The best pubs in Peckham
Looking at The Hope’s rambling interior, you’d be forgiven for thinking it’s been around for ages, from reclaimed parquet flooring to chintzy lampshades. But it’s a modern-day Antic pub. The drinks lineup is dominated by local brews. A sign of the upmarket times in Peckham, The Hope offers a menu of small plates from its kitchen.
Another Antic pub, this time on Rye Lane, John the Unicorn is a whimsically named bar serving craft beer. It’s little wonder windows were smashed and anti-gentrification graffiti daubed before the place even opened. But inside, JTU isn’t a nightmarish hipster utopia and there’s little in the way of overbearing theming. London beers rule the bar, while cocktails are around eight quid.
This revamped pub along Queen’s Road faced a lot of initial backlash – the venue before it was a champion for live music. But the new Monty offers entertainment in the form of shuffleboard, arcade games and darts, and the drinks being poured at the bar are among the best in the area. Cocktails include sweet numbers mixed in a Slush Puppie machine while seasonal ales are often on special for £3.50.
Down a subdued backstreet near Peckham Rye station, The Montpelier continues to be a favourite with locals for laidback sessions, catch-ups over affordable wine and beer and grazing through happy pub grub. There’s a friendly terrace to the front of the pub and booth tables indoors for larger groups. Occasional DJ sets and cinema clubs keep things suitably SE15.
Drinkers and diners are both happy at this brick and timber 1930s boozer. The former get a sterling selection of cask and craft ales, plus cocktails and an acceptable wine list. The latter get a menu that changes daily, depending on the pop-up kitchen. There’s plenty of seating: at large wooden tables next to the central bar, in the back garden and in the front yard facing Nunhead Green.
The Prince of Peckham is an understated favourite, with a comfortable, lived-in feel that other boozers spend years trying to create. It’s a great place to settle in with a couple of pints and a board game. But don’t expect it to be sleepy all the time: a packed schedule of events includes open mic nights, dance classes and disco yoga (yes, really).
Another perfectly decent pub from the Metropolitan Pub Company, you'll find the Rye serving up satisfying pub food and a good selection of drinks, including some unusual biodynamic wines. But for locals, the biggest draw is the spacious beer garden, which is a fine place to spend a sunny afternoon with friends. There's even a sandy strip where you can play a game of pétanque.
The Victoria Inn – an imposing pile of a pub on Peckham’s yummy-mummy ground zero – has long been popular for its late opening hours, spacious bar and decent beer list. It’s leapt into gastropub territory and the food is really impressive. But it also remains a beer lover’s haven with ales aplenty to consider.
The team behind the Montpelier on nearby Choumert Road have taken on this honest cockney boozer and the decor has remained faithful to the past. The pool table and dartboard have even survived the transition. Weekend entertainment comes from DJs and away from the browner-than-brown interior, the patio to the front is a golden spot for summer months.