- Food & Drink
Wanting to feel both hip and to the hop, I took a trip to Frank’s Cafe and Campari Bar on Friday. It’s a pop-up bar and restaurant that’s sitting on top of a car park in Peckham until September. Pop-ups are the innest thing right now and this one is in Peckham, a little bit hard to find, has two floors of art and the canopy was designed by Antony Gormley’s daughter, so it must be ultra cool. Or, given that it has been reviewed by The Guardian, Time Out and I know about it, not cool at all.
Safe, urban grime for people who are afraid of buses at night, Frank’s is not even that difficult to track down. Although I was completely surprised to learn that there is a multi-storey car park in Peckham. I’d always hoped that the massive edifice above the Peckham Plex was home to abandoned cinema screens and dusty chandeliers, but it turns out to just be a car park for Morrisons. There is no romance left in my world.
We (Leonard, DJ and I) took the lift to the sixth floor and then followed the ramps up to the bar. You’ll know you’re nearly there when you hear the screaming – it’s part of a video installation. Don’t worry, you don’t have to stop and look at it. We fear art that doesn’t fit onto postcards, so we moved quickly past.
The bar is brilliant. I can’t help myself, I love it. It’s like a big red tent, and my inner Girl Guide loves nothing more than a tent. And a tent with a view and a bar – happiness unconfined. The view is magic. The Gherkin and the City’s other less nicknamed towers rear out of the stumpy townhouses and scraggy little apartments that make up South London’s march towards the river. London is never beautiful seen from above, it’s a street level sort of a place, but I do like to look at it and admire its ambition.
Our main reason for wanting to visit Frank’s, apart from wanting to be down with the kids, was the campari. DJ, in particular, loves nothing more than a bitter red drink at the end of the day, and Leonard’s family pay regular homage to the negroni. So it was tre negronis and a perch on a wooden bench.
A negroni is made from a shot of Campari, a shot of sweet vermouth and a shot of gin, barely stirred together in a glass full of ice and served with a slice of orange for health reasons. Our barman was impressed by our decisive ordering and our talk of famous negronis we have drunk. He mixed a damn fine negroni and we watched the plates of food go past with hungry eyes. We already had dinner plans, but a return date to eat under the big red tent is anticipated with drool.
Frank’s closed on 30th September 2009, but opens every summer.