11 August 2016

A Perfect Peckham Sunday at Frank's and Pedler

On those rare summer Sundays when the sun comes out to play in south-east London, there is one obvious destination: Frank's Café, Peckham's most famous, if not its only, rooftop bar. I've been to Frank's a few times, but only in the evening. At lunchtime on a Sunday, though, Frank's is a lot more relaxed but just as fun.

No matter how many times you have seen the view of London's skyline from the rooftop of the multi-storey car park on Rye Lane, you can't help but stop and gawp as soon as you emerge from the pink-hued staircase. On a clear day like last Sunday, you can see way past The City to the north and beyond Crystal Palace to the south.

The other advantage to going to Frank's earlier in the day is that you can secure a table — even one with a view — and don't have to wait too long in the drinks queue. Our family's dinner reservations weren't until later but boldly, I decided to go for a negroni (£6) and it was perfectly cool, crisp and strong. Most of the cocktails are around £6 or £7 and there are also various beers and wines, as well as the British summer staple: Pimm's. We had a few nibbles to keep us going (the spicy hummus was particularly good) and there are a few more substantial dishes too.

After savouring our drinks and the view, we made our way down the pink stairs, down the ever-colourful Rye Lane and onto Peckham Rye. Since it opened almost two years ago, Pedler has remained one of my favourite restaurants in London. It's the kind of neighbourhood restaurant everyone wishes they had in their own neighbourhood: relaxed, stylish and whimsical, and with great food and drinks, it's a bit like having dinner at a friend's house — if your friend is a fantastic cook with immaculate taste.

This time, our group was big enough that we qualified for the gorgeous, padded teal booth towards the back of the restaurant. On Sunday afternoons, you can opt for brunch or a roast, and although I find to very hard not to order brunch dishes when they are available, I followed the herd and ordered a roast. I had the BBQ baby chicken with cornbread and corn-on-the-cob (£16). About half of our party ordered the chicken, and the others went for the roast beef; before long, our table was buried under a small mountain of food. Everything tasted great and embarrassingly, we managed to finish most of it. I tried some of the beef too and it was really, really good. The roasts at Pedler never disappoint, but don't take my word for it — try one for yourself!

It may look as though I'm atoning for my ambitious food order with a healthy juice, but in fact, my drink is a gin cocktail. Pedler is run by the same people as the good folks of Little Bird Gin, and my cocktail, the Sippin' On (£6), combined the house gin with apple, cucumber, mint and lime. It was refreshing, fruity and possibly even somewhat healthy. Possibly.

Although the restaurant was closing, the staff, who are always incredibly friendly and welcoming, let us stay at the table chatting and clutching our full bellies; afterwards, we ventured onto the pavement to drink our coffees before vain attempts to walk off a big but delicious meal. What a great way to spend a Sunday! And if you already like Pedler, you will be pleased to know that their new pizza and cocktail joint, The Beautiful Pizza Boy, will be opening soon a few streets over on Bellenden Road.

Frank's Cafe. 10th floor, Peckham Multi-Storey Car Park, 95a Rye Lane, London, SE15 4ST (Peckham Rye Overground). Website. Twitter. Instagram.

Pedler. 58 Peckham Rye, London, SE15 4JR (Peckham Rye Overground). Website. Twitter. Instagram.

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