Such ventures test our usually unshakable trust in Citymapper. A few winding turns away from Rye Lane and into the semi-residential, semi-industrial backstreets of Peckham, misgivings could be forgiven. That is before the smell reaches you. It billows up through the melee of scents that effervesce from Peckham Rye, until it becomes all-encompassing; wood and meat and cinnamon. Like cartoon characters, enticed by an almost visible odour, we’re led to a former cash-and-carry, through a small, hand carved door in a sheet of MDF and into a semi-exposed warehouse space that smells like God’s own kitchen; Forza Win(ter). Warm, spiced cocktails greet you, along with the crackling fires under the spit roast. We slide into the corner chairs, adjacent to the flames and warm our backs before the first course. Fonduta (Italian fondue) forms the backbone of four of the five courses at this communal and social banquet. The large circular tables quickly buzz with conversation as the food is shared out from a central platter. Each course outdoes the last with the pièce de résistance; slow cooked and smoke laden pork, leaving most diners in a comatose state of satisfaction. The winding roads that lead back to the station seemed far more welcoming on the walk home; the warm glow of mulled cocktails in our stomachs and the smell of wood smoke etched in our clothes.
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