Nick Barron of Brockley Central chooses his five secret London spots

Posted at 8:00 am, May 3, 2013 in Secret London, Top 5
New Cross House garden

Nick Barron runs Brockley Central and its sister forum South East Central, with the aim of tipping the capital away from its north London bias. He won’t stop until people stop asking him ‘is that in Kent?’. He’s picked five secret London spots which he thinks you should know about.

The New Cross (Tree) House (pictured above)
‘New Cross is spoilt for choice with great pubs, including The New Cross Inn, the Amersham Arms and the Royal Albert, but none of these have a tree-house in their back garden. The New Cross House’s courtyard contains an old barn, overgrown with foliage and converted in to an open-air mini-pub.’

Laban, Greenwich

The Laban Centre Outdoor Theatre
‘The dance school might be world famous but its ziggurated front garden is a secret wonder. It’s been landscaped to create an outdoor theatre and on sunny days there are few nicer places to lie in London. Daisies dot the grass steps, kids scamper up and down the impossibly-angled hills, the DLR trundles along across the water and the walls of the Laban Centre shine rainbows upon you. Like a scene from Oz (not the harrowing prison drama one).’

Homemade, Marylebone

Homemade London
‘Nuzzled between Marble Arch and Marylebone is something called Portman Village, a collection of pretty streets, which are drowsy by day, twinkly and buzzy by night. In amongst the Grazing Goats and Vinotecas is my wife’s business, Homemade London, a beautiful craft salon and party venue that’s secretly taught thousands of people how to do everything from perfume-blending to garter-making.’

Ladywell Fields

Ladywell Fields
‘Nearby Hilly Fields is Lewisham’s finest park. The Ladywell Fields waterway restoration project has succeeded in creating a secluded Wind in the Willows riverbank a few hundred metres from the Mr Toads of the South Circular.’

The Gantry

The Gantry
‘One of Brockley’s two outstanding bar/restaurants (the other being The Orchard, just opposite), The Gantry’s secret is that the small roadside bar – a living room grafted on to Brockley Road – conceals a warren of beautiful dining rooms that lead out to a hidden garden.’

Read more from Nick at brockleycentral.blogspot.co.uk

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