Boasting an eclectic mix of trendy food spots, back-street boozers and inspired locals to fill them, Camberwell is every bit the creative hub its art college would have you believe. Nestled between Peckham, Clapham and Brixton, SE5 may just seem like a convenient and less-costly south London dwelling on the surface. But if you look a little closer, you’ll find an ever-expanding community that well and truly holds its brilliantly diversified own.
Here are nine things you’ll know if you live in Camberwell.
1. Your fried chicken consumption has skyrocketed thanks to the plethora of outlets within walking distance. Sometimes you rotate venues so the shop owners don’t think your diet consists exclusively of battered poultry and heavily salted chips. You regret nothing.
2. People-watching from Camberwell Green has become one of your favourite pastimes, and you don’t mind losing some of your dignity in the process. Between the animated long-term locals and effortlessly trendy art students, the entertainment is well worth the momentary awkwardness when your subject suddenly meets your eye.
3. You frequently stumble upon cafes, restaurants and bars you’ve never noticed before and have become the coffee snob you once rolled your eyes at. You blame the baristas at Daily Goods and Lumberjack. Costa will never cut it again.
4. You often have to veer off the pavement and walk onto the road to avoid the outpour of people lining up at Falafel & Shawarma on the high street (especially on a Sunday)...
5. …Only to nearly be run over by a cyclist, who is pedalling with a vengeance that you will never understand (especially on a Sunday). You can’t blame the shop, though. Those shawarmas are damn good.
6. You’ve contemplated quitting your day job and becoming a full-time freelance something/arty type. The dungaree-donning people curled up in cafés or fashionistas launching their latest wares just make it look so dreamy.
7. You claim Oval station as your own. Yes, you moan about the door-to-tube distance and sometimes you have to get the bus but you like their choice in classical music and the ‘Oval thought of the day’ just gets you. Kennington already has one, anyway.
8. You’ve become somewhat estranged from your friends who live in west London, because getting there involves three transport changes and an hour in transit and just no.
9. You’ve resorted to saying ‘near Brixton’ when new-to-Londoners ask where you live, but you’re secretly glad not everyone has caught on to Camberwell’s unassuming trendiness. You really don’t want to share those chicken shops, anyway.
For more neighbourhood LOLs, check out 21 signs you grew up in south London.