Lordship Lane, SE22
Lordship Lane in East Dulwich is the main drag where you find many of the bars and restaurants. This is a quick description of the route from East Dulwich rail station southwards towards Forest Hill describing the bars along the way.
As you leave the station and turn right, the first bar you arrive at is called the Vale (New Hamlet Inn). This used to be an old mans pub and I am ashamed to admit that I never used to go in there. It was refurbished in 2003 and is now spangly and new. It has a reasonable selection of beer including Hoegaarden on tap as well as a cocktail menu. It is not so hot on the real ales. It feels a little like an All Bar One with it's laminate wooden floors, leather sofas and school chairs.
If you walk further along from the station, you hit Goose Green and the start of Lordship Lane proper. The Pub on the corner opposite Goose Green is called the East Dulwich Tavern (EDT). It used to be the home of the East Dulwich Comedy club, which has now moved elsewhere. There is a restaurant upstairs which I have to confess I have not tried after I read a bad review in the Metro, you can't believe everything you read though ;-) I used to go to this pub quite a bit but I am not so keen on it now as, in my opinion, there are less smokey/noisy pubs near by. They do have a nice-ish open fire though...
A little further along Lordship Lane, you will find a bar called the Bishop (this was formerly a pub called the Foresters).
If you carry on down Lordship Lane and cross over the road, you pass a couple of banks and come to Inside 72. This was the first of it's kind around here and I reckon it might set a trend. It is small and appears not to have been finished. Some of the walls have bare bricks showing where the plaster has been hacked-off. The beers on tap include San Miguel unusually, but the main attraction is the bottled Belgian beers (plus Erdinger in the funky glass) and the extra-funky music. The lighting is very atmospheric (little halogen pendant lights) and there is a nice comfy sofa in front of the Window. I should also say that this is a favourite haunt of one of the East Dulwich luvies Jimmy Nesbit.
Opposite Inside 72 you will find a pub called the Palmeston. This used to be the grottiest pub in the area (according to jambell) but was recently refurbished (Feb 2004) and Lord Palmeston lost his title in the process! They have more-or-less kept the old wood panels and bar but have changed the tables. It was pretty busy when we visited it. Sadly, the beer selection was, in my opinion, quite uniteresting; Fullers and Green King IPA on tap, the usual lagers on tap, not much worth mentioning in the fridges...
There is now a bit of a trek (200 yards) to the next watering hole but that is soon to change when what used to be the travel agents re-opens as a bar, probably similar to Inside 72. Anyway, if you carry on you will arrive at Franklins. This is a nice little place which has blue tiles stuck on the outside. Its main business seems to be the restaurant out the back but I have only been here for the beer. My usual tipple is a bottle of Leffe Blond but they also have Kronenburg etc on tap...
Next up is the Magdala. This was the most recent home of the comedy club until the pub began some major (and much needed) renovations. Everyone is hoping that the comedy will return this year... *UPDATE* The Magdala has been refurbished and is looking like it is going to open as a restaurant (like there aren't enough of those on Lordship Lane). Nevermind, you can always go to the Oval to get your comedy.
If you carry on another 10 minutes up the hill to will arrive at the cross-roads where Barry Road meets Lordship Lane. This area is known as the Plough. The pub here is apparently also called the Plough but every one calls it the Goose and Granite after its owner’s brand name. Opposite this pub is a hardware shop upon which is a blue plaque commemorating the fact that it was once the home to the children’s author Enid Blyton. I never realised that E.B. worked in a hardware shop as well as writing the Famous Five.
Back to that pub (the Plough/Goose), it's not bad. It has two pool tables and lots of space but lacks the atmosphere of some of the pubs mentioned above. One good thing is that you are only a short hop from here, across the park and into the Crown and Greyhound in Dulwich village.
I realise now that I have hardly mentioned any of the excellent restaurants along Lordship Lane and it's adjoining streets. I think my personal favorite is the Thai Corner Café on Northcross Road. It is tiny and a bit like someone's front room. The green curry is fandabbydossy and the chicken with cashew nuts is great. You can even take your own booze along (corkage is ~35 p for a can and ~�1.50 for plonk - Feb 2004). Aside from the Thai place there is lots of other choice (French, Chinese, Indian, Turkish, Italian, chippy), go and look for yourself.
Enjoy James (jambell)