Birthday weekend

It was my birthday last Tuesday (I’m grown-up years old), so on Saturday I decided to drag all of my friends away from their comfortable North London existence to pay a visit to the South. I decided that a communal-style meal was the way to go, so booked a table in Rock‑8, the Tapas bar on Grove Lane.

The table was booked for 15 but a few stragglers were brought along, so we ended up with about 20. As the rest of the restaurant was full, the staff did an excellent job of digging out extra chairs from all over the place (cellar, outside, etc) and seating us all in the long extension at the rear of the restaurant.

We decided to order two dishes each and to let everyone tuck in, like a buffet. The food was generally very good (a few dishes arrived late, one or two arrived a little too cool) and the service was great. Between 20 people we ran up a bill of about £300; that sounds like a lot, but it meant about £10 each on food, plus another £5 on drink — and there was lots of wine.

We left at about 10.30pm and, wanting to keep the party going, trekked down (in the pouring rain) to The Castle. I really like this place, but this was only the second time I’ve been there. It’s 2am license is an obvious attraction, but also because it feels friendly and warm. The DJ played a good selection of music (rap, hip-hop, soul and electro classics) and we all got very hammered. I don’t know what time we left there; it wasn’t chucking-out time, but it was late.

The feedback from all of my friends has been extremely positive; they all enjoyed their brief time in SE5, and now I just have to persuade them to do it more often.

On Sunday we took a quick trip to Camberwell so I could get a phone unlocked at the phone shop (whose name escapes me) at 1–3 Camberwell Church Street, SE5 8TR. They did it for £10 and it works fine. We also looked for a dry cleaner, but all were closed. That’s how life goes sometimes.

Author: Peter

Long-time resident of Camberwell, author of this blog since July 2004.