The Big Lunch — Sunday 18th July

Just a very quick note to say that The Big Lunch is happening this Sunday, 18th July. So what is The Big Lunch? Well, completely plagiarising the website “It’s a one-day get together with your neighbours on Sunday 18th July 2010. It can be anything from a simple lunch to a full-blown street party with DJs and a home cooked feast.” A quick search on their website shows a number of parties in the SE5/SE15 area including two hosted by “local” pubs The Gowlett and Hoopers (yes, yes, I know they’re technically not in Camberwell). The one on Ivanhoe Road even has donkey rides and a fire engine.

Happy Chinese New Year

This is my first post for Camberwell Online. I’m one of an elite (read: small) gang of Camberwellians pitching in here while Peter takes a well-earned break. I’ve been an avid reader of this blog and I hope my (uninformed) ramblings are as interesting as Peter’s.

Today is Chinese New Year as well as Saint Valentine’s Day. We don’t celebrate this Hallmark holiday in the Cookson household so I’ll be spending an unromantic evening in one of Camberwell’s fine establishments nursing a few pints of old man ale.

In the Chinese calendar 2010 is the year of the tiger, which perhaps bodes well for the opening of The Tiger (nee The Oberon), formally The Silver Buckle. After revealing the original façade during reconstruction, Antic have decided to retain the original name. I’ll be eager to see what it’s like when it opens on 25 Feb, but if their other pubs (EDT at Goose Green, Dogstar in Brixton, Royal Albert at Deptford) are anything to go by this should be a good addition to Camberwell. Sadly it’s tied to Scottish and Newcastle (boo hiss) which means inflated beer prices, but I hear that’s true of many of the pubs around here.

According to my sources the pub will aim to be as close to a “traditional pub” as possible with a focus on affordable, decent pub grub. I’m never quite sure what is meant by traditional but I wish them all the best. I hope to get some photos of the renovations up shortly. Perhaps Antic would like to offer some opening night freebies to the readers of this blog?

I also received an invitation to the release of the next stage of flats at “Camberwell Grove” (couldn’t they think of a better name?). From the marketing materials the prices seem to have fallen from almost £500,000 when the first properties were released to £400,000. Having looked around the original show flat I think they’re gorgeous, but I also think my £500,000 would be better spent on a house a few streets over.

I was very excited to try Angels and Gypsies recently. The food was as good as the hype suggested but the bill was enormous. Admittedly we tried plenty of the more expensive things. My better half’s family are staying at the Church Street Hotel above in a few weeks, so I’ll hopefully get a chance to poke around the rooms and to also try their breakfast. I wish they’d open it up to non-residents as their breakfast sounds great. Which brings me on to a pet peeve: why does Johannson’s open at 10:30 for breakfast on a Saturday?

And finally, a quick question: can anybody recommend a good local bike shop for servicing? I usually do my own but I’m fed up of leaving everything squeakier than when I started. Wilson Cycles in Peckham? Edwardes in Camberwell?

So have a great night whether you’re celebrating Chinese New Year, Valentine’s Day or England’s close victory over the Italians.