Mmmm… chorizo…

A news flash from the comments: the Marbella Hotel is to be refurbished and opened as the The Church St Hotel, with Viva Espana to reopen as ‘Angels and Gypsies’, serving “the best tapas in London and a deli thats serves Breakfast and Lunch. All the food being sourced from the best places and organic.”

Read the comment from one of the owners. Sounds like it could be great!

Author: Peter

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

38 thoughts on “Mmmm… chorizo…”

  1. Did anyone go to the the Dark Horse, Hello! magazine welcomes you to Camberwell, tonight?

    I wish them so much well, the premises are great. It looks beautiful.

    However, I bet my two Camberwell-born daughters aged 3 years & 4 months will say to me, “Dagmar, hitch yer skirt up, we want to go to the new Marbella.”

    I’ll say something like, “Yeah, but where do the children play?”

    And they’ll say, “We’ll play in the place that is the best and most fun to be in. We are Camberwell girls. That’s just how it is, Dagmar.”

  2. That’s brilliant news — i was gutted when the Espana Tapas bar closed. I think the whole Camberwell Online community should make a special effort to support Mel and Jose when they reopen. I’ll certainly be down there.

  3. Hannah — Oh I think I suspected that already — there is always a frieght train trundling past Cambria Road a few times a day and it looks like the kind of thing that is used to transport “anonymous” cargo — the wagons are usually painted brown…

  4. Okay. I’m a long time reader of this blog and I’ve mustered courage to post my first post. Today’s regular morning read makes me very happy and very angry indeed. Happy because this is what we need on the high street. I will support the new business and encourage my neighbours to do the same. Well done. Keep us posted please. This is brilliant news. Angry because you’re all being too harsh on TommyD and downright mean. He offers common sense to our collection of dreamers. We really need both. He knocked on our door and sat with us talking for a long time and I can’t tell you how hard he’s been working over in our war zone giving a lot of his time and own money to get us involved and keep us informed. Disagree with him yes but no need to get mean. Can we all play nicely and maybe have peace drinks down the new Angels and Gypsies? AngelPeace

  5. Hello and welcome! Do you really think we’ve been hard on TommyD? Honestly, I don’t think I’ve said a bad word about him; I think the work he’s doing on Forgotten Camberwell is excellent, and I admire him for doing it. Even though I think his pragmatism sometimes slips into cynicism, my optimism sometimes slips into idealism so I think we balance pretty well. I look forward to meeting him and having a drink one day, as I do with everyone who reads and posts here.

    I’m sorry you think people have been hard on him, and I’m glad you broke your posting duck.

  6. I agree with much of what TommyD says — He’s a pragmatist but his heart is clearly in the right place and I agree with much of what he says — I am an idealistic person but free market economics doesn’t respect such positive thinking Utopias unless of course they are purely financial…which is what TommyD attempts to get through to everyone who may not realize that…I spent many years not realizing and being very idealistic but as I got older and hit my early 30’s, the awful truth about the human condition dawned on me…but as Dagmar says “Forget it Jake, it’s Chinatown!” — a very good film…and a very good way to remind myself that nothing is permanent and all life is transitory but while you’re at somewhere at least try and make that place the best it can be…am I correct?

  7. I’m another lurker!

    I’ve been keeping up with the blog and comments and I don’t think anyone has been particularly unkind to TommyD. Browsing through the comments, I can’t even see a direct refutation of anything he’s said. He just seems to have just started that classic discussion about if it’s better to start out idealistic and temper your attitudes with the cynicism generated by experience or to start out pessimistic and be delighted by discovering that everything isn’t completely rubbish.

    All the regular gang here, seem jolly nice (I’m not sure that I’d want to meet Dagmar in a dark alley though).

  8. Oh i hope it didn’t look like we were being mean to TommyD, we think he’s great here and posts some fantastic stuff! I think he often performs a very useful function of grounding us dreamers in some sort of reality!! A very neccessary function! I have to admit in real life i am more of TommyD mindset — i’ve worked long enough in rengeration and community engagement to be realistic about these things!!

    We really ought to arrange another meeting although at this rate we’ll need to hire a room!!

  9. The human mind is inspired enough when it comes to inventing horrors; it is when it tries to invent a heaven that it shows itself cloddish — Evelyn Waugh

  10. I think this humid heat is affecting everyone’s wiring. There was a lot of heat rage on Camberwell Church Street last night. I myself try and alleviate it by vigorous rides on my bike, but it’s like smoking a packet of fags.

    TommyD, indeed, is not just our mate. He is Our Man in Southampton Way.

  11. True Dagmar!! There is nothing but love here (and constructive non judgemental discussion!!)

  12. Peter — This question is inspired by the number of new names contributing on your blog — Do you have any (a) how many readers your blog has or (b) how many contributors you have?

    I think that these passsionate online conversations, between people who might otherwise never meet, are just enthralling.

  13. Definitely up for Angels and Gypsies… anything that gives me an excuse to eat nice food and drink wine while supporting the local community makes me feel warm inside… (or is that just the booze?)

  14. @ Carole: I don’t know. I get around 1,600 unique visitors per month, but those are certainly not all regular readers. The only thing I can say with some certainty is that I’m absolutely delighted to have every single one of you.

  15. Last night I used Weston’s “Old Rosie” cider, 7.3%, at the Hermits Cave, to combat the humid heat. Then I got on my bike this evening to combat the cider.

    Burgess Park is like Africa. Trees are dying from drought stress in London and subsidence will be a big problem as the clay subsoil dries out. Camberwell is one of the worst areas for this, also Forest Hill.

    The cormorants in Burgess Park lake seem to catch more fish than the fishermen. This is why the men want them culled.

    St George Wharf by Vauxhall Bridge is a complete new town. It is like entering a new century. There is a Youngs pub/restaurant called the Riverside. I suppose anyone can go there, but the hot cyclist from Camberwell gets some funny looks. I suspect many of the flats are owned by companies for their staff from overseas. I saw the most incredibly elegant Japanese lady in a black Chanel dress with a tiny white dog.

    The huge Albion gallery in Battersea has an interesting exhibition of photographs by Wang Qingsong. St Mary’s church in Battersea has Greek Orthodox music, Gregorian chant and meditation evey Wednesday evening. This is where William Blake married a market gardener’s daughter who signed the registry with an x.

    The Battersea Park peace temple is a very peaceful shelter in the rain.

    That Jamaican jerk chicken shop on Southampton way looks authentic. I wonder what TommyD thinks.

  16. Just beyond the St George Wharf top people’s township, on Nine Elms Lane, past Christie’s magnificent collection of Rolls-Royces, there is an unexpected stretch of trees and bushes. A dark woman was sitting in it. She lives there.

  17. A surveyor has warned that parts of the houses built on the London clay will start to “move away” from the rest. So maybe the whole of south Camberwell will “move away”, and the houses built on the flatlands of north Camberwell will “have the last say”.

  18. Glad to hear that we have new eatery on the way. When you’re ready to open Mel/Jose, what better a place to announce your arrival than on this site. Dagmar can bring a bottle of that dodgy vermouth she bought from the garage on Peckham Road and can officially “launch” you into the community.Waddya say, Dagmar? You’ve been saving it for a special occasion!

  19. I have been applying it to myself in the heatwave, Mushti. I think Angels & Gypsies will cater better than that, anyway, it sounds unselfconsciously just brilliant. In the meantime I have booked my train to Cornwall next week to rejoin my partner and daughters and drive with them back here. I have been nearly disappearing up my own ramblings on this site without them.

    My partner has met a mum down there, by chance, who used to use the same kids’ club as us in the Salvation Army hall near the Green. She has moved to Cornwall.

    Cornwall is overall the poorest area in the UK. The mining and pilchards have long gone, the China clay is on the way out, things like the Eden project are a sugar-coating over what are often barely sustainable communities. Camborne on a Saturday night makes Camberwell look like Nice.

    I read today in a property magazine bunged through our door that “Dulwich has more private schools than anywhere else in the UK.” You see, my brain is swimming with it all.

    Talking of which, giant ocean sunfish have beem spotted off Cornwall the size of small planets. Today in Burgess Park I saw crows stretching their wings out to cool them whilst gazing crazily straight up at the sun. If it weren’t for a leaking water pipe in the park, they would’ve croaked by now.

    In this drought, it is like J.G. Ballard has rewritten Camberwell.

  20. We tried out the Dark Horse last night — it was packed inside & on the pavement. Subdued decor, lots of low tables and seats aka the Dispensary. Half the place is the restaurant.. menu does look very interesting… Good mix of people too. It has Addelstones cider on draught and eventually will have their own Black Sheep Ale too.
    BTW thanks (I think!) to Dagmar for mentioning the Hermits has Old Rosie on tap.…

  21. The idea of opening a Cafe/Deli with a strongly Galician/North Portuguese flavour to it appeals greatly to me — of course I would still provide some of the best home-made British classics (Cooked organic breakfast,Shepherd’s Pie,Bangers and Mash,Bread and Butter pudding) — It’s no use being too parochial now is there?

  22. A retriever called Rosy won tonight’s Britain’s Top Dog on Channel4. I’m a Golden Retriever when I take one of those “What Kind of a Dog Are You?” tests.

    I’m using this as a spurious excuse to go for a Sunday night jar and check out Dark Horse. That might make me shallow, but woof that.

    Wag wag wag.…

  23. I came out as five different dogs when I took that test. This is maybe the effect of the “Old Rosie” cider served at the Hermits. It has made me an inconclusive being.

    I’ve spotted half my neighbours sitting outside the Dark Horse. The word amongst some of the regulars, the fixtures, virtually the fittings, at the Hermits is, “Nah, it’ll never work, no-one can see it from the road, no-one knows it’s there.”

    The Hermits is, of course, a different kettle of fish, of deranged dogs, of confused cats, of diaspora from the old Kerfield.

  24. and i’m apparently a Jack Russell… not too far off! also sampled the Dark Horse last night (wondered if there would be any other bloggers but didn’t feel like screaming “Dagmar!, Eusebiovic!” like a deranged pet owner) looks v v similar to Blakes with similar-ish service… all very friendly, but when we asked what the difference was between the classic cocktails and the special cocktails (other than 2 dollar) we got, “I dunno, I’ll just make them special”… ho hum… variety is the spice of life. And my mates are now all obsessing about good tapas in Camberwell.. make it soon!

  25. apparently I’m a Cocker Spaniel and there was me thinking I was a mellow dignified Black Labrador all these years…there were 5 answers but I assumed the highest percentage matched me — I might go and mark my territory on the wall of The Dark Horse very soon…

  26. Went to the Dark Horse last Friday, without realising it was their opening night. It was VG — great food, really nice atmosphere and it was packed …
    Prices reasonable too …
    Really good to have a place like this within walking distance. Will def go again.

  27. From the dog test, it appears I am a wolf in sheeps clothing! Well, blow me down with a feather!

  28. And now, for Culture Corner. Here’s a little poem that I stumbled upon, which I hope some of you will like.
    It’s called Resume (with an accent over the e, which I can’t find on my keyboard):

    Razors pain you;
    Rivers are damp;
    Acids stain you;
    And drugs cause cramp.
    Guns aren’t lawful;
    Nooses give;
    Gas smells awful;
    You might as well live.

    Dorothy Parker (1893–1967)

  29. Maybe not relevant to this thread but check out this fantastic website I’ve discovered - — there are more than a few derelict old pubs in South London amongst other buildings here…although rather I’m rather baffled at how The Bricklayers Arms on Southampton Way is credited as Nunhead!!! — I know a lot of people love photography on this blog (myself included)

  30. The Thomas-A-Beckett on Old Kent Road; what a sad state for a pub with such a colourful history. Unfortunately located in SE1 so I can’t write about it here, unless I find some way to tie it in with another subject…

  31. Oh come now Peter — I’m sure we’d all be interested, it is after all a stones throw away up the Old Kent Road…

  32. Peter — As we all know Albany Road is SE5 and as the Thomas A Becket is on the junction of Albany Road/Old Kent Road — I think that makes it alright!!!

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