To many, Surrey Quays is essentially an uninspiring shopping centre and retail park (Decathlon, Hollywood Bowl, Tesco), transport hub (bus station, Overground, Canada Water tube) and thoroughfare (the busy Lower Road and nearby Rotherhithe Tunnel), but step further into Southwark’s watery peninsula and Surrey Quays is a peaceful place. Eerily so. Most of the docks were filled in during the 1980s and replaced with housing; remaining Greenland Dock has become a large boat-dwelling community with more than 200 moorings and a popular watersports centre.
Love London Awards: this year's winners
The Yellow House
It might look like a traditional old boozer, but it's as much about the food as it is the beer at this popular Surrey Quays spot. And just to make sure they're covering as many bases as possible, they offer live music and even art competitions, too. The wood-fired pizzas are particularly popular here, with traditional margheritas and Fiorentinas alongside those with tiger prawns and chorizo, or prosciutto, mozzarella, rocket, parmesan and pear. The main restaurant menu is influenced by the Med - think crab and samphire tagliatelle, or pan-fried salmon with chorizo. A grill menu, as well as a Sunday roast, does brisk business, too. The bar here features a solid range of beers on draught, with Peroni, Hoegaarden, Meantime Pilsner and Meantime Pale Ale complementing the bottles in the chiller. There's an accessible wine list too, as well as a selection of classic cocktails.
The warehouse-sized London branch of this French chain offers London’s biggest single collection of sports equipment. You’ll find a vast array of reasonably priced equipment and clothing for all mainstream racket and ball sports as well as for swimming, running, surfing, fishing, horse riding, mountaineering, ice-skating, skiing, even archery and petanque. The company boasts a ‘try before you buy’ testing service on its golfing woods and irons. Separate premises host bicycle sales and repairs along with all sorts of cycling paraphernalia. There’s an extensive range of hiking and camping equipment (tents, clothing and accessories). Deliveries can be made all over the country.
Surrey Docks Farm
Across the Thames from the toil of Canary Wharf, the charming little Surrey Docks Farm spreads over 2.2 acres. One of London’s first city farms, it was established in the late ’70s when locals began to grow and harvest their own produce. Resident animals range from tiny buzzing bees, big clattering cattle and everything in between. Kiera is a sassy miniature Shetland pony who sounds as though she has a touch of small-person syndrome. The farm boasts a manner of seasonal root and climbing veggies. Plenty of scrummy fresh produce is on sale in the farm shop. What’s not to like about walking a donkey along the Thames path across the river from the financial district? There are also ceramic lessons, beekeeping classes and an onsite forge where Kevin the blacksmith runs metalworking taster sessions. Miriam Bouteba Find more urban farms in the capital with our guide to London city farms
Restaurants in Rotherhithe
Things to do in Rotherhithe
The Brunel Museum commemorates Isambard Kingdom Brunel's first and last projects. An exhibition celebrates the Thames Tunnel as the birthplace of the tube system, and the Great Eastern steamship as the first modern ocean liner. The site is a Scheduled Ancient Monument and International Landmark Site above the oldest tunnel in the Underground. Watercolours, engravings, and models explain this epic feat of engineering and tell the story of the men who worked in the dark, dodging flames and raw sewage every day.
The Old Mortuary
The building, which now houses a community centre and local history group, was erected in 1895 and still retains many of its original features. The architecture includes a vaulted ceiling in Russell Hall, original doors, a lantern skylight and wood panelling in the chapel. During Open House London 2014, the building will be open on Saturday September 20 and Sunday September 21 with regular tours through out the day. Last entry will be at 4pm.