Black Vanilla is the new coffee and ice-cream shop in Blackheath village. It bills itself as a boutique bakery and gelateria. The decor is modern, stark, bright, and shiny. The coffee was good. In a previous life I spent many hours taming steaming espresso machines. It’s harder than it looks. Theirs had just the right amount of foam. Having said that, so does Hand Made Food’s, whose milk tastes better, and they have much more space to sit down. But no ice cream.
The seating area feels really cramped. A huge amount of space is taken up by a pastry table that could just as easily be a shelf against a wall. The entire serving area feels as though it is intruding on the seating space by about half a metre.
The ice creams (no, I’m refusing to call them gelato) look amazing, but I haven’t tried them yet.
Sitting inside, the cost of a latte and a cappuccino came to £5.95. This seemed pretty steep, but I’m sure the rental in that location on the high street is horrendous, so they should be given the benefit of the doubt. The staff are a mixed bag – one woman – possibly the manager/owner seemed friendly and efficient. The Italian(?) man making the coffee did an excellent job. The other girl seemed a little confused as though this was her first part-time work, and she hadn’t had to deal with customers before.. Not rude at all, just a little forgetful.
On a Saturday afternoon the place was heaving with customers. It’s a great location, and right now it seems to be pitched at exactly the right level for the high street crowds. As I was leaving the library protests, there was a brilliant juxtaposition: some wealthy looking girls walking down the high street with their conspicuously-consumed tubs of ice cream in their hands, slack-jawed and gawping at the Morris Minor blaring dub reggae about the library cuts. Welcome to South London.
Spotted by a sharp-eyed Mrs Bugle yesterday, looks like we have
a new modern and sophisticated American style bakery and foody shop in London called Black Vanilla. The main menu will consist of smoothies, milkshakes, gelato, baked goods like cupcakes and whoopie pies etc.
From an article discussing the design of their logo.
I’m sure Greggs are terrified. Boulangerie Jade possibly are. Anyway, looks like they’re also hiring bakers:
Black Vanilla is a boutique bakery & gelateria with a reputation for unique artisan cupcakes and baked goods. This is an excellent opportunity for a hard working and enthusiastic baker to join the team at this stunning location.
Some experience in baking morning goods and vienoiserie is essential. The pastry chef position requires an enthusiastic, reliable and dynamic candidate with sound basic experience working with pastry and ideally with American style cake products.
Shifts of 4 hours daily starting at 6.00am. Pay between £7.00 – £8.50 ph depending on experience.
I didn’t know what Vienoiserie meant either. Google says that it has two “n”s, and means french baking in a Viennese style.
Dear India Jane,
Whilst it looks like you do a lovely line in furniture I will never be able to afford, do you think you could hang on to the sign above the letterbox? It would be a happy reminder of the movie rental shop that we knew and loved. And you never know, maybe you’ll get some late returns… Thanks.
So, thanks to PlanningAlerts.com we can see that the Strangest and Best DVD shop in the world is to become The White Stuff – here’s the planning permission PDF. A shop (and I quote the Financial Times): “…aimed at trendy working mothers”. Bad news for people who like films… And probably very bad news for Sisters and Daughters, who are in a similar vein. In fact, so are half the clothes shops in the area, really… According to an article in the Guardian, The White Stuff is “a lifestyle brand“. Yawn.
The Google Streetview above shows the branch in Lordship Lane, SE22.
I noticed that Momo Franks was being redecorated today – I asked one of the builders what it was turning into. He said that the wedding shop down the road is moving in. I’m guessing that it is this one. Now, I know what you’re thinking – how useful is a wedding dress shop… You’re (hopefully) only going to need one per lifetime. But I think it will be a nice shop I think. Why?
It comes highly recommended as the wedding dress in which Mrs Bugle said yes to me :)
PS: Moving house this weekend – staying in Blackheath. All I can see is cardboard boxes.
I hope this is a typo. Wandered back home last night to see “Closing Down Sale” signs plastered all over the strangest and best movie shop in the world. This could be disastrous. I even cancelled our LoveFilm subscription on the basis that poking around Prime Time’s dusty shelves was more fun than waiting for a film that you didn’t care about to land on the doormat. Perhaps it’s just a renovation? I’ll find out more.
Noa Noa (new clothes shop) were refused planning permission for extra illuminated signs outside the shop:
The proposed signage, by reason of its design and illumination, would fail to relate to the design and detailing of the shopfront and the character and appearance of the building,and would detract from the special character of this part of the Blackheath Conservation Area and would fail to comply with Policies URB 9 Signs and Hoardings and URB 16 New Development, Changes of Use and Alterations to Buildings in Conservation Areas within the adopted Unitary Development Plan (July 2004).
This can only be a good thing… First come the glaring signs, then the shutters, then the billboards. We’re lucky Blackheath is kept looking so nice – in no small part by the Blackheath Society campaigning against various planning proposals.
I wish planningalerts.com worked better – the first I heard of this proposal was when I saw the plasticky sign pinned to the nearest lamp-post.