Category Archives: food

Two Argentinian restaurants are better than one?


It looks as though the Cactus Pit is going to become a CAU restaurant. (Planning application was here, but won’t load for me currently). They specialise in Argentinian beef according to their restaurant website, which mentions other branches in Cambridge and Guildford.

So thirty seconds walk from a lovely Argentinian beef restaurant, Blackheath residents are going to have a second one. I really hope it doesn’t damage Buenos Aires, as its probably the nicest restaurant in the village (even for vegetarians).

(Thanks to the anonymous bugler who spotted the application). Image above shows the CAU restaurant in Guildford.

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Revamped Hare and Billet

Revamped Hare and Billet pub

Notes on the rejigged Hare and Billet pub:

Bonobo beer – dark ale nutty almost burnt
Adnams – as you’d expect
India pale ale – nice
Oakham ales – Scarlet Macaw – didn’t try it looked interesting though..
Weasel Beer – likewise
Hare and billet bitter – as they had before

£9.10 for an Orchard Cider, a pint of Adnams, and a packet of pipers salt & vinegar crisps seems more than it used to be.

The free wifi is good, and actually works, which is more than can be said for many other local pubs. It’s run by The Cloud & Greene King.

The pub is still dog-friendly. Almost too dog friendly. Maybe just ban the small yappy-type dogs.

There’s music on but it’s not loud or annoying.

The pub smells better than it used to. It’s never honked like the bloody Railway, but definitely better now the loos are upstairs.

Speaking of the loos, there is now a massive empty (as of 5.30pm on a Saturday) restaurant area where the loos and kitchen used to be. I wish pubs wouldn’t differentiate between drinking and eating. Ten empty tables, with everyone else huddled at the front drinking.

All in all though, it’s a good revamp I think.

Lamp and window in Hare and Billet

New menu in Hare and Billet pub

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Shepherd’s food of the week

Chocolate sardines in Shepherd Foods

Five chocolate sardines on sale in Shepherd’s Food. For the bargain price of £9.95.

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Turkey coming and going

The Bookshop on the Heath has interesting books about Turkey in its windows. Never read The Eunuch of Stamboul, but according to this blog post, looks like an entertaining read. Apparently it was also made into a film in 1936, which can be viewed for free at the BFI’s Mediatheque.

The Eunuch of Stamboul by Dennis Wheatley in the window of The Bookshop on the Heath

Book about Turkey in the Bookshop on the Heath's window

Speaking of Turkey, Blackheath’s dabbling with Turkish food has come to a close. Not a huge surprise given some of the competition nearby. It was never a great place, as many of the reviews here have mentioned. Will Cote be any better?

Fistik about to become Cote

Cote coming soon

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Another farmers market

Farmers Market in Manor House Gardens
This Farmers Market happens on the first Saturday of each month (i.e today if you’re reading this on Saturday 4th Feb).
It’s smaller than the one in Blackheath station car park, but still good value. When I went, there was a fairly comprehensive vegetable stall, a nice bakery, meat and a pickle stall.
Google Map below:

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If the station car park closes, what happens to the farmers market?

UPDATE: Please see the bottom of this post for an update from Kevin.

From Blackheath Village Residents Group via an email from Kevin Bonavia:

Lease on Station Car Park Will Not Be Renewed

The Council’s lease on Blackheath Station car park has come to an end and Network Rail, the owners of the car park, do not intend to renew it. It is understood that Network Rail want to operate their own business from the site and although they are not saying what this is they have said that they intend to retain some sort of car parking facility. Network Rail also have a commitment to the arrangements that have been agreed for the Olympics.

More on their site. Being vigorously tweeted about by Kevin Bonavia and Heidi Alexander. No comment from Nick Raynsford, who is probably talking about housing somewhere. There are other issues Nick.

Hope they can get something sorted here. Otherwise Network Rail will may try to develop the car park, as they have done in other parts of the south east.

UPDATE: Better link to the mess of redevelopment at Epsom station that I was thinking of: Controversial Epsom Station regeneration given the green light from 2010

UPDATE: Here’s a reply from Kevin Bonavia:

Here’s an update following a number of enquiries to Network Rail about their intentions and to Council officers about Council policy towards use of the site.

Network Rail (via their property department) have informed our MP, Heidi Alexander:

“I would like to confirm that the Blackheath Station Car Park will remain in its current use once the lease with Lewisham Council comes to an end. It will however be necessary for there to be restrictions during the Olympic period due to Blackheath being a designated station for transport to the Olympic Park.”

So far so good. I understand that Network Rail will shortly be meeting Lewisham’s Director of Property to discuss more details, and I have asked for more information about potential changes to the operation of the car park, such as parking charges and any effect on the farmers’ market.

In the meantime, the Council’s approach to the use of the car park is very clear. In 2005, the Council undertook a survey of sites that could potentially be used for more housing as part of Lewisham’s obligations under the London Plan. In the case of the Blackheath Station car park, Network Rail submitted that the site would be suitable for high density housing with a decked car park. The Council, however, decided not to place the site on the list for potential new housing stating:

“Although this site is close to a rail station and therefore in a highly sustainable location it was considered that in this case the preservation or enhancement of the Conservation Area at Blackheath took precedence. It was considered that a development of this density and pattern would not conform to the historic pattern of development within the area and would form an intrusive element that could not preserve or enhance its character. The loss of the car park additionally would not preserve the village character of the Blackheath Conservation Area by removing the Farmer’s market site, and the possibility of parking in the centre of the village.”

Network Rail should be aware of this, but it’s worth reminding them in case there’s a change of heart…

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I’ve been embossed!

Went for a curry to recover from a day of wallpaper steaming at the lovely Spice of Life curry house, only to discover that they’ve put my review, and the reply on the back of their menus (the in-house ones, not the takeaways). What an honour!

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Cake

Delicious cake cooked by Mrs Bugle
I write about cake on the blog. Mrs Bugle actually cooks the cake! During her night shifts! All made with finest sourced Blackheath ingredients.

This is why she is a much better wife than I am a husband.

Goes very well with a bit of Laphroaig, especially whilst attempting to moderate 21 comments about lamp posts….

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Free wood, and cake recipes too

Farmers Market is heaving with people today. People from the Observer Food Monthly are handing out this free cake recipe (scroll down to “A Cake for Midsummer”) for some reason. And there’s a basket outside Nicholas wine merchants offering “free wood”.

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Black Vanilla Easter Egg Hunt tomorrow

Black Vanilla Easter Egg Hunt
Black Vanilla (the new-ish ice cream gelataria shop in the village) is having an easter egg hunt tomorrow. You can see the posters in their window, and the full range of posters are also on Lost In Style’s blog (the people who designed Black Vanilla’s branding).

There’s nothing on Black Vanilla’s website about the egg hunt, but it was mentioned on their twitter account a couple of days back.

It starts at 9am, and from the look of the designer’s site, a series of little tags will be hidden around the village. Then we get to hunt for them, and bring them to the shop in return for free goodies, such as:

  • 1st prize – a huge easter egg
  • 2nd prize – large tub of gelato
  • 3rd prize – medium tub of gelato
  • 4th prize – bambino gelato cone

It says there’s a maximum of 5 tags per winner, so presumably there will be quite a few dotted around.

(PS: Back from hols…)

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