Creativity, cheap thrills and chicken shops in the south-east student belt.
Why go there?
For low-cost live music, a thriving fried poultry scene and the chance to chat up sexy androgynous students.
What’s the vibe?
During term-time the attendees of Goldsmiths College crowd the main drag between two (count ’em) Overground stations, filling the pubs and cafés with fiery leftist debate and asymmetrical haircuts. The rest of the year, locals come out of the woodwork to smoke rollups and spit bars at the excellent New Cross Inn open jam night (every Tuesday, New Cross Road).
What’s that smell?
Adjacent to New Cross Gate station (and more appetising than it sounds), Cummin Up perfumes the air with the tang of great Caribbean food.
Any celebs about?
Goldsmiths alumni include Oscarwinning director Steve McQueen and no fewer than six other Turner Prize winners. Musicians such as Damon Albarn, Brian Molko, James Blake and Katy B (pictured right) might not stick around long, but see that skinny young blade twanging a guitar onstage at the Amersham Arms? He’ll probably be headlining Glastonbury next year.
How about a local delicacy?
Chinwag on Lewisham Way serves up succulent (and mammoth) burgers, while The London Particular on New Cross Road is spearheading gentrification, bringing braised fennel and celeriac fritters to the newly discerning denizens of SE14.
Now I need a drink.
The New Cross House is the classiest joint around, and is priced accordingly. The Hobgoblin is a good all-rounder, perfect for watching football and necking cheap pints in the beer garden, while newly opened LP Bar offers cocktails and a groovy ’60s jetset vibe. All can be found on New Cross Road.
How about a nice sit down?
Have a daytime wander up to Telegraph Hill Park – the view of the city is picture perfect and the houses feel incongruously fancy.
And if I only do one thing?
Go on an all-day bender at the New Cross Inn. Seriously – the pool table is free until 6pm (weekdays), and the jukebox is full of bangers.
By Andy Hill – the least cool Goldsmiths student you’ll ever meet.