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Peckham has been undergoing a

cultural renaissance since the early

2000s, hitting the hipster map

in 2007 with the launch of Bold

Tendencies, a sculpture project

in the multi-storey car park on

Peckham Rye. On the car park roof is

Frank’s Café, a pop up bar providing

some of the best views of the city.

Something of an institution, the

Bussey Building, also known as the

CLF Art Café, houses a multitude

of primarily arts-based businesses

and events such as comedy nights,

fringe theatre, dance performances

and film screenings. What fuelled

this growth and put Peckham on the

cool map was the extension of the

London Overground that enabled

the ‘cool’ East Londoners to travel

there directly. The area is now home

to a thriving community of start-ups,

while the associated new openings

of independent restaurants and bars

mean that the area is developing a

reputation as a top dining spot. In

recent times, Peckham has become

one of the most important areas for

emerging contemporary art; Hannah

Barry, the artist and driving force

behind Bold Tendencies opened her

own gallery in 2013 in the renovated

meatpacking factory on Elm Grove.

Other notable galleries include

Peckham platform, a podium for artists

and communities where accessible

social art can be practiced and

Asylum, a collective project space.

Not all Peckham’s cultural offerings

are new however; the well-known

South London Gallery was opened

back in 1891, with the founding mission

to ‘bring art to the people of south

London’. It features cutting-edge

exhibitions, installations and live art and

film events giving a platform to both

well-known British and International

figures and emerging artists.

Shoreditch’s culture is derived from

the clustering of start-ups and

the multitude of creative and tech

companies, who have made the area

their home. These companies have

been at the forefront of collaboration

and flexibility, and colonisation

of warehouse space since the

recession of 2008. Known for its

diverse street art and graffiti scene,

which many argue is the nod to its

past, Shoreditch still maintains its

gritty urban feel. Nevertheless, it is

also an area that has seen intense

gentrification over a relatively

short period. The combination of

Spitalfields and Brick Lane markets,

as well as the number of street food

and pop-up retail vendors has helped

provide an alternative hip culture,

which sits alongside the areas diverse

ethnic culture, with the famous Brick

Lane curry houses an example of this.

Meanwhile, the advent of independent

retailers, restaurants and bars, new

hotels and members clubs, such as

Shoreditch House, helped complete

the transformation of the area. The

downside/upside, depending upon

your perspective, in creating a place

where people want to be, is rising

occupational and living costs, which

if left unchecked will push the very

people who kick started it all into

new areas.

Hackney is at the forefront of

creativity and innovation; areas such

as Hoxton, Dalston and Haggerston

epitomise what the area has to offer.

From markets to music venues,

Hackney has a diverse and unique

culture that has evolved organically as

the area has welcomed new waves of

residents over time. Broadway market,

which has been open since the 1890’s

sells organic and specialist foods such

as organic meat and oysters as well

as vintage clothes. Its smaller and

less known cousin, Netil Market sells

vintage finds in an upmarket car-boot

sale manner.

Music plays a large part in

Hackneys cultural scene; Hackney

empire, a 1900s music hall turned

modern theatre is a much loved east-

end institution, having once hosted

Charlie Chaplin, Stan Laurel and Marie

Lloyd. It has a vibrant programme of

different shows, which reflects the

local communities it serves. More

recent music offerings come from

Oslo, a Nordic chic live music venue

located in the old railway station and

the Sebright Arms that plays host

to up and coming local buzz acts.

Victoria Park stretching alongside

Regent’s canal and Limehouse Cut is

home to some of the capitals most

thriving music festivals such

as Lovebox and Field Day.





has a diverse

and unique

culture that

has evolved

organically as

the area has


new waves

of residents