Sun, No Doves

What a difference some sunshine makes. But this early unseasonal weather is tinged with sadness, as we’re reminded that the best summer sun destination, the garden at the Sun & Doves, won’t be available to us this year (barring incredible effort from a brewery pubco that doesn’t seem to give much of a fig at the moment). So where is the sun-seeking al fresco booze-hound to go in Camberwell in 2012?

The obvious destination would be The Fox On The Hill, with it’s big lawn, prominent position, and wonderful views. The drawback (in this author’s humble opinion) is that it’s a Wetherspoon pub, although it does seem to have a good selection of beers. Also, last time I went there we felt threatened by a bunch of leery lads who I suspect to have been on a pharmaceutical more powerful than alcohol.

The Tiger has their little passage, which doesn’t seem to catch much light, but at The Recreation Ground and The Bear it’s standing room only. The Cambria has a yard which is pleasant to sit in but also doesn’t allow for much sunlight to enter. Stormbird has a few tables outside which get sun in the afternoon, and pavement overspill outside the Hermits is popular with students when the weather is fine.

Many destinations have only a brief moment in the sun; The former Grove (the name of which escapes me) Grand Union is OK in the morning and mid afternoon, and The Crooked Well fares a little better. The George Canning doesn’t do too badly later in the afternoon, but the best spot for drinks at the dying of the light is The Phoenix.

This post was hastily thrown together and overwritten, so please feel free to correct me in the comments.

Author: Peter

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

107 thoughts on “Sun, No Doves”

  1. Good luck to Dulwich Hamlet tomorrow in their top-of-the-table clash against Whitehawk. The Hamlet are top of the Division — if they win this they will almost certainly be champions. 3pm kick-off. It will be a tight and well-supported game. The football is immediate, right in front of you, the players are fit and fast. It will be a great occasion, quite unlike a trip to Sainsbury’s next door.

  2. @Dagmar

    Indeed, Dulwich Hamlet are actually Camberwell’s very own village team…

    A win tomorrow and it’s almost certain

    Dulwich Hamlet 83pts
    Bognor Regis Town 81pts
    Shitehawk 81pts

    Everybody Welcome as always 😉

  3. Saw a really distressing piece on BBC London’s News last night by Kurt Barling on the story of 3 of the lads that were responsible for the ride-by shooting of that little girl in the newsagents in Stockwell. It appears that 1 of them had been on the radar of Lambeth’s Social Services Team, but that the radar was turned off when he reached majority.
    Barling interviewed a group of former and present gang members from the area, one of whom said that if Lambeth-funded trips to Thorpe Park & the like were being cut by austerity measures, what did we expect!

  4. Yes, well, that’s life with the community.

    Eusebiomate, why is the Hamlet site so pathetic? They want to be good, but can you read you what they do? No! Did they win today? Dunno. Who, therefore, gives a FUCK?

  5. They lost 2–0 against a very good Whitehawk side. Whitehawk are the Man City of the Ryman South. Lots of cash, lots of ex pros in the side. Play offs beckon.

  6. @Dagmar

    Had too much of the falling down water?

    Football is a pastime…sure everyone wants to win and I enjoy it when my favourite teams do…but it’s just a pastime, a drink, a snack, a laugh. A small example of what folk do to help get through this.

    There are far too many people who have lost sight of that…

    Who needs a Peckham Town FC?

    Dulwich Hamlet is the team of Camberwell,Dulwich,Peckham & Nunhead!

    Whytehawk FC have a millionaire backer but like all things boom and bust won’t stand the test of time.

    The Hamlet have been going since 1893

    I wish they had turned professional back in the day but they chose to remain amateur — Today, just their colours alone would be a premiership marketing monkey’s dream.

    I like that 😉

  7. You are bang on, Eus. Had a day chez Millwall then was peeved that I couldn’t go to the Hamlet site as first port of call for the result.

    Still, up the Hamlet. May they go up. And up.

    Talking of premier marketing monkeys, saw the Damien Hirst Show at our local national modern art gallery today. Darned good. The way he plays the art market is an artwork in itself. The Daily Mail ran a feature recently on how to make your own Hirst using stickers from IKEA — he’s got them on the run, too, brilliant.

  8. This just came in from Tom at Rat Records at Camberwell Green end of Camberwell New Road:

    Today Rat Records, one of London’s leading independent record shops, announces its exclusive lineup of musical guests for Record Store Day on April 21st. . DJ Andy Smith of Portishead fame, Strictly Kev — Better known as DJ Food, and award winning harpist Serafina Steer are all performing intimate gigs in the store.

    Performance times are as follows:

    Strictly Kev (DJ Food) from 12pm

    Serafina Steer and DJ Andy Smith from 2pm

    While other London based record stores are taking part and using the release of new records and products tied to Record Store Day, Rat is celebrating via performances from long time friends of the shop and by offering Londoners a chance to browse and buy from one of nation’s greatest private collections of eclectic records.

    Internationally renowned record dealer and collector, Tom Fisher, founded Rat Records in 1989. Tom is marking the occasion by bringing in a load of his rarely seen personal favourites for sale on the day. Rat’s Manager, the veteran DJ and club promoter Philippe Giron, will be offering a generous selection of extremely limited edition recent releases from cult artists including Burial and The Caretaker. All the stock for sale will be refreshed too, so even the many longtime customers who visit the shop several times a week are in for many surprises.

    Rat Records is one of the best kept secrets of the music world. Aggressively low prices and high turnover of top quality vinyl and CDs mean that Rat’s customers, who range from top name musicians and international DJs, to collectors, music fans and a fair few other shops visiting on the sly, always know its worth stopping by.

    Tom Fisher, owner and founder of Rat Records, said “We’re thrilled and honoured to have been invited to take part in Record Store Day and to have such amazing artists appear to celebrate it with us. With so many independent stores under threat, and fewer and fewer places to listen to, learn about, and buy music on the High Street, it’s vital that we all use and appreciate what centres of sonic excellence remain.”

    “While a lot of big name central London shops are bringing in special stock or having a musician or two drop round, we’re going one better by opening our precious private collections up too.”

    For more information, photography or an interview, please call Tom Fisher on +44 (0) 7795 42 45 75 or email ratrecords @ btconnect . com

  9. Had to start using Denmark Hill station again this week after a break of about 3 years.

    When on earth did they start making people walk to the ticket office to swipe their oysters (that’s no a euphemism) then walk back out, down the side and totter over some dodgy scaffolding to get to the platform? Seems pretty ridiculous. Does anyone know how long that’s going to last?

  10. @St Giles: Until the new ticket office opens, in Summer sometime. Yep, it’s annoying.

    Pro tip: if you go in and out of Denmark Hill each day, you don’t need to swipe out in the evening. If you use PAYG extra money will be deducted if you fail to swipe out, but will be refunded next time you charge your card.

    That’s the theory, anyway; I’m slightly distrustful so I always swipe out.

  11. Evening all,

    I have a bit of a favour to ask.

    I am doing a project, for the Camberwell Arts festival in June. It’s about the places I go to and the shops, bars and restaurants I love in Camberwell, and about the people that work there.

    I’ve done a few test shots, and shooting starts properly next week. What I would really appreciate is help on whether to do these in black and white, or in colour.

    If you could let me know your preference, that would really help. You can let me know by Twitter, Flickr, or email me at info @

    You can see the photos here:

    or on Flickr here:

  12. Yes, definitely in colour. Consumption is all about the sensory experience and the colour captures this best.

    I love Oliver Stone’s portrayal of a first visit to a supermarket filmed in saturated colours.

  13. That video wasn’t supposed to be embedded. I just pasted a link that would have started the video at 9 minutes and 28 seconds.

  14. Monkeycat could you use both and date the coloured pics as 2012 and the black and white as 1912?

    Just a thought.

  15. @Monkeycat Colour for sure, looks like an interesting project and the test shots are great.

    Whilst we’re on the subject of local businesses I had a pizza from the new menu at the Joiners Arms last night, wasn’t expecting much but it was really rather good, nice thin crust and good ingredients.

  16. Monkeycat, great photos! I like colour too. And will be looking forward to seeing the whole project.

  17. That’s great, Monkeycat. Imagine spending all that money to find yourself in Brixton in the rain.“This is not Venice!”

    You don’t think this was a sort of Robin Hood robbery hold-up, do you? Much rattling of jewellery — and that’s just the crew. Not of the train!

    Robert Browning birth bicentenary on 7 May, the Pied Piper of Camberwell. Shall we mark the occasion?

  18. +1 for saving bees

    I know from activist friends that targetting fund managers and investors with sensible arguments can be effective in helping to change what coporations do.

  19. That cafe at the South London Gallery is pretty upmarket. Full spanglish breakfast there this morning… excellent stuff.

  20. It’s a quality place to hang out, Al. Talk about an ace caff with quite a nice museum attached.

    That spanglish — the black pudding in it is made from bull’s blood. Your posts will get even pokier and more to the point. Not just your posts, dear boy! Watch what happens!

    We need positives on this website at the moment. It’s sad about the bees, obviously, but disaster comes in fresh every day. There was a brilliant line in a new poem today by Dannie Abse in the Guardian:

    “The recurring decimal of calamity.”

    The poem is worth digging out — they don’t write ’em like that any more, but Dannie Abse does and he’s nearly 90. It’s here:

    We have calamities in Camberwell — the World War Two bombing, Gabe’s spelling (targetting; coporations — though the latter is brilliant, really, Gabe — copros = Greek for crap, shit. Keep it up, Gabe! Coporations — genius!

    But the best thing we can do is keep our end up.

    The chap who runs the caff always gives Lyndhurst Primary a fat free dinner voucher as a prize in their summer raffles. The mums love him.

  21. It’s a bit difficult keeping ones end up what with all this rain about Dagmar.

    It’s the wrong kind of rain according to Thames Water, I thought H2O was all the same.

    Yacht racing up and down Church Street this afternoon I’m given to believe. With luck they may run aground outside Stormbird, what an appropriate name for these unclement times.

  22. Uncle-meant times are-a-changin’.

    Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall is a great influencer.

    One of my sons asked me “how can this be more hydrating than water dad?’ He was reading the label on some bottle of drink called hyper-ade or something like that.

    ‘More Hydrating Than Water’ he said, as it was pissing down outside. But the rain made us stay indoors and we went to Peckham Plex for Marvel’s Avengers came home and watched PAUL another equally brilliant sci-fi jaunt.

    Great weekend.

  23. We went to the new playground in Burgess Park yesterday. The kids had a great time. I had a look over the fence at what they’ve done to the rest of the park. You can see how it is coming together and, from afar, the landscaping looks really good.

    ^ I have double-checked this post for spelling. Style and grammar are, no doubt, still iffy. But the spelling should be spot-on.

  24. Well done Gabe.

    People who worry about ones spelling clearly have nothing better to do and hence should get out more.

  25. Then he said: ‘That’s silly. Nothing can be more hydrating than water. Water IS hydrating’.

    There’s Floods Out THar.

    Praise the LORD!

  26. Went out today, didn’t like it much, so went home and picked out spelling mistakes on the web using a pair of tweezers. Cackled with laughter, popped the mistakes in an old jam jar, put them with the rest in the cellar, chuckling and wheezing down the steps.

    Met daughter from school later — she picked a big bunch of unbelievably sunny dandelions in the grass by the railway line. Realised it was May Day.

    The Japanese knotweed has sprung up by the railway again. It has many medicinal uses and has replaced red grape skins and wine by-products as a commercial source of resveratrol, the natural superdrug.

    Why can’t this invasive pest be picked by the unemployed and made into wine or some such? In Japan it is picked as a forage vegetable for cooking, too.

    There is a Japanese psyllid (jumping plant lice) that preys on the plant, which may be introduced here to control the weed, which would be the first ever deliberate insect import in the UK. But like the triffidy plants themselves, the voracious psyllid may start eating the houses and whole streets. We may find that they have even bit the babies in the cradles
    And ate the cheeses out of the vats,
    And licked the soup from the cooks’ own ladles,
    Split open the kegs of salted sprats,
    Made nests inside men’s Sunday hats,
    And even spoiled the women’s chats,
    By drowning their speaking
    With shrieking and squeaking
    In fifty different sharps and flats.

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