With the news that two new cafés, Daily Goods Coffee and Sun Café, will be opening shortly, it seems we’re having somewhat of a coffee (re-)naissance in the area at the moment. This is something I feel I should be writing about, yet feel uniquely unqualified for: I just don’t like coffee. So I thought I’d open this up to the public on Twitter, and here present my crowd-sourced guide to Camberwell café society.
One of the latest to open, and perhaps the most popular in all the responses, is Fowlds. The upholsterer, a fixture of Addington Square for so many years, has converted the front of their workshop into a café which is petit but trés chic (not sure why I went French with that). It’s away from the centre of Camberwell, meaning it’s probably little known; as David O’Mara said, “only realised Fowlds was near to where I live a short time ago, definitely think its the best in the area”. Celia agreed: “Fowlds all the way”. Vaguechera says “Fowlds is the perfect coffee spot — super coffee, lush cake, great little spot to hang out and a nice friendly vibe”, and Kat Brown adds “I went to Fowlds specially and it was lovely — great atmosphere, coffee, food”. Burgess Park also chimed in, saying Fowlds is “awesome! Double thumbs up. Be great if there could be more outside seating” (it is on the small side).
Maloko, on Church Street, also has positive reviews. Peckham Burger says “I like Maloko. Nice coffee, good music, smells divine and the most charming service. A little gem.” Jane Common added “I like the coffee, and lots of others speak highly too, in the Brazilian place” (it’s Cameroonian, I think).
Just down the road, Sammy Boy says House is “always friendly, and have good coffee! Plus you can sit in the window and feel like an artsy display!”, and Anna Mazzola says House have the “best cappuccino in SE5! House also came in for praise from Sam B (no relation), who mentioned Flying Coffee Bean in Denmark Hill station too.
My wife may not be a fan of Cafe Noir, but it has its enthusiasts. James Piper says “Cafe Noir all the time. Great loyalty card. 5 coffees then a free one.” Camberwell Carrots spoke up in favour of Angels & Gypsies and Cool Cats Café. At the weekend, M Degen prefers “my caffeine fix from the guy on Camberwell Green market.”
Less enthusiasm was shown for Costa, recently opened on Denmark Hill. Jo C says “on principle never Costa support local crews ie Love Walk, Eroma, Cafe Noir”. I have to point out here that Costa was a local crew — they started as a roastery in Lambeth some 40-odd years ago and opened their first retail branch in Vauxhall in 1978. Now as chain as chain can be, of course.
No-one mentioned Cycle PS or Cafe at the Ortus, which I’m sure is purely a matter of oversight, not opinion. And this is far from an exhaustive list (not a coffee drinker, remember?), so apologies if I’ve missed anyone out.
For me, you can keep your coffee; I’ll be trying out the wine at the newly-opened wine bar Le Tire Bouchon instead.
Update: Café Florence, opposite Love Walk Café on Denmark Hill, is tipped by HowardS: “Its coffee is really good and it is far superior in almost all ways to Love Walk, if you’re up this part of town.”