Okay, I need to preface this by explaining that this is a must-do if you find yourself already in Camberwell. I am not necessarily suggesting this warrants a trip there. Unfortunately, Camberwell is just not the nicest area. Apparently, it was, at one time, a fashionable area for art and music. It’s also looking like it’s headed in that direction again with the London housing market continuing to swell and gentrification spilling over onto more and more neighborhoods. But until then, the parks and sweet cafes are currently overshadowed by the high-traffic roads like Denmark Hill and Coldharbour Lane.
Very hesitant about the area, I googled a cafe for lunch when I found myself on business in Camberwell with a couple hours to kill. The Love Walk Cafe came up, and while I thought the name was lame (and reminded me of the cheesy Love Hand Bakery in the states) and the website made it look like a chain diner, it looked clean, therefore translating to a safe bet. I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised. I put my foot in my mouth after slapping myself with it for judging a place so hard by its cover.
The actual place is nothing like their website. It’s not generic or outdated. It’s youthful and artsy. You’re encouraged to squeeze right into a community booth and enjoy an oversized cappuccino while you peruse their menu.
The food choices varied, but overall were uncomplicated. I had sweetcorn fritters which tasted very fresh, and were delicious. There were a lot of your typical egg dishes, some sandwiches ready for takeaway, cakes speaking to you from atop the counter–everything you would look for in a cafe. And the place was packed, with patrons squeezing in wherever they could! I clearly had not discovered a well-kept secret.
It was also a cafe for everyone. There were elderly ladies lunching, a couple buddies catching up, business professionals talking shop, and solo gals reading magazines and playing on their phones, all being served by a hustling, friendly staff. It was so nice to find such a wholesome, relaxed cafe that was matched with a great menu. If you ever are (already) in Camberwell, head right over to the Love Walk Cafe!
Love Walk Cafe
81 Denmark Hill
London SE5 8RS