Category Archives: food

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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Fistik Restaurant

Fistik Kebab Brasserie restaurant in Blackheath, London, SE3
As mentioned in a previous post, the restaurant next to Buenos Aires Cafe has turned into Fistik Kebab Brasserie. Leaving aside whether “kebab” and “brasserie” should ever appear next to each other, the food is actually not bad.

We went last weekend (Mrs Bugle and myself, plus another Turkish friend). The meze (hot and cold small dishes – not necessarily starters), were fine, and the kebab (I’m told) was nice too. The decor still looks a little unfinished in places, and they’ve kept the large-breasted statues that were a “feature” of the previous incarnation.

On the whole though, it’s a big improvement. The music was pleasant, gentle, slightly melancholic Turkish pop songs floating in the background, and if you sit looking towards the Bookshop on the Heath, you can see all of village life wander by. The service was friendly, but not over-friendly. We asked for Turkish coffee, but they didn’t have any – they promised that they’d get some in soon, but the espresso was fine.

The prices were reasonable – much cheaper than Chapters or Buenos, pretty much comparable to Pizza Express or Giraffe. It’s not the most amazing Turkish restaurant in London (Hazev in Canary Wharf or Tas Pide by the Globe Theatre are better), but it’s really great to have one in Blackheath. As it was lunchtime, we didn’t check to see whether they sell Rakı, but we’ll hopefully go back one evening to double-check. Wandering past the place today, it looked much busier than the previous restaurant ever did. I wonder if they’ll remove the dots from “Fıstık” eventually…

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Can I graze my sheep on the heath?

Marrow with feta and mint
A friend of mine really likes feta cheese. He lives in Blackheath. As a way of reducing costs in this age of austerity, someone suggested that a way to beat the supermarkets at their own game would be to buy a sheep, graze it on the heath every day, and return it to the back garden in the evening.

Is this possible? I had no idea, so I fired off an email to both Lewisham and Greenwich councils. Lewisham council got back to me very quickly, saying that it definitely isn’t legal. Here are the relevant bits of legislation, if you’re interested:

Metropolitan Commons Act 1866
Metropolitan Commons Supplemented act 1871 [Ch Ivii]

6. “except for those persons who now by law are entitled to do so, it shall not be lawful, without the consent of the board in writing, to turn out on the heath for grazing any cattle, sheep, or other animal”.

Existing bye laws London County Council 1932

25. No person shall turn out to graze or feed or allow or suffer to stray or remain any cattle, sheep, swine, horse, ass, mule, goose, duck, fowl, or other animal in any open space without right or without the consent of the council in writing under the hand of its Clerk.

Interestingly an additional bye-law on this subject is currently being drafted between Lewisham and Greenwich councils, with the Blackheath Joint Working Party, which includes the following clause:

Draft Byelaws
London Borough of Lewisham
Blackheath Open Space, London SE13

13. No persons shall without the consent of the council turn out or permit any animal for which he is responsible to graze in the ground.

Which is pretty specific, although I note with interest that no consideration is given to scavenging home-made robots. Which may have to be left for a post another day.

The photo (including feta) above shows a recipe for feta and stuffed marrow, from the wonderful Smallest Kitchen blog. The marrows are from the farmer’s market, and it is highly recommended.

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Giraffe in Blackheath (not camels this time)


Any excuse to re-use this picture. The Italian restaurant next to Pizza Express, il Bertorelli, is being closed, and a Giraffe restaurant is appearing in its place. I don’t actually ever remember visiting this place – not for any good reason, but it simply never seemed to be the right time. I guess Pizza Express was better for pizzas, and Buenos Aires Cafe is (much much) better for pasta (and anything else for that matter).

Giraffe in Blackheath

The photo above is from Giraffe’s twitter account. They also have a PR firm who are doling out free dinners on the opening night, to anyone who fancies it.

I’ve been to a Giraffe restaurant once, on the South Bank. I hope the one in Blackheath is a better experience. I guess there won’t be as many tourists, and perhaps fewer screaming children (although Blackheath’s Pizza Express always seems to manage to have a few screamers).

My overriding sense of Giraffe on the South Bank was “World Music and Burgers”, in other words, middle-class fast food. It’s disingenuous. It looks all fresh and healthy, but it’s really about burger-shovelling. And if you want a great article about the rise of middle-class fast food, I urge you to read this (he’s talking about GBK, not Giraffe it should be pointed out):

Even though a posh cheeseburger contains roughly 805 calories, compared with 490 calories in a Big Mac, there’s no shame attached to the public enguzzlement of Gourmet Burgers, partly because of the emphasis on fresh ingredients, but mainly because it’s a thoroughly middle-class form of indulgence… So, then. It seems the key to nurturing a successful chain of fast-food restaurants in modern Britain is to provide a less reprehensible version of something popular … while still enabling your customers to indulge in potentially ruinous gluttony.

Ultimately, we’re just swapping one large chain of restaurants for another, but with a slightly higher calorie count.

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Review of the Farmers Market

Nice review of the Blackheath Farmers Market here, also picked up by Lonely Planet.

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