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Nestled between Peckham and Camberwell, East Dulwich a pocket of London you’ll want to visit time and time again. It’s pretty impossible not to fall for its parks, gardens and period houses, while the leafy streets are lined with enough independent shops, cafés, greengrocers and pubs to keep you entertained all weekend long. You’ll find most of the action on Lordship Lane, where neighbourhood butchers and fishmongers sidle up to elegant wine bars, cosy coffee shops and locavore restaurants. But wander a little further and you’ll find homeware boutiques, florists and pubs tucked away down quiet streets. It often ends up in the shadow of its neighbours, but if it’s peace, charm and great bread you’re looking for, SE22 might just be your new favourite postcode.

Hop Burns and Black

When the sun is shining and East Dulwich’s parks are calling for a picnic, head to this craft-beer store to pick up some of the best brews on the market. Chosen by a jovial team of beer enthusiasts, this wood-panelled shop has a selection of over 350 beers, ciders, natural wines and spirits alongside an eclectic selection of vinyl and artisanal hot sauce. You can even fill your own flagon of fresh draught beer from their taps. No sun today? HB&B is also a tasting room – and a very cosy one at that.

Brick House

Run by husband-and-wife team Fergus and Sharmin Jackson, this self-ascribed “small but perfectly formed” bakery is the kind of place you pop in for a quick coffee and end up staying until closing time. Formerly an electrical warehouse, the lofty space features beamed ceilings, whitewashed brick walls and simple wooden tables topped with fresh flowers, while the central counter is laden with freshly baked pastries and cakes. At the back is the working bakery, where loaves are lovingly prepared. While it’s good enough to tear into chunks and eat alone, you should get stuck in to their homemade chutneys, jams and charcuterie. If you’re looking to flex your baking muscles, don’t miss their one-day classes, where you’ll learn to make a range of breads before tucking into homemade pizza with a glass of natural wine.

Moxon’s

If you’re in the market for seafood, this neighbourhood fishmonger will sort you out. They source all their catches fresh from the British coastline, from Plymouth and Devon to Loch Duart in Scotland. If you’re a fan of smoked fish, you’ll be pleased to know they have their very own range of delicious smoked mackerel, cod, haddock and salmon. Moxon’s Next Door is their equally lovely restaurant, where fish takes centre stage on a menu of bar snacks (mackerel pate, taramasalata, sardinella toast), small plates (oysters, crab, pickled herring) and mains of whole-roasted fish to share.

Terroirs

For platters of charcuterie and lashings of red wine, look no further than Terroirs. Like its sister branch in the West End, this bar-cum-restaurant specialises in wines with big personalities, complemented by creative small plates. Bed down at the bar for the evening or grab a table beneath the wall of natural-wine posters for French, Italian and Spanish dishes alongside rare European wines, from fizzy English whites to Sicilian oranges. Don’t miss their iconic pistachio and pork terrine.

The Cheese Block

Hit the samples and choose from a delightful range of international cheeses, homemade chutneys, craft chocolates and biscuits at this shrine to all things dairy and delicious. While the selection of over 200 cheeses is the main event, the towering sandwiches and homemade samosas are also excellent. It’s always rammed at the weekend – join the throngs and expect to walk out with an empty wallet but a sumptiously re-stocked larder.

Franklins

This iconic neighbourhood restaurant has been serving up comforting, meticulously crafted food to loyal locals since the 1990s. With a dedication to locally sourced ingredients from a clutch of dedicated UK producers, the menu changes constantly. Knock back a couple of glasses of sparkling Sussex wine and West Mersea rock oysters while you study a menu of delights such as homemade bread, smoked quail, salt-beef rillettes, partridge and Welsh rarebit. Next door at Franklins Farm Shop, you can fill a basket with the finest local organic veg, artisanal preserves and craft beers. Look out for the organic chickens temptingly slow-roasting by the front door.

Spinach

Spread across a wood-panelled, terracotta-tiled conservatory-style space brimming with greenery, this restaurant’s virtuous, vegetable-centric menu has everything from satisfying lunches and hangover-busting brunches to a dinner menu coloured with world flavours. Think coconut chicken with black sesame, baked aubergine with black olives and homemade chips with saffron aioli. While their smoothies will have you glowing all the way down Lordship Lane, there is also a cracking selection of natural wines, beers and cocktails. Our favourite is the Bloody Shame, an alcohol-free spin on the original that really speaks to us on a Sunday morning.

Mons

In no other part of London would we find ourselves happily handing over £8 for a piece of cheese the size of a playing card. But this very beautiful, very pungent cheesemonger makes leaving empty-handed pretty much impossible. Run by third-generation cheese affineur Hervé Mons, the award-winning spot stocks some of the country’s best restaurants. Inside you’ll find the finest cheeses from France, Switzerland and the UK, guided by a team of staff that really know their stuff. These guys like to entertain, so be sure to check their website for market pop-ups and events like beer and cheese sampling evenings. Yes, please.

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