New Places to Eat, a Local Identity, and a Plan for the Area

Second post of the year! I’m getting giddy! As I was writing this I realised that I’ve just missed the 15th anniversary of this blog; I wrote my first post on 1st July 2004. Wow! I would say ‘time flies’, but it doesn’t always.

Anyway, here’s a round‐up of some of the more interesting things that have happened recently.

Nandine & More Flour to the People

A couple of new eating establishments have opened. More Flour To The People! is a bakery, cafe, and pizzeria on Coldharbour Lane. If bread is your thing this is the place to go; lovely home‐baked loaves for sale, nice brunch options during the day, and very generous and tasty pizza in the evenings. Well worth a visit.

And Camberwell favourites Nandine have opened on Church Street in the former Queen’s (and very short‐lived Fat Phil’s). With the new premises they have a full kitchen so can really go all out on the food, and it’s delicious; sweet and spicy and generous. Mostly small plates for sharing, although the kebabs and chicken wings are really big. They have an alcohol license now as well, with a small but well‐selected wine list and a few local beers. I think this place is exceptional, and all the feedback I’ve seen has been incredibly positive too.

Also coming soon to Camberwell are New Cross favourites, The London Particular. They’ll be opening in the old Town Hall on Peckham Road soon.

Camberwell Identity

A sign reading “Camberwell” painted on a wall
Lionel Stanhope’s Camberwell sign, Camberwell New Road

The image shown above (and at the top of this page if you’re not using a mobile) shows the new mural on the railway bridge on Camberwell New Road. It’s painted by Lionel Stanhope, who’s responsible for similar murals across South London, and the colours were chosen by pupils at Sacred Heart School.

The mural is part of a new Camberwell identity project by SE5 Forum, Camberwell Society and Camberwell Arts with the community and businesses. Its aim is “to bring to life Camberwell’s unique, vibrant identity and make everyone feel proud of Camberwell”.

The Camberwell identity group is currently raising money to install raised lamppost banners along Denmark Hill; the Mayor of London has pledged to match donations up to the target amount, so please contribute if you can.

Camberwell Area Plan

The Southwark Community Action Network recently held a public consultation for ideas to improve the area. The boards that were shown are all online [PDF download]. There’s a lot to talk about; here are a few things that stood out:

  • Six major new housing/social developments are planned: Camberwell Lanes, on the Butterfly Walk/Morrisons car park land; Respublica, an arts/co‐working/shared living space on Valmar Trading Estate; the Camberwell and Abellio bus garages; and the Magistrates Court on Camberwell Green North area.
  • Three public space projects, with better walking routes including part‐pedestrianisation, at Windsor Walk, Camberwell Station Road, and the Wilson Road crossing of Camberwell Church Street.
  • A widened Camberwell Green with shared walking and cycling space occupying the existing third south‐bound lane, and a ‘super‐crossing’ with all‐green phase, like at Oxford Circus, to make it easier to cross the junction.
  • The ‘low line’ walking route from the former Camberwell Station along the railway arches to Medlar Street, eventually linking up arches all the way to Bankside.

Some of these ideas are new to me, and some have been carried forward from 2017’s Area Vision for Camberwell. It seems from the boards that the reopening of Camberwell Station is still hoped for despite TfL’s previous lack of enthusiasm.

There’s a lot contained in here so I urge you to take a look for yourself and email camberwellplan@​southwark.​gov.​uk with your feedback.

Showing My Face

The Peckham Peculiar recently ran a special edition focusing on Camberwell, which had an interview with your humble author. I don’t usually talk about myself much here, but after 15 years running this blog I was quite proud.

Tapete restaurant review

Tapete is a new tapas bar and restaurant which opened in June at 119 Grove Lane, the site of the former Buddha Jazz (and, some 13 or so years ago, another tapas restaurant the name of which escapes me). I’ve eaten there twice in the past month, and can recommend it.

The interior layout hasn’t changed drastically, but has been given a fittingly Spanish‐style redecoration. They’ve also refreshed the outdoor decking area which is perfect in this heatwave. Over all, Tapete feels modern, warm, and welcoming—and the staff match that description too.

I’d describe the food as classic, or typical, tapas; from albóndigas to boquerones to croquetas, all the dishes you know and love are on the menu. It’s all freshly cooked and really well made. They also serve paella made to order (with a 30‐or‐so minute wait), which seems very popular from my observations.

The wine list is entirely Spanish, and one of the few things I think would improve Tapete is if they offered more variety of wine by the glass—right now your choices are house red or white.

The other suggestion I’d make is for them to offer regular specials—the menu is fixed, and while that’s mostly not a problem it would be more of an incentive to return regularly if there were some seasonal variety.

But those are really just additions I’d like to see, not negative marks. In all, I’m very happy with this new addition to the area and wish it plenty of success.

Eating Out News: Italian, Spanish, Cheese, and Fish & Chips

A flying update with some quick news about local restaurants.

Golazio is a new bar opening on 14th June at 59 Camberwell Road. The bar is inspired by Italian football of the 90s, and will sell pizza by the slice and Italian craft beers.

Tapete is a new Spanish restaurant now open at 119 Grove Lane (the former Buddha Jazz). Can’t find any online presence, but you can see a photo of their menu (one, two).

Good Neighbour have a series of events coming up in June, from live music in the basement to a battle of the cheeses.

Fladda fish & chips was sold at the beginning of May (I missed that news entirely), but continues operating under the new owner. No idea of why or plans for the future.

That’s all. Enjoy your evening.

Free Film Festival, Camberwell Union, the Grove Bridge, Wine, and Bikes

Camberwell Free Film Festival is back for another year. Starting on Thursday 15th, there will be a free screening every night (bar one) for the next ten nights—plus a special bonus (more on that in a sec)—at diverse venues across the neighbourhood.

I can personally recommend Ben Wheatley’s fun shoot‐em‐up Free Fire (showing at Cycle PS) and John Carpenter’s capitalist‐critique alien invasion film, They Live (at The Cambria), and am looking forward to seeing the much‐heralded growing up tale The Florida Project (at The Crooked Well) and the hand‐painted animated biopic Loving Vincent (at Cafe at the ORTUS), but there’s plenty in this line‐up to cater to everyone.

The bonus feature is The Shed at Dulwich, in which VICE journalist Oobah Butler managed to make a non‐existent restaurant into the highest‐rated on Trip Advisor—and then decided to open it for one night only. It’s a short film with two screenings at The Phoenix on Sunday 18th, each followed by a Q&A.

The full line‐up of the Camberwell Free Film Festival is online, and there are posters and leaflets at selected venues around Camberwell. Most (all?) films are first‐come, first‐served.

Other News

Plans have been (re-)submitted for a huge new housing and mixed‐use development on the site of Burgess Business Park. Camberwell Union promises 505 new homes (35% affordable—although that’s already being disputed as ‘not viable’), new streets and public realm, and mixed commercial, creative, and retail units (including a microbrewery). You can see the developer’s brochure [PDF], and follow or comment on the planning application by searching for reference 17/AP/4797 at Southwark’s Planning Search (which really should provide shareable URLs).

The former Nape site, on Church Street, looks set to reopen under the name Good Neighbour. Same owners, new management, from what I can tell from their licensing application. @foodstories on Twitter says there’ll be “a wine bar, sharing plates, mini pizzas, and music downstairs” but I haven’t seen any confirmation of that.

The bridge on Camberwell Grove looks set to remain closed for a while yet as Network Rail have said it requires further strengthening work before Southwark can start their reopening work—sometime in the Summer. The bridge should reopen in more or less the same scheme as before it closed, pending a longer‐term reevaluation.

Update On 14th March Andy Pryor on Twitter let me know that he’d “got a letter from Southwark and Network Rail saying the works on Camberwell Grove bridge are set for 14th May — 2nd August, due to reopen to vehicles under 3 tonnes on 3rd August”.

Finally, while there’s no news yet on getting Santander bike docks in Camberwell, it seems Southwark have decided on a multi‐operator model and will allow dockless bike‐sharing operators Mobike and Ofo to begin placing bikes in the borough. Camberwell and Rotherhithe have been earmarked as the areas of initial focus.