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Wednesday 17 December 2014

Vagabundo - Crust Conductor - Small White Elephant

Saturday 13th December - Previous visits to Peckham have seen broken projectors and powercuts attempting to disrupt my plans.  Surely nothing could go wrong at brunch o'clock?

On a friend's recommendation, we went in search of Vagabundo, a "bastardised Brazilian BBQ" tucked away in the Ali Baba Bar behind the Bussey Building.  In my haste to make it look to my companions like I knew where I was going, I confidently walked in to someone's cupboard by mistake.  I was more careful after that, and we were soon sitting down inside Vagabundo's temporary home for some breakfast (served 10am-4pm on Sat & Sun).

After a lengthy discussion about jackfruit, we all settled on the Cassava Pancake with Slow Cooked Egg, Black Beans, Coriander and Smoked Ham Hock (£7) with unlimited Allpress Filter Coffee.  The brunch menu is pretty simple with slight variations on our dish, plus an enticing sweet version with Caramelised Banana, Doce de Leite, Cinnamon Yoghurt & Brazil Nuts.  Or you can mix sweet & salty with the "Brazilian Elvis" - Pancake with Fried Banana, Smoked Ham Hock, Peanut Butter & Brazil Nuts.

Cassava Pancake with Slow Cooked Egg, Black Beans, Coriander and Smoked Ham Hock

If you can't make it for brunch, look out for their £25 a head BYOB dinners which feature the likes of Feijoada Coxinhas with Grilled Pineapple & Chilli, and Coffee Braised Ox Cheek with Cassva Gnocchi and Fermented Red Onions.  They may be finished for the moment until 2015 so keep track of their Twitter & Tumblr feeds.

It's a busy little area around the Copeland Park industrial estate that's worth exploring.  There's some great street art, plus more food & drink options including the fabulous Forza Win.


For our next stop, we made our way past the buzzing Peckham Refreshment Rooms on Blenheim Grove to reach the Brick Brewery.  With a Peckham Red Rye in hand, we made our way out to the front yard to find the Crust Conductor, a wood-fired pizza party bus from the man behind the local Gowlett Arms.

We were too stuffed full of Vagabundo brunch to consider pizza, but we did enjoy having the top floor of a converted bus to ourselves with frosty December lighting bursting through the windows.

It will be open again this weekend on Friday 19th & Saturday 20th December.  Who knows if it will be around here in 2015 - check their Twitter feed for updates.  And if you can't make it to the Crust Conductor, then there's always the Big Red Pizza bus in Deptford.

The Brick Brewery tap room is currently open Fri­day evenings 5pm-9pm and again on Satur­days from midday-9pm.  You can sample the core range of cask, keg or bot­tled beers as well as small run exclu­sives avail­able only at the tap room.

Matt The Tip : Drop in for another drink or two at Bar Story and Peckham Springs in the same section of railway arches as Brick Brewery.


To close the loop, we walked down Choumert Grove and turned left on to Choumert Road.  The short stretch from here back to Rye Lane is packed full of goodies including Café Viva, Southerden, and Lois. A small, Andalucian tapas bar called Miss Tapas has just opened here this week too.

We settled though for Small White Elephant - Choumert Road's tea den / espresso joint / micro gallery / performance space / indoor jungle.  Oh, and book exchange.

It's a cosy spot for an Alchemy coffee and a read of The Peckham Peculiar if you can find a seat amongst the plants.  Push the boat out with a Vietnamese drip which is brewed directly in to the glass.

Vietnamese Drip Coffee
Drop by this Thursday (18th December) for their Christmastime Night Market (5pm-10pm) featuring stalls by local artists, coffee paraphernalia and free mince pies!

N.B. Small White Elephant is closed on Tuesdays.

For other top coffee options in Peckham, check out Chloe Callow's Peckham Cafe Guide on



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