Lawrence Roullier White portrait_HR_04

In December, Lawrence Roullier White celebrated 10 years of his lifestyle store on Lordship Lane. Which may seem a longtime to some, but not when you know his traceable family have lived in Peckham and East Dulwich since the 1780’s.

How long have you lived in the area?
I have lived here all my life. I was born in Camberwell where my parents rented, they bought their first home in East Dulwich.

What has changed most during that time?
The area just keeps getting better and better, I think the shops and bars and restaurants are now amongst the best in London.

What do you most value about the area/street you live in?
I am so lucky to have a house on the Peckham side of Peckham Rye looking over the Common. I am so privileged to have that as my view.

The most famous person you’ve seen or met?
We get many, many really lovely and charming ones in the shop and I have met a lot. Probably the most star struck I have been, however, was when Leslie Caron bought her Christmas presents on the first Christmas Eve we were open.  A big deal serving Oscar nominated actress in your first week!

Where are you likely to be found on Saturday?
The stalls on North Cross Road are a favourite of mine and I love exploring Peckham where there is always something exciting and ingenious happening.

What is your favourite place to eat?
We are so spoiled for choice but I love Sunday lunches in the House of Tippler – Tim does the best Martinis – and Pedler is a passion of mine. I love trying new ones though and cannot wait to check out The Habit in Nunhead.

The best kept secret…
The mausoleum in Dulwich Picture Gallery is a nook that no one seems to know about. Sometimes the main gallery can be heaving and hidden away, just feet from the visitors, is this little sanctuary of calm.

Where’s your favourite place to walk?
I walk everywhere, I love walking over One Tree Hill to Honor Oak and up to Horniman’s for the amazing view from the bandstand.

When I want to relax…
In the warmer months I walk to Brockwell Park for an early morning swim at the Lido. I do yoga at Yogarise in the Bussey Building.

What is your favourite shop?
I love them all, we are so lucky with all our independent shops, I do love a bookshop though and I pass Rye Books every morning on my way to work, I say hello to Alastair and Bert the dog.

What was the last thing you bought there?
A signed company of the Lady in the Van – I gave to my friend who is an Alan Bennett fanatic.

Best bargain you’ve ever landed…
Not bought locally, but Lola, our British Blue, has been 12 years of fun, well worth the price tag.

My perfect holiday…
I would love to have a week with no work to do and spend it properly discovering this area – I always seem to be rushing somewhere or other so a week off at home with absolutely nothing to do would be lovely.

This article first appeared in the March 2016 issue of SE22 magazine.