then, just like that, he will turn round, get on the stage and sing a Frank Sinatra number which blows both you and Ol' Blue Eyes out of the water. There's a succession of elderly gents with great voices, and a large mysterious woman dressed in black and sporting a fedora. This is proper musical entertainment of the old school. The ladies will dance a little, some of the men might too. While the Palm Tree is now mobbed by art students who recognise a good evening when they see it, The Boatman is still for the locals. But as the locals drift away or die, the Boatman too is slowing down. Once upon a time it ran nights from Thursday through to Sunday, now only the Friday and Saturday nights remain lively.

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