News roundup: Camberwell Fair returns, the Green reopens

Quite a lot of the local news now happens on Twitter, and I sometimes forget that readers of this blog who aren’t also there miss out on some things. So I’m starting a semi-regular roundup for all those people, starting with this one.

Monday (4th July) night is the 10th anniversary AGM of the SE5 Forum. There will be food from Love Walk Cafe, music by Camberwell Community Choir, and appearances from the leader of Southwark Council, Cllr. Peter John, and the London Assembly Member for Lambeth and Southwark, Cllr. Florence Eshalomi. It’s at Cambridge House, Camberwell Rd., from 6.30pm.

The owners of the ridiculously popular Frank’s Cafe, in Peckham, are hoping to take over the former Club Couture premises at the foot of Camberwell Grove. There’s a public meeting to discuss the proposal at the Camberwell Arms at 6.30pm on 7th July; I’d imagine the influential Camberwell Society will have something to say.

The Green is set to reopen on 16th July, with a community launch event running from 12pm to 5pm, and an afterparty at the Tiger with DJs from Rat Records.

The relaunch event is being organised by Camberwell Fair, who are also back with their own event, on 20th August, although this year in Burgess Park. The first acts on the music lineup have been announced. If you’re a local business there’s still time to apply for a stall.

TfL are investigating the reopening of Camberwell Station after 52 years inactivity, reporting that “initial work suggests a station is physically feasible”. The station would be on the Thameslink line. Next steps will be to assess the impact on the rail network and any development plans in the area, and with the rebuilding of the station required, this won’t be happening in the next few years.

And finally, the war memorial to the Surrey Rifles brigade, located in front of St. Giles church, has been awarded Grade II listed status.

This was the news.

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.