New Cross is a teeming blend of Goldsmiths art students, hoodies and young creative professionals living around the smoggy A2 and its great knots of infrastructure. There's an interesting mix of one-off cafés and restaurants; meanwhile New Cross’s many music pubs throb with bands and leftish debate. This edgy, bohemian atmosphere sets up the perfect growing conditions for gentrification, and a preponderance of affluent, semi-famous, creative types are settling and breeding in the impressive houses around Telegraph Hill Park.
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The roots of The Albany date back to 1899 when it was founded to encourage wellbeing in the poverty-ridden Deptford community. The 1970s saw the institute host theatre and music before a fire put paid to its artistic efforts. The Albany you see today was rebuilt in 1982 and, as a performing arts centre, has hosted a mix of theatre, music, comedy, spoken word and dance ever since. It continues to be rooted in the community with diverse, often participatory programming.
The Fat Walrus
The Fat Walrus is fairly new (it opened in early 2016) to the New Cross pub scene. Its booths and bar stool seating (built by the house staff) undoubtedly attract numerous students, especially given its proximity to Goldsmiths University. The food menu features American style barbecue dishes, such as flame grilled burgers – of the beef, chicken and veggie varieties – all of which are served with fries. An eight-ounce steak with spicy harissa and fries is also available, as well as grilled king prawns with paella for those fond of seafood. Visitors with a sweet tooth can tuck into ice cream or a variety of messes, which involve whipped cream and ice cream muddled together with chunks of jam doughnut, banana and toffee or brownies, Oreos and Maltesers.