Hattie Lloyd 20/11/19

Peckham Cellars

New York.



For anyone who doesn’t immediately feel a rush of nostalgia when reading that: it’s what was emblazoned on the side of Del Boy’s iconic grubby three-wheeler van in Only Fools & Horses. The area was a very literal punchline.

But now? Over the past few years it’s undergone such an upswing that the joke is no longer funny. That upswing is – for better or worse – the result of some hard-core gentrification, but even a decade ago, a place like Peckham Cellars probably wouldn’t have been possible to open here.

Replacing a steak restaurant that occupied the same space, Cellars is a relaxed eatery & wine bar from three Peckham locals, all of whom have some granite-solid credentials behind them: chef-owner Helen Hall cut her teeth at Ottolenghi’s Rovi and Skye Gyngell’s Spring; sommelier Ben McVeigh (formerly at 28-50) is on wine; and front of house is covered by Luke West-Whylie, who fronted Marcella in Deptford. They’re joined by Jay Claus in the kitchen, who’s previously manned the pans at Morito, Bao and Quo Vadis.

Peckham Cellars

The place they’ve created is bright & airy, with light from the floor-to-ceiling windows spilling onto simple wooden mid-century furnishings. There’s a small restaurant space backed by a bar, and a leafy, plant-filled wine shop with walls wrapped in colourful bottles.

The menu is broadly Mediterranean (made with hyper-local ingredients wherever possible) and is made up of sharing plates including a pair of striking sardines that have been covered in pistachio crumbs then deep-fried; some pumpkin & mascarpone-stuffed ‘rotolo’ pasta dressed in sage butter; and an onglet steak punched up with some deeply flavourful Colston Bassett stilton. Unsurprisingly, given the team’s credentials, it’s all delicious – and the place is now the proud bearer of a Michelin Bib Gourmand.

The wine list is designed to include a broad spectrum of bottles, and is handily split into flavour profiles (“aromatic”, “minerals”, “made by the sea”, etc.) – and like the food it’s matching, also mostly hails from around the Mediterranean. The list will update regularly, and they’re planning wine takeovers, and exciting-sounding things called “magnum parties” in the not-too-distant future.

Sounds like a big deal.


NOTE: Peckham Cellars is open Tues-Sun. You can see the full menu, and make a booking at their website HERE.

Peckham Cellars | 125 Queen’s Road, SE15 2ND

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Peckham Cellars

125 Queen's Road, Peckham, SE15 2ND
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8.6 | Great

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