So good, I wrote it twice

Thought the site was back for good, wrote a post, lost it within minutes. Hopefully all is back to normal now; as normal as it can be when there’s a class war being fought in my comments.

Local artist Mark McGowan is going international.

Yesterday’s Standard apparently featured Camberwell again in their Homes & Properties section, with a ‘bargain housing’ special. I’m pretty aware of where everybody stands on the issue now, but for me as a private tenant hoping to buy soon, the news is not good.

There’s a new sign outside the Salvation Army college; the strapline is “… because there’s a hurting world.” That grammer perturbs me; I’m not quite sure what they mean to say by that. Is the hurting world not this one? Is it meant to mean “… because the world is hurting”? Am I missing some metaphysical element?

The latest issue of Southwark Life says that 25% of calls to the police from Camberwell are to report begging. Is that FoxyAl and Alan Dale making the most of their free evening and weekend calls? I’m joking, of course; let’s call a truce on the (perceived) ideological differences for a while, eh? Why can’t we talk about curries again, like in the good old days?

Author: Peter

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

39 thoughts on “So good, I wrote it twice”

  1. I had a lovely curry the other day at the Thai restaurant that is Seymour Bros by night. Top marks for food, I’d definitely go there again, even if service was a bit slow.

  2. We’ve become regulars at Lamoon. The food there is very good but the best thing about it is the friendly staff and the non smoking environment.

    I’d recommend the sesame prawn dish as a starter. We counted 8 big prawns in it — certainly big enough for 2 to share.

  3. It’s your show Peter.

    I really like the curried goat from Patty Island. I also like the fact that they call me ‘Big Man’ when I go in there.

    I think they’re being ironic but I take it as a compliment anyway.

  4. All that good guff stuff lost in the ether!

    I had dinner last night with the family at my brother and sister in laws’ restaurant, The Lime Tree.

    Crispy duck with thai spiced noodles, fried won ton, sweet & sour sauce; baked sea bass on steamed seasonal vegetables; Moroccan spiced lamb patties on coriander salad and so on. There was more I can’t recall off hand. There was curry on the menu too. Delicate, fragrant, perfectly cooked, with the best Portuguese white I’ve ever had and a damned fine red too.

    Thoroughly Modern English all round. Only thing is it’s in Praia da Luz in the Algarve and not quite what I hope for in Portugal. I find it slightly unsettling, eating English abroad. Although, as I mention above, the wines were absolutely the BUSINESS. I’ll try to get them in UK.

  5. okay- Can the good people of camberwell blog recomend a bland restaurant in the locality. The Mother is down from Brum this weekend & will require feeding. However she doesn’t do foreign or fancy. At this rate I shall end up in the incredibly depressing Fox!

  6. Praia da Luz is a great place. Very good for families.

    It’s right near my favourite golf chalet in PDF.

    I will definitely try your brothers place next time I’m out there.

  7. That is a bit underhand Peter. Having one last pop at the anti-hobo brigade and then calling a truce! What about the right to reply? But in the intersests of goodwill, I will rise above it. I am just glad that I am not alone though. 25% of residents made calls you say? I wonder if a few people on this blog aren’t secret snithces…

    I read the article in the Standard too. It didn’t make much sense. It implied that Camberwell was on the Northern Line and you should buy property in Oval south of Camberwell New Road. It also said Myatts Fields was nice. I thinking anyone looking at the area on that basis will quickly forget about it.

    I went to the Pheonix last night whilst waiting for my train and ended up having a few beers. Very impressed. Is this the best “station pub” in London?

  8. It was alright. It called Camberwell ‘central London’ which was nice and made out people should be grateful for being able to get a two bed flat for a quarter of a million pounds.

    That’s exactly the sort of inflationary talk I want to hear.

  9. For ‘dull’ restaurants I think you’re choice in Camberwell is a bit limited — mainly pubs such as the Sun and Doves, George Canning or Castle where they do non-exotic things ‑ie sausage and mash etc- as well as the exotic. I guess Willows is a good bet if you want something a bit posher/ non pub.

  10. Ms Standingby and I enjoyed and excellent half aromatic duck from Lamoon on Wednesday night. We als enjoyed a fine meal in Willow before Christmas and can reccomend the Cambria for non exotic food.

    What I really want to know is the number of a decent pizza delivery company. I’ve tried pizzas from most of the companies that shove hundreds of garish leaflets through our letter box but most of their pizzas turn out to be greasy and un-palatable. Any reccomendations?

  11. @Mark ‑does bringing wine back enable you to treat your flights as an allowable expense? Very clever- I thought you must have a good accountant.

  12. Dancing Lions in Camberwell

    Went to Buddha Jazz last night and it was as excellent as ever. We are away this weekend or would be going to their Chinese new year celebration on Saturday night including dancing loins!!!! Don’t know what time it all kicks off

  13. Lisa — if your mother-in-law hates fancy foreign food, may I recommend Safa? A mouth-watering curry should make her feel right at home.
    Well she IS from Balti country, right?

  14. @Alan; never got round to organising allowable expenses for trips like that but if we were making enough dough I’m sure there would be legitimate claim for expense recovery on a wine trip. Our main wine supplier is also a football scout for a major London team and he combines wine trips with football scouting all over Europe. Very canny.

    The Lime Tree. The owners are Nicola and Damian Kay. They both used to work for me at Sun and Doves but met each other there and went off, got married, and set up business on their own damn them forever. Nicky is my woman’s sister and Damian was chef for a mate of mine in Manchester. That’s where I met Damian, when he was seventeen. I thought he’d make a great head chef one day. So when I did S&D, about seven years later, I called him and got him down to London to look around… Nicky was at a looose end for a while so I got her doing Front of House. Damian came down from Manchester, within a two month he took Nicky back there with him, and trebled his wages at the restaurant he left when he came to London. My talent spotting proven, I immediately lost two of my best staff and took about three years to recover. And that was ten years ago. Oh the cycle of life.

    Even though I’ll never forgive Damian for ruining one part of my life plan is, incidentally, one of the most consistent and reliably good chefs I’ve ever known. And really, some of the wines on their list are REALLY good. Their supplier’s called Hermenio and he knows his stuff.

    The Lime Tree’s on 00351 282789475 limetree@​sapo.​pt at 16 Rua Abril 25

  15. I think Willows is the one for mums from Brum. It’s a pity Zara’s isn’t there any more, it was easily the most pleasant place per pound in the whole of London.

    The Standard article was good news: “fashionable bars, cafes and galleries spice up nearby Camberwell… eclectic mix of residents keeps it down to earth.”

    “The warmspots have a friendly, villagey, vibrant atmosphere so lacking in London’s poshest postcodes.”

    I didn’t know that Nicholas Serota and Monica Ali live in our environs. Monica is the thinking person’s Zadie Smith; Serota’s choice of perch can only be good for our brand.

    So our stock rises.

    Anyone viewing the Dagmar family flat will find it looking like a Citroen DS scale model demolition derby. The wing mirrors and other fine detail are disappearing fast. I don’t mind combing through the baby’s pooey nappies for the occasional pound coin or eighth wrapped in foil, but the wing mirrors are too tiny to find and the tyres are probably already digested.

    Still, the point is, to the “warmspot” flat hunter, the Dagmar family reflect the Camberwell brand: they may be impecunious and smell of the 99p shop, but by golly, their baby, with its choice of Citroen DS as percussion instrument, is as stylish a creature as you’ll find anywhere in the capital!

    You now own nine Citroen DS’s, Mark, including the fabulous six-wheeled DS fourgon Tissier Bagagere, which one may imagine carrying the notebooks of Camus to an Air France Caravelle, or weights of hashish bound for the revolutionary minds of the Rive Gauche!

  16. I think you may have the makings of a novel.

    Will pass on your recommendation to my PDF golfing mates.…

  17. We’re trying the Sun and Doves for the first time tonight.

    Does it do food and what is it like? I hear it sells blanc and hoegarden, which is good.

  18. Lisa — you could also try the Phoenix at Denmark Hill Station — a lot of their food is of the tradional pub food variety and really quite nice.

  19. Just make sure you don’t go in when the quiz is on.

    Has anyone ever been to one of the film nights in the S&D?

  20. So is Foxy right? Is the Phoenix the best ‘station pub’ in London?

    I’d argue that it is and quite possibly best in the country although I am a big fan of the No.1 and the No.2- they are the pubs at Cleethorpes station.

  21. Never tried the film nights- from what I can tell it’s all a bit arty. Although I think there were some Buster Keaton films (correct me if I’m wrong) and maybe I’m a philistine but I think they’re cr@p.

  22. thanks all for recomendations!

    LOL @ Butterball! whist you are right about Balti country, she hails from the emerald Isle originally, so anything except spuds is fancy & foreign

  23. Matt / Mark — Is Firezza reliable and relatively quick? I’ve been tempted but not tried them yet, Looks great though.

    Dagmar — any idea whereabouts Serota lives? I thought he used to live on Camberwell Grove but think that was a long time ago.

  24. I’ve tried Firezza and it was really nice but you have to buy a lot of pizza as they sell it by the half metre.

    It turns out quite expensive if it’s just you at home and you don’t fancy cooking.

  25. What a lot’s going on!

    Dagmar ds’s; thank you thank you, I’m so pleased and excited, how and when shall we exchange money for goods?

    And how will we know each other? Squidder’s made a suggestion on the next thread about everyone meeting up at the newly groved (and highly well funded) Grove.

    Sun and Doves quiz night will have an update on that following debriefing of the chaps responsible. By the way the LAST WEDNESDAY OF THE MONTH IS WITH BRIAN the ORIGINAL QUIZ MASTER. He’s slick he’s cool he’s professional in his approach and has an ardent following of devotees..

    Firezza I thought was quite quick and a bit steep price wise but then I was ocunting the pennies and It Was Good — as opposed to the usual Rubbish you spend a bit less on

    So Go On You’re Worth It. And the salad’s free range.

  26. “Ocunting the pennies!” is a cry that goes up in the Dagmar family often. Never mind, a Citroen DS 19 has just won the 1963 Tour de Corse with just three wheels.

    I remember 10 years ago Sir Trevor McDonald reading the awful news that Lin and Megan Russell had been murdered, he enunicated ever so clearly in “the Kunt Centryside”. He paused and said, “I’m sorry,” and read it again correctly, even more carefully. He is a good chap, learned his pronunciation off the World Service in Trinidad, then worked for them, moved to England. One of the benches in Lucas Gardens has the word sprayed on it, ENGLAD, also rich in meaning. There may not be a conventional God, but there is a Freud.

    The Citroens will appear as if by magic, Mark, as often happens in this right-brained part of London, where estate agents are alchemists, and we are all a little touched by the Occult.

  27. Film night:

    I know the guy who was doing the programming for that, and yeah, he’s a friend, but that bias aside I can understand what he was trying to do with that night as a man with a huge love of cinema – bring to light classics that you mightn’t have seen.

    And many were popular classics of their respective eras.. Billy Wilder, Buster Keaton, Jacques Tati, Miyazaki.. all a bit arty? Nah son you’re missing the point. Alan I don’t think you’re a philistine so much as you’d be better off at a multiplex.. and given fifty years or so you’d probably dismiss anything you saw there as quote/unquote arty. *sigh*.

    Big fan of the pythons and all.. but… I don’t think I need to see “The Holy Grail” again any time soon.. that flick’s played out like an Osh Kosh jumpsuit..

    It’s all a question of taste, I suppose. Right. now I’m off to catch the last day of the Alan Fletcher exhibition at the Design Museum (adjusts beret, strokes goatee).

  28. Maybe you’re right. I imagine that at the film nights I’d feel a bit out of place. I couldn’t even cope with all the smug ‘I get the joke’ guffawing when I went to see Shakespeare in love let alone people forcing themselves to laugh at the unfunny antics of ‘classic’ silent movies.

    I’m more into capitalism films- Glengarry Glen Ross, American Psycho (not just for the tramp murdering- calm down only joking) and Wall Street. I’m also a big fan of Boiler Room.

    If they do show Wall Street in the Doves then get down there Squidder or maybe you could borrow the DVD..

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