Camberwell’s pubs: addendum

A few brief additions to my post on local pubs a few weeks ago.

First, The Bear has (re-)opened, although not quite fully. It’s now a craft-beer focused pub with a kitchen. The interior has seen a spruce-up, no massive changes but a bit more bright and with more beer pumps. The space still looks a little sparse, but will no doubt improve over the coming weeks.

They have some 20 or so beers on cask and keg, including many locals. The staff are very knowledgeable about their craft beers, and this seems to be the intended differentiator between themselves and other local pubs. I look forward to revisiting many times to see them grow into the space, and wish them success — that’s a tricky location, but hopefully soon to be more popular due to the many new flats being constructed across the road.

Also re-opened is The Phoenix, at Denmark Hill station. They’ve likewise spruced up, with some nice new booth seating particularly noticeable — and it’s still the best place to catch the sun later in the day. There’s a new menu as of last week, which looks good albeit identical to at least one other pub in their chain, The Commercial in Herne Hill.

In my previous blog post I mentioned that The Crooked Well wasn’t the best place for drinkers, but that was out-of-date information; they’ve refurbished their lounge to have more seats and tables, and made the difficult change from being a tied pub to a freehouse which means they have freedom to serve the beers they want. So in addition to their nice restaurant it’s now also a decent place to sit and have a beer.

Finally, some pubs I missed from my round-up: First is The Amaryllis on Coldharbour Lane. I’ve been there once, about eight years ago, so fear I have nothing useful to add about it other than it’s still there so seems at least moderately successful. Then there are The Kennington, La Tavernetta/The Golden Goose and The Clarendon Arms, all on Camberwell New Road. You can tell by their omission that I don’t get out that way much.  Sadly, I also have nothing to report on them except that they’ve been through name changes in the past few years.

Perhaps it’s time I did a pub crawl through the places I’ve never visited.

Cooks Wanted for the Camberwell Cookbook

Remember the Travel Guide to Camberwell, released for Camberwell Arts Festival back in 2012? There’s a similar publication planned for this year’s festival (11th-19th June), but this time around it will showcase recipes, reviews, cafés and restaurants in the area. Called The Camberwell Cookbook, the plan is to mix recipes and artwork by local residents in order to showcase our vibrant local food and arts scene.

The book will be printed and distributed in May, but first your contributions are needed. There will be a series of workshops at the Peckham Pelican later this week: Thursday to Saturday, 2pm to 6pm. The workshops will be creating visual content to go in the cookbook through drawing, printing and planting.

You can just turn up and get involved, or email the organisers at camberwellcookbook@​gmail.​com for more details.

Angels & Gypsies closes its doors

Very shocked to learn today that Angels & Gypsies, on Church St., has closed. The Church Street Hotel and Communion Bar are unaffected and will continue as normal. A statement on their website reads:

Having had 6 wonderful years of bringing our passion for creative, seasonal tapas to our intimate restaurant we have decided to focus our expertise in hosting special events. We will no longer be operating as a seven day a week restaurant , but will be working closely with our catering partners, Church Street Hotel, and Communion Bar in providing a warm intimate venue for private events, functions, wedding receptions and venue hire.

We would like to thank all our loyal customers for their support over the years, and look forward to hosting many more special events to come.

The food at Angels & Gypsies has been consistently excellent, and made the restaurant one of the first ‘destination’ restaurants in the area. If increased competition in the past few years meant that it wasn’t always full to capacity as in its heyday, Angels & Gypsies was rarely below half full on any given evening. The loss of the place leaves us with a tapas-shaped hole.

Camberwell Free Film Festival 2016

NB I’d intended to write something bespoke about this, but it’s late. So here’s a lightly modified press release instead.

The 4th Camberwell Free Film Festival (CFFF) will run between Thursday 31 March to Sunday 10 April totalling 16 events over 11 days.

Now firmly established since their debut in 2013, with the aim of placing Camberwell on the cultural map of London, CFFF is back to screen a selection of classic, contemporary and cult movies at cafes, pubs, civic spaces and landmark architectural venues around SE5. Entirely curated and organized on a voluntary basis by local residents with a passion for cinema and community, the festival forms a part of the highly successful and rapidly growing Free Film Festivals family.

Highlights for 2016 include, a German themed night at Dulwich Hamlet Football Club where amongst the beer, food and music the rarely seen techno spoof “Fraktus” which is set in Hamburg will be screened. There will also be a creepy double bill over two nights at JazzLive at The Crypt underneath St.Giles Church featuring the 1962 classic “Carnival Of Souls” paired with the smash contemporary debut “A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night” by Ana Lily Amirpour. We are also delighted to revisit architectural landmark William Booth College for a closing weekend of matinees at The Salvation Army including the BAFTA nominated “Suffragette”.

You can see the full lineup on the FFF website.

For more details and updates, please check CFFF Social Media: