What’s it named after? An old pub which once sat on the other side of the road. The drovers would take cattle from Kent to Smithfield Market. This version of the Kentish Drovers, in a former bank, opened in May 2000.
What’s the carpet like?
The Overground rolled into Peckham in 2012, and the hipsters haven’t stopped coming since. But Peckham – sat between Camberwell and Goldsmiths colleges – has always attracted the young and the creative, or the older with an eye for a cheap house.
Peckham’s nightlife has certainly developed over the years, but The Kentish Drovers still attracts a mixed crowd at 10pm on a Friday night.
The service is friendly, but our pint of Adnams’ Ar Reet and glass of white wine are a bit of a let-down. Our sticky table has a black off-licence bag on it, as if the past occupants had brought their own.
It’s a good place for people-watching. At the bar, an older man disguises his age by donning shades and a baseball cap, while a man sat down drinking whisky looks like he wants to burst into tears. Yet most of the lone drinkers look content, one watching the Paralympics on TV, another in a trilby happily munching on some crisps.
These chaps are surrounded by little groups of students, grabbing late night cheap meals and making plans. The staff know their crowd, and everything ticks along calmly. As the night goes on, the men on their own drift off and are replaced by a younger crowd.
The Kentish Drovers is a curious pub – oddly-shaped with a back way out leading straight to the local leisure centre. But it’s an antidote to the gentrification elsewhere in the district, and a low-key alternative to some of Peckham’s other pubs, which include two Antic outlets (the Hope and John the Unicorn), the Brick Brewery taproom and the Four Quarters videogame bar.
Address: 71-79 Peckham High Street SE15 5RS
Buses: 12, 36, 136, 171, 343, 345, 436 to the door; 37, 63, 78, 177, 197, 363, P12, P13 nearby.
Train: Peckham Rye (Zone 2 – Overground, Southern, Southeastern, Thameslink)
Social media: The Kentish Drovers is on Facebook and Twitter.