Victoria Purcell heads for brunch at Pedler in Peckham and wonders if it would be feasible to live in a restaurant…

I want to move to Peckham. I love Brixton dearly, it keeps me very well in cool cocktail bars and hip foodie haunts, but in terms of food, Peckham has become a bit of a card shark – it keeps sneaking in a better hand. It used to be only for those in the know, with likes of Ganapati quietly serving up some of the best food in town, then along came Frank’s Café, and suddenly an SE15 car park was the place to be. Then came Peckham Refreshment Rooms, loved by Jay Rayner, followed by Artusi, adored by me, and now we have Pedler, embraced, it seems, by the whole of Peckham Rye.

We could barely move when we visited for brunch one Saturday morning. The place was packed with friends enjoying tea from vintage tea pots, families with young children and young couples restoring their energy levels with superfood juices after a long week at the office.

10 of the best restaurants in Peckham

We were late. Owing to the fact that I had thought the number 37 bus frequent and friendly. It is not. And Brixton still hasn’t latched on to black cabs. But we were ushered in with a smile and sat at the bar until a table became available (they were fully booked and had to do some shuffling to get us in. I felt bad about this).

Our table was soon ready, and after squeezing ourselves in (space is a little tight, but it’s lively and bustling and fun), ordered one Pedler Breakfast and a ricotta, English air-dried ham and sage ‘French Toasty’. The menu is all kinds of wonderful – kale and wild mushroom bruschetta with poached egg; avocado, slow roast tomatoes, lemon and quinoa sourdough. I almost wanted to treat it like tapas, but it’s a good job I didn’t, because the portions are generous.

I enjoyed my French Toasty at first, but I started to tire of it at the half way mark. The same way I tend to tire of risotto because it all gets a bit samey, you know? But I was able to pinch enough bits of the boyfriend’s Pedler Breakfast to keep me happy (it comes with a gin sausage, a genius addition that probably has a lot to do with the fact that the guy behind Pedler also set up Little Bird Gin).

Also upon this plate of wonder was Valley Smoke House Bacon, poached eggs, bone marrow, tomato, mushroom, rosti, house-made baked beans (a smoky combination of butter beans, chick peas and kidney beans) and – the pièce de résistance – a huge wedge of toast with maple salted butter. Sure, toast isn’t supposed to be a showstopper, but with that maple salted butter, it really is.

58 Peckham Rye SE15 4JR; 020 3030 5015; pedlerpeckhamrye.com

The Knowledge

Brunch for two with soft drinks around £24

Good for…
Everything – from breakfast to cocktails, Pedler does it all

What to eat…
The Pedler Breakfast is really innovative (although it doesn’t see off a hangover like the greasy spoon version – too much flavour), so I can’t wait to try the dinner menu

What to know…
Book – this place is super busy

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