Anderson and Co, Peckham
Sat along a wooden bench, by a door which opens onto a candlelit, plant strewn garden conservatory, opposite a warming open kitchen, this restaurant is just the sort of place to romance someone on the down low. Enter the casual-looking restaurant, you can either go for a subtle flirt with a bite at the high-bar, or set up a traditional date by taking a table in the back.
The owner, Lisa – an effusive, charming woman who moved to Peckham before the rest of us did – and the staff channel Boho vibes with none of the snobbery. Menus, wine glasses, and cutlery are handed to you as if a guest at a dinner, encouraged to pass things down, and the whole setting is one of accidental charm. Intimate, cosy and with stonking good food.
Lisa changes the menu accordingly to whimsy, with staples like the burgers and brunch classics (‘I’ve taken more avocado brunch orders than is possible’), fusing with monthly new players. On this date, we started with small ball crab cakes, fried artichokes (divine) and aranchini balls with pesto mayo– so tasty and great liners for the wine list we were intent on exploring. Which brings me to the date high five here – insanely moreish wine. Lisa went on a ruthless hunt for their house red and the result is a very punchy, utterly quaffable, sweet nectar. It was a Wednesday night and we drank two. For mains, it’s hearty fare from ex Soho Hotel chef Teemu Tovainen, – a slow cooked of lamb shank with mash and jus, a burger with garlic aioli and blue cheese. Then a dessert of banoffee pie, deconstructed in a little pot. So. Much Consumption.
This place is packed on weekends so aim for a cheeky midweek date. Straight after work gives you enough time to take it slow and settle in as you would a good friend’s dinner party. Except at this one you’re sat opposite a bit of a hottie. At the start, tease Lisa into your conversation – her frivolity should coerce you into a relaxed date. Counterbalance the sheer amount of food by asking for side plates and sharing it all.
Conversation will inevitably lead to property prices, how Peckham is the new wherever, and why you’re tired of Soho joints (despite dating there religiously). Suddenly you imagine a life with this person that’s full of Sunday papers in cafes and ethnic food in new locales. You loosen up, drink up, and light up outside as you wait for Uber. Kiss in the back and get back to The City.
The couple next to you may listen in for sport. That’s OK, you’re pretty interesting.
2. More on the romance, food and fine wine vibes.