Looking to the future

2010. Wow. Hope everyone had a fun and relaxing Christmas & New Year’s period; the wife and I decided to have a South London holiday, trying out lots of places we hadn’t been to before. The highlights were the pizza at Franco Manca in Brixton, which is without doubt among the best I’ve ever eaten, and the Horniman Museum, which has some great cultural galleries.

So, what’s this year going to bring for Camberwell?

It could be the year of great change; the completion of the Mary Datchelor development will be bringing a lot of moneyed new residents into the area, and if the local shops don’t meet their demands they will be spending out of the area, which will be terrible.

There’s the new development at the former Snooker Hall to come as well, which could likewise bring new purchasing power. The trade-off, of course, is the extra strain on the transport infrastructure from the increase in residents.

In the North, Burgess Park is set for a major makeover (and the regeneration of the Aylesbury Estate must kick off soon), while in the South the Maudsley & King’s are investing heavily in their real estate.

On top of all that, Time Out say that we finally have our own destination eatery in Angels & Gypsies — although they also say that we’re London’s gay-bar capital, and the new Shoreditch.

A year that’s full of promise and potential.

As for me, I need to take a break from this blog. I’ve got a huge work commitment over the next four months and I won’t have any spare time. I need volunteers to take over until the Summer (and possibly beyond); please email me (peter@​camberwellonline.​co.​uk) and let me know if you’re interested. If no-one can get involved, I’ll have to close the comments and you’ll all have to go to the SE5 Forum message boards; that’s not meant to sound like a threat, it’s just the reality.

Author: Peter

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

157 thoughts on “Looking to the future”

  1. Hello, does any of you know what they will do in Camberwell Green instead of the old Pub that has been shut?
    And what will become the old Snooker Hall?

  2. Fair dues on taking a break. But no one posts on the SE5 Forum, not even the people who started it! Please someone step up.

  3. @saya The Silver Buckle will become The Tiger. Oberon has been shelved I believe.

    I seem to recall the old snooker hall will become a new snooker hall.

    @john. There will be posting there soon; like Peter, there’s not enough time in the day.

    Next Thursday at Institute of Psychiatry:


    Be there or be square.

    AND Tomorrow (Saturday) Dusted Vinyl from 2pm — bring your LPs for a half hour set on the Doves’ decks and in the evening see great music: with http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=252506752848&ref=mf

  4. Not a criticism Mark, just an observation. Besides, it takes as long to post here as it does there but you, like most, choose here.

  5. It’s a must win for Dulwich Hamlet today at 3pm against Ramsgate who lie above them in the L.S. Lowry League, just below the play-off places. The rain is part of the atmosphere, well, obviously. The players are frighteningly fast and fit these days, it is a thrilling sight to behold.

  6. Yes. The actor Ed Stoppard lives in the Cambwerwell side of East Dulwich. He recently played the Dane in the West End. He can therefore be called a Dulwich Hamlet.

    Millwall are entertaining Southampton today, should be interesting, especially between here and Waterloo Station, where the Sotonians drown their sorrows in the Hole in the Wall pub when they lose.

  7. @John, no probs — and you are, of course, right. Straightforward observation. Given the circumstances perhaps Peter might consider sliding Camberwellonline into the SE5 Forum site?

    Is that a silly idea? Could it work?

  8. SE5 has been invaded! Angels completely packed last night — loads of people standing around waiting. Never seen that before in Camberwell, not ever.

    Some must’ve travelled into SE5 for it as, unlike us, they kept waiting (for ages) whereas we took one look at it and bailed to Mangal — which was also packed.

    Barely got a seat. Doner and chicken babs sold out. Sold out of babs? WTF is going on? Usually we have this place to ourselves, more or less. Anyway, good to see some places doing such great business.

    I note however that Vietnamese restaurant Eastern Tree near LBJunction has now shut. Wasn’t a bad place the one time I went. Probs been shut a while I’d just never noticed.

  9. Camberwellonline has a connoisseurs’, bijou, boutique niche in our endz. We are prawns on the chessboard of life, Rodney, not municipal policy designers. I would offer to run the IT, but I need a van o’ careworkers just to tie the laces on my basque — let alone to crochet electric wires into a blogsite.

    Sol Pinnock did it again for the Hamlet. The Millwall got out of jail, too. It is pleasing to see the balls in the ball pool at Peckham Pulse are made in Denmark. They are such cheery balls and have strangely, in their simple way, in the atmosphere of small children at play, made my day.

  10. Dagmar

    3–1 to the Mighty Hamlet!

    Indeed the ever reliable Sol Pinnock put in another noteworthy display…

    Ramsgate left Champion Hill looking like a real bunch of “Dags” (As Alf Stewart on Home and Away was so fond of saying)


  11. Dags Dogs Digs Diggety Dog.

    Camberwell is on a Cusp like it’s not been on for a generation at least.

    We have a chance to make Camberwell work — Angels & Gypsies have upped the ante to where it should be. And good on them. They have cracked it. At last Camberwell is in danger of being taken seriously. We live here. Now Camberwell needs to join up. We have to shop here, we have to eat here, we have to drink here. We have to invest as much as we possibly can into where we are to make it become what it CAN be.

    Or something like that anyway.

    On that note see great work being done here: http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4013/4283594598_4fddb6e543_b.jpg

  12. Hopefully The Tiger will look fantastic too…

    Looking forward to the Loughborough Junction exhibition…

    All we need now is a cinema 😉

  13. Interestingly took some mates to Angels yesterday (Sunday) for some tapas — they actually have a separate Sunday menu (bigger mains — paella etc, less tapas).

    Mates (from Pimlico) suitably impressed — and more importantly coming back to try it on a weeknight (and hopefully bringing more people).

    My ox cheeks were absolutely divine.

    (There’s a sentence I never thought I’d see myself write).

    Off to see Hazel O’Connor at The Cambria this Friday.

    All this without leaving SE5!

  14. Hazel O’Connor featured at The Sun and Doves briefly on Dusted Vinyl on Saturday. A shadow of her future self she was then…

    Divine Ox cheeks. Ever wondered where the ox come from?

  15. Does Hazel O’Connor live in Camberwell, that’s at least the second time she’s been singing at the Cambria? Did she lug her records along Mark?

  16. Does anyone know of a good local joiner? I’m looking to get some sash windows repaired when it’s a little warmer. Thankyou in advance

  17. My favourite ‘quiet’ Soho bar was inexplicably packed on Friday. We were baffled and left immediately. I noticed today it is in a top 10 of Time Out ‘secret’ London bars.

    Still, good news and get em in at Silk Rd and Angels. Maybe one day I’ll turn a very modest profit on my dump of a flat.

    Cos we’re all friends here and I share my finds I think the next ‘thing’ here might be some of the African restaurants. Anyone tried Canaan? It’s on my list. African food often not great, though we’ll see. Also Everest on Old Kent Rd seems to get good vibes and has Nepali fare. Let’s keep this quiet though… Shhh.


  18. Do we think a Time Out food critic has moved to Camberwell?

    Zeret Kitchen is dishing up some excellent Ethiopian dishes, and the woman who runs it is very sweet. Though when I managed to leave my bag there the other night, I came back for it, and she mischievously pretended not to have it (for about 5 seconds), I’m afraid I was a poor sport, hehe.

    What are your top 5 Camberwell restaurants?

  19. @southmark re Hazel O’Connor — she wasn’t at the Doves in person it was Reg Burgundy aka Mr Sunshine who bought a bunch of LPs in a charity shop in Walworth for a fiver and brought in Breaking Glass on Saturday.

    @Phil G — SE5 Forum needs volunteers get in touch if you’re interested. You’d be greatly appreciated.

    Zeret Kitchen IS very good from what I’ve have there. Castlemeade is a daunting location though.

  20. @southmark — I found an extremely good carpenter/joiner via SE5 forum — he’s built shelves — even a gorgeous gloss white cabinet (including powdered steel legs etc etc). Very good quality, and very reasonable prices.
    Check out http://www.whyknotwood.com/
    His name is Peter.

  21. Peter Cooper is a legend in our dwelling, also a friend. His work is impeccable. He is a master carpenter. He does art carpentry. His carpentry is creative. His work is the finest. His pricing is extraordinarily fair. Rating *****

  22. Are any long-term Camberwell people on here? Did you ever have any contact with Cambridge House?

    If so, Natalia Kannas would like to hear from you.

    Natalia wants to interview people who have been clients or volunteers about how CH affected their lives. It’s a project funded by vodafone and you can find out more at her blog: http://worldofdifference.vodafone.co.uk/uk/natalia-kannas/

    Natalia is an all-round Good Person. Please get in touch if you can help.

  23. Wow that Evening Standard reviewer loves Camberwell: “grubby, hectic highway.…in real rough London.…..where emergency vehicles roar past, sirens shrieking, every few minutes”
    Ho ho!
    He’s spot on about the sirens though.
    Anyway, with this mere 3 star review I hope I’ll get a seat there next time.

  24. Phil G/Everyone

    As a Londoner I’m completely ashamed that the Evening Standard is our local paper…Just who is it supposed to appeal to?

    What’s worse is that Friday supplement which expects us all to admire and fawn over the lives of the inbred aristocratic nobodies who live in Kensington…

    It’s the Daily Mail for London and it’s a great big pair of unwashed smelly vagrant underpants

  25. Well the Standard, which I never read, — along with all other newspapers — may well be ashamed making for Londoners but really, the review of A&G seems a fair assessment of the area from an outsider’s point of view.

    Why would anyone want to hang out on Camberwell Church Street regularly unless there was a good reason to be there?

    The review points out what the street is like — no argument — then gives A&G a rather upbeat assessment finishing off with a ‘if it was in my neighbourhood I’d be there all the time’ which takes it further than it needs to go and says a lot for how good it is — against all that gritty reality out there on the street.

  26. Anyone know what’s going on on Havil Street (Police closed the street and fire brigade ‘control units’ are there with cranes)?

  27. @ Stuart — A house caught alight last night. It has been completely burned out. The fire engines are still there this morning. I believe that it was unoccupied as it was being renovated and I hope that no-one in the adjacent houses was hurt.

  28. I can’t much stand the Standard. It’s a formerly important paper that’s lost its way and now they can’t even give it away.

    That said, and as Mark has already said, I do think their review sums the area up as it appears to many outsiders.

    And especially to a snotty reviewer who was probably wrested away from High St Ken.

    It’s not really our local paper. It’s too big and London is too big. London has papers that cater more locally than the Standard.

    Anyway, I managed to get a seat at Angel this time. Full review and thoughts upcoming.

  29. Out of Camberwell for a business lunch yesterday — we went up West without a destination in mind when, in a cab trapped in a traffic jam on Whitehall in pouring rain, not wanting to wander around the streets of Covent Garden getting wet, I somehow had the inspiration to check out Boyd’s Brasserie http://www.boydsbrasserie.co.uk at 8 Northumberland Avenue — just a minute’s walk from where we were stuck. Something jogged my memory about an email from a long standing friend, Charles Boyd, who helped us out with The Sun and Doves a long long time ago, saying that a new venture was about to open in The Grand Hotel.

    My meeting associates were open to the idea of trying the unknown and we tripped into one of the most glorious and spectacular interiors you’re ever likely to see and had a totally brilliant lunch accompanied by an excellent cabsauv and gorgeous fiano.

    Charles happened to be there too (‘I practically live here at the moment’) which was a bonus — we haven’t seen him for maybe six years — he had lunch with us and then gave us a guided tour of the breathtaking interiors of the hotel’s nether regions still being worked on that are in his demise before coming into use for functions, conferences, meetings and all the general catering of the hotel. The scale of the operation is stupendous. Mind boggling. The photographs do not give you a sense of scale — the main ballroom ceiling is 10.4m from the floor and I swear the room is so big you could get the WHOLE of The Sun and Doves in there from forecourt to back garden — with a bit of space to spare all round. Stunning.

    Not quite what was intended but what a brilliantly serendipitous way to spend the good part of an afternoon — and we got our business done afterwards anyway at the Sherlock Holmes and a couple of other bars before coming back to Camberwell to a thankfully busy pub:

    A Business Lunch http://www.flickr.com/photos/markdodds/sets/72157623141777593/

  30. The Horniman Museum no longer offers the postcard of its Haitian voodoo altar. It may be out of stock, but who knows? The altar is worth sitting in front of, accompanied by a small child, as it imparts a certain joie de vivre.

    A Haiti benefit night would be a good idea. The Lakanal night at the Castle was great.

  31. Those unlucky enough to rely on our worthless buses, get this: the Waterloo bridge lane closures, which are causing huge queues, are set to continue ALL YEAR.

    Incredible but true. It’ll knacker the 68, 171 etc. I may have to switch to the 12 and walk.

    This after the weeks of turmoil at Elephant, and in front of Waterloo station. Before that of course we had a year of disruption on the Walworth Rd overnarrowing, sorry ‘regeneration’.

  32. Was in the Peckhamplex the other day. I’m sure once upon a time not long ago it was cheap, like £5 or something. We paid a wallet-busting £9 to watch Avatar (rating: 610) and listen to some idiot talk to her kids, and another prick rustle packets for 2 hours (why do people do that?).

    Anyway, just wanted to say what a state that place was in. Piles of rubbish and mess everywhere in the cinema hadn’t been cleaned from previous viewings.

    My point being why is it that many places in Peckham are so badly run? Why is the service often so bad? The cinema, the gym, even the shops like WHSmith. Is it something to do with the staff and their attitude? It certainly was at the gym…

  33. OK, so before someone says we want our eggs sunny side up only PhilG, take your bad news elsewhere, here’s the good stuff.

    Angels and Gypsies. Thank God.

    Finally got there over the weekend. It’s all true. It’s a destination eaterie, a huge bonus to SE5, and tasty too. We loved the ox cheek and the pork belly and the slow cooked aubergines. The chorizo, tortilla, prawns and pumpkin slices were competently turned out. I’d have been indifferent to them in Salt Yard or Dehesa, but in the middle of SE5 I was grateful.

    OK so tapas and value don’t really sit together, but £30 a head with a bottle of red is fine for a splash now and then. Lovely service and a nice setting. We really liked it and will have to return to try several other options on the menu we didn’t get round to.

    It just goes to show that Camberwell doesn’t have to be a regressive slide to nail bars, yam shops, bookmakers, and plastic bowls of fruit out the front. There are plenty of folk in SE5 who have no use of those things and are ready and willing to pay for something else.

    Arise, educated middle class type folks with disposable income, arise. Camberwell needs you!

  34. The reason that shops in Peckham are generally a mess and the staff often appear demoralised, is probably related to the sheer level of aggression in the area. Honestly, the number of abusive people I’ve witnessed in the shops (I’ve even seen a couple of full on fights) is ridiculous.
    It’s a deprived area with more than it’s fair share of individuals living difficult and chaotic lives.

  35. Saw some nice new windows in The Tiger (old Silver Buckle) today…They looked very impressive…Looks like a new entrance to the left hand side next to Golden Grill will be opened…I wonder if they will try to use the upstairs as well?

    Looking forward to it 😉

  36. …and it looks like they’ve gone to the trouble of recreating and replacing the decorative corbels that were beyond repair. Top effort.

    Do you think they’ll slap a vinyl sign on when they’re finished so it will blend in more sympathetically? 🙂

  37. Yes, “The Tigre” in giant, gaudy letters. It’s a requirement of the Camberwell Green conservation area.

  38. I’m still upset that the off license which used to be called “Drink Store” didn’t take up the opportunity to put up a 20ft illuminated upvc sign of Father Jack on the building frontage from classic sitcom Father Ted…He could even have had a speech bubble coming out going “Drink! Drink!”

    Shame that…It was a chance missed


  39. Another shot of positive publicity for Camberwell in Time Out (last page) this week — Michael Hodges devotes his column to SE5, essentially saying that Camberwell has become a bit less dodgy in recent years. My favourite bit: “Inexplicably Camberwell has become a foodie destination that offers a Cuban-Mexican tapas bar, a Turkic Uighur eatery showcasing the cuisine of Xinjiang and London’s top Kazakh restaurant (to be fair, Camberwell is home to the UK’s largest Kazakh community). ”

Comments are closed.