Monday 14 January 2008

East Dulwich, London

In the past decade, East Dulwich has transformed itself from a down-at-heel Victorian suburb into a fashionable magnet for young families priced out of south west London. Lordship Lane, the main thoroughfare, and its adjunct North Cross Road now house a bunch of buzzing gastropubs, a variety of stylish restaurants, elaborate delicatessens and upmarket clothes retailers, as well as long-established DIY stores and charity shops. Up the hill, there is a queue every Saturday outside the organic butcher. While many of these businesses are still quirky independents, the chains are now moving in - sloaney clothes shop White Stuff and Costa Coffee were among the first arrivals. The surrounding streets cram in scores of small Victorian terraces, but there are some grander houses overlooking Goose Green, a sizeable patch of grass, and in nearby The Gardens. During the daytime, about six trains an hour stop at East Dulwich on their way to London Bridge, a journey of just over 10 minutes. Anyone who bought a property here five years ago will have made a mint. 8/10