Tag Archives: cafe

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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Blackheath Tea Hut Changing Colour?

Blackheath Tea Hut gets a lick of paint

The Blackheath Tea Hut as always been a pleasing (or not, depending on your point of view) shade of green.  It looked like it was getting a makeover today, possibly to change hues… But no, it’s just an undercoat apparently…

Blackheath Tea Hut on Blackheath Common

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Value Added Trouble

Blackheath Village Deli and Starbucks

I might have to reappraise what I wrote about the Village Deli back in May… After today, I’m not sure I’ll be heading back. It all started well enough, with the idea of getting something to eat there before catching a train. When we’d bought our food to take-away, I realised that we still had 15 minutes before the train was due.

So I asked one of the staff there if we could sit down with our food. He said of course, so we did. Then a very grumpy lady came over and loudly told us that she was very sorry, but we couldn’t possibly sit there, as we had paid to take away. Which was kind of embarrassing, and made me feel like some sort of furtive vagrant sneaking into their shop to sit down…

I completely understand that by law the place has to add VAT on to our order if we choose to eat in, so I offered to pay the difference. Mrs Bugle was busy fuming by this point. So we finished our (rather dry) spinach and ricotta thingy, and got up to leave. I asked how much we owed her, and she announced £2! Two pounds in VAT?! I’m sure our two spinach things didn’t cost more than £6, and by my reckoning, two pounds means that our food must have cost £11! I questioned it (hell, I’d already lost any chance at getting out of there without embarrassment), and was told that it was “because we sat at the table”, whatever that means.

It’s not so much the money, as the way it was handled… Maybe she was having a bad day, but as Michael P pointed out in the comments in the previous post about the Deli:

Every time I leave the Deli, I swear that I will never return. Although the service is just about passable during the week, I am almost always left to hang for a sapping period of time at the weekend. And there’s about as much chance of getting a smile as there is getting change from a tenner.

True indeed…  If I’m turning this blog into one long whinge-fest please tell me.  I do like Blackheath really!

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Provender Vegetarian Cafe has opened

provender_food

Provender has finally opened its doors to Blackheath.  I went in there the other day for a snoop around.  To be honest, I don’t think it was a very fair test, as I popped in a bit late, so all the food was looking a bit tired.  I had a coffee and a very nice piece of baklava for £2.80.  Not cheap, but not horrendous.  Both were good.

The trouble is, there’s almost nowhere to sit – they’ve put the serving trolley thingy right up at the front of the shop, so there are only two stools looking out through the window, and a small table outside.

The food itself looked along the lines of the Indian Lentil Daal kind of veggie variety, not the 1970s Woody Allen movie variety I’d been hoping for (a la Food for Thought)…  Having said that, I didn’t try it, and so will make it a mission to go and give it a proper assessment soon.

Have a look, and let me know what you make of it.. It’s up near O’Neil’s.

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Provender Café coming soon?

Provender Cafe, Blackheath

The mysterious shop front next to O’Neill’s pub finally has a sign painted above it, and it looks promising…

“Provender – Vegetarian Vegan Organic”. This encourages a vegetarian bugle! I hope it is as good as Food for Thought, or like a takeaway version of The Gate.

It looks like there is a Provender Delicatessen in Lewisham, so perhaps this is going to be a second outlet. Anyone been to the one in Lewisham?

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