Why go to…Crystal Palace

Crystal Palace is an area in South East London well served by public transport with a hub of shops, pubs and restaurants based around three roads known as the Crystal Palace Triangle. It’s also home to a popular park and a national sports centre.

Housing – 1 Bedroom flats start at £225,000, with renting from £925pcm*. Considering it’s proximity to central London and the transport links available Crystal Palace still represents relative value for money.

Transport – With both Gipsy Hill and Crystal Palace stations a quick walk from the triangle hub you can get to various locations quickly and easily.  Trains to London Bridge in a little as 22 minutes and to Victoria in less than half an hour. Shoreditch High Street is also reachable within half an hour thanks to the London Overground.  The area is served well by buses with a small bus station on Crystal Palace Parade.

thai crystal masaman curry

Thai Crystal

Restaurants – There are loads of restaurants spread across Westow Hill, Church Road and Westow Street, where you can find anything from traditional Thai to trendy pizza and craft beer joints.

Crystal Palace stalwart Joanna’s has been going for three decades and continues to be a popular pick for breakfast, lunch and dinner. This traditional Brasserie serves set courses starting from £16.50 for two courses.

Mediterranea is another popular choice for pizza, pasta and a range of traditional Sardinian meat and fish dishes.

400 rabbits wood oven

400 Rabbits

For Thai head to Thai Crystal on Westow Hill, whether you want to takeaway or eat in. Others worth a mention include 400 Rabbits, Yak and Yeti and the Crystal Palace market, full reviews here.

Pubs – Plenty of choice ranging from Anitc’s Westow House which has live music every Friday and a large outdoor space, to the White Hart which houses a small vintage clothes shop.  The Sparrowhawk and The Alma are also lively and worth a visit.vh001

James Balston Photgraphy

White Hart Pub & Vintage Shop – James Balston Photography

Cafes – Sometimes nothing beats a good coffee and a slice of cake, for these times we highly recommend Brown and Green which occupies a lovely space inside of Crystal Palace station.  For a top class breakfast in quirky surroundings head to Boyce Da Roca which occupies part of the Babino’s vintage store.  Braziliana is a bright and welcoming cafe on Westow Hill serving traditional Brazilian fair.  St Germaine with it’s outdoor terrace is the place to go to enjoy a hot drink, pastry and view of Crystal Palace’s answer to the Eiffel Tower.

Shops – Over the years Crystal Palace has become known for it’s top quality furniture shops and this can be credited in part to Babinos which was the first such shop on Chruch Road, opening 27 years ago.

Babinos vintage shop

Bambino – James Balston Photography

The street is now packed full of them,and there’s more scattered across Crystal Palace with Crystal Palace Vintage being well worth a visit if vintage fashion is your thing. For furniture try also Do South and Crystal Palace Antiques.

Crystal Palace Antiques

Crystal Palace Antiques – James Balston Photography

Do South

Do South – James Balston Photography

Haynes Lane market is a mash-up of all things vintage and collectible resembling a hoarders paradise, definitely worth a look.

What Else – No mention of Crystal Palace would be complete without a nod to the park which comes complete with dinosaurs, a maze and some cracking views.

Dinosaurs Crystal Palace Park

James Balston Photography

Situated within the park and right next to CP station is the Grade II listed Sports Centre which is home to an athletics track, 50m pool and diving pool.  It’s run by Better, through whom you can become a member and make full use of the facilities.Crsytal Palace Sports Centre

Crystal Palace Sports Centre

James Balston Photography

There’s also the Crystal Palace museum which is free and open 11am – 4pm Saturday and Sunday.

Finally The Crystal Palace Subway is a Victorian relic resembling a vaulted crypt which sits under Crystal Palace Parade and used to provide access to the Crystal Palace.  Now unfortunately it’s closed to the public for the majority of the year, getting in is like gold dust with the recent open house weekend slots being taken within 4 hours.  Friends of Crystal Palace subway are working to get this open to the public on a regular basis.

And another thing…Underground toilets in London have been getting new leases of lives as bars and arts venues, in Crystal Palace however the underground former lavatories have been transformed into a flat, looks pretty awesome to us, here’s some pics.

*stats taken from Right Move 16/09/15

Most of the photp’s in this article were taken by James Balston.


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