Tag Archives: blackheath

£150 for a polar bear


Technically it’s three polar bears. They’re not real. They’re stuffed. Two of them are quite small.

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Blackheath Village Day


Great to see the village lights working again – much better than last year!   Mysterious sightings of pigs notwithstanding, the whole day was full of music, events, food and drink.  Really good effort.  My range of fabric bags will be available any day now…


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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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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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What lies beneath

Demon carving in Blackheath Cavern

On 18th Feb at 7.30pm in the Bakehouse there’s a talk about what lies beneath Greenwich.  Anthony Durham on Greenwich Underground – more interesting than on top.  There’s not much more information to go on at the  moment at the Greenwich Industrial History blog, but hopefully it will go into the many mysterious things beneath the heath.

See also:

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Almost liveblog of Boulangerie Jade’s bake off.

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I crack open a cooking lager from Shepherds Food and watch ITV so you don’t have to. Here’s the link if you want to watch Boulangerie Jade’s appearance on Britain’s Best Bakery. I hope you like Febreze.

Feels a little like eating supermarket brand cereal… It looks like The Great British Bake Off, but twisted through the looking glass. The experts – one looks like the evil twin of the twinkly eyed bloke on the BBC 1 show, the other wants bakers to “innovate”. Frowning and crossing their arms as the camera dollies in…

And we’ve already had two puns “some will rise, others will fall”.

God I hate reality telly. It’s all so fake. The synth string soundtracks from some production music website. It makes me want to cry. The false challenges, heightened sense of tension…

Like the graphics though – dusted icing depicting the UK outline, nice idea…

Oh no, I’m torn here…. Do I side with the local Boulangerie Jade, or the Turkish Cypriots? Mrs Bugle will have to be consulted… At least I don’t have to show any allegiance to the Americans… They don’t seem to be taking it very seriously.

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“Go on, walk past the camera with your Croquembouche. Now do it again. Go on”.

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These programmes pretend to be instructive, but we all know that the majority of the audience will never go anywhere near building a fancy turtle cheesecake….

Tense music. Judges say it’s bad, then they say it’s good. I have no idea what this means.

It must be time for an ad break soon.

Now we’re off to Haringey with the Turkish Cypriots. So let’s have some ethnic music shall we? Doesn’t matter where it’s from, fuck it yeah?

“Patisserie Dmitry still leads from the front” – what does that even mean?

“I feel like I’ve just stepped into the Mediterranean”. Does that mean it’s too salty?

Actually the food looks really good.. Making me hungry.

And now we’re in to the tense bit again. Pizzicato synth strings. And they all love it. They all say it’s lovely. Where’s the tension? Does everyone get an A?

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13m22s in -Now it’s Boulangerie Jade’s turn. Lots of shots of Blackheath “nestled in South London”, etc etc… They started 10 years ago. Christophe is the French one, and Joshua is the German one. Cor the food looks good.

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Makes me realise how lucky we are to have such a great bakery in the village (sorry Greggs).

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Their signature dish is the Croquembouche. The voice over tries to inject some peril into whether a man who has been baking for ten years can make his signature dish. Even though we’ve already seen it in the completed form.

More chirpy pizzicato strings. And now a music box and flute for building the tower. Why? 360 Profiterole balls have been cruelly culled to make this tower. It looks bloody tasty though.

“Majestic and impressive” said the blonde one. “Wonderfully crisp” said the bloke.

Oh no! The judges think it “lacks identity”. How dare they! Where’s my pitchfork…

And now we have an advert for Febreze, because my house stinks. Followed by Lenny Henry advertising Premier Inn, because I’d rather be somewhere else but can’t afford a nice hotel. Followed by god knows what… An ad for a Mercedes. Then more Febreze. And now the video’s stopped because I’m running an adblocker… Refresh to try again, and now it’s working…

More ads. Galaxy chocolate endorsed by a dead woman. So creepy. Now an ad for Maryland Cookies, with a pirate theme. These look disgusting. Now some autotuned popmusic advertising young people faling over in a bar and getitng married. Njoy King electronic cigarettes apparently. Now an ad that looks like WindowLicker, but is actually an advert for MoneySupermarket. God I’ve remembered why I never watch ITV. Why is Snoop Dogg advertising car insurance?

And third fucking Febreze ad?! I may die.

Now we’re over to Chiswick and the Americans again. They still look lackadaisical. And they’re both called David.

Confetti corn pie sounds like a terrible idea, but looks quite nice.

The judges didn’t like the pastry. Finally we have some negative feedback. Phew..

Now we’re in Haringey again. They’re making something different. How are the judges supposed to judge between two entries if they’re making different recipes? Where’s the science?!! I want a double blind experiment damn it..

Judges are slagging this one off too! Round two is clearly about raising the tension.

The Haringey team should have made Poaca – always a winner!

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Now we’re back to Team Blackheath. And they’re making a Cream Horn, with vinegar as a secret ingredient. Except that they’ve just announced it on national television. So it’s more of an ingredient than a secret ingredient…

And the judges seem to like it… Again. It does look yummy though…

And they’re delighted.

Now an ad for Febreze, followed by an ad for Honda using lots of zooming effects. Now an ad for mouthwash. And an ad for leopards? Oh no, it’s an ad for cat food. Whiskas. Nurture their nature. And FEBREZE AGAIN!

Now it’s round three and the Baker’s Dozen. But I’m watching more ads! Febreze, followed by hedgehogs advertising Lactofree dairty produce. And a horrible robot advertising home insurance. Followed by an advert for dog flavoured digestive biscuits. And of course, more Febreze.

Two hours to make Orange Viennese Biscuits. Finally a comparison between the same teams. Boulangerie Jade seem very confident making their biscuits. The judges are preoccupied with oranges.

Now the judges show us how to pipe biscuits… Boulangerie Jade are making long biscuits. The Americans are making a revolutionary open ring shape – cutting edge baking at its finest! The tension is killing me!

Turkish Cypriots have had a disaster with the piping. So have the American Davids. Boulangerie Jade are looking like the front runners…

“Bakeries, you have thirty minutes left”…. Or what? What happens? Why does all telly need a time constraint?

Boulangerie Jade are now dipping their biscuits the classic way. They look pretty tasty to me…

Now for the judges.

Lots of worried looking characters.

A bit of a voice over to remind you what’s at stake – a place in the regional final. And what we really need now is MORE FEBREEZE, followed by some “push-up” mascara adverts. Center Parcs, with really annoying music. Oh no, the terrifying uncanny valley that is the Ragu puppet family. Like scary muppets. Now a Game of Thrones theme to advertise Crunchy Nut Cornflakes. Such Fun. And more Febreze because we stink.

And back to the show.

Lots of hugging of friends, and we still haven’t come to the judging yet… They look very stern. All the bakers are standing next to their tables.

And a recap, just in case you can’t remember what happened ten minutes ago.

The judges like the Americans biscuits. They like the orange blossom water flavour. She just called a biscuit a “product”.

Now on to the Turkish Cypriots. Judges like the visuals. Biscuit is very light and buttery with a wonderful orange frangrance. They love it.

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Now Team Blackheath’s turn. Their biscuits “do handle beautifully”. Like a good car. Ridiculous shots of judges eating biscuits. Judges complain about the amount of chocolate on the ends of the biscuits. I swear I’m not making this up.

Judges like the Turkish biscuits the most from this round.

They thought the Boulangerie Jade biscuits were over cooked! I reckon these judges work for Greggs round the corner..

Finally the decision:

The Americans! How disappointing… Boulangerie Jade is a great place! I must go and buy some baked produce to cheer them up! These Febreze salesmen wouldn’t know good baking if it bit them!

The End. (Sponsored by cheap lager).


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Good Hope Festival on the Heath – license in detail

Good hope festival map proposed
As mentioned on Twitter, Lewisham council don’t currently put their license applications on public display. You have to request them. So I did… Here they are. These are not mine, but I believe there’s a strong public interest in them being seen by as many people as possible. If I’m ordered to take them down, I will.

Google doc links
Event management plan

Festival site plan:

License application:

Original files
Good Hope Festival Event Management plan

Good Hope Festival Lic App

Good Hope Festival Site Plan


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Paved paradise…





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Christmas tree recycling 2014

Close Enough by flickr user Greenzowie
Just like last year, Greenwich council will collect your tree if you leave it out with your rubbish. Lewisham council want you to trudge over to your nearest park with your tree.

Greenwich Council:

If you would like us to collect your real Christmas tree you must remember to remove all decorations then leave it next to your green-top bin on your normal collection day. Make sure you leave your tree where it can be easily seen by the collection team.

Lewisham Council:

Take it to one of these designated places, or pay £15 to have the council collect it from your door. Note that the pins on the map are VERY approximate – please correct them if they’re in the wrong places.

As I said last year, I cannot understand why two councils differ so much over such a simple thing. We need a randomised controlled trial to work out the optimum way to dispose of Christmas trees. Hope Greenwich wins…

Photo: Close Enough by flickr user Greenzowie.

UPDATE: As James points out, anywhere to the right of this line is Greenwich, so perhaps we will see more Christmas trees next to the bins on the right hand side of this line…
Greenwich Lewisham boundary in Blackheath via OpenStreetMap


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Blackheath station updated

I can’t read architectural drawings. As several people have pointed out, there is no plan at all to stick a whopping great shutter over the front of Blackheath station. Instead the plan is to keep the external windows and entrance unchanged, but to reduce the size of the newsagents at the upper floor, and to shift the ticket office to the right, which will make more room for ticket machines, as well as revealing the windows on the other side overlooking the tracks. Above is a before and after animated gif, to show the changes more clearly (hopefully). Sorry… I’ll get my coat…


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