Bermondsey on a Budget
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This is a big one, folks. Bermondsey is not usually thought of a place for those on the cheap: it's all bespoke breweries and street food markets; Tower Bridges and City Halls; Tates and Globes. But we're not the types to shy away from a challenge, so come and join us on our quest to have a wild ride in the shadow of The Shard for less than £20. Are we crazy? Maybe. Just maybe.
BROWSE - 1pm
This is Maltby Street Market's chill younger cousin. It's a small, calm collection of independent wholesalers peddling their wares from under separate little railway arches and is the perfect way for us to ease into the day.
Cured meats, craft beers, honey and other such goods can all be found here, and for those with more self control than us, you might get by just fine on the free samples. We dropped a budget breaking £5.50 on some juniper and fennel salami and, honestly, we're not too upset about it.
Spend so far: £5.50
EAT - 2pm
Ok, we've had the starter, now it's time for the main course. Maltby Street Market is the beating heart of Bermondsey, lined with countless (not true) street food vendors on one side and some major players of the culinary scene in permanent arches on the other.
After a couple laps up and down we've decided to go for the steak frites, but you need to follow your own heart/nose here (or get the steak, it's bloody good). Be prepared for crowds and to pay about 7-9 quid for a decent lunch. We'll meet you after for a coffee.
Spend so far: £13.50 (eek)
CHILL - 3pm
This old guard house is the perfect place for us to take a moment to catch our thoughts after the mania of Maltby. It's a grade II listed building: a seriously cosy nook with a palpable sense of history in the walls. A flat white here is gonna set us back £2.80, not bad for a place this nice.
If it's full here, head to Hej (pronounced Hey) for a less historic, more spacious back-up brew.
Spend so far: £16.30
SEE - 3.30pm
Once suitably caffeinated, stroll up Bermondsey Street to White Cube. A stunning piece of modernist industrial architecture on the outside, and an embodiment of the now ubiquitous white-walled gallery space on the in, here they host a range of conceptual, boundary-pushing shows across their three major spaces. You might be thinking, ‘but Dojo, we’re not members and we’re here on a budget!’ To which we say, worry not, it’s 100% free, babycakes.
Let yourself in, have a poke around and try to keep an open mind - it’s contemporary as fuck. It’s also the perfect size (i.e. not too big) so you don’t feel pressured to rush though it all to see everything.
Spend so far: £16.30
DO - 4.30pm
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Thames River Walk
Ok, we know, we want a pint too. But we're gonna take a stroll along the river first, partly because it's a lovely day, partly because there's a real gem of a pub in Rotherhithe that we wanna hit. Lez go.
From White Cube head north towards Tower Bridge and from there just make your way eastwards down the riverside walk, take in the sights, look at the boats and have occasional selfie breaks. We're gonna treat ourselves to an ice cream (£2.50) because the budget has already gone to shit and it's that kind of day.
Spend so far: £18.80
DRINK - 5pm
30 minutes is about as much as we're willing to walk these days, which is perfect because we've found our pub. The Mayflower is 300 years old and you can really feel it when you step inside, but the thing here is the decking outback from which you can hear Thames lapping beneath your feet as you gaze out across the river. Even despite the tourists, this is a beautiful way to round off the day.
A pint of Pilsner sets us back £5.25 which takes us firmly over budget, but right now, basking in the afternoon sun, fingers sticky from ice cream and a bag full of salami at our feet, we're ok with it.
Overall Spend: £24.05