Peter Gordon’s London home is a sweet retreat in a near-famous street
Q&A with Peter Gordon
Your street has a lovely austerity about it. But you weren’t that keen on the street when you first saw it, were you?
Some friends had suggested I move here, but initially I thought it was hideous. The only plant was a weed growing off the train bridge, but when I looked inside it felt good and there was a really sunny garden. It looked like a bomb site but had a beautiful vibe about it. There’s a nice history too: the street was going to be demolished in the 1970s, but a whole lot of artists and their families who had moved in formed the Beck Road Arts Trust and campaigned to save it. And I’d been to the area a few times before and loved the neighbourhood in general.
What did you do to whip the garden into shape?
When I bought the house, the garden was completely overgrown. Maria Dallow is an old friend with a gardening company. She said, ‘oh darling, we just have to rip that out’. So we did. It has a lancewood, kowhai and feijoa. It’s all gone completely lush and bonkers. It isn’t intended to be a little bit of New Zealand, but it is.
The neighbourhood is great, isn’t it?
Shoreditch is too young and hipster, but Broadway Market has a really relaxed feel to it, with an incredible food scene. I go once or twice a week to the butcher’s, there’s a great fish shop and the Saturday markets just get better and better. There’s heaps going on all the time. It’s becoming a real eating and drinking destination. And it’s just a short walk to the London Field Lido, where I like to swim. I don’t need a car because buses and the Tube take me everywhere.
Words by: Jeremy Hansen
Photography by: Manja Wachsmuth