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Showing posts with label camberwell. Show all posts
Showing posts with label camberwell. Show all posts

Sunday, 21 September 2014

South London, I'm going to miss you!

South London love

As I mentioned recently, this week is going to be our last week in Camberwell. By the end of this week, we'll be living with Dan's parents near Cambridge. When we return to London, it will be to the North East of the city, so we are going to have to wave goodbye to this excellent area. Today, we wandered around a bit, and I took some photos of things I'm going to miss. I also collected a few older photos together, and we're just going to have a tiny jaunt down memory lane. Or... I am going to, anyway. You're just going to have to humour me as I get into one of my special nostalgic moods. These photographs aren't necessarily the most beautiful, but they show bits and pieces that I am going to miss about this area.

Jerk Chicken shack
South London nail bar
Night time in South London
Wintery London trees
Urban fire escape

There's so much I could say about living in South London. I've lived in a lot of places, but South London has been one of the most interesting. There's always something going on but the transport links here can be a bit crap. While you can get most places by tube (London Underground) in central London, the further South you go, the fewer train and tube stations there are, which means that I ended up spending a lot of time on the bus. I've heard a lot of snobbish comments about London buses in the past, but I've always found them to be a fantastic way to see the city. Teaching in South London schools, I've had insights into parts of the London cultural landscape that I never would have been able to experience otherwise. In the time I worked in Camberwell Library, I got to interact with people of all ages from the local community, from the tiny little old lady who'd come in with a sack of overdue books over her shoulder and go, "Sorry these are late, I broke my pelvis last week..." to the kids whose parents would drop them off at the library first thing on a Saturday morning, and pick them up when the library closed in the evening.

Near our flat, we've had a gorgeous park where we've been on rainy jogs, outfit photo expeditions, and plenty of disastrous barbecues... we spent a scary evening watching lightning strike in the park, as a group of teenagers partied on the hill in front of us. Dan tried to learn to rollerblade in the park, and we've eaten many an ice cream there this summer. I used to walk through the park every Saturday morning on my way to the library.

The month before we moved to our flat, there were some really serious riots in London. We were in Australia with my grandparents when this was happening, watching the stories unfold on the news. My London geography was pretty bad at the time, so I assumed that it wasn't going on near our new flat. When we moved in, all of the shop windows on the high street were boarded up and people weren't really leaving their houses much. There were burn marks and puddles of melted plastic on the pavement and it wasn't a pretty sight. Over the next three years, the businesses mostly rebuilt themselves, people came together to support each other and the main road is getting more and more bustling by the day.

It's an interesting time to be living in Camberwell. It's getting more expensive to live here, and a lot of people (ourselves included) have been priced out of the area. This kind of gentrification can be 'great for the area' but very damaging for communities. I really hope that the communities in the area spanning Elephant&Castle and Camberwell can thrive and survive the changes that are coming.

South London, it's been real. It's not been the best three years of my life, but it's been interesting and very, very eventful! I'm going to look back on my time here very fondly, and I'm definitely coming back to visit a few of my favourite little shops and cafes here!

Walworth Shadows

How long have you lived where you live now? How has it changed in the time that you've lived there?

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Cool Cats' Café - the coolest café in Camberwell!

cafe review london

There are so many amazing cafés in London these days. Coffee culture has taken off here in a big way, and it's only going to get bigger, as far as I can tell. Sometimes it seems as if there's a gorgeous café with incredible home baked pastries on every street corner in this city, and a lot of them have a queue coming out of the door. That said, I don't think that there's enough love for cafés south of the river - there are some absolutely incredible family-run businesses in South London, but there's a misconception that everything south of Borough Market is some kind of barren wasteland full of bin-fires, rancid chicken shops, and people using their own shoes as telephones to the beyond... Basically, what I'm trying to say is that people are scared of South London, which is a massive shame.

I've lived in Camberwell for three years now, and I've visited a fair few cafés in the area. However, I actually only discovered Cool Cats' Café when I was frantically googling somewhere close to where we live that we could visit with my in-laws, since Dan's Mum is super allergic to our cat and can't come into our house! It has only just occurred to me when writing this that it was maybe a bit of an odd thing to do, to take someone who is allergic to cats, to a café named after cats. Oh well.

After a leisurely walk through the park and past a bustling baptist church, we found the Cool Cats' Cafe to be a perfect brunch escape. Dan's Dad was happy with the up-tempo jazz music that was playing, and I really loved how light and airy the place was. Dan and his Dad both chose the Camberwell Breakfast, which was a totally home made Full English Breakfast, right down to the baked beans. Dan's Mum had Eggs Florentine and I had Eggs Benedict - I'm pretty sure the hollandaise sauce was home made too, and it was absolutely decadent. I got chatting to Roger who helps run the place, and he recommended sprinkling a few drops of tabasco sauce on the top which was INCREDIBLE.

south london cuppa
fry up south london
family brunch cafe review

After we'd eaten, Dan and his parents had a lot of stuff to discuss about the logistics of us moving back to stay with them for a couple of months, as well as the new flat we'll be moving into when we come back to London, so while they got on with those discussions, I took the chance to snap a few photos around the café. We were lucky to be visiting at a strange time of morning, so there weren't too many people around. I chatted more with the people who worked at the café and they told me about all of the art exhibitions they've hosted, and some of the awesome live music events they hold in the evenings. I'd absolutely love to go back to experience the café in its restaurant incarnation because I can imagine that the ambiance is really different but just as comfortable and laid-back. The dinner and cocktail menus look really good.

bar glasses dof
cafe idea south london
cafe cool gig events
camberwell arts scene

Initially, I was going to write, "if you're in the area, you should visit Cool Cats' Café", but I'm going to revise that. I actually think that this place is worth travelling for. The people who work there are really helpful and kind, the food is gorgeous, and it strikes this fantastic balance between hearty south london fry up and modern sophisticated hangout. My in-laws loved it, Dan loved it, I loved it, and I think you would probably love it too. South London, I'm really going to miss you. <3

dancing chef picture

Cool Cats' Café can be found at 149 Southampton Way, Camberwell, SE5 7EW. If you go, tell them I sent you!

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Feeling Blue in Wintery London

The weather in the UK has been unendingly miserable for the last few months, and London is no exception. My morning commute is dominated by a sea of unhappy faces, dead eyes focused grimly on the gum-flecked pavement ahead. Dan and I have both been working full time, and even though it's been getting slightly lighter in the mornings and evenings, it still feels like we spend all our daylight hours indoors. I guess that's the world of work, but I'm hoping that one day, I'll have a job where my hours are a bit more flexible and I can feel less like a cog in an unending... box? of cogs... Not sure where that simile was going, but you get the idea.
Still, there is beauty to be found in this gloomy, grey landscape. I've been snapping some photos on my iPhone on my way to and from work in the last few weeks and I think they give you a fairly good idea of the general mood in London at the moment!
Grim South London south london trees
 photo mistylondon_zps7548d702.jpg
I can't wait until it stops snowing and raining, and I can find daylight hours to take photos for this blog again. I spend a great deal of time fantasizing about the carefree summers of university, making particular usage of my keen ability to look back on things through the hazy glasses of nostalgia! It's going to be amazing when the sun comes back!! Until then, I have to make time and make an extra special effort. It's not all been doom and gloom anyway. I've met some lovely new people at work, and our wedding planning is coming along very well. Stay tuned for some wedding-related bloggage!

Monday, 10 December 2012

Goats' Cheese Delight! House Gallery Café - Camberwell

I've lived in the Camberwell area for over a year now, but until the other day, I'd not found a really wonderful cafe south of the river. I noticed the House Gallery Café when I went past it on the bus on the way to Peckham one evening, and made a mental note that I had to go back there at some point as it looked intimate yet airy, and had a slightly alternative look to it. Recently, I've not been being very creative with my outfits so I thought I'd mix it up a little bit to go to a new cafe! Why not?!
teal tulle skirt We visited the House Gallery Café with our lovely friend Emma, on a crisp, bright and blustery day and it was warm and welcoming inside. I immediately ordered a Soy Chai Latte which is my go-to cafe order. It was foamy and frothy and smooth. I really like Chai Lattes and this one did not disappoint. I've tasted very sweet, honeyed Chai, and very savoury, spiced chai, and this one sat somewhere between those two extremes.
house gallery cafe
bacon sandwich south london
goats cheese sandwich south london
Dan ordered a luscious, breakfasty bacon sandwich on soft white bread, and I ordered a Goats' Cheese, bacon and avocado sandwich, also on white bread. At first, the guy behind the till told me they'd run out of Goats' Cheese, and so I said I'd be happy with ordinary cram cheese. To my delight, when my sandwich arrived, the guy told me that he'd run out to buy Goat's Cheese especially for my sandwich because I'd looked so crestfallen before! What a top lad! The sandwich was soft, the bacon was crunchy and it was ace with the rocket salad.
The House Gallery Café, as the name suggests, is also an art gallery, and the profits from the café go towards the running of the gallery. It's a great space, the staff are attentive and friendly and I can't wait to visit again. Next time, I think I'll have to try one of their fresh, home-made milkshakes.

belted jumper

*Tartan Shirt - Topshop*
*Black Jumper and Teal Tulle Skirt - YesStyle.co.uk*
*Leather Belt - Topshop*
*Deer Brooch - A gift from my Uncle* 

I've also reviewed a Korean cafe in London, and a vintage cafe in Brighton. Check those out, if you like!