Bohemian Bermondsey might not be the official name for the SE1 postcode, but it does have a good ring to it. And it’s appropriate too, reflecting the transformation seen by the South-East London neighbourhood over the last decade.
Once a gritty area with abandoned warehouses, today those living in Bermondsey can enjoy an artisan food scene and waterside living. The once grubby warehouses have been converted into fashionable apartments, shops and restaurants. So here are some of the best things to do and see in Bermondsey.
The Bridge Theatre
One of the latest additions to Bermondsey, The Bridge Theatre opened in 2017 and is a 900-seat venue. It was the first wholly new theatre of scale added to London’s theatre sector in more than 80 years.
The set up allows for an immersive experience for theatre-goers, with removable seating that enables audiences to enjoy a dynamic theatre experience. The Bridge Theatre was developed by Sir Nicholas Hytner and Nick Starr, two legends of theatre who were part of the National Theatre.
Bermondsey Antiques Market
According to Secret Escapes, Bermondsey Antiques Market is one of the five best antique markets in Europe. So you can enjoy one of Europe’s best if you’re living in Bermondsey and are looking for a collector’s item for your new home.
Traders are on hand at the market, selling everything from furniture to china and jewellery to cutlery. If you’re a bargain hunter, you’ll lose track of time trying to source new gems. The market is located in the well-known Bermondsey Square and is also a popular spot for tourists.
Find at Bermondsey Antiques Market, Bermondsey Square, London, SE1 3UN
Phone: 020 7234 0805
Bermondsey Spa Gardens
Residents in Bermondsey aren’t blessed with green space. Fortunately, Bermondsey Spa Gardens is one of the few parks where locals can enjoy a scenic stroll and picnic. There’s also a 333m running track for fitness fans.
The park was awarded a Green Flag award in 2007 after undergoing a £2 million regeneration project. Furthermore, a striking red-brick Victorian building, which was the former library, overlooks the park and adds to the overall atmosphere.
Find at 15 Spa Road, Bermondsey, London, SE1 3EU
Phone no: 020 7525 2000
Le Pont de la Tour
Some say that Le Pont de la Tour kick-started the revival in Bermondsey. The French restaurant opened in 1991 and sits across from Tower Bridge, offering those who dine at Le Pont unrivalled views of one of London's most famous tourist attractions.
The food is top-notch, too. Le Pont cooks up traditional French cuisine, while the restaurant incorporates designs inspired by 1930s Paris. The main draw, however, is the unbeatable views; the outside riverside terrace looks directly onto Tower Bridge.
Jose Pizarro has made a name for himself as one of the best chefs around. And if you're living in Bermondsey, you can choose from two of his most popular restaurants, Pizarro and tapas bar Jose. Pizzaro is the larger of the two and offers a fine range of traditional Spanish dishes.
Enjoy Catalan-style cannelloni or tuck into a Castilian leg of suckling lamb while you feel like you’re in Spain. The interiors feature exposed brick, tiles, warm wood — all typical Spanish decor that sets the mood. While the vibe is buzzy and friendly.
Find at 194 Bermondsey Street, London, SE1 3TQ
Phone no: 020 7378 9455
You can tell if an area has "made it" as a hotspot by its gastropubs, and Bermondsey has a few. The Woolpack might just be the best of the bunch with its quirky bar, ornate ceiling tiles and tasty pub grub.
The Young's pub is a favourite for Sunday roasts, which can be enjoyed in the Renaissance-style dining rooms. During the summer, a beer garden is always a busy place, where those living in Bermondsey go to enjoy a few brews.
The Fashion and Textile Museum
The Fashion and Textile Museum is the only dedicated fashion and textile design museum in the UK. It’s a unique place where there’s no permanent collection; instead you can enjoy a diverse range of temporary exhibitions.
The museum was founded in 2003 by Dame Zandra Rhodes, who is an icon of British design. Over the years, it’s grown from strength to strength with a range of exhibitions, educational courses, talks, events and workshops. Today, it’s run by Newham Fashion College.
Find at 83 Bermondsey St, Bermondsey, London, SE1 3XF
Phone no: 020 7407 8664
Maltby Street Market
Maltby Street Market is a haven for foodies living in Bermondsey, thanks to its wealth of delectable delights. From tapas bars to street food stalls, there’s something for every culinary taste at Maltby Street Market. You’ll delight in the sheer dishes on offer.
Fulfil your cravings with a waffle from Waffle On, sip on a hot brew at Craft Coffee or indulge at Bad Brownie. And if it's a few drinks that you're after, try some gin at Little Bird. Maltby Street Market feels like so much more than a place for food lovers — it's a community spot in Bermondsey that just happens to serve up a treat.
Find at 37 Maltby St, London, SE1 3PA
Phone no: 020 7394 8061
Living in Bermondsey
Areas in East London, like Shoreditch, Dalston and Mile End, were seen as primary cultural hotspots in the capital. But South London has got in on the act, with neighbourhoods like Bermondsey leading the charge. The SE1 postcode combines the charm of riverside living with a wealth of lifestyle and entertainment amenities similar to those found in its East-end neighbours.
Got a spot in Bermondsey that you love? Let us know @essliving.