Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Dulwich Decoded

I think I am in love with Dulwich. Having spent a morning there doing some research, I instantly grew to see its charm. Like an idyllic village in the city, everywhere is green, blossoming and full of florists-cum-farm shops, garage based vintage boutiques and cutesy cafes. And of course there is the Dulwich Picture Gallery, currently showing Murillo & Justino de Neve: The Art of Friendship, which I hope to return for soon.

There are countless finds to be made but here are my morning's three:

Give and Take offers you the perfectly curated charity shop experience. 'How do they do this?' you ask, 'what do they do with those binbags of unsellable crap immortalized by Mary Portas's Queen of Charity Shops?' Well, Give and Take work on an entirely different model.

Local fashionistas are tempted into giving up the designer goods that they no longer wear by the incentive of credit to the value of 50% of their item's net sale price, hence the give and take name. You give something painfully nice away, and get a little back in return along with the charity feel-good factor. Or, like me, just do the taking/buying bit.

The collection includes some enticingly beautiful shoes from the likes of Missoni, Marc Jacobs, and Jo Anne Stoker. These are in almost new condition and priced between £130 and £200. Unfortunately for me they were in sizes 36 and 37 but fortunately for all you Cinderella hopefuls, they are still there waiting for you.

Alongside these pieces, new items such as distressed photo frames are sold from select, ethical suppliers, now at 50% off.

Next on my list is Homemade Cafe, right by Peckham Rye if you want to go for a wander in the sun. This friendly, homely spot offers delicious coffee and a tasty sounding lunch menu. 

Blue Brick cafe is last on my list since it is a vegan cafe with scrumptious cake - quite a feat! Tucked away on the little residential Fellbrigg Road, the quirky interior, filled with humorously selected bric-a-brac gives you the sense of having tea in a quaint old relative's conservatory. The chocolate tiffin is incredible -  rich, dark and chocolatey with little bitter sweet bits of cranberry in it, yum.