Aside from knowing how to properly pronounce the name of the place (the ‘w’ in Dulwich is as useless as trying to get into Frank’s Café on a sunny bank holiday), there are a few things that only people who grew up in East Dulwich will understand.
You know that the best view in London is from Dawson’s Heights field or Nunhead Reservoir
Forget Primrose Hill or Hampstead Heath. When the sun (eventually) comes out, you know there’s no need to go north of the river.
You’re constantly amazed at how fancy Lordship Lane has become
It pretty much always comes up as a topic of conversation among your friends in the area.
You know the best fry-up in London is found at the Dulwich Café
Some people might be happy to pay silly amounts for their breakfast, but Dulwich Café on Lordship Lane is still the original and the best.
You’re always trying to convince people that not everyone who grew up in East Dulwich is posh
There’s a difference between East Dulwich and Dulwich Village, y’know.
You spent your teenage years hanging around outdoors, no matter what time of year it was
Goose Green, Peckham Rye and the fields around Dulwich Village were your stamping grounds at one point or another.
Bus networks are your area of expertise
Seriously, who needs the tube when you’ve got the 176 and the 37?
You’ve fallen asleep on the 176 and ended up in Penge, at least once
You remember that feeling of dread when you just wanted to have a little 4am snooze and found yourself in Penge AGAIN.
You supported Dulwich Hamlet FC before they were cool
The non-league team who play in pink used to be an eccentricity that only locals knew about. You probably even played for the kids’ team.
You talked about going ‘uptown’ (but meant central London)
No wonder your north London friends think you’re practically from the countryside.
You’ve probably lied about being from Peckham, at least once
But in reality, your parents probably sold their place in Peckham to move here years ago.
Your nights out ended up in Maxin Chicken or Morley’s
The mark of a true south Londoner.
You bought all your gifts at either Ed or Willow on North Cross Road
Still do, to be honest.
You’re adept at using The East Dulwich Forum
Selling furniture? Lost your purse? Or just fancy a moan about the creepy guy who works in the fabric shop? You know what to do.
You know who all the local celebs are
Jimmy Nesbitt, Jo Brand, that guy from ‘Game of Thrones’ – and one time you bumped into The Cheeky Girls in Dulwich Park.
You can probably no longer afford to live here
You might be able to scrape enough to rent in Peckham, but you may as well kiss any hope of buying in the area goodbye and move to Zone 5.