picture of lizard statues provided by Addison Lee
1st October 2020

Crystal Palace

Kevin Valentine

Head of Delivery Services

This week our London is our locAL feature comes from an Addison Lee stalwart. Kevin Valentine, our Head of Delivery Service’s friendly face and cheeky sense of humour are well-known business wide and his words of wisdom are well trusted, so we are confident that a visit to Crystal Palace on his recommendations is going to be a great day out.

Perched on top of a hill in South London, Crystal Palace boasts amazing views of the city, but the picturesque area is not short of sights itself. Take its namesake, Crystal Palace Park. It’s one of the largest green spaces in South London and houses many eclectic points of interest, including ornate Italian Terraces, two huge Egyptian style sphinx monuments, a maze dating back to 1870 and life size dinosaur sculptures, which are apparently the oldest in the world! There are 30 dinosaur sculptures in London’s very own Jurassic Park, I can confidently say that there’s nothing else like it in the city. Crystal Palace Park also has the usual suspects of a pond and plenty of wide-open spaces for an autumn walk.

If the weather’s not good enough for a wander around the park, you could check out Crystal Palace Museum to find out more about the grand glass building that was burned down in 1936. There’s photo’s, documents and even ceramics from the original building. Another rainy-day favourite of mine is catching a film at Crystal Palace Everyman Cinema. They usually have a good selection of new releases and old favourites.

Joanna’s Restaurant is a fabulous eatery whatever the occasion, breakfast, lunch, dinner, casual, romantic or celebratory. The buzzy atmosphere suits it all. The menu is classic, tried and true and the décor has a nostalgic feel with rich colours similar to those in a Stanley Kubrick film.

The Alma is my favourite pub in Crystal Palace. It has a homely feel but like Joanna’s, there’s also something quite glamorous about it. It’s a nice spot for a drink but it also serves really good pub grub. It has a huge beer garden for the summer months, but I think this pub is perfectly suited to the autumn and winter, with a Sunday Roast, glass of red and open fire.

Crystal Palace also has a community food market on Haynes Lane. It runs once a week on a Saturday and focusses on local and organic food. The vendors change regularly so I can’t mention a favourite but there’s usually always something delicious to pick up. Haynes Lane Market is also a great spot for vintage fans. You can find clothes, interiors and bric-a-brac in stalls across two floors.

Crystal Palace is somewhat overlooked as an area in London, but it’s so much more than a football club and I hope one day you discover that for yourself. If my list above isn’t enough to make you visit, Crystal Palace even has its very own Eiffel Tower. Not really, but the 219-metre-tall Crystal Palace Transmitter has an uncanny resemblance to the famous Parisian landmark.

To submit the hidden gems or well-known hotspots of your London locAL area, please send them to londonisourlocal@addisonlee.com for your chance to be featured.

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