London’s southern star

There was an article on Camberwell in Metro’s property section a couple of weeks ago, which featured a few choice quotes from yours truly. I’ve scanned it and put it online for your reading pleasure; you can see the scan on Flickr or a PDF on Google Docs.

London's southern star

Thanks to the author, Andrea Dean, for helping me obtain a copy (I got my days mixed up and missed the article when it came out).

Author: Peter

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

47 thoughts on “London’s southern star”

  1. Some things in life are bad
    They can really make you mad
    Other things just make you swear and curse.
    When you’re chewing on life’s gristle
    Don’t grumble, give a whistle
    And this’ll help things turn out for the best…

    If you’re faced with going to the Post Office
    Don’t worry, take a little walk down to Wyndham Road and…
    Always look on the bright side of life

  2. Dear Everyone

    This just came in from the organisers of Camberwell Green Farmer’s Market:

    “Everything’s set for the Farmers Market this Saturday from 10am to 2pm on Camberwell Green. All that’s needed now is sunshine and customers!

    It would be great to have an added attraction to help pull punters off the high street and onto the Green. Do you know of any local singers or a dance group or entertainers who might want to show off their talents (for free) for a while? It could help generate a crowd.

    Look forward to hearing from you. Many thanks. Annette Cauneen

    email barbara@​se5forum.​org asap if you’ve got any ideas

  3. I’ve kept a copy of that particular edition of Metro…In recent weeks they have seem to have taken a shine to South-East London — today it’s Blackheath

    I was slightly disappointed that not even a slight passing mention was made of the CVH campaign regarding the ex-Gala Bingo building…but then I didn’t know Metro were planning an article.

    A building like that would dovetail excellently with the SLG. I’m sure there are occasions when slighly larger more ambitious exhibitions could be shown in conjunction with such a large capacity building 5–8 minutes walk up the road. Large installation sculptures…that kind of thing.

    Oh well…

  4. Hi all
    Very off topic but we’re taking mates to Ganapati tonight. Can you recommend any funky bars nearby?

  5. On the subject of South London Gallery and Art Council funding, I’ve just had a look at the full list available here:

    Three organisations in the Camberwell & Peckham constituency receive funding. In order of magnitude: the South London Gallery; the theatre company Punchdrunk, which does “emersive” post-modern theatre productions in roaming locations; and Theatre Peckham.

    The first two got hugely generous settlements, while Theatre Peckham will have 11% less money in real terms by 201415.

    Vauxhall, Camberwell’s other constituency, has a lot more arts organisations, mainly because of the South Bank. Oval House theatre at the tube station will be 14% better off.

    So generally this is pretty positive for Camberwell — as one would expect. Arts funding these days seems to be more about social engineering than aesthetics.

    I’ve never been a fan of the SLG, so I’m not overwhelmed with excitement at the thought of their imminent expansion. I find their exhibitions have an amazingly low interest-to-space ratio — it’s hard to spend longer than half an hour in there.

  6. @St Giles: Nearby you have The Victoria, The Montpelier, and Bar Story. The latter is the most funky, being in a railway arch and populated by art students. The Victoria has nice food, which won’t interest you as you’re going to Ganapati, but also some nice beers. The Montpelier I haven’t been to for a few years, but is under new management and may be worth a punt/pint.

  7. @St Giles, The Victoria on Bellenden Road, Bar Story under Peckham Rye Station and The Montpellier on Choumert Road… please report back on Ganapati, been meaning to go there for a while.

  8. Ganapti is great. I went there for my birthday last year and had Duck Curry…very nice

    Victoria is in a handy location but not sure I’d give it the “Funky” label. It is handy though

  9. The Montpelier has seriously improved under its new owners. Beer and food good, and it has a small cinema at the rear. Even the bogs smell fine these days.

  10. Sorry, sorry, sorry to the owners of Montpelier. A terrible oversight, they also own the Roebuck and the Trinity in Borough. They is free of tie innit. Actually no, the Trinity, from recollection is tied.

    Peter I think I made a massive contribution about the beer tie here that got pulled out for moderation. Probably because it was longer than all the Tolstoy novels together.

    Do you know where that stream of consciousness has gone? I was thinking of submitting it to the next Select Committee enquiry into pubcos due in June 2011.

  11. New Gallery is worth a look.

    2‑for‑1 pizzas on Thursday. Good one’s too. Better than the Gowlett probably.

    Also on Thursday, there’s some kind of hipster/funk night; not sure how many they get down there, thou, as we left before it started.

  12. If New Gallery pizzas really are better than the Gowlett they are onto a good thing.

    No.67 does some great comestibles served with a louche, slightly dishevelled charm.

  13. Anyone know if Frank’s campari bar is opening again this summer? *please say yes, please say yes*

  14. Top night had by all. Had the vegetarian Thali at Ganapati (served on a banana leaf no less) — gorgeous. And way too much wine. Then on the Bar Story — not very busy but a great place.
    Too much wine. Suffering today. Trying to keep my head down at work a look busy.
    Thanks everyone — will try some of the other suggestions next time.

  15. The new exhibition, which opens today at the South London Gallery, shows the imaginativeness and intellectual rigour that has doubled the gallery’s Arts Council Grant.

    Called “The Space Between the Ears”, the exhibition showcases the work of Estonian performance artist Lirpa Loof whose practice is based on burlesque, but with rather unsettling twist.

    Currently Artist in Residence at the Basque Country Concrete Gallery of Contemporary Coterie, Loof unicycles to the controversial Satie piece “L’espace entres les oreilles” using the transfixingly acrobatic new-circus technique of “traction de jambes”…

    She is an incredible sight.

  16. Just back from the farmers market. It was very busy, which is a good sign. The fruit & veg van broke down and didn’t make it, which was a shame, but plenty of good meats, bread, cheese, honey, etc. Bit of a lack of food ready to eat; only a stall selling spicy chilli con carne, which is a bit too rich for 11am.

    The woman on one of the two meat stalls said this was their first London farmers market, but that they should be coming back monthly from now on; not sure if that means that the Camberwell market will be monthly, but I hope so.

    Saw NickW on the way back, but was cramming a small tart into my mouth so didn’t get to stop and say hello. Apologies, Nick, if you’re reading this.

  17. After the ugliness the topic showed last time it was raised, I sheepishly ask what is happening now with Jazz at The Crypt? I hear Dodds and Co are out and the old promoter back?

  18. David. Correct. The church preferred their bid on the grounds that they would set up a community interest company and raise grants to invest in the premises. They thought we wouldn’t be able to raise money because we’re capitalists. They were wrong.

    Anyhow. Excellent. All of us at Some Kind of Blue Ltd wish them all the best. They take over a professionally run business and Tracy Allen, of Art’s Bar fame, will be managing the venue. This is a good thing.

    Here’s our record of the past nine months:

    Here’s their record of the previous fifteen years:

  19. Farmer’s Market. It’s supposed to be happening monthly from now. Peter, I agree, not enough food. There needs to be more stalls altogether. Can’t quite understand how Southwark plans these events; they always seem to be done last minute while they should and need to be booked six months ahead. This is me talking with my flat cap on NOT my SE5 Forum bonnet OK?

    I bought Camberwell postcards and bread made by a Scot and an Irish man at a bakery beyond East Grinstead. The chilli was good actually but I ate around 1pm.

  20. Wuli Wuli for the first time tonight. What an excellent addition to what is becoming a significant south London street. It’s been a long time coming but Camberwell Church Street has the potential to become a London wide attraction.

    The staff at Wuli Wuli are on the ball, well informed — they know the menu — friendly, charming, attentive without being overly so, no fawning at all, and basically very good. That is a great achievement for any business and then, the food.

    Every dish well presented, good to look at. The cooking is more than competent, there’s admirable skill in the kitchen evident in the balance of textures and contrasts of flavours in every plate.

    From ‘Chittering’ and beef offal, saliva chicken, smacked cucumbers, duck’s tongue and shredded pig’s ear to cattle tripe and boiled Chaosoupi it’s a hoot and an education. Go there.

    Oh it’s good.

    Do try the smacked cucumbers. Beware the heat; rejoice in the result. And the stuffed dumplings, simply glorious when dipped in their homespun bitter sweet vinegar sauce.

  21. Were you stalking me Mark? Was in there too, and also ate the chitterling.

    Blooming marvelous. I loved the fact that the waitress was very keen to explain the the chitterlings had been thoroughly cleaned and washed first. If you are at all squeamish, don’t ask what chitterlings are…just eat them!

    @Dagmar, Glad to hear that you are tip top and dandy and that your evil twin is safely back in his cage.

    Also saw this on the SE5 forum.

    And finally, the Secret Garden is open again. Come and visit.

  22. @Mark. I bought some bread yesterday from that stall from East Grinstead or Forest Hill or wherever it was — what odd stuff. It had all sorts of fruit in it but tasted overwhelmingly of caraway. A bit too adventurous even for someone for thinks German bread is one of mankind’s great culinary achievements.

    I’m sorry to have missed the postcard stall. I went shortly before the official opening so missed some stuff.

    A general point: I really enjoy all the gastronomic tips I get on this site — keep the recommendations coming. Went to Angels and Gypsies (nearly wrote Demons) last weekend and was very impressed. Shame all the action is on the Peckham side of town…

  23. RIP Vietnamese restaurant New Loong Kee on Camberwell Rd / Walworth Rd. Now a kebab house. NLKee had been on the slide for some time though.

    Time was we had a few OK Viet eateries round here.

  24. @Monkeycat — meant to say; good to see you back. I went into Wuli Wuli in your footsteps but you were already not in them.

    @Stephen Rex: Yes. one of my loaves was small and rather HARD. Small Heavy and HARD. It made quite nice textured toast with little flavour. The other is more conventional looking, a tin loaf, it is sprinkled with caraway but is white inside and not a lot of taste. I will do a toast test

  25. Toast taste test completed I’d not go to East Grinstead to repeat.

    Spelt is good. I like rye though.

    I beeped my horn at you late this afternoon Dagmar.

  26. I am a figment, an exile on Coldharbour Lane, a fleeting dragonfly glistening, impressed into the urban anthracite, a kingfisher in the mists of the old Surrey Canal.

    Michael Collins was on “Start the Week” on BBC Radio 4 this morning, repeated at 9.30pm. His film on council estates, “The Great Estate”, will be shown next Monday evening on BBC4.

    He is the cultural curator bloke of the white working class, author of the excellent “The Likes of Us” about the white working class of London, which won the George Orwell Prize and comes complete with a gush from Julie Burchill.

    On 4 March 2011 there was a long and insight-packed article by Stephen Moss in the Guardian about the Heygate. This was followed on 26 March 2011 by a piece by Joshua Surtees about the last inhabitants of the Heygate. Surtees is the author of the London Loves blog of which we should be apprised.

    Ich been a Berliner, we are all Londoners now, but the occurrence, the sighting, of a cockney round here is becoming a matter of some surprise and discussion.

  27. Ironically enough, it wasn’t too long ago that East Street Market used to sell produce that far surpassed what you would find in a Farmer’s Market these days…

    Apart from the rise of the supermarket and the changes to domestic life I guess when all the old boys and girls on the stalls retired the original supply chains to the farms were broken for good.

    That goes for Brixton,Deptford and Peckham too…I know people still big these places up but the quality isn’t anywhere near what it was — All three were brilliant for tropical fruits from the Caribean…Mostly from Jamaica and St.Lucia

    Street markets tend to rise and fall then they rise again…perhaps more so the latter in times of long-term economic decline? Our economy doesn’t have much room for growth, despite what we’re told — It’s a bit like a Spinal Tap of self-delusion really…

  28. Mark couldn’t you use the St Giles hospital for your free school idea? Right next to Brunswick Park, it would make a magnificent building (if you could raise a lot of cash…)

  29. Yes, the free school movement should scrap the idea of a school altogether — kids are a pain, they will freely tell you that — and run a hospital that would feature in magazine articles, not just “Living South” but the Telegraph magazine, Daily Mail.

    “We do not believe in vaccination, just petal power and nosification.”

    “We never turn anyone away but prefer that our clients are homeopaths or at least lesbian.”

    “We also treat people’s cats and other pets, though they nearly always die.”

    “Then we move to Dorset.”

  30. @Peter I would if I could. like if I had some ackers available and @Ben: Funny that I was looking at this from a view of it being a potential school building very recently. I don’t think it’s big enough though. The details:

    are too sketchy really but it just doesn’t have enough space. And it says interest has to be registered by 18 March. Dammit. We civilians are always the outsider on the sidelines. Unlike the ‘Persons Unknown’:

    Still, I’ll pass on the links to the people on the steering group interested in finding property for the school.

  31. We had a takewaway from wui-wui last night and, while not quite as good as eating there, it was still pretty impressive. Drew the line at intestines though.

    Even if they sell st giles hospital for rock-bottom prices, whoever buys it will still hit the same problem as all other developers who’ve tried — it’s GradeII listed and getting permission to change things is expensive and very lengthy. I live in the building next door which is similarly listed, and our service charge reflects this quite admirably (ouch).

  32. I’d like to retrospectively claim some credit for St Giles Hospital being sold. A few years back, when we lived round the corner, Southwark canvassed local opinion on a plan to convert it into flats. That would have been fine – but they were also proposing a big, extremely ugly pastiche block next door, on the Brunswick Villas end of the site, the bit filled with Portakabins when the hospital was in use.

    I spent several hours poring over the Southwark local plan and coming up with reasons why this monstrosity contravened it.

    Of course, the most likely purchaser is a property developer who’ll try exactly the same thing.…

  33. There was a new proposal last year to convert to flats which actually looked pretty good (still a glass block next to it, but much more subtle than previous plans). This was still rejected however, and the building continues to rot .…

  34. A £35K a year equivalent job to ‘manage food’ and develop food partnerships and consult hard-to-reach groups blah blah.

    Let’s hope they’re also going to spend some cash getting a capable chef to actually create good food. Because that’ll get more folk there than some community stakeholder spod ever will.

  35. @Phil G

    Good Call — 35k would pay for a chef that was more than capable of running a community cafe in a park.

  36. Camberwell Choir School concert today — excellent, what a brilliant show, set-up and set of people. To think any kid can turn up — and does — and get hammered into shape like that — a jewel in Camberwell.

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