Peckham on a Budget
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We've decided to head to somewhere that, in theory, should be pretty easy to get wild in for cheap: Peckham's illustrious Rye Lane.
Although, that might not be the case any more; Peckham's meteoric rise has been well documented, with cries of gentrification slowly giving way to cries for more almond milk. But hey, we're not here to judge, we're here to budg'. Lets kick things off outside the station at 2.30pm. Don't forget your cash.
CHILL - 2.30pm
In the warmer months we’d tee things off in Peckham Rye Park among the throngs of rude boys and young creatives. But in the current climate (political and meteorological) we need something a little more sheltered. So we’re heading to SE’s newest (at the time of writing) community hub-cum-street food market-cum-workshop space-cum-nightclub-cum-cafe-cum-car park, Peckham Levels.
It’s hard to tell how genuine P.Levs’ promise of being ‘for the community’ is, but it’s undoubtedly a nice spot to grab a coffee, hang out, see some art, catch a free talk and maybe get a bite to eat. It’s just a coffee for us, but take your time and soak up the community spirit.
Spend so far: £2
BROWSE - 3.30pm
Once you’ve had your fill of creative types being a bit pretentious in a multi-story community space, grab your stuff and head over to Bussey Building.
All bants aside, in the basement of Bussey is one of South London’s favourite record shops: an underground warren of wax for you to browse with some mad-reasonable bargain deals. You have exactly £1 to spend here which might bag you something good - if that’s not you, then feel free to explore the surrounding Copeland Park and its collection of independent outlets.
Spend so far: £3
SEE - 4.30pm
These days, the cinema is an activity reserved for those not on a £20 budget, but bringing film back to within our humble grasp is Peckhamplex. With £5 tickets all day erry day, this is London’s cheapest place to catch a blockbuster (maybe, we didn’t actually check).
An Everyman this is not, but part of the charm of the place is its old-school vibe: not old school like the 1920s, old school like the 1990s, with all the sticky carpets, luminous strip lighting and shabby seats to match. Be warned, the crowd is known to get rowdy at times.
Spend so far: £8
EAT - 6.30pm
Hidden down a side alley with incoherent/nonexistent signage and a mouldy awning, it’s clear that Asian Takeaway is taking a word-of-mouth based approach to its marketing.
We’re here for the lamb kofta, a triumph of a wrap that hits every nail bang on its head. The lamb is tender and beautifully spiced, the chilli sauce is a perfect kick of heat and the yoghurt so goddamn minty you could brush your teeth with it. But the star here is the bread: a pillowy naan, cooked fresh to order in the tandoor, that holds your kofta with all the cloud-like tenderness it deserves. Seriously, find someone that can hold you like that and you’ll live a long, happy life. All this comes in at £3.50 (£5.50 for a large), which makes it a certified bargain by any standards.
Spend so far: £11.50
DRINK/DO - 7pm
We’re gonna cheat here by doubling up our 'Drink' and our 'Do' because Four Quarters is a great spot to round off an evening and, really, who gives a fuck? With a wide range of classic arcade machines available to play for a quarter each, an attic full of free consoles and a more than adequate range of bevoirs, this place really has it all (if you count 'all' as video games and drinking).
Drinks hover just below the five pound mark and quarters are available at £1 for 4. You COULD get a better exchange rate at the Post Office, but that requires some forward thinking and we’re not about that life. Once you’re out of quarters, go grab a seat in front of the PS1 upstairs and merk some n00bs at Tekken 2.
Overall Spend: £18.20
After a pint of the Brick Peckham Pale, a few rounds on House of the Dead and a friendship-ruining game of Golden Eye, we came out with £1.80 left of our initial 20 quid.
There you have it, it’s official, Peckham is an verified Budget Destination. If we had a giant seal of approval, you’d be able to see if from the roof of Bussey Building right this very moment. But we don’t, so you can’t.