Whilst walking to the New Dewaniam restaurant on Camberwell New Road with my partner (hello Rachel! — see what I get up to when you’ve gone to bed) for dinner the other day I noticed and photographed a new shop called Camberwell Daily that according to the sign is shortly to open. With the strapline “Your local food store” I have hopes that the shop will be a worthwhile addition to the Camberwell shopping environment as the location is very convenient for me when I get off the bus or cycle home.

This parade of shops (which I think is called Clarendon Terrace) has got lots of potential and the presence of clothes shop Kamera Obscura seems to suggest that they are going for the higher end of the market bringing a bit of class (and dare I say it gentrification) to the streets of Camberwell.

Meanwhile the Old Dispensary which closed a few weeks ago sits looking forlorn with happy hour offers still on the blackboard outside and the chairs and table inside arranged as if just about to open. Nearby is the snooker club that may or may not be closed but could certainly do with painting and on the other side of the road sits the former garage site looking as barren and ugly as ever. Not a very good welcome to Camberwell for new arrivals.

36 thoughts on “Developments”

  1. Luca and I have heard that New Dewaniam have been planning a deli on Clarendon Terrace. Hopefully this is the beginning of that project. The sign certainly has the same style as the New Dewaniam menus.

    Lucus has gone out to take a look and investigate.

  2. My name is Luca, I make much mucus. Today I took the baby to Lucas Gardens to sleep her. Most of the tree that came down in winds a few weeks ago is still there — the tree that was burnt at the base by night-time people. Big tree, must have been one hell of a crash.

    By one of the pub tables someone has set up a simple barbecue from found objects. I hope it’s left be. It must be great dining al fresco at night in Lucas Gardens.

    On to Brunswick Park where the famous tennis girl was training. I haven’t seen her before. She is incredibly good and incredibly strong, but I have to agree with observers here that she looks quite deranged, enslaved. I don’t think it’s the tennis that does it, it’s the dad. He looks like an African dictator. He was very wary of me and the baby — I wonder if he has been warned about keeping the girl from school. In this cupidinous world, it is a mad but not totally nuts plan of his to hothouse her as a future cash cow. He may not get the return he is after, though, one way or another.

    She plays well, but as though on automatic pilot. Sitting on the bench together, she just stares at the ground looking very, very bleak. It sure is a puzzle.

  3. Leave them alone or if you really think there’s a problem then call social services.

    It is incredibly unfair to gossip about them on here and some of the remarks made on hear about them are racist.

  4. Hear hear, Alan — how dare someone express concern for tennis girl. Also, well done for the classic ALi G‑like accusation that remarks about them on here are a bit racialist!

  5. Oh no, not this again. I thought we’d been over it all before. As I’ve mentioned on a previous post, as a regular Brunswick Park passer-through I see the guy and his daughter frequently and am disturbed by both his sullen, bullying approach and her disinterested, almost glazed expression.

    So, again, in brief:

    1/ Why not call social services?

    Because he’s not treating her in a way that could be considered illegal. He’s unpleasant, and will almost certainly end up with a messed up daughter that despises him, but if we intervened in every such case we’d be building foster homes at the rate we currently build prisons. I’m assuming here he has some sort of dispensation to have her out of school — they’re on public view all day during term times.

    2/ Why not intervene personally?

    Because I can only imagine it would do more harm than good. He doesn’t strike me as the sort of person to take some friendly advice (‘Perhaps, dear sir, could could at least try and make the tennis pleasurable for your daughter, praise her when she plays good shots, don’t yell at her when she misses one. Oh yes, and perhaps don’t always force her to practice in the pouring rain.’) on board. On the contrary — I expect the poor girl would be implicitly blamed and get shouted at once at home. I honestly don’t see it helping at all.

    It’s one of those situations which are very unpleasant but for which there’s no clear remedy, despite a good amount of thought on my part.

    If anyone has any ideas I’d love to hear them. If you’re simply going to hurl around absurd accusations of ‘curtain twitching’ or racism, then I’d rather not know.

  6. This guy is not some sort of demon, he is a pleasant guy I have chatted to on several occasions.

    Maybe he does push her too hard, but many ‘sports dads‘ do similar.

    Strange about the school situation though, maybe she is being taught at home? But at least she is getting some exercise!

  7. Just to add — I wouldnt dream of mentioning to him how to treat his daughter though. Is this just me, or would any of you actually suggest some of PeteW’s points to this guy face-to-face?

  8. MarkB — I wouldn’t, but purely because, as I said, I think it would be counter-productive.

    If you’re broaching the wider issue of whether one should interfere in other people’s parenting, it’s a fraught subject. No one likes busybodies, but at the same time it’s tough to ignore what seems at times to be bullying.

    You say he’s a ‘pleasant guy’. Perhaps he is to other adults, but in walking past him and his daughter a good 50 or so times, I have never once seen him smile at her or offer a word of praise. She is technically very proficient but I’ve rarely seen anyone look more disinterested in a sport. She only ever looks alive when it’s over and she gets on her bike to go home.

    Who knows, I could be assessing it totally wrong and she loves tennis, her dad and his coaching methods. But I’d put heavy odds on her giving the sport up as soon as she’s old enough to escape dad’s malign orbit.

    That’s the strange thing — he’s clearly planning on coaching a future champion, but it seems clear to any onlooker that he’s getting it all wrong.

  9. @ Mrs Lucas:

    Yo I’m digging the spelling ‘Luca’, it’s like the menacing yet ultimately short lived hench-mensch Luca Brasi in Godfather part 1.

    On the subject of paint jobs (Snooker Club) could Camberwell perhaps, please, get some kind of colour consultant on the paint schemes of local businesses.. Cause just for the record I don’t want half of whatever the owner of the Cube Bar was on when he/she/it decided to paint the establishment snot green. Are they trying to outdo The Castle for some ‘most repulsive paint job’ competition I wasn’t aware of? Ech.

    Ate at the Thai place on Camberwell Church Street (the business that’s had more facelifts than Cher) It was al-right. All the staff were playing cards by the counter. One of the waitresses practically dragged me in when she saw me reading the menu outside. I got some noodles. The manageress ventured that the same menu was very successful at her other restaraunt in Tunbridge Wells.. really knew how to sell it.

    What is it with this blog and ‘tennis girl’ anyhow? If you were to call social services what would you say? “I really object to the father’s tennis coaching style?” I haven’t seen it and maybe the guys methods are misguided but then, aren’t a lot of parent’s ambitions for their kids? at least he’s got some interest in his daughter’s future.. As I personally recall all teenagers want to do is ‘hang out’ anyway, and if she was just spitting and cursing on a bus I’m sure all our collective eyes would just ‘glaze over’. Just saying..

  10. Never seen tennis girl … but Kamera Obscura made Mrs Dotcom’s wedding dress and they did a brilliant job … it was classy, stylish, individual and stunning.

  11. Hi

    Need to get my gas combination boiler serviced.

    It’s a Saunier Duval.

    Anybody recommend a good corgi registered gas plumbing type engineer?

    I’ve left this message on SE5 Forum so please leave any information there.

    Sorry for the non-controversial subject matter.


    Drew Mishmash.

  12. Last time they were called Ike Turner and a young Venus Williams. Now they’re an African dictator and his enslaved captor.

    Kid yourself that you’re not racist and that I’m Ali G if you want but really you know that if they were white, middle class playing at a private club or even on their own court then you would all assume that she is being expertly developed to fulfill her professional tennis destiny.

    ‘Expressing concern’ or judgemental gossiping- call it what you want.

    I still think you should leave them alone.

  13. the Eyechild -
    yeah what is it is with that Thai place ?
    It seems to be cursed — its latest incarnation is particularly unappealing , a bit like a downmarket funeral parlour with the black decor & signs. Maybe they should get rid of the prison waiting room tables, & enough of the fusion rubbish too — jack of all trades & master of none it says to me — if they are Thai they should cook that — incidentally the previous owners were HK Chinese pretending to be Thai
    with their ‘chicken tonite ’ renderings of popular Thai classics.
    Perhaps a real South American restaurant would be good ‑for something different from ersatz asian.
    As much as I don’t want to side with Alan Dale on many issues! I’ve got to agree about his last point -

  14. I have visited the Old Dispensary on occasions and believe me the best thing that happened to it was it’s closure.

    Beer way to cold and the only bitter was Newcastle Brown.….and even though it says serve cold it’s quite frankly cobblers when served cold.

  15. Oh golly, how embarrassing. I used to like it when the Guardian was a big broadsheet paper — when you were writhing with embarrassment about something, you could hide behind your copy. I have more embarrassing faults, myself, than rips in my favourite denim miniskirt.

    The thing is, Alan Dale, when you see the unmentionable scene in Brunswick Park… I am reminded of when a woman next door was beating up her small son. The “Stop it mum, PLEASE stop it mum” was hard to hear, strangely distressing. I thought, you can’t interfere, it’s just a way of parenting, it’s a cultural thing. It took ages before I rang 999 babbling — I was scared. By then half Camberwell had rung. Police vans filled the street in no time. They couldn’t do anything though.

    When you see distress on a kid like in Brunswick Park and the dad scowls at you like you shouldn’t be looking, you think, there’s nothing I can do, but it is a hell of a sight to see. Isn’t that strange? It should be such a great sight to see.

    Anyone familiar with the ways of child protection knows that the social services do anything to keep kids with their parents. I was once told of an amazing case of a father and a baby — the dad got the baby to pleasure him orally. The mum found out — she was horrified. The chap got counselling and advice on how to extend his repertoire beyond infants. But then child protection social workers live in fear of being photographed coming down the steps of courts when a case goes wrong on them. The tabloid-headed have it in for them, don’t they? Interfering, all that. Blamed for not doing something, all that. Littlejohn, Clarkson, all that.

    Who is that skinny woman runner who keeps breaking down in races? He husband managers her. Right little Hitler, that bloke is.

    Still, the ruthless pursuit of economic and sportive excellence — good God, we would not have Burgess Park were it not for the Nazis and their bombing. Bryan Ferry is right — they were so perfectionist, those Nazis, stylish, like ‘im from County Durham himself.

    Mind you, I am against racist people down here who think folk from the north are boorish, blustery and opinionated, “I say what I like and I like what I say,” all that. My favourite Bernard Manning joke runs something like: it’s funny how you miss British things when you’re abroad like in Spain. People take Marmite, Bovril or Bisto with them. If they haven’t, they knock on a door and ask. “Hasta tha Bisto?”

    “Eh? F‑k off, yer Spanish c‑t!”

  16. Butterball- Bloggers shouldn’t liken every angry black man they see to an African dictator or Ike Turner. You being black is not the issue.

    Dagmar- please don’t judge all northerners based on your interactions with me and the comedy of Bernard Manning.

    What’s your favourite Mike Reid joke? What do you think of Roy Chubby Brown?

  17. Mumu — thanks for giving Clarendon Terrace some airtime. It’s had a rough time with:

    (1) the pavement car parkers trespassing on shop forecourts, blocking shop windows and causing gas leaks (the pavements were never designed to bear the weight of cars)

    (2) street furniture dumping by local authorities, especially connected to the red route,

    (3) predatory landlords deliberately keeping their shops empty hoping for permission to convert, or illegally renting out their shops as flats.

    However, if these shops can survive even this triplefold assault, it augurs well for small business in Camberwell. The signs are good, particularly as dialogue with local authorities has commenced about reducing street furniture and providing some visitor parking in side streets.

  18. On the topic of small business in Camberwell, I checked out 4T4 Lip Smacking African Cuisine on Friday night. There is a restaurant but I just got takeaway — Joloff rice, chicken and plantaine. Was excellent. The owner was really friendly and gave me pointers as to what I should order. Definitely recommend it. I will be going back this week…

  19. Alan Dale — is there a restaurant at the back then? That place only looks small, but according to a post on the SE5Forum recently there is an application for a licence for late bar, live music, dancing, etc at 44 Camberwell Church Street.

  20. It’s just the cafe bit at the front. It’s not huge but it is quite long and thin.

    I had seen the post about the application but I forgot to ask. The guy was very forhtcoming and I’m sure he would have welcomed the interest.

    I will ask next time I go in unless anyone else beats me to it.

  21. Alan — thanks for the tip — i go past there often and the food looks really nice but i have been a bit shy to go in as i don’t know where to start in terms of ordering. I will go there next time i’m in the mood for a takeaway.

  22. No big deal. I know what you mean about being shy to go in for fear of not knowing what to order. I have been tempted to go in previously but bottled it. I now have a copy of the menu and it’s still a bit baffling — there is a lot of dried fish and even some snails. That’s why I was glad of the vendor’s help. Maybe next time I’ll be more adventurous in my choices…

  23. I’m rather afraid of eating African food after having to turn down a plate of hoof and plantain. Yes, hoof. It smelled like rancid glue. I know that I shouldn’t generalise about the food of an entire continent based on one dish, but my god… that smell…

  24. ‘Alan Dale Says:
    “It’s not huge but it is quite long and thin.“ ‘

    Fnurk, Gnak, Fnar.

  25. Went there again tonight. Had some spicy yam and steamed fish. Plantaine again too. Another great meal.

    The guy said the late license is just so they can ply their trade for longer and serve drinks- no plan to turn it into a club.

    As for dismissing it on the grounds of not enjoying a plate of Hoof then that’s similar to my Grandad’s refusal to try the Jubilee Tandoori in Crawcrook because he’d tried ‘foreign muck’ in South Africa during the war.

  26. North African food is very different to what you can get at Lip Smacking. I went to Morocco last year and had lots of fantastic Moroccan food, including tagines, pastillas (like a North African version of pie which traditionally contains pigeon though is often served with chicken or lamb mixed with a variety of spices and encased in crisp, buttery filo pastry). I believe the wealth of spices used in this cuisine makes the food so tasty.

  27. we need help: need somewhere near southwark register office (peckham rd) to take our wedding party to for champs before heading into the centre of the smoke for dinner/dance. any inspiration?

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