Breadwinner in Blackheath

Gail's Bakery opened in Blackheath yesterday


The new Bakery in Blackheath is going to be a massive success, if today’s footfall was anything to judge by.  Having taken up the space that India Jane left empty, the place was totally heaving by 11:30 today.  I counted at least 6 buggies being dragged up and down the steps.  I can’t understand why they would put steps in rather than a ramp, as the place seems to be a total push chair magnet right now.


Maybe there’s not enough space at the bottom level, if they want to keep the lovely rounded windows, but the upper level could easily have accommodated a ramp.  Instead, their army of staff and customers seem to be constantly helping people up and down the steps with their buggies. Wonder whether that many staff will still be on hand, after the initial setup time is over?

The entrance level has a tonne of proper bread in one window, and a few small tables in the other.  The bread is handed to you by the bread person, and then you take it to the counter, which is full of fantastic looking brioche sandwiches, cheese straws, biscuits, and scones.  If you want to eat in, it’s table service – you order at the central bar thingy, and are handed a table number.  They sell teas (in a pot) & coffees (which were great).


None of it is cheap – two cheese straws and a herb & cheese scone with a couple of coffees and a pot of tea came to more than £15, but it’s a lovely environment, and it all tasted great.


Downstairs, you can see an army of bakers making more goods, which are constantly being carried up and downstairs on trays.

They have gently blasphemic loyalty card “Give us this day our daily bread (or coffee)” – the tenth bread or coffee is free..  Which brings me to the Bugle’s thesis on loyalty cards:  If all customers acted rationally, when handed a loyalty card, all customers should pass the card to the person behind them in the queue.  Then every tenth coffee sold would always be free.  But we don’t, because humans are weird.

Anyway, back to the bakery… The whole place feels like something out of the movie Chocolat, but with bread instead of cocoa.  It’s going to be here to stay, I reckon. If only they rented out VHS tapes, they’d be perfect.

IMG_0957   IMG_0962  IMG_0965 IMG_09662014-12-05 12.43.45


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Santa’s Christmas Ferret

How festive.


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What we need is a massive ASDA

Dear Lewisham Council,

I work for Deloitte, and I’d like you to let us build a massive ASDA right opposite the massive Sainsbury’s. The reasons you should do this are manifold:

1) It’s not an environmentally sensitive area. There aren’t lots of fancy trees and shit, so fuck it, right? A new ASDA is going to look really pretty.

2) It will “increase the choice and value of food shopping locally which, complemented by an enhanced range of smaller shops, cafés and services, will cater to the community’s everyday needs”. That’s right. Think about it for a minute. If we build a really big shop full of cheap stuff, loads of other small shops selling more expensive stuff will make loads of cash, right? Totes obvious.

3) What we really need are 230 new flats in the area. Because the trains aren’t crowded enough already in the mornings, amirite?

4) We’d also LOVE to build a car park for 420 cars. But don’t worry, the roads won’t get busier, or more polluted. They’re for MAGIC CARS.

5) If you could ask the local MP to write a lukewarm, slightly hand-wringing letter about this, and make sure the Environment Agency only frets about flooding, that’d be grand too.

6) If you reject our plan, we’ll just keep appealing with a few changes until you have no choice but to accept. If you lose an appeal, your council will have to pay hundreds of thousands in damages. If we lose an appeal – well… We made £840m in profit last year. We can afford to keep doing this. You can’t.


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Is this thing on?

Now where was I?

There have been very few (actually zero) posts here for the last few months. This is due to a very good excuse. Actually two very good excuses. It’s amazing how little time there is to diddle around on the internet when there you are lucky enough to have two tiny babies look after.

Having twins is an amazing experience, but it doesn’t leave much time for leaving opinionated posts about the local area on your (former) favourite local blog. And anyway there are plenty of bland alternatives around these days to keep you all happy :)

I’m also starting to realise that everything I thought about the area before having children has now changed. It’s like entering a bizarre parallel universe. In BabyWorld, Cook went from being an “unnecessary posh Iceland that replaced Sisters & Daughters”, to being my only route to a decent evening meal during the early days of twin care.

Blackheath switched from being the anonymous place where nobody talks to each other, to a thriving local community where everybody knows what everybody else is up to. It’s amazing what an icebreaker pushing a double buggy is. I might start hiring them out.

And this DIY shop becomes the only place that will fix your broken buggy (for free, I might add) on a wet Sunday afternoon.

And there’s so much more I should be asking you. Are we going to end up with a crappy Asda opposite our crappy Sainsbury’s? (Heidi wrote a hedging post about this. Let’s not forget New Labour practically invented cheap housing over massive supermarkets). What about the new bakers? Will I be able to look at that weird apostrophe every morning? What do they think of the Chorleywood Bread Process? Will Boulangerie Jade survive? Or will the curse of India Jane be too much to shake off? Anyway, that’s all for now. I should probably be changing a nappy.



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Want to be water cannoned?

Boris would like to know whether you’d like him to spend £100,000 on a water cannon. He wants you to email him with your name, postcode, and answer to these three questions:

Do you think water cannon would be a useful addition to the tools available to the Metropolitan Police in managing rare cases of serious public disorder?

What rules do you think should be in place to oversee the use of water cannon in London?

Are there any other comments you would like to make about the use of water cannon in London?

Please submit your response to It would be helpful if you would include your postcode.

Find out more at


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Fossil Shark Teeth (Eocene) from the Blackheath Beds by flickr user RATAEDL
Hello Blackheath. Any good suggestions for dentists around here? I’ve had the same brilliant dentist since childhood, but she’s retiring, and I’d like to find one closer to home. Preferably one that doesn’t drill fillings for the fun of it… Thanks (big smile, with lots of teeth, hopefully)…

Photo by flickr user RATAEDL, from a post of mine a while back about Sharks in Blackheath


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How to avoid having your health records sold

Good advice here if you don’t want your health data sold on to third parties for commercial purposes.  You need to opt out now, otherwise you won’t be able to later.  Print the form, drop it off at your GP’s surgery, and tell others.

Printable PDF version
Word DOC version

Police will have ‘backdoor’ access to health records despite opt-out, says MP
David Davis says police would be able to approach central NHS database without a warrant as critics warn of catastrophic breach of trust


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