Best burgers by (& for) miles

Went to the Sun & Doves last night (to see a man about a dog) and stayed in the glorious back garden for ice-cold Guinness and red-hot barbecue. Yum! Without wishing to sound like I’m buttering-up our regular visitor (and S&D owner) Mark, I would say that the ‘Doves is without peer in the SE5 (and broader) region in terms of al fresco drinking and dining. It seems that Time Out agrees, as they are mentioned in the ’60 best…’ feature this week.

The SLP has the latest on the Camberwell Grove railway bridge closure fiasco/godsend (delete as appropriate), in the hardcore-sounding story Residents Rocked by Concrete Blocks. What is the latest? Status quo.
Apologies for the light bloggage; I’m busy enjoying the sunshine and planning family holidays.

Author: Peter

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

48 thoughts on “Best burgers by (& for) miles”

  1. I know I am just a silly Danish girl, but I am now even more daft with the heat. Therefore I cannot work the bloody sunanddoves website, I mean, it has the top chopped off it. Maybe it is my mac.

    The words spill out of me with no sense. How do you say in Camberwell?

    Anyway, the bit on sustainability on the website, which I could see, about wanting to be the first carbon-neutral pub in the world, made me laugh myself out-loud even dizzier!

    My daughters and “partner” are down in so-to-speak their native Cornwall for their family holiday, while I am left here working, getting even giddier on cheap vermouth from the petrol station on the Peckham Road. They are flogging it off at half price for £3.55 for 1.5 litres (at 14.7% abv). Pound per alcohol unit, that is very good.

    I…

  2. The S&D website is not my happiest thing, I’m trying to do something about it. And the vermouth lead sounds worth investigating.

  3. Funny, I was in the S&D garden on Tuesday night and agree the garden is by far the best al fresco drinking/eating in Camberwell by a long way and the BBQ grub is great.
    I’ve been going there fairly regularly since moving to Camberwell 6 years ago but I’ve always felt that it is let down by the surly staff who seem to be intent on serving the least amount of people possible.

  4. there’s at least one member of the s&d staff that i’d say is very pretty, yeah! i’ve always had mixed feeling about the place really, but i love the beer garden!

    and yes, i will be heading to the petrol station to invest in some cheap vermouth tonight!

  5. S&D is great, and staff very pretty. I even bought some of the art from the walls there once. I might be the only person who ever has.

    I am starting to think of a cold San Miguel already. And is it wrong to have a burger for dinner if you had one for lunch?

  6. The cheap vermouth from the petrol station is suspect. The ingredients include sugar and alcohol. What on earth is alcohol? I am reminded of Perouda cars, the cheapest new car to run in terms of overall ownership, pence-per mile, in the UK. They retail for just over £4,000, but when you examine what you’re getting, they begin to look extremely expensive.

    I wonder if a car designed and made in Camberwell would catch on. The Camberwell. An environmentally friendly art car. “I drive a Camberwell actually. It has a wooden chassis, canvas body and runs on cheap vermouth.”

  7. The Dark Horse will open at 11am on Friday 28th July. On the menu is chilled Andaluz gazpacho, fricasse of chicken livers, tarte of fine cashelbleu, roast breast of guinea fowl, poached wild sea bass, crisp pork belly with shitake mushrooms…

  8. Thanks for the complements about S&D. However; Surly staff: Are they still surly? Please give me examples and I’ll try and do something about it. Threats, retribution. Heads will roll — slightly to one side as eyes look to ceiling “oh the boss is upset about something”.

    Art from the walls. You’re not alone Richie. ON average we sell about 5 pieces every show — that’s around sixty artworks a year varying in price from £20 to 2K.

    Two burgers a day: fine, as long as you don’t mind eating 100% prime Aberdeen Angus beef steak in an organic sourdough bun. That’s what we used to do but were losing money. So now the beef’s not certified and the bread’s from a local bakery that’s good value but doesn’t do organic anything.

    A Camberwell Car, now there’s an idea, each one could have different seats, salvaged from junk yards and street corners, or bought from http://www.morph.org.uk and recycled wheels also from Camberwell Station Road. They could be built by street drinkers. Give them something to talk about.

    The Dark Horse’s menu looks good. Although anything ‘wild’ about fish on a menu pisses me off. It should be farmed.

    Being pedantic and a little hung over this morning; I have to:

    Tortured, mixed language that sounds like an Elisabethan Dandy’s on menus does ma heed in. What’s wrong with conversational English?

    Gazpacho; is chilled and from Andalucia so this descriptive tortology is tritology. And I BET theirs is tomato and cucumber soup, which isn’t really actually gazpacho at all but more a modern aberration away from the origingal cold soup whose main ingredients are bread, garlic and olive oil (it is a white soup).

    Why not say ’”poached” of wild sea bass, — if it’s “of” almost everything else.

  9. Blimey, you’re on form. Keep drinking. Maybe your staff are pouty rather than surly. I will investigate. Maybe the wild sea bass are actually farmed, but they’re just a bit crazy, and the poachers have to stun ‘em.

  10. mark, your comments about the Dark Horse menu are great!

    does anyone know if the Dark Horse is owned by the same folks that own the Black Sheep? now that’s one terrible pub.

    for the record, i’ve always found the staff at the S&D to be really friendly and cool

  11. Yes, the Dark Horse is in the same chain as Black Sheep, which is part of the bigger chain that also owns the Phoenix, which if memory serves is Punch Taverns.

    As for the staff at the S&D, I’ve never seen them noticeably surly; they are well trained, though, keeping an eye on the queues at the bar very well.

    Last night I strayed into SE15 for a drink at Bar Story, and the staff were mostly hopeless; mooching around behind the bar, not making eye contact, etc.

  12. I can’t work out whether the closure of the Grove is a good thing or a bad one — on the one hand it’s extremely annoying to get to sainsbury via camberwell green but on the other hand there are far fewer cars now that people have realised it’s closed so it’s rather nice and quiet and it’s a good excuse to get on the bike. according to the notice it could be closed up to 18 months so I suspect that it will start annoying me by then!

    What really annoys me though is that they have shut the bridge at the same time as digging up the pavements — that bit on parking on the bridge is crucial when they’ve put restrictions in everywhere else!

  13. You’re not wrong! staff in Bar Story are sometimes a little rubbish — last time i went there i waited 5 minutes in a queue one to be served only to be told to “sit down and i’ll be over to take your order” — it took 20mins for her to finish chatting tobher mate and then come over — if i wasn’t so hungover and incapcitated from staying out all night i might have walked out!

    Having said that it’s a nice little bar with good food and i once sat next to Trevor from Trevor and Simon there — oh the bright lights of Peckham!

  14. My only experience of the S&D staff was one of them telling me I hadn’t broken my ankle when I slipped down the steps last summer (an accident, nobody’s fault — cycling shoes on concrete). After a half-hour hobble to casualty, it turned out it was broken. So while they may be beautiful and non-surly, their medical diagnostic skills are lacking!

    I’ve not been back since, not out of protest but because everytime I think about the pub, I get the same nauseous ‘I’m about to pass out’ feeling I got then. Stupid really because it’s a good pub with the only decent garden for miles.

  15. Get back on yer bike, mate. Return to the Doves, recover your confidence. Remember Tommy Simpson on Mont Ventoux in the Tour: “Put me back on me bike” (his last words).

    It is so oppressively hot, I expect fighter jets to fly over or a royal naval vessel to hove up the New Camberwell Road to evacuate us.

    The guinea fowl at the Dark Horse fly in ready-roasted…

  16. Less feverishly and derangedly, there is a cool, in every way, big hole in the ground in Graces Mews where they’re building something new. Maybe 10 feet deep, sliced right through the London clay, a vast hole.

    It really is a great hole. The clay is beautiful. It will be gone soon.

    I thought the photographers would be interested. Perhaps the best decaying pub shot must surely be of the Archduke Charles at the end of Heygate Street near the Elephant, that street opposite the new Golden Duck restaurant, what’s it called.

    It is a huge pub, boarded up, with an exterior board still up, headed “What’s On.”

  17. Bar Story:

    I’d give my eye teeth for a space like that. Well. I wouldn’t. But the layout is great. Just a few little things you’ve all spotted are wrong. Like. No one knows what they’re doing.

    Any way, supportive comments thankfully received, the surliness at S&D is being looked at.

    Away for a while now but I might be able to contribute from the western cape of the Algarve if the modem’s up to it.

    I always miss Camberwell when I’m not here. Funny that.

  18. The Dark Horse is owned by the same 2 lads who own the Black Sheep. The also opened (2 years ago?) a Black Sheep in Crystal Palace. It was a great pub when it opened, but fell prey to the big-screen football and deafening-shite-Friday-DJ trend. The pub also went downhill when the original 2 owners spent more time getting Crystal Palace off the ground. Recent visits to the ‘Sheep have seen a marked improvement and a revamp of the menu. Reason for the late opening of Dark Horse: (direct from owner Chris’s mouth): after Blake’s departure, gas mains were disconnected and it’s been the Devil’s own job to get them reconnected. R

  19. Incidentally, the Beehive — in unfashionable North Camberwell (Walworth!) is back on track and always worth a visit. For my money, still the best local. R

  20. As there’s so much talk of pubs on this posting, can I (be perhaps controversial, given it’s not in SE5, to)recommend a trip to The Fentiman Arms in Fentiman Road, SW8 the next time any of you find yourself in the Oval/Vauxhall area?
    And when you’re not drinking, perhaps you might consider dropping into Kennedy’s (the cold meat, pies, etc shop) near the Green. If you’re veggie, there’s not much there for you (apart from cheese) but if you’re not, it’s the sort of shop that is dying out in London. Family owned, they used to have a branch in Rye Lane too, but I hear that they closed it when the brother that ran it died. Their factory(?) is on Peckham Road and I remember when the shop at the front was operational as well, but that closed 15+ years ago. They make the staff wear white coats and hats/hairnets, which is always worth a visit for pure entertainment value. It’s a local shop for local people — and their bacon is fab!

  21. Yes, the Fentiman Arms hits the spot, not least because the bar staff have decreed my daughter to be so beautiful that she can drink for free. Well, she’s only 4 so I guess it won’t cut into the profits too much but I love the gesture!

    Back to the Sun & Doves…I can honestly say that I’ve never felt more at home and more relaxed in any pub anywhere. Never, ever had a problem with staff attitude. The atmosphere during the World Cup matches was joyous. And it even has bike racks!

    And last but not least, The Black Sheep. OK, it caters for a pretty narrow clientele (but less so than in its previous incarnation (;-), but you’ll come to no harm in there. Sit outside on a summer’s day, drink in hand, imagining you are on a tropical island beach (easy with the current weather) you’ll soon be bored… then open your eyes and savour the sites, smells and sounds of Camberwell New Road! Now your talking…

  22. Can I please have one or two further reviews of the cheap vermouth from the garage in Peckham Road? I got very confused by Dagmar’s retracted recommendation, which consisted of accusing them of blending alcohol with sugar. And you point is, Dagmar? As a result, I didn’t rush down there and buy 10 bottles. I’m not sure I even know what vermouth is, if I’m being honest. Does anyone remember the clear Martini? Wasn’t that vermouth in the (rather unworldly) advertising campaign?

  23. Good work, men, good work. Kennedy’s sausages, daughters, this is the stuff of life.

    My oldest daughter is called Rosie, so after Rosy’s entry above, I set off by push-bike to find the Beehive in both of their honours.

    Walworth really is old 19th Century south London, cramped. I found the people’s non-profit food shop at 56a Crampton Street, open on Thursdays and Fridays, afternoons only. Their brown rice may not just be good for the system, it may bring down the system.

    I was amazed that the old Carter Street nick is being refurbished. It used to be said that once you were in there, you never came out. The architects in charge of the re-do are called Libero. What will it become? A gay club, why not.

    Lorrimer Square is a find. The big 1970s church, St Paul’s, in the middle, is a mix of brutal-looking, beehive-cell cast-concrete and brick.

    The Beehive alehouse itself was, yes, Rosy, a real local. There was a worrying chav group sitting inside (on a hot summer evening — are they thick?) who were noisy and brash and should really have been in “Spine”.

    Outside, however, there was a posh couple having dinner. The woman was smoking Marlboro full-strength, which I thought showed real courage and commitment. She said about the food, “I wouldn’t say it was a brilliant meal, but it was OK.”

    There were a lot of South Africans sitting outside, unusual to see in Walworth.

    Then, after a time trial to the beach at low tide beneath the MI6 building by Vauxhall Bridge, I went to the Sun and Doves. I have not been there for years.

    I agree, Merrick, it is incredibly relaxed. That back yard, you could be in Paris. In some ways, I thought, Camberwell is the Berlin or Amsterdam of London.

    The bar staff work hard, there’s a lot to do. A good barman topped up my pint of ale after he first served it. He looked southern Mediterranean or north African or Brazilian. He did not say have a nice day, brilliant.

    There was just one bar girl, who was pouty, because she was tired, it was hot. That was nice, too. She was nice.

    The music indoors is great. The Tati film poster was great. I found an Alabama 3 flyer, great.

    The rosemary planted out front is great. I called my daughter after that plant. And finally, the Sun and Doves is so confident, it’s situated opposite a pub! The Plough!

    I think all bar staff should be treated with respect. They’re not just there to say you’re fantastic and glow about your aura. I always try to give them something, ideally a kiss.

    Cycling round the area in high summer, it is incredible to see so many women of all ages looking so desirable and sexy. They, too, should be treated with respect for this. Down with the Taliban! They deserve a stuffing. They do not hold all the keys like they say.

    Near the Oval tube there were a lot of Brazilian looking people, maybe gone to pay their respects to Menendes killed a year ago today.

    Was that not a disgrace to us, to say the least? The world’s favourite country. Why are they the world’s favourite people? It is not difficult to see why.

    Our women round here, all the tribes, you can see before you exactly why life is planted in women. We all come from women.

    Amen.

  24. Mushti, mate, the cheap vermouth was terrible. It was a crude fortified wine. You should never just bung in sugar and alcohol. The petrol station also sells “Grosvenor” British fortified wine with a label on it with a Stubbs print of a racehorse.

    I got a bottle of red vermouth there today called Tindella. It was priced £3.05 but I got charged at the till £1.86 for it in error. On close inspection “Tindella” is not made in Italy at all but on an industrial estate in Holland.

    Flippin’ ‘eck!

    I’m gonna put a wick in the top of it, light it and chuck it at the invading tanks.

  25. Dagmar — I always find your postings a delight to read. A mix of “stream of conciousness” aka James Joyce and nuggets of local information that has been refined through a (vermouth?) glass, darkly. Keep up the good work, m’dear!
    When are the tanks set to arrive and where are they coming from? They’ve only just re-tarmac(k?)ed the road near me and it would be an awful shame to have to do it all over again!
    Finally, I believe that Carter Street Police Station is going to be housing, I’m afraid.

  26. Fantastic. Had I known that my idle comments would kick off such an epic odyssey, I would have thrown in some more Walworth waypoints. I enjoyed both the comments, and it tickled me that they tapered off, getting ever-shorter, into the early hours.

    Chavs. Harsh, perhaps. The Beehive has been a long-time haunt of taxi-drivers and other local tradesmen. As Dagmar rightly points out, their haunt is exclusively the north-end of the bar. They are the life-blood of the place and the reason it stays open, unlike so many others that have fallen. The South Africans are, in the main, the staff (who live over the pub.) It’s Irish-owned, so the recently re-opened kitchen does place as much emphasis on weight-of-food as cuisine. Nevertheless, I love the place.

    The tanks are all around. Chin up lads, hold your nerve. R

  27. Fair enough, Rosy, I’m glad to be put right. Do you know that book “The Likes of Us” by Michael Collins who was born in Walworth? The white working class of south London are a complex breed, he describes. They were themselves an immigrant mix, who became far more intimate with newcomers than they are credited for: they had children by ‘em and boxed ‘em.

    My journey ended up sitting outside the Hermits Cave. There I heard conversations from (1) classical musicians (2) mental healthcare professionals and (3) two blokes from Galway who are part of the new building boom.

    A flash car went past covered in bullet-point promises about changing your life and “designing your future” http://www.lifestylesolution.co.uk They are a dodgy, diet-potion, pyramid-selling outfit in Clapham. A big bloke went past in a t-shirt that had the slogan “Sick of it all.” An African minicab driver had one saying “Life is a cabaret.”

  28. The Michael Collins book is great — I read it when I lived in Walworth and got a real sense of the history of the place, along with a sadness at how a thriving community of the white working classes has come to be denigrated as ‘chav’.

    Lovely Blair’s Britain. It’s OK here to be anything other than white and poor.

    I’m glad I moved from Walworth to Camberwell (despite the Beehive, which was my local for three years and sucked up a disproportionate amount of my salary), in Camberwell I feel as though I live in a community. Walworth felt transient to me.

  29. Walworth at least has some big plans and some big money behind them…all part of continuing the re-make of Elephant down the Walworth High Street and integrating Aylesbury’s mega makeover into the whole mix. They’re even setting up a trust fund for Burgess Park (finally) to complete the masterplan.

    Meanwhile in Camberwell, we love our little pockets of enviable neighbourhoods — but we’re ring fenced by commercial strips we can’t seem to get a handle on. We’re very good at saying what we don’t want, but can’t seem to offer viable, realistic alternatives.

  30. Back to the Sun & Doves… My kiwi girlfriend brought to my attention a (VERY positive) review of it in the latest free rag for New Zealanders (www.newzealandtimes.co.uk) that are stacked up outside tube stations. Looks like Mark’s efforts and ethos are generating praise further afield, which is great.

    Can’t find it online, but the final paragraph is amusing:

    “Hmmm, high-spirited, interested in the arts, concerned about the environment and fair trade, located in the middle of Arsing Nowhere — could this be the urban Glastonbury? Well, all the participants do seem to be getting along swimmingly.

    Camberwellandtruly. Otherwise 8 out of 10″

    What the *%$& do they mean OTHERWISE 8 out of 10?? And maybe this should be renamed the Arsing Nowhere Online Blog!

    By the way, the Dark Horse is apparently opening on Wednesday evening as a preview for locals. Maybe Camberwellonliners could descend on it for a drink?

    I agree with Rosy that the trend for developing chains and empire-building rarely serves punters well (the Castle was neglected when its twin emerged in East Dulwich). Boozers should be only children in my opinion. It’s only a matter of time before a Gloomy Goat pops up somewhere…

    Added to this the Dark Horse has Carlsberg (and little else) on tap. Not a good start.

    Have a good week everyone.

  31. I might pop in the Dark Horse on Wednesday — might see some of you there!

    I’d love to see them open a ‘Fat Cow’ !

  32. Not quite sure how a ‘locals’ preview would work — do we have to take along a proof of address?

    As for ‘Arsing Nowhere’, this is just testament to how we’re seen; Zone 2, 25 minutes from Westminster by bicycle, 10 minutes from Victoria and London Bridge by train, more central than Clapham, and yet… ‘Arsing Nowhere’.

    I’m sure if Mark Dodds hadn’t gone on holiday he’d have a few words to say on this.

  33. If Carlsberg were going to run a pub… it would be the Sun & Doves.

    On that Michael Collins theme, this is poignant. When we were expecting our first nipper, we signed up for NCT classes. The local co-ordinator was a posh lawyer in Telegraph Hill, New Cross, who left a lot of silences on the phone. “Camberwell, I said, “we live in Camberwell SE5.” “We have Grove Park,” came the reply. “Perfect!” I said. “We can walk there.”

    A few weeks later came the call: “We have — a place for you — in Grove Park NCT.” But it was Grove Park, Eltham, a long way away, in every way. “Camberwell is not near Eltham,” I said. “Thanks,” said the co-ordinator, “it’s worth — knowing that.”

    Nevertheless.

    50% of the class were diaspora from old Camberwell. One parent is the child of a legendary local criminal (and is a probation officer). Another grew up on the Aylesbury and was a good, proper, trained boxer.

    So now our kids’ best mates are the old Camberwell crew’s kids. Not the knitted-muesli, well-meaning but competitive, my-dad’s-a-lawyer lot. These are the white working class who want to better themselves and do NCT classes. And the dads like nowhere better than Camberwell for their dads-only therapy sessions, and patronise every boozer in the postcode on the night.

    It is a fable. Fabulous!

  34. changing the subject again, although back to the familiar theme of restaurant reviews: we checked out the new Thai place on Coldharbour Lane on the weekend — we had takeout (sadly they don’t deliver) but was very impressed, my green curry was as good as I’ve eaten outside of Thailand itself. Next time I’ll treat myself and the lady to the full sit-down treatment.
    Not sure if they sell cheap vermouth though.. might need to bring your own..

  35. I can bear testimony to the above remarks on the new Thai restaurant, Su-Thai, on Coldharbour Lane (across the road from the Sun & Doves). My beef panang curry this weekend was very tasty and came as a generous sized portion. In my opinion, now the best Thai food in south London (de-throning Chang Thai in Crystal Palace).

  36. TommyD — hopefully the SE5 Forum will change things for Camberwell in terms of offering up some viable, realistic alternatives to the commercial strips — there is a lot of talent involved with that organisation and hopefuly it won’t get bogged down in beurocracy before anything actually happens. Hopefully I say.

    I wonder whether the real answer for Camberwell is to raise the area’s profile as somewhere ripe for redevelopment — both with Southwark council and private investors. Maybe the Forum should set up a working group to put some ideas together — there must be some PRs and marketers living locally who could raise the area’s profile in an interesting way (and more importantly be willing to work for free)?

    This also ties into the outside perception of Camberwell as so neatly illustrated in copeywolf’s post. So many people don’t realise how easy Camberwell is to get to and hence not many people come from outside the area to drink/eat/spend leisure time here, despite some capital-class establishments. What comes first, the investment or the visitors? Do we despair that without investment we will not attract visitors from other areas in London? Or could encouraging viitors to the area bring in the investment needed?

    I am hot from running in the sun and may be slightly delirious.

    Next time I will post about food and beer.

  37. You’ve pretty much framed the biggest problem you will have Richie — though I wish you all massive amounts of goodwill.

    Use this website as a microcosm. Folks don’t like the current offering on our commercial strips — ‘too many fried chicken and barbers’ they say. But look around. A lot of people who live here like those places. That’s why so many are around and thrive.

    As for private investment, you’re right. If you don’t attract it, you won’t get any public help of any consequence. Besides, Camberwell has attracted some private investment of late: a Subway, St George is keen and the Dark Horse is ready to open. The response here: No, No and No.

    So if we do find these marketing gurus — and I assure you there are a lot about — exactly what are they going to market and to whom?

    Perhaps this is a better topic over on the SE5 Forum — just seems difficut getting the debate going. Peter must be tearing his hair out.

  38. Hello all — I’ve not read the Michael Collins book but I’ve heard a fair bit about it. There is a story worth telling there, I’m sure, but in acknowledging the story of white working class in Britain, it is so easy to be mis-interpreted. Politicians (of all three persuasions)tune out on the odd occasions that their voice is heard, or patronise. White and poor just isn’t sexy — much better to invent a fantasy that they are all reliant on benefits and working on the side (or black cab drivers from Eltham). I’m struggling with the “they” because I am one of “them” (working class, not a black cab driver from Eltham!) and am not (particularly) poor and have never had a benefit in my life (and neither had my parents) nor worked on the side!
    In saying all of this, I do not deny for one second that many black people in this country receive appalling treatment from the police, employers, etc. I just think that the story of those thousands and thousands of retired nurses, cleaners, bus & train drivers, shop assistants, school dinner-ladies etc etc who live in cities like our should occasionally get an airing.

    It’s just a shame that I’ve made such a hash of it! I can only hope that some of you out there know what I’m whittering on about.

    And now, the next restaurant review!

  39. I want to dine in the Mushtimushta restaurant. That was good, there, Mush, you know the score. That was heartfelt. Keep the left jab going, then in with the right hook.

    I SAID KEEP THE JAB GOING!

    Flamin’ ‘eck.

    Do they listen to me?

    Camberwell is unique and lucky in the whole of London for its changing mass and currently massive changes. But it is the heart of the individual that matters.

    You show heart. So get off your stool and fight.

    Oi!

  40. Mutter in the gutter is that the Dusky Donkey is only open 6–8pm Wednesday, so get in quick if you want to sample its delights.

  41. bukowski333 — totally avoid Funky Monkey if you want food and for that matter if you want a good evening out and a bit of a dance — it used to be a lovely unpretentious down-to-earth place but they totally stuffed up a new refurbishment a couple of years back and now it’s ruined…all they needed to do was fix the toilets not rip the soul out of the entire place — blond floorboards and pink walls…tut tut — I ask you!!!

  42. Buddha Jazz…Resisted raving about it until now, but just got back from our 3rd visit and it’s been brill once more. Anyone that’s not been yet should try it.

    By the way, does anyone here actually work? We seem way too au fait with our local eating and drinking holes.

  43. I work; although I hope that one day my loyal readers will club together and present me with enough money to blog full time; I promise I would review at least one bar or restaurant per day.

  44. What is the Denmark Hill Tandorri like on Champion Hill? Is it reliable? or as Mike Skinner would say “A 5h1t in a tray merchant?” — pardon the language folks…

  45. Mark, I would admit the staff are probably a bit less surly than before, but I still get the odd incident like recently when I asked for a sparkling water (it was lunch time) and asked if I could have some lime, as opposed to lemon, whilst the barman was pouring the drink. His response was “Think you’re jumpin’ the gun a bit there mate I was gonna put some in, yeah.” And have you ever tried asking for a passion fruit daquiri? It wasn’t for me, honest.

    Have you considered adding the ‘rainbow shooter’ to your menu? I worked in a bar in Hong Kong for a year and it was especially popular with the local Chinese, it has seven layers and really is a ‘uckin pain to make. Then there’s the pussyfoot. Sounds like the kind of thing a Bond girl would drink right? No. It’s fruit juice, coconut milk and a raw egg blended together, there isn’t even any alchohol in it. Try staying motivated behind a bar when a table of people come in and all order those drinks.

    I also worked in McDonalds, those bar staff don’t know how lucky they are. And your burgers are much better.

    For the record, I drink beer, and as much as I possibly can.

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