[Update - a large number of business have left Peckham Levels since this was written , as have M.Y.O after a year there, so best to check out peckhamlevels.org for who is still there and what is on. If you'd like to get creative at M.Y.O, we have a beautiful creative studio in Central London, check out www.MYO.Place. Many thanks :)]
What is Peckham Levels?
It's a converted 6 level car park! Apparently it was empty for years and over time the most affordable cinema in London, Peckhamplex, moved in to the front and Bold Tenancies / Frank's Cafe opened on the roof during summers for over a decade. Then after another while, working with Southwark Council, an organisation called Makeshift decided to take it on (they set up Pop Brixton and their mission is to transform empty public spaces into communal space for small businesses and locals) and make it a cultural hub! After being refurbed during part of 2017, it opened in November 2017. It's in Peckham, which Diana and I love - we live close by in Camberwell.
It's still very fresh, but has come along in a year and currently (October 2018) it's got....
1. Tonnes of Restaurants and Bars!
I've still a couple of the restaurants to try, but I'll go through them all! From biggest to smallest. They are all delicious. All set up by locals or are very early stage businesses.
Wildflower (update - have left) - Really tasty vegan food that doesn't break the bank in a bright and open setting on Level 5. Dinner, brunch (weekends) and lunch - it's got you covered. It feels 5 star and has an outdoor seating area. It turns into Ghost Notes (update - have left), a music venue, a couple of nights a week. It's always packed! Try the baked eggs.
West Wine Kitchen (update - have left) - Lights, dark wood and plants set the vibe for this one, along with regular food specials (check out the Instagram), a great coffee and stools that look out across London. Aneley and Conor tend to hold the forth and are incredibly welcoming. My morning coffee gets sorted here.
Both have great Christmas menus this year too - I've seen them! See Wildflowers here.
So that's the 2 main restaurants and then there's 6 delicious food stalls and ANOTHER space that serves food, read on...
As you get to Level 5 in Peckham Levels Wildflower / Ghost Notes is to the right and West Wine Kitchen is straight ahead up the orange steps (before you get there check out the posters of what is going on). To your left you'll walk beside a really cool mural by @KellyAnnaLondon (photo opp) and then walk past lots of seating which is great to hang out in (I often head up to read The Week there) and where some events / pop ups are frequently held - the World Cup was on a big screen there during the summer. There is also a little play area for kids. Then you'll get to the 6 food stalls. Hungry?
Left to right. Let's go.
Lords of Poke (update - have left) - We used these guys for our launch party in July and it went down a storm! Fresh Californian inspired poke, which I'd never had before, but was delicious.
Drums & Flats (update - have left) - Tasty wings and tings please. Delicious!
Nandine - Kurdish comtemporary food sir? Yep! Expect dates, lamb, dill and flavours you've never had before.
Hao Hao Chi -The name means 'really good eat' and it was set up by 3 family friends. That'll do! Is next on my list.
Canard (update - have left) - Lots of duck, cheeses and chutney to start with. Had the burgers and chips here a couple of times - fills me up nicely!
Am pretty sure they all do delivery too, so check out Deliveroo.
Hungry? Come to Peckham Levels!
Now onto drinks! The restaurants and food stalls serve alcohol and soft drinks, but there is a really nice bar and a cocktail bar too.
Near and Far - Just look at the picture below! This cocktail bar looks amazing and has a brilliant view of the City, as does everyone on Level 6. Check out their website for events, DJs and regular Happy Hour cocktails.
Lady Godiva - Served me well with beers during the World Cup. Stocked full of a range of craft beers and independent wines - right beside a foosball table too!
Now, here's what makes Peckham Levels really unique! Great bars and restaurants, but also yoga studios, LOADS of creative spaces where you can explore your creative side, a salon, crazy golf, a co-working space and more. All under the one roof. There is also regular Pop-Ups, so keep an eye on the Peckham Levels Instagram.
2. Creative Spaces - come do workshops
3rd Rail Print space - into screen printing on different mediums? This place is for you. It's HUGE! They run regular screen printing workshops, are doing fun Design and Make Your Own Christmas Jumper classes and you can also become a member to get access to the studio or desk / office space. It's the biggest screen printing studio in London apparently! Check out their shop too. It's on Level 1.
The Kiln Rooms - this is the 3rd space the Kiln Rooms have in Peckham. It's largely a membership based pottery space, but they do run workshops every now and then. They've everything you need - pottery wheels, kilns, equipment and nice and polite membership. Some of the pottery people make there is magical, check their Insta. It's on Level 2.
Bright Rooms - an open access darkroom & studio on Level 4 (above our studio). You can do product shots there (really big white room for the fancy shots), rent desk space, use the dark room, do courses and they also do memberships. Into photography? Check it out.
*drum roll please*
If the above isn't enough, M.Y.O (for 'Make Your Own'), which I set up with my girlfriend Diana in late 2017, have a creative studio for adults on Level 2. With capacity for up to 50 guests, we host creative classes - from calligraphy, illustration, watercolour flower painting, ceramic painting, t-shirt design with hand cut vinyl to lino printing, embroidery, tassel earrings and chalkboard lettering. We do over 14 creative classes throughout the week that you can book onto, along with hosting loads of companies, birthdays, hen parties and family gatherings while everyone gets creative and chills out. We're BYOB too.
Right now (October), the bookable classes are mostly in the evening, but we do groups all across the week and will be doing more day time classes very soon too. Oh, membership will be coming in 2019 also, so you can use our creative studios in Peckham Levels and Borough (SE1 1HA) regularly, sit in on classes and meet new people. Mail us on Hello@MYO.Place for info.
*Sales pitch over*
But there is MORE...
Level 6 Studios - also serves some food and drinks, but has a lovely, light and large yoga space. They've also got an intro course, which I'll be signing up to as soon as I get over my current quad strain. Ryan Giggs played for Man Utd 'til he was about 50 because of yoga. Worth a try.
4. Hair Salon
5. Crazy Golf
6. Co- Working Space
7. Creative Studio Space
Hurray. And not forgetting the amazing creatives and small businesses who run their businesses from here (but aren't open to the public). We've got such talented people beside us on Level 2 like Inxsanixty (works 24/7 on his art), Nicky Pasterfield (who does interior art, specialising in botanicals and faces - see here too), Martin and Valerio who run their own carpentry businesses, but work together on jobs too (nice!), Anastasya (woodcarving, site specific artworks), Turing Lab (use creative computing to give children valuable skills for their futures - nice!) and Santiago Sounds (music producers, always a nice humm of music from there). That's just the people right beside us that we've chatted to! There are tonnes more filling Levels 1 - 4, like Brother (a film company) and AO Architecture (eh, architects, but also design consultants - they designed the colourful Peckham Levels staircase).
Everyone there has been incredibly kind during our time here and we can't wait to meet more of the members as we go along. Thanks to the Peckham Levels team for having us and everyone in the space for making it so magic. I have no doubt missed many things here, which will be a nice surprise when you come and visit :). Peckham Levels - 2 mins from Peckham Rye station and easily accessible by bus too.