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VIntagehart

‘Gorgeous clothes for girls’ in a shop in the White Hart pub, so normally unwilling blokes have a good reason to enjoy shopping with their partners. Offering the vintage look with clothes from the 1950s through to today, it is open from noon-6pm, Thu-Sun (8pm Fri).

96 Church Road SE19
Tel: +44 (0)7982 184 657
www.vintagehart.co.uk

Crystal Palace Park

Thronged in Victorian days, the park has been through some bad times but is coming back to life. The remnants of the terraces of the Crystal Palace - still with the odd grand sculpture - give an idea of its vast scale. The restored Dinosaur Park - the world’s first theme park - is a must.

Thicket Road SE20
www.bromley.gov.uk

Glitter And Twisted

A quirky shop, full of lovely knickknacks for the home which you don’t really need but which you feel the unaccountable urge to possess instantly. How have you lived without a bright yellow telephone or a cute model of a vintage Italian car on your shelves?

25 Westow Street SE19
Tel: +44 (0)20 8771 9493

Blackbird Bakery

All the produce here is handbaked using organic flour from Shipton Mills. A great range of breads - five seed, olive, sourdough, herb etc - and some equally fine English-style cakes. And if you yearn for a proper French croissant, the ones here are as good as you will find outside Paris.

71 Westow Street SE19
Tel: +44 (0)20 8768 0357

The Crystal Palace was the nickname for the massive iron and glass hall that housed the Great Exhibition of 1851. Moved to Upper Norwood, it burned down in 1936 but gave its name to this leafy area of south London, once part of the Great North Wood.

Rail: Gipsy Hill/Crystal Palace

Any comments - or a suggestion for a London secret? Please e-mail me.

Crystal Palace

Joanna’s

This Crystal Palace stalwart has been around for more than 30 years, which proves it is doing something very right. There’s a modern European menu and a great view from the terrace of central London. The names comes from rhyming slang after a former owner’s piano-playing.

56 Westow Hill SE19
Tel: +44 (0)20 8670 4052
www.joannas.uk.com

Domali

This simple vegetarian café (it also serves fish) is a local institution for hangover-friendly breakfasts at the weekend, while you enjoy a leisurely read of the papers. A nice garden too, if the sun is shining. In the evenings, it’s a cocktail bar vibe, with half-price happy hour.

38 Westow Street SE19
Tel: +44 (0)20 8768 0096
www.domali.co.uk

Crystal Palace Museum

This tiny museum describes the wonders of the 1851 Great Exhibition and the Crystal Palace. There are exhibits of crafts and souvenirs, and a few sad artefacts recovered after the disastrous fire. By the way, the original gates still stand near the Albert Memorial.

Anerley Hill SE19
Tel: +44 (0)20 8676 0700
Crystal Palace Museum

Gipsy Tower

One of the most eccentric houses in London - and certainly among the ones with the best view - has to be this old church. The 18th-century church burnt down, leaving only the 40m tower, cleverly converted into a private home (not open to viewing), with some amazing views of the City of London.

Gipsy Hill SE19
www.gipsytower.com

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