Located in multicultural Southeast London, the Deptford Cafe is a hidden gem selling homemade delights from locally sourced ingredients. An initiative of Raw Nerve and designed by Studio Myerscough, the Deptford Cafe was made from an old train carriage donated by South East Trains about three years ago. The cafe is part of a creative community space called The Deptford Project, which also includes designers' studios, a communal garden and an outdoors silent cinema with fantastic blooming umbrellas made from old pink parachutes!
Weighting 35 tons, the South East Trains’ carriage made its way from Essex to Deptford on Valentine’s Day 2008 and was beautifully restored into what is today the Deptford Cafe. Serving delicious home made cakes, fair-trade coffee, and healthy salads from locally sourced ingredients, the cafe is a unique East London gem. Decorated with colorful vintage finds that create a friendly and welcome atmosphere the cafe has an indoor and outdoors dining areas.
Full of wonderful little hints to the area, including a vintage circus poster from nearby Peckham, visitors can find all about what’s going on south and east from the River Thames. The toilet, outside the carriage, is housed in a prefab pine shed, and it is strangely decorated with black and white ’50s memorabilia. A cute DIY idea found at the cafe is the use of rakes as hangers.
The Deptford Project also likes animal visitors, and they have some nicely made birdhouses constructed with off-cut pieces of wood. The cafe gets its herbs from a nice fragrant garden area in the backyard, which has been decorated by a local artist and has space to sit and relax. The people in the arches, with studios underneath the rail tracks include Jail Make, Crafty Bitches, Borro Antique Furniture Designers and Union Cycle Work.
During the summer, many outdoor Silent Cinema sessions have been showing some fantastic ’80s classics. Spectators are given headphones to watch the film without disturbing the neighbours with noise and are invited to sit on recycled pallets chairs underneath amazing pink parachute umbrellas.
If you are in the area, go and visit the Deptford Cafe — it is just a few steps from Deptford Train Station and serves nice affordable food within a sustainable and very innovative London space.
Photos © Ana Lisa Alperovich for Inhabitat