With all their reviews of the must-see brunch spots and best tacos in London etc, Timeout seem to have overlooked, nay neglected, all the potential gem establishments in Southeast London that lie on the route of the 53 bus. Internet people like lists, so I’ve compiled a list of 8 hotspots catering to a variety of needs (okay, they are mostly pubs) and all accessible via the 53–the delightful bus I have the pleasure of riding every morning to work. Enjoy responsibly (and watch your back)!
1. Best Nursery: Chairbears Nursery
Before you can get cracking on your other errands, you’re gonna want to drop the kids off at nursery–and where better than Chairbears. Although, I wonder, what the hell is a Chairbear? Is it like a Carebear? But a chair? I assume that I’m just not up on the latest fads in childcare and specialists have discovered that chairs + bears play a pivotal role in the growth and development of children. Anyway, there is a plethora of both chair and bear in the window scape (though seemingly no Chairbears, those must be inside), plus the whole building is somehow wrapped in bear wallpaper on the outside so… I’m sold.
2. Best Place for Sending Faxes: Bos Net
Once you’ve rid yourself of the kids, you’ll have ample time to take care of all your faxing needs at Bos Net. Conveniently, once you’re finished at Bos’s, you can hit up Sharon’s for veg and fruit–or have it delivered to your flat for free, apparently!
3. Best Luncheon Spot: The Star Restaurant
They have a Day Buffet–need I say more? I mean, I could elaborate on what exactly a ‘day buffet’ is and how it differs from a ‘night buffet’ but I won’t because I do not know. All I know is that this place does catering, parties, and weddings and also adheres to the fetching grim curtains trend sweeping the area. Pop the Prosecco–where my ladies at?!
4. Best Pub for Carling: The Graduate
Ah, at last it’s time for the pub crawl! And don’t worry about having to drive drunk because you can just hop on and off of the 53 to get to all of these public houses!
My photographer (I) wasn’t able get a great picture and the pub declined providing any images to the press, so you’ll just have to take my word that this place is really into Carling and has adopted a minimalist approach to windows. So go ahead and down a few pints of The Graduate’s signature beverage, warm piss flavoured lager, and then let’s carry on to the next stop!
5. Best Pub Requiring Guts to Enter: The Amersham Arms
Take courage. TAKE COURAGE BEFORE YE ENTER. You’ve been warned! It’s fun not knowing what to expect upon entering a pub, so I’ll leave it to your imagination what delights inside The Amersham Arms might require courage. Whatever it is, I assure you you’ll need a few shots of liquid courage before moving on to the next pub.
6. Best Pub for Dumpster Diving: The Village Blacksmith
Yes, I know I KNOW this pub looks like it’s boarded up and closed down. But I’ve included it on my list because of the abundant spoils that can be attained right outside its doors. It’s an insider secret that fabulous goods can be discovered amongst the piles of seemingly garbage-filled Sainsbo’s bags left in front beer garden. If you rifle through this rubbish, you can probably find enough backwashed Fosters to make up a full pint–and all for free!
7. Best Sports Bar: The Kings Arms
Phew, you’ve reached your final drinking destination and can now relax with the promise of their BT Sports package (really?!). As you can see, this fine establishment has combined a number of fashionable elements we’ve seen earlier–minimalist approach to windows and fetching grim curtains–and has even added some shabby chic bunting! What better way to finish off your pub crawl than in this … nice … place.
8. Best Place of Worship: Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries House of Mercy
After all of that drinking, you’re going to need a little religion before you pick up the kids from Chairbears. I cannot recommend highly enough a stop at the Mountain of Fire and Miracle Ministries House of Mercy. I realise it sounds terrifying, but I assure you that nothing scary and sketchy goes on behind that painted window. But if it does, you can always run out and use that phone box to call for help–I’m sure it works and isn’t primarily used for urination and shooting up heroin.
And thus ends your whistle-stop tour of the 53 bus route. If you’re still hungry (and lucky) you can pick up some free kebab ON THE BUS ITSELF!
xWG // #dazeandweekes