Beer, Food, Rumours, and the Neighbours

I started this as a comment, but it grew so long I may as well turn it into a post…

Open and shut cases: Odie & Amanda (Grove Lane, nr. Denmark Hill station) has closed down; Tadim is currently closed “for decoration, until further notice”. Have heard that the Cadeleigh could open under new management as they couldn’t get change of use permission, and Hoopers could close. I went into Hoopers for the first time this weekend, and was amazed at their beer selection; really good. It was very quiet, but it was the night of the downpour so didn’t read too much into that.

And talking of beer, went to the East Dulwich Beer Festival on Saturday, and the three pubs I went in were heaving. First the Draft House, then the Bishop, then the EDT. And it wasn’t just regular Saturday night trade, lots of people were out specifically for the festival. Could we run one in Camberwell? I suspect the lack of freehouses would count against us. If only there were some expert on the local pub scene we could ask…

One of the special beers for the festival was Prima Donna from A Head In A Hat brewery of Brixton. All of the hops were grown in the gardens of local volunteers. Beautiful.

I also went to the evening food market for Elefest, and had an amazing Scotch Egg from Egg Boss, a resident of this parish. He sells at Brockley Market generally, after an unsuccessful attempt at the farmers market on the Green (which seems to be shrinking).

There’s so much going on around us.

Author: Peter

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

28 thoughts on “Beer, Food, Rumours, and the Neighbours”

  1. I was in Hoopers a few weeks ago, just after lunch. Completely empty. Would be a great shame if it went.

  2. Odie & Amanda’s Barge House Street shop (near the Oxo Tower) seems to be closed, too. For a boutique boutique, it was very well patronised up the hill here (they called it East Dulwich!).

    I was in the queue at the Denmark Hill Post Office today, one of the most morale-testing experiences to be had in Camberwell. The queue was as long and serpentine as Satan’s mate, the snake in the Bible. The staff are as patient as saints, but the wall is peeling off, never mind the wallpaper.

    The recorded announcement said, “Cashier No. 2.” Almost immediately, a small, maybe four-year-old black boy with excellent hair-plaiting began to sing — and I wrote down what he sang dow — there was plenty of time. He really seemed to know about verse, middle eight and bridge and he was only four!

    Cashier No. 2,
    Cashier No. 2,
    Cashier No.2,
    Cashier No.2,

    Cashier No.2,

    Cashier No 2,

    Cashier no.2,
    Ooh yeah!

    Cashier No.2,

  3. Anyone know what’s going to replace Odie and Amanda? The shop is being refitted immediately.

    Also, slightly further up the same street another commerical space (formerly an accountant or something) that has been dormant for years is being worked on, with a new frontage being put in. Not sure what’s going to be there either.

    It would be a shame, but not at all surprising, if Hoopers went. Nearly always deadly quiet (other than when sport is on the tv). I also felt that they never quite got it right in there in terms of atmosphere, unfortunately.

  4. Bit of a change in subject, but there you go. The London Overground extension to Clapham Junction starts running on 9 December, meaning a journey time from Peckham Rye/Denmark Hill of 1210 mins. And in the other direction, connection with the East London Line at Surrey Quays & direct services through to Highbury & Islington.
    There are downsides (loss of most through services to Victoria), but I’m nevertheless quite excited. It opens up South West, East & North East London, which is brilliant.

  5. Hoopers — reduced opening hours: Good news, Hoopers is not closing, just reducing its hours due to lack of trade (shame really as it is the only pub in the area with a superb selection of real ales which change on a regular basis). The pub is shut for now but will reopen on Friday, 2nd November. New hours will be:
    Friday: 5.30pm to Midnight
    Saturday: 12.30pm to Midnight
    Sunday: 1.00pm to approximately 6.30pm (except Comedy Nights on the first Sunday in the month when it will be 11.00pm)
    The pub is still taking bookings for functions, parties, group meetings etc. Contact is Jamie Hooper: 07956 502 152

  6. Farmer’s market is on the green tomorrow.

    I’ll be selling limited edition prints and signed copies of my book of 36 Reasons to Love Camberwell on the green if anyone fancies coming along. (Ok so I’m not really a farmer, but I was listening to the Archer’s on Radio 4 when I was designing the book. Does that count?)

    We’ll be in the campervan so if you are very nice, I might even make you a cup of tea.

  7. Good one on the café PK. Looks good from the website.

    It’ll be interesting to see how it fares at that location… which is possibly underserved.

    I saw that the New London Gallery on Peckham Road (by the fire station) has closed. That is a tough location because there’s not that much passing trade and it’s really, really noisy by the road.

    On the other hand the costalotta-costcutter convenience store right next door seems to be doing well. There are no other shops nearby apart from the shell garage.

  8. I have to say, that was a super little shop, as we say.

    A beer festival in Camberwell? There has been a permanent beer festival in Camberwell for as long as I can… what were we talking about?

  9. A snail shop? The giant African land snails are readily available in large plastic barrels on Deptford High Street. They are 7 inches long and look scrumptious.

  10. My goodness, this is marvellous. There are characters called Mr Barmby and Fanny. Are you in it, Eilean?

  11. “Samuel Barmby, the ‘suburban deity’ who epitomises ‘Camberwell man’ is one of Gissing’s most repellent characters.” (From the introduction to the 1994 Dent paperback edition). This is a great find, Eilean. It looks like it’s about the spread of the lower-middle class from Camberwell outwards, the Pooters, whose smothering of Camberwell with their pretentious little villa houses led to the decline of Camberwell Grove.

  12. @ Dagmar, I hope you have noted p 148 and the address of Mr Barmby.

    ’ Before his admission to a partnership in Mr. Lord’s business, Samuel
    Barmby lived with his father and two sisters in Coldharbour Lane. Their
    house was small, old and crumbling for lack of repair; the landlord, his
    ground-lease having but a year or two to run, looked on with equanimity
    whilst the building decayed. Under any circumstances, the family must
    soon have sought a home elsewhere, and Samuel’s good fortune enabled
    them to take a house in Dagmar Road, not far from Grove Lane; a new
    and most respectable house, with bay windows rising from the half-sunk
    basement to the second storey. Samuel, notwithstanding his breadth of
    mind, privately admitted the charm of such an address as ‘Dagmar Road,’
    which looks well at the head of note-paper, and falls with sonority from
    the lips.

  13. Eilean, I’ve sent for my copy. What a brilliant find! The whole about Gissing is extremely interesting. I like oddbods. They say “Grub Street” is excellent by anyone’s standards.

  14. Gosh, read New Grub Street many moons ago and if I recall correctly one of the characters lived in, as described by Gissing, a dreary suburban villa in Camberwell. Wisely, Gissing cut out chunks of it for the French edition. Postscript, my copy was bought in January 1973 so I must have read it nearly 40 years ago and my judgment may be suspect.

    At the time, Ted Heath, a character Gissing might have admired, was making a better fist of running the country than Cameron-Clegg who would have been a firm of dubious copyright lawyers in one of Gissing’s novels.

  15. Fog curled round the foundation stone of Clogg-Clegg, the lawyers, “Established 1852.” A flower seller stumbled by, numbed by gin. “All right, darlin’?” she called out to a gentleman passing by, for she augmented her day’s scant income by taking home such post-dinner fellows to her garret, hushing her children with more of the poorly distilled spirit, whilst the portly chap did his best, paid and left.

    In the swathes of new suburbs — Brixton, Camberwell, Peckham — clerks rushed home to lord it over their grateful wives and worshipping children in their villa homes, built to somehow replicate the grand Georgian townhouses that they desperately clung onto on the nearby groves.

    Here is my house. Here are my children, the fruit of my loins. Here is my new piano. Here is my Sunday suit. Here is my collection of stuffed moths under glass. And here — I call, she appears meekly — is my wife.

  16. May I also recommend ‘The Odd Women’ for those who may have now contracted Gissing Fever, a complaint from which I have suffered for many years.

  17. My copy of “Jubilee” has arrived. “Luckworth Crewe”, the first as man in English literature! David Cameron, you are on trend on last!

    We cannot thank you enough, Eilean, for passing on your fever.

  18. A nice literary diversion for the blog.

    I recommended on here “Dirty South” a while back. Anyone else read it?

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