Following a recent move to live in Bermondsey SE1, I have had a really exciting time making some fantastic foodie discoveries. The main street in Bermondsey – Bermondsey Street – is the centre of a really colourful and eclectic neighbourhood, catering for a strong local ‘village’ community, tourists, arty-farties and with its proximity to the Shard, business people too. All this means that the range of opportunities for eating, drinking, shopping and entertainment are fantastically diverse and up-to-the-moment.
Casse Croûte has to be first on my list of desirable eating venues. Thankfully, on my first visit I was not deceived by the diminutive and cramped size of this venue, nor put off by the dishes included in the short menu which reminded me of some of the traditional French cuisine that formed the staples of special meals in my childhood. But that is where any sense of disappointment stopped. Casse Croûte is an absolute gem of a dining experience, where I have enjoyed the most sublimely delicious French food in true intimate, bistro-style, with attentive and first-class service. In my opinion, Casse Croûte is the leading London light for bringing back traditional French cuisine – with exactly the right touch to renew its popularity – as the number one preference for discerning diners.
For food after work, Pizarro serves really good, consistently reliable tapas. What really adds to the success of this tapas bar is the décor, strongly redolent of a visit to a tapas bar somewhere in Andalucía. The excellent choice of wines is always on hand to make conversation flow.
For drinks and socialising with friends, there is no shortage of bars in the area. The Hide and the Woolpack are two where I sometimes meet up with friends. The Hide offers a huge range of drinks within a modern ‘bar’ atmosphere, with everything from delicious and innovative cocktails to wines and beers as well as a selection of (very) expensive French brandies. The Woolpack has more of a traditional pub atmosphere with fabulous décor and a garden where you can always be guaranteed a lively atmosphere.
There is nothing better I like to do on a Saturday morning than go for a wander to soak up the atmosphere and purchase some grocery staples, along with a few foodie treats for the week ahead. My recent discovery of Maltby Street Market, places me in food paradise. Hand-made chocolates – try truffles with gin and lime – specialist cakes, the freshest cooked deli foods. I could go on and on listing the goodies available.