Regeneration is the name of the game in Lewisham. Modern new builds, more public spaces and excellent travel connections to the Docklands have given the SE13 postcode a new lease of life. Today, living in Lewisham provides an excellent Zone 2 location.

Despite all of its changes, the area hasn't lost its soul. Wander down the bustling high street, and you'll see local market stalls selling everything from fresh fish to jewellery. Lewisham perfectly encapsulates old with new, creating an exciting area with plenty of things to see and do.

Model Market

Living in Lewisham: Old Meets New in This South London Hotspot | Essential Living

Firstly, there's Model Market. Street food, bars and DJs all come together at Model Market to create a vibrant space. Created by Street Feast, the market opens every spring and features a selection of places to let loose. Enjoy fine gins at the Gin Salon, or head to Secret Nicky's to experience London's first frozen custard offering.

If you’re feeling peckish, Zephyr Burgers servers up mouth-watering patties, while Lewisham Highline is a rooftop bar with beers and cocktails. What was once a local 1950s market is now a place where not just those living in Lewisham flock to, but people from all over London.

Address: 196 Lewisham High Street, Lewisham, London SE13 6LS
Phone: 020 3931 1270
Email: [email protected]
Follow: @streetfeastldn

Lewisham Arthouse

Living in Lewisham: Old Meets New in This South London Hotspot | Essential Living

Secondly, set in a Grade II-listed building, Lewisham Arthouse is a not-for-profit, artist-led creative space. With 40 studios, public galleries and workshop programmes, it's the creative hub of Lewisham and a vital part of the community.

Over the years, Lewisham Arthouse has played host to everything from musical performances to photography sessions and workshops designed to unearth talent living in Lewisham. A trip to the arthouse will inspire and give you the chance to see some of the most creative minds in South London.

Address: Lewisham Arthouse, 140 Lewisham Way, SE14 6PD
Phone: 020 8691 9113
Email: [email protected]
Follow: @ArthouseNews

Lewisham Market

Living in Lewisham: Old Meets New in This South London Hotspot | Essential Living

A staple of the area, Lewisham Market has been going strong since 1906. If you're living in Lewisham today, you can expect to find a lively and colourful market with 64 stalls that sell everything from fresh fruit to fabrics and flowers to street food.

It’s split into two markets: Monday to Saturday and a Sunday market. In fact, Lewisham Market is one of the only markets in London that runs for seven days consecutively. It’s a fresh and more affordable alternative to your local supermarket.

Address: Lewisham High Street, SE13 7EZ
Phone: 020 8314 2050
Email: [email protected]
Follow: @lewishammarkets

London Beer Dispensary

Living in Lewisham: Old Meets New in This South London Hotspot | Essential Living

A pub without a bar might seem like an odd concept, but it works a treat at the London Beer Dispensary. The burger-led food menu gives pub grub a new meaning, while kegs flow through a giant serving barrel and casks are stacked against the walls.

It's the absence of a bar that sets London Beer Dispensary apart from a regular pub. Staff and customers are closer together, which only adds to the sense of community. London Beer Dispensary also lets visitors take beer home.

Address: 389 Brockley Road, Brockley, London, SE4 2PH
Phone: 020 8694 6962
Follow: @LDNDispensary

Maggie’s Café & Restaurant

Living in Lewisham: Old Meets New in This South London Hotspot | Essential Living

Maggie’s Café and Restaurant is a family-run business that has been a staple of Lewisham since 1983. It’s seeped into the culture of the area, featuring as part of the “Lewisham Life '' exhibition and winning awards from the South London Press.

As you can imagine, the food is pretty good. Head to Maggie’s for home-cooked delights that cover breakfast, lunch and dinner, not to mention bottomless tea. Maggie’s is a little slice of Ireland right in the heart of South East London.

Address: Lewisham Road, London SE13 7PA
Phone: 020 8244 0339
Email: [email protected]
Follow: @maggiescafelondon

Enish Nigerian Restaurant Lewisham

Living in Lewisham: Old Meets New in This South London Hotspot | Essential Living

Living in Lewisham means you have access to a range of eateries that serve cuisines from all over the world. One of those in Enish, a popular Nigerian restaurant with a variety of traditional West African dishes. A visit to Enish provides the opportunity to try stews and soups with various spices, herbs and flavourings.

Other dishes include favourites such as gizzard and plantain, garnished snail, and Jollof fried rice. There's even a cooking class on offer so that you can learn how to cook up a few West African treats in the kitchen.

Address: 228 Lewisham High Street London, SE13 6JU
Phone: 020 8318 7527
Email: [email protected]
Follow: @enish_restaurant


One of the de facto eatery hotspots in Lewisham, Sparrow is run by husband and wife team, Terry Blake and Yohini Nandakumar. They've created an array of small plates that are heavily influenced on British, European and Central and Southeast Asian flavours.

The board is chalked up with specials for the day, while high ceilings and low lights only add to the aura of the restaurant. Sparrow is filled with rustic charm and is quickly becoming one of the most visited spots in Lewisham.

Address: 2 Rennell Street, Lewisham, London SE13 7HD
Phone: 020 8318 6941
Email: [email protected]

Manor House Gardens

Living in Lewisham: Old Meets New in This South London Hotspot | Essential Living

Once an estate owned by Barons and Lords, Manor House Gardens came into public ownership in the 1900s. Today, much of the original layout, which is set in 3.5 acres of space and offers a tranquil getaway from busy city life, remains intact.

Wander around and soak up the local sights, which include a fountained lake, ice house, a wildflower area and a café. There's also a tennis court for those feeling sporty. Moreover, the gardens in the park are the National Heritage List for England, Parks & Gardens.

Address: Taunton Road, Lee, SE13 5SU
Phone: 020 8318 3986

Living in Lewisham

Living in Lewisham gives you access to a range of amenities, from local street markets to cultural venues. Excellent travel connections and nearby neighbourhoods like Blackheath and Greenwich (where our Union Wharf building is) provide lots of variety for an area that is fast becoming one of South London's finest gems.

So if you’ve got a favourite Lewisham hotspot, let us know what it is by tweeting us @EssLiving.

Mark Flint


Mark is a regular contributor to the Essential Living blog and shares all the latest news and sourcing the very best content for our customers.