Mono, Nandine, Nape and Louie Louie — food and drink news

It’s been a while since I wrote about new places in the area to eat and drink, and as they’re generally the most popular posts, let’s do that.

Mono (above) is the most recent addition, a new coffee shop that’s opened at 49 Denmark Hill. It’s very much the modern coffee shop style: bare brick, gleaming espresso machines, and a bunch of old classics on vinyl. I popped in for a takeaway coffee (a flat white, very good) and had a quick chat with the owner—he says there’s a kitchen in the basement which his partner will cook in, so expect food to come soon. For now it’s coffee and pastries, but I look forward to seeing how it grows.

Nandine is a small café serving Kurdish salads, sandwiches, and sweets. I’ve been in a couple of times since it opened in December (I think), for a very tasty sausage breakfast sandwich and a chicken wrap. It’s a family business, with mum in the kitchen, dad as the handyman, and son front of house. It’s tucked away in the backstreets of Vestry Road (near the old town hall) and will struggle with foot traffic, so if you’re a local or passing nearby do check it out. (They also deliver through Uber Eats.)

Nape are a bar, bottle shop and deli specialising in wine and cured meats—it’s a business enterprise of Cannon & Cannon, the local meat specialists. The bar, at 21 Camberwell Church Street (one of the old library units), opened in December as a pop-up test run, but are now fully launched. Wine and ham is pretty much my dream combination, so I dropped in last night and can confirm it’s great; wine on tap and by the bottle, and delicious small plates.

Eggs & chorizo from Louie Louie

Louie Louie is a café/bar/restaurant specialising in cocktails. They’re a little bit out of our catchment area at 347 Walworth Road, SE17, but I’ll make an exception as they’re from the team behind Fowlds café in Addington Square. Weekend brunch (above) is very popular, we were lucky to get a table just before lunchtime on Sunday, and a constant flow of people arrived all the time we were in there—seems there’s pretty high demand in the area.

In other food & drink news, there’s a new kebab shop, Tazze, at 22 Camberwell Church Street, in the place where once stood Safa and the short-lived Shanghai Taste. In terms of what they offer, I had a decent doner there (made with cuts of lamb, not the minced ‘elephant leg’), but it’s not at the standard of FM Mangal and is up against two popular incumbents in Golden Grill and Bolu.

The Flying Fish, further down Church Street, has closed. Only temporarily, from what I’m told; seems Kamal, the previous owner, has retired and sold the business. New owners will apparently reopen in six weeks or so, keeping it as a chippy.

In final, less positive news, the landlady of the Nags Head says the owners of the pub have more than doubled her rent to some £75,000 per year, making it untenable for her to stay there. The pub was recently granted ‘asset of community value’ status by Southwark council and will have to continue with the A4 use class (‘drinking establishment’) in the future, but no idea what form that will take as the rooms above the premises will be converted into flats.

The demographic of Camberwell, like everywhere else in central London, is changing.

Christmas and New Year’s Opening Hours

My apologies for the long delay in posting, thanks so much to Jordana from Camberwell Arts for stepping in a few times. Most of the news gets spread on Facebook and Twitter these days, but I still think there’s a role for this blog, and will try out a few new ideas in the New Year.

But to finish 2016 I want to do a quick round-up of the Christmas and New Year’s opening hours for our pubs, cafes and restaurants. The neighbourhood can get quite empty over the holidays as our large student population dissipates, but for those of us who stay I thought this might be useful.

This post will be updated until it’s too late, so if there’s somewhere I’ve missed out please feel free to leave a comment, or DM me on Twitter.

Pubs

If you fancy a drink over Christmas, the Bear is not the place for you; they’ll close from the 24th to the 29th, reopening at 4pm on Friday 30th.

A good bet is the Tiger, which will close on Christmas Day only, with normal hours the rest of the week except for a 3.30am close on NYE (well, NYD, but you get what I mean). The Sun will also close on Christmas Day only, although Boxing and New Year’s Days will see reduced hours (12pm to 9pm). If you want to eat there on NYE, it’s set menu only, 6pm to 11pm.

Both Stormbird and the Hermit’s Cave will close Christmas, Boxing and New Year’s Days. (I thought the Hermit’s usually opened during lunchtime on Christmas Day; perhaps I’m mistaken, or perhaps this is new.)

The Crooked Well will close on Christmas and Boxing Days only, although there’ll be no dinner service on New Year’s Day.

The Camberwell Arms will be closed from the 24th, then reopen from the 29th to the 31st for dinner only, then close again until the 7th of January.

The Phoenix will close at 9pm on Christmas Eve, open for prebooked meals only on Christmas Day, open from 12pm to 9pm on Boxing Day.

If you really fancy a drink on Christmas Day, the Fox on the Hill is open from 11am to 3pm (no food). 8am to midnight every other day, except to 12.30am on NYE and NYD.

Cafes & Restaurants

No. 67 will be closed on Christmas and Boxing Day, and New Year’s Eve and Day, but will open from the 27th to the 30th, between 10am and 3.30pm, for brunch only.

Theo’s will have a nice break, as they close at the end of service on Friday 23rd, reopening 3rd January at 12pm. The Pigeon Hole takes an even longer break, as it’s already closed and will reopen only on 4th January.

If it’s coffee you’re after, Lumberjack will close Thursday 22nd at 6pm, reopening at 10am on 2nd January. Brewbird will close at 3pm on Friday 23rd, reopening 3rd January at 8am. Fowlds will close at 2pm on Christmas Eve, also reopening on 3rd January.

Best option for coffee is Daily Goods, who will close at 12pm on Friday 23rd, reopening at 9am on Wednesday 28th, then close again on Saturday 31st at 3pm and stay closed on New Year’s Day.

Others

If you want to service your bike before going out to cycle off some excess calories, you’ll have to get to Cycle PS before 5pm on Friday 23rd, as they don’t reopen until 2nd January.

A new weekly market starts Sunday

Camberwell Market logo

From this Sunday, 4th September, Camberwell will have a new weekly market. It will happen from 10am to 4pm in the new market area on the Green, and focus on street food, arts and crafts (presumably to not compete with the Saturday farmer’s market).

Can’t find full details of the opening week’s line-up, but confirmed food stalls are: Rainbo (Asian salads and gyoza dumplings); Return of the Mac (macaroni cheese); Kaki Lima (Indonesian street food); and Pomodoro e Basilico (vegan Italian). Some of these were at Camberwell Fair last weekend, so if you enjoyed the food there, there’s no reason you shouldn’t here.

For the launch of the market there’ll be a specially-made beer called Saint Giles — no word on who it was made by, or how many will be available, but I’m keen to try it out.

In an interview with the South London Press, market organiser Will Herman said:

What we’re trying to do is establish a new haven for foodies and art lovers south of the river, showcasing the best of what is local.

And while the word ‘foodies’ might make me grind my teeth, it will be nice to have a new option in the area. I only wish there was some way we could combine the two weekend markets to have something a little bigger with perhaps an increased chance of success for both.

Camberwell’s pubs: addendum

A few brief additions to my post on local pubs a few weeks ago.

First, The Bear has (re-)opened, although not quite fully. It’s now a craft-beer focused pub with a kitchen. The interior has seen a spruce-up, no massive changes but a bit more bright and with more beer pumps. The space still looks a little sparse, but will no doubt improve over the coming weeks.

They have some 20 or so beers on cask and keg, including many locals. The staff are very knowledgeable about their craft beers, and this seems to be the intended differentiator between themselves and other local pubs. I look forward to revisiting many times to see them grow into the space, and wish them success — that’s a tricky location, but hopefully soon to be more popular due to the many new flats being constructed across the road.

Also re-opened is The Phoenix, at Denmark Hill station. They’ve likewise spruced up, with some nice new booth seating particularly noticeable — and it’s still the best place to catch the sun later in the day. There’s a new menu as of last week, which looks good albeit identical to at least one other pub in their chain, The Commercial in Herne Hill.

In my previous blog post I mentioned that The Crooked Well wasn’t the best place for drinkers, but that was out-of-date information; they’ve refurbished their lounge to have more seats and tables, and made the difficult change from being a tied pub to a freehouse which means they have freedom to serve the beers they want. So in addition to their nice restaurant it’s now also a decent place to sit and have a beer.

Finally, some pubs I missed from my round-up: First is The Amaryllis on Coldharbour Lane. I’ve been there once, about eight years ago, so fear I have nothing useful to add about it other than it’s still there so seems at least moderately successful. Then there are The Kennington, La Tavernetta/The Golden Goose and The Clarendon Arms, all on Camberwell New Road. You can tell by their omission that I don’t get out that way much.  Sadly, I also have nothing to report on them except that they’ve been through name changes in the past few years.

Perhaps it’s time I did a pub crawl through the places I’ve never visited.

Angels & Gypsies closes its doors

Very shocked to learn today that Angels & Gypsies, on Church St., has closed. The Church Street Hotel and Communion Bar are unaffected and will continue as normal. A statement on their website reads:

Having had 6 wonderful years of bringing our passion for creative, seasonal tapas to our intimate restaurant we have decided to focus our expertise in hosting special events. We will no longer be operating as a seven day a week restaurant , but will be working closely with our catering partners, Church Street Hotel, and Communion Bar in providing a warm intimate venue for private events, functions, wedding receptions and venue hire.

We would like to thank all our loyal customers for their support over the years, and look forward to hosting many more special events to come.

The food at Angels & Gypsies has been consistently excellent, and made the restaurant one of the first ‘destination’ restaurants in the area. If increased competition in the past few years meant that it wasn’t always full to capacity as in its heyday, Angels & Gypsies was rarely below half full on any given evening. The loss of the place leaves us with a tapas-shaped hole.