I've been lucky enough to travel to a few exciting places in the last month or so- posts on those trips coming up- but it's always lovely to be back in London. We live in such a vibrant capital full of diversity and a huge variety of things to do and see- sometimes it can be a bit overwhelming. And when I go away to other cities, I sometimes feel guilty that I don't even know all the gems in my own town. So when I received a copy of London Villages by Zena Alkayat, I was thrilled- it was exactly what I didn't know I'd been looking for; a guide to some of the out-of-the-way areas of London that you always hear about, but that you can easily never actually visit if they're not in the vicinity of your normal work or home routes.
I decided to explore East Dulwich- an area the book dedicates a few pages too, as well as a lovely, illustrated map. I got off the bus on Lordship Lane at the start of the North Cross Road, where there are a few vintage market stalls. There were some lovely ceramics- the bird plate above caught my eye.
The market soon became mainly food-based, but first there was a lovely doggy stall- Dulwich Tales- the little fellow above seemed to be doing some window shopping!
I got one of the best homemade scotch eggs from a little truck that also sold sausage rolls- I hate supermarket scotch eggs and sausages, but these were the real deal.
There was a lovely cafe called Pretty's which had a fresh juice station outside its grocery- I got a great juice full of ginger- great for fending off colds in the winter.
Back on Lordship Lane I popped into Franklin's, as featured in the London Villages book- a lovely grocery store that was full of autumnal goodies.
And some slightly less wholesome treats too- Tunnock's tea cakes and Caramel bars!
Roullier White is another Lordship Lane store worth exploring- their vintage style beauty products and household cleaning range are all packaged in gorgeous, retro, minimalist tubs and bottles.
They make things like all natural moth spray and toilet cleaner seem so glamorous I could almost get excited about cleaning.
There's a little vintage marketplace hidden away on one of the backstreets too- it has a wonderful array of treasures but they're all a bit pricey in my opinion.
My final stop was The Blue Brick Cafe- also recommended in Zena's book. I had what may well be the best flapjack I've ever had- and that's saying something; I take my flapjacks very seriously.
This little book really helped me discover a lovely local area of London I'd never previously visited- I'm really looking forward to exploring more of London's old villages in the coming weekends.