An interesting blog post from Simon Carter, the upmarket menswear shop that is going to replace Black’s the jewellers in Blackheath.
…we’re opening a new store in Blackheath. This is an even more prosperous and leafy London suburb than Crystal palace. I’d passed by the site dozens of times; a long standing jewellers in a prime location just down from the station, on the main drag. When I saw the ‘To Let’ sign, I moved so fast I blurred. Beating other retailers off with a stick, and having to raise our offer twice, we finally secured it earlier this month.
The shop dates from around 1870 and retains the original frontage, right down to the curved glass windows, tessellated entrance floor and foxed Victorian mirrors above the doorway. Inside, there’s much to be done. The nineteenth century tongue and groove ceiling remains in place under a 1980’s shopfit. There’s a glorious wood panelled light well at the back, and once we start stripping out the previous generations of fixtures, more will be revealed.
From their website, they also sell watches, so some continuity from that perspective. The owner of the shop goes by the twitter name @kingofcufflinks. Lots of changes coming to the high street over the next few weeks I think…
(Thanks to Rob for spotting the post)
The vegetarian bugle was sent to Coquillage, the local fish shop last weekend. I’m told the fish was great, so if you’re looking for something to set fire to on the barbecue this weekend, here’s what we did. They also sell Samphire (green stuff at the rear left of the photo), which is really nice with a little lemon juice, as a green salad next to your fish. Very few places sell samphire, so this is quite a find!
Jade Boulangerie and Coquillage occasionally give out 10%-off vouchers, which can come in handy. Anyway, without going all Jamie Oliver on you, here’s what we did:
Whole sea bass, cleaned and de-scaled (they cleaned it reasonably well at the shop, but there was a little more to do).
2-3 cloves of garlic (peeled and cut in half)
Slices of lemon
Wash and de-scale the sea bass. It should be sliced open from the underbelly (do fish have bellies?)
Cut some lines diagonally across the fish
Stuff the garlic, lemon, and bay leaves into the cuts
Stick it on the BBQ turning occasionally until it’s brown. – one of these helps (Sainsbury’s sell them too).
Serve with samphire drizzled with olive oil and lemon juice.
Anyway, it’s good to see them doing well, especially in a location that saw other businesses fail before.
I’m a good candidate for Blackheath Village Flowers. I need to buy flowers once in a while (for Mrs Bugle… especially today). But they’re always closed by the time I come home (before 7pm). Is it a licensing thing? If you ran a florists, wouldn’t you stay open late on February 13th? Here’s their website: It appears to be broken.
(Photo by Nina Matthews Photography on Flickr)
Betfred are making a fourth (and hopefully final) attempt to turn Deptford’s old
Nationwide Halifax Building Society into a betting shop. They’ve been turned down twice by Lewisham Council, and once by the Planning Inspectorate, but they only need to succeed once to permanently install yet another betting shop into their high street.
Over on The Deptford Dame, you can find out more info.
But you can stop it! Adding your comments isn’t hard:
Go to this link, scroll to the bottom and click “Comment on this case”. Fill in some details, and add some comments… Here are the objections from the Dame’s post:
I am objecting to this application because I feel we already have more than enough betting shops; not only does it reduce the diversity of the businesses on the high street, but this clustering encourages anti-social behaviour, street drinking and fights in a small, concentrated area, putting people off using the street at night and making them fear for their personal safety.
The deadline for objections is 17 February 2012. Please pass this on.
From Sue, on Betfred’s reapplication to open another betting shop on Deptford High Street.
If you don’t want any more betting shops in Deptford, take a look at Sue’s letter here, then write your own, and email it to email@example.com.
You’ll probably know that when Lewisham Planning turned them down in June, they appealed to the government Planning Inspectorate, who also turned them down (in August). Originally they were asking for the condition on the premises (that it was A2 Financial Use for a Building Society only) to be lifted to include Betting Shops. The Inspector agreed to lift the condition and then applied a new one – so that the present permission for the premises is now ANY A2 FINANCIAL USE EXCEPT AS A BETTING SHOP.
They have since reapplied to Lewisham to have this altered to include Betting Shops, claiming that it is unfair to judge them based on the behaviour of the clientele outside other betting establishments.
This application can be found on the Lewisham Planning Portal here and their covering letter is in the Documents section here.
The old sports shop has become a Fergus Noone wedding photography shop (there’s another one in Greenwich)… Maybe they could stock a couple of kite models just in case? Or start specialising in kite aerial photography? The perfect hobby for the heath!
Photo shows the sign writer in action here (snapped from a fast-moving 202 bus.. No really).. Tip off from @BBCarpentry
I turn my back for two minutes (one week), and the whole of Blackheath is unrecognisable… Well, OK, they’re doing up Gregg’s, there appears to be a World War One re-enactment of The Somme setting up next to Blackheath Cars, and the dodgy restaurant up at the top, near the really good restaurant has been renamed.
So, one by one:
Gregg’s isn’t being closed for excessive MSG usage, instead it’s being given a shiny new fascia. See this PDF at Lewisham council for all the gory details. No illuminated signs, and no mention of whether they’ll keep making Vegetable Slices (don’t tell Mrs Bugle).
Roadworks next to the station
At last, the mess next to the traffic lights appears to be getting better, but instead has been replaced by a massive amount of pipe-laying as you walk towards the farmer’s market.
Fıstık Kebab Brasserie Restaurant
Note the absence of dots above the “i” in Fıstık, means that it pronounced “er” as in “shirt”, not “i” as in “shift”. Fıstık means peanut in Turkish. It’s also a term of endearment used by men to women. I imagine it really isn’t something you’d want to find inside a kebab. More importantly, the conjunction of the words Kebab and Brasserie probably shouldn’t appear in the same sentence, and fill me (and Mrs Bugle) with apprehension. Time will tell!
Black Vanilla is the new coffee and ice-cream shop in Blackheath village. It bills itself as a boutique bakery and gelateria. The decor is modern, stark, bright, and shiny. The coffee was good. In a previous life I spent many hours taming steaming espresso machines. It’s harder than it looks. Theirs had just the right amount of foam. Having said that, so does Hand Made Food’s, whose milk tastes better, and they have much more space to sit down. But no ice cream.
The seating area feels really cramped. A huge amount of space is taken up by a pastry table that could just as easily be a shelf against a wall. The entire serving area feels as though it is intruding on the seating space by about half a metre.
The ice creams (no, I’m refusing to call them gelato) look amazing, but I haven’t tried them yet.
Sitting inside, the cost of a latte and a cappuccino came to £5.95. This seemed pretty steep, but I’m sure the rental in that location on the high street is horrendous, so they should be given the benefit of the doubt. The staff are a mixed bag – one woman – possibly the manager/owner seemed friendly and efficient. The Italian(?) man making the coffee did an excellent job. The other girl seemed a little confused as though this was her first part-time work, and she hadn’t had to deal with customers before.. Not rude at all, just a little forgetful.
On a Saturday afternoon the place was heaving with customers. It’s a great location, and right now it seems to be pitched at exactly the right level for the high street crowds. As I was leaving the library protests, there was a brilliant juxtaposition: some wealthy looking girls walking down the high street with their conspicuously-consumed tubs of ice cream in their hands, slack-jawed and gawping at the Morris Minor blaring dub reggae about the library cuts. Welcome to South London.
Spotted by a sharp-eyed Mrs Bugle yesterday, looks like we have
a new modern and sophisticated American style bakery and foody shop in London called Black Vanilla. The main menu will consist of smoothies, milkshakes, gelato, baked goods like cupcakes and whoopie pies etc.
From an article discussing the design of their logo.
I’m sure Greggs are terrified. Boulangerie Jade possibly are. Anyway, looks like they’re also hiring bakers:
Black Vanilla is a boutique bakery & gelateria with a reputation for unique artisan cupcakes and baked goods. This is an excellent opportunity for a hard working and enthusiastic baker to join the team at this stunning location.
Some experience in baking morning goods and vienoiserie is essential. The pastry chef position requires an enthusiastic, reliable and dynamic candidate with sound basic experience working with pastry and ideally with American style cake products.
Shifts of 4 hours daily starting at 6.00am. Pay between £7.00 – £8.50 ph depending on experience.
I didn’t know what Vienoiserie meant either. Google says that it has two “n”s, and means french baking in a Viennese style.
Dear India Jane,
Whilst it looks like you do a lovely line in furniture I will never be able to afford, do you think you could hang on to the sign above the letterbox? It would be a happy reminder of the movie rental shop that we knew and loved. And you never know, maybe you’ll get some late returns… Thanks.