On the corner of a quiet, residential street betwixt East Dulwich and Peckham lies a treasure. The legend of The Gowlett Arms speaks of a snug haunt frequented by Londoners of the South East; a wood-panelled interior punctuated by worn-in couches for buttock-relaxing, silver taps flowing with golden ale and pizzas that both defy and modify geography (see: the ‘Gowlettini’). In 2019 speak: this spot is a real neighbourhood gem. After a sudden closure in 2017 caused mass pandemonium, we were hyped to see the world correct itself with a swift re-opening. It’s cosy, the faces are friendly, the beers are plentiful and the pizza is banging. Sometimes the hype warrants believing. That time is now. Gwarn, meet us there for a slice and a goblet of bitter.
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Royal Arsenal’s only independent bar and restaurant, and proud. In an area booming with corporate development, it’s proper refreshing to find some cats flying their own flag: you’ll catch these good people at the Royal Arsenal Farmer’s Market showing off their beers (or buying seasonal ingredients for their pizzas!). The goods that go on their pizzas are all fully fresh and locally sourced - and boy do the pizzas look good. Just for reference: the Sweet Italy features pears, gorgonzola and prosciutto ham (damn!). Don’t act like that’s not exciting. Beers come from small breweries only, and you can expect to see the likes of Hop Stuff (Arsenal’s own), Crate and Rooster’s on the taps in here. Wooden rafters and barrels make it well snug too.
The Rose Pub & Kitchen
The Rose falls in to our unofficial class of 'freakin gigantic' pubs. The garden outside is so big they stuck another bar outside, there are 6 massive TVs inside showing all manner of sporty goings on, and there's regular live music and other entertainment. It's one of those places that's made for big groups. What we really like though are the pizzas. They do a standard gastropub menu which is alright, but they have a proper wood-fired oven that churns out £8 pizzas that make up the bulk of what people order here. Pubs that do good pizzas are always going to win us over.
The Rose & Crown
The cosiest of cosy pubs, this Stokey boozer is a classic tale - in the same family since 1985, and rebuilt in the early 30s across the street from its original location, it is now a Grade II listed building. That's fitting, because upon entering this wooded drinking den, you're immediately overcome with warm feels, and that's not just 'cos of the open fireplace. Look out for the large beer garden when the sun's a-shinin'.
Pratts & Payne
Originally opened as a department store, then bought out by John Lewis, and finally re-opened as a pub – it’s safe to say Pratts and Payne’s got history. In summer the pub is known for barbecues in its garden but during the colder months an impressive selection of board games and beers help to stave off the cold. As part of the Antic chain of pubs you can expect all the usual curiosities scattered around the pub, it might not be the most authentic of pubs but it's still a chill place to go for a beer.