Christmas Opening Hours

An incomplete and growing roundup of Christmas opening hours around the area, to help you make your festive plans. Submissions always welcome: email peter@​camberwellonline.​co.​uk, or flag/DM me on Instagram or Twitter (I’m @camberwellblog on both) or Facebook.

Stormbird and The Hermit’s Cave will close Christmas, Boxing, and New Year’s Days, open regular hours otherwise.

The Crooked Well will close at 9pm on Christmas Eve, and stay closed for Christmas and Boxing Days. They’ll be serving food all day on NYE (no info on hours), but will be open New Year’s Day from 12.30–17.00.

The Pigeon Hole have a nice long break; they’ll close at 5pm on 23rd, and reopen at 8.30am on 5th January. Likewise The Hill Baker, who will close at 1pm on Christmas Eve and reopen on 9th January.

Camberwell Christmas: Winter Art and Craft Events

As Winter sets in, it’s time for Camberwell to do what it does best: arts and crafts. Plenty of events happening throughout December, and plenty of opportunities to buy locally-made Christmas presents. If you have news of any more events, leave a comment below or talk to @camberwellblog on Twitter, and I’ll update this list.

December Events

2nd-3rd and 9th-10th December: the big ticket event, Camberwell Arts Open Studios. “This season we have over 100 artists opening their doors to the public, from East Dulwich to Burgess Park and from Peckham, through Camberwell to Loughborough Junction.” Participants include Arebyte Studios, Art in the Park, Clockwork Studios, Coldharbour Studios, and many independents. “Studios east of Denmark Hill will be opening the weekend of 2–3 December and those west of Denmark Hill 9–10 December.”

Both weekends will also have guided studio walking tours—tickets are £5.71 (very precise) on Sunday 3rd and Sunday 10th—and the Made in Camberwell Arts Market at The Tiger; “We are offering different traders selling original gifts on each Saturday. From quirky to elegant, luxurious to essential, upcycled and reworked to dazzlingly new. We have everything to delight all the senses – taste, touch, sight, scent and sound.” For full details of the Open Studios, tours, or Arts Market, pick up a copy of the brochure around town, or download the brochure as a PDF.

30th November to 3rd December: Christmas Open Studios at Vanguard Court, SE5 8QT. “Bags, Ceramics, Furniture, Jewellery, Painting, Printmaking, Sculpture, Silverware, Textiles. Meet the artists and explore their workspace.” Vanguard are part of the Open Studios event above, but also keeping their doors open a little longer.

5th December: All’s Well, a talk by Camberwell artists and local mental health charity CoolTan Arts “will explore the idea of “All’s Well”, which runs throughout Camberwell’s culture and history.” Tickets are free but you’ll need to register.

9th and 10th December: Pexmas Festive Market in Warwick Gardens, SE15 5AQ (technically outside of Camberwell, but it’s so close I’ll allow it). “Mulled Wine. Stalls. Street Food. Tunes.” Last year’s event was great, look forward to seeing it again.

16th December: The good news is that Organoke is back. “Forget ‘Little Donkey’ and come sing your heart out to Karaoke Christmas Classics with one of London’s oldest church organs turned up to 11, before rounding off the night with an afterparty in the Crypt.” The bad news is that tickets are already sold out. You can join their mailing list to be notified of any returns.

17th December: Christmas Celebration at Myatt’s Fields Park. “We’ll have a Christmas market from 2–5pm, children’s workshop to make your own christingle from 4–5pm, mulled wine, hot chocolate and mince pies and from 5pm carols by candlelight around the bandstand, led by Southwark Concert Band.” Facebook event page.

Get Funding for Your Own Business Event

Following the success of this year’s Camberwell Fair, they are able to support three local businesses to host their own event between January and May 2018. The event could be a performance, workshop, talk, a launch of a new product, an exhibition… whatever will promote your business locally. The Camberwell Fair team will be able to support the business in a number of ways, including:

  • £200 to spend on any aspect of the event
  • Marketing support
  • Event management guidance
  • Advice on local partnerships
They encourage collaborations, so community organisations are able to apply if they have a partnership to benefit local businesses. Applications close 28th January,  but the event must be staged before May 2018. For full details, please visit:

Food and Drink News: Openings and Closings

Featured illustration by Sam Peet, used with permission. Thanks, Sam!

Some enticing news, some good news, some bad news.


There’s a licensing application in for Ambigu, a new restaurant over two floors at 58a Church Street, the site of the recently closed Kalabash African restaurant and Club Couture in the basement. The food would be small plate / tapas, largely Latin American, with a small bar and a late license. The team behind the application are involved with the Bermondsey Social Club, and Blues Kitchen in Brixton and Shoreditch. You can see more details on the published appeal to local residents [PDF].

It’s an interesting proposition; the request is to have a license until 2am, and Camberwell doesn’t offer much in the way of late-night dining. My guess is that there will be some objections about noise from the residents of Camberwell Grove. I can’t find a formal decision made on the application as yet.

Peckham’s famous Frank’s will be moving into a winter residency in the room above The Camberwell Arms, which they bought outright back in May (I missed that news at the time). Seems Camberwell’s Frank’s will be a cocktail bar.

Major refurbishment work seems almost complete at The Grove, on Camberwell Grove, which will reopen this month as Grove House (update: it reopened on 11th November). After the last tenants, the Grand Union chain, sold most of their properties to the Draft House chain, The Grove returned to ownership by Young’s, but they’ve said they’ll only be acting as landlords and the new tenants are private; I don’t have any details yet on who they are.


The Bear, on Camberwell New Road, will be closing down for six-eight months from this Friday, 10th November as the landlord of the building renovates the upper floors of the building. The team at the Bear say they will definitely be re-opening again next year, and there’ll be a big party there on Friday.

Nape, the wine and charcuterie deli on Church Street, has permanently closed. They’ve said they’ll soon publish news about why they had to do it; I don’t know whether it was trouble with the premises (I know it wasn’t as complete as they wanted it to be), a simple lack of business, or just the difficulty of doing business in Camberwell.

Camberwell Church Street is becoming pretty bare after the closure of Angels & Gypsies, Queen’s, and now Nape. Does the area’s heavy concentration of students make it hard for slightly more expensive dining and drinking spots to keep going? Or is it perhaps with seasonality (it’s quiet in Summer and at Christmas, again because of students)? Is it more to do with the transport links? The A202 running through the middle of it?  Business rates?

Whatever the reason, seems that it’s often a struggle for small businesses to establish themselves here.

Possible Closing and Opening

I can’t comment on this publicly yet, but have been told that it’s likely that another small, popular, recently established business in the area may be closing soon. However, there’s a chance it could appear again in a different venue a little later. Sorry for being so maddeningly vague, I’ll update in future.

Camberwell Yards ‘box park’ plans scrapped

Plans for Camberwell Yards, the box park / container village project proposed for the area behind Butterfly Walk, have been scrapped. An email sent to some local residents says:

As you are aware, we have been working on this project for most of the year and have gone through extensive public and tenant consultations.

We have received a huge amount of interest and positive support for the project where the majority felt that this would be a beneficial addition to Camberwell.

At the end of an extensive reach, where we have also undertaken various surveys and reports including Transport and Noise Reports (following consultation of the Community) in order to support a planning application for this temporary project, we had hoped to submit the application for planning during September.

Unfortunately, our discussions with one key Tenant has proven to be unsuccessful as they feel that the project will not be compatible with their operation.

Therefore, it is with regret that we have to inform you that we will not be proceeding with this exciting project.

We would like to take this opportunity to all the people who attended the Consultation, and to all those people who have shown interest, co-operated and supported our team in endeavouring to get this project off the ground.

It’s fair to say that not everyone was behind this idea—some with reason, others less so—but I would have liked to have heard more about the plans, so it’s a shame this didn’t progress a little further.

More info if I get it.

A request for help to run the social media

I first posted on this blog 13 years ago and, despite some help from many people along the way, have been running it mostly singlehandedly. There have been an awful lot of changes to the way people use the web since 2013, not least the rise of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and the amount of work to keep it going has increased greatly.

Lately I’ve been finding it a struggle to balance the work required to maintain a useful resource across all the platforms, as well as having a full-time job and keeping some kind of personal life. While I’m not planning to give it up any time soon, I wouldn’t mind asking for a bit of help.

I’m looking for volunteers on all the social channels. The work involved isn’t onerous; keep an eye on local news, share/retweet interesting stories, perhaps post the occasional bit of original content. If you’re a Facebook/Twitter/Instagram user who can spare a few minutes every other day or so, I’d hugely appreciate it.

It’s strictly volunteer work, unfortunately; I’m long past the stage where I could usefully earn any money from this. There are occasional opportunities to get invited along to events, but I can’t promise anything.

If you’re suitable and interested, you can leave a comment here, email peter@​camberwellonline.​co.​uk, or message me on any social channel.

Hope to hear from you.