East Dulwich Area Guide
Surrounded by beautiful parks and ancient woodland, East Dulwich is close to town and crammed with interesting independent shops, bars and restaurants. Lordship Lane, its high street, attracts speciality shops, aspirational chains and an exceptional mix of restaurants. Bordering Dulwich Village, some of the UK’s top-performing private schools (Alleyn’s, Dulwich College and JAGS) are within 10-minutes' drive away. Yet the state school offering in SE22 is largely Ofsted ‘outstanding.’ As an area, East Dulwich is a great lifestyle choice and has been a popular place to put down roots for some time.
Couples selling flats in Clapham have traditionally migrated to SE22 to buy their first house, it’s a well-trodden path. More recently, the introduction of the London Overground has bought leavers from Stoke Newington, Dalston and Hackney as these areas share a creative, independent vibe. This part of London isn’t built-up, has superb transport links and is in Zone 2. Add the influx of baristas, organic babygrows and yoga studios and you get a flavour of the area’s demographic.
Homes in SE22
Tight with Victorian terraces, the area grew fast during the Industrial Revolution and is sparingly interspersed with post-war infill. Every type of Victorian home can be found here, from two-bedroom half-houses to six-bedroom sprawlers. Homes hugging Lordship Lane range from semis with 70-foot gardens to cottages with London roofs.
Larger semis and tall townies are plentiful west of Lordship Lane and heading east towards Forest Hill. Overlooking Peckham Rye Park are the area’s jewels: striking Georgian townhouses and individually designed detacheds, with sweeping driveways and immense rear gardens. South of Peckham Rye Park, The Colyton Estate offers delicious 1930s semis and the largest, most spectacular Victorian homes in the area. First time buyers have a great choice of flats, from well-placed ex locals, delicious Decos builds and period conversions.
Where to eat and drink
Restaurants are plentiful. Franklin’s has been a local favourite ever since it opened, Yama Momo has proved is worth as a notable Japanese with a vast range of saki and Bonne Bouffe is also excellent. Laid back eats can be had at Thai Corner Café, where guests can bring their own booze, Blue Brick Café (a vegetarian not-so-greasy spoon) or the reliably good pizzeria, Franca Manca. Quick bites are paired with wine at Terriors East Dulwich, grab a burger at Gourmet Burger Kitchen or MEATLiquor, or go for plant-based lunch at Spinach. Both Italians, Restorante Olivelli and il Mirto are also popular. House of Tipler is a cocktail bar that encourages dancing, while the area’s greatest boozers include The East Dulwich Tavern, The Great Exhibition, The Actress, The Lordship , The Cherry Tree and The Bishop. There’s a fair sprinkling of coffee shops including a Café Nero.
Laden with interesting independents and chichi chains, East Dulwich is home to shops that will fill your home, garden and wardrobe with selectively original pieces. Locals source interior treats at Mrs Robinson, Ed and Oliver Bonas. You can also pick up vintage finds and street food at North Cross Road Saturday Market, Lila’s sell exquisite vintage jewellery while ChiChiRaRa stock an incredible selection of fine vintage clothes. Roullier White is a perfumery selling rare, avant-garde products while upmarket beauty parlours include Dr Boo.
Grab gym-wear at Sweaty Betty, sustainable homeware at Karavan Eco or decorative furnishings at Lush Designs. Green-fingered folk will adore Forest and Pearspring (both specialise in house plants and accessories), bookworms will appreciate both Rye Books and Chener Books.
Queue early on a Saturday as the local butcher, William Rose is hugely popular. There’s a Moxons fishmonger, the aptly-named Cheese Block, an M&S Foodhall, a Co-operative supermarket, a brilliant health store (these guys know their stuff) and Franklin’s Farm Shop.
The excellent Northcross Road Saturday Market has stalls by Blackbird Bakery, Bicycle Nation and Viet Van (run by Kate Moss’ little brother).
During Dulwich Festival, you can visit any of around 250 homes or offices showing work by local artists and craftspeople during Artists’ Open House . If you're looking to join in, then Dulwich Art Group is a friendly place to begin. Perhaps one day you’ll have a solo in Jeannie Avent art gallery on North Cross Road. Legendary works of art and regular exhibitions can be seen at Dulwich Picture Gallery, SE21.
There’s a Picturehouse cinema, a large gym with yoga studios and many holistic health clinics. We're huge fans of the area's imaginative local newspaper The Dulwich Diverter.