life of brian
iconic photographeR’s new book captures over 40 years shooting everyone from the Queen to the Clash, from his home and studio in Rotherhithe
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About us Laura Burgoine
e’ve been based in the old Biscuit Factory in Bermondsey since 1994. Our flagship publication, the Southwark News launched in 1987 and is now London’s only independent, paid for newspaper. We created the Bermondsey Biscuit and Rotherhithe Docker in 2018 with support from sponsors including Sellar, Grosvenor, British Land, and many other local businesses.
We also publish the South Londoner each month, and the Greenwich and Lewisham Weekender every week. We are proud to be a London Living Wage employer. We use 100% recovered paper from the Ortviken paper mill in Sweden, a green energy provider who use biofuel instead of oil and provide heat for 10,000 single family homes. 28-29
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Our summer issue hits the streets in May. Contact us to get involved
Going out, out Titanic: the exhibition, the Africa Centre’s new restaurant
& a lantern procession for Southwark Park
Arts and Entertainment Abstract Benna & a photography
exhibition of Blackfriars in the ‘70s
People Life through the lens of iconic Rotherhithe photographer Brian Griffin
Food and Drink In the kitchen with Fat duck alumni and Trivet owners,
Memory Lane Carole Brady looks back on rollerskating races, youth clubs,
History The sugar coated stories of Bermondsey empires Hartley’s jam,
vegan brunch, Detroit style pizza & Boiler and Co’s new destination restaurant
pubs and finding her calling working at Bede Housing Association
Southwells confectionery and medicated sweets factory Meggeson 3
A thank you to our sponsors We'd like to acknowledge all our sponsors and supporters for helping us bring the
Bermondsey Biscuit and
Rotherhithe Docker to life.
going out, out
What’s on this spring in SE16 and SE1
A NEW EATERY FOR THE AFRICA CENTRE Something special is coming to Great Suffolk Street this spring as Ghaniana-British restaurateur Akwasi Brenya-Mensa opens Tatale, a pan-African concept eatery based on West African chop bars at The Africa Centre. Featuring dishes and techniques with both continental and Ghanian roots, including Omo Tuo Nkatekwan Sesame (mashed rice with groundnut, peanut soup), the Tatale Signature Chicken Burger 2.0 with buttermilk fried chicken topped with shito chilli, citrus yoghurt and basil oil, and Akwasi’s very own Plantain Cheesecake.
TITANIC: THE EXHIBITION, AT CANADA WATER
66 Great, Suffolk Street, SE1 OBL. Follow @tataleandco for opening updates.
Dock X London, Unit 1 Canada Water, Surrey Quays Road, SE16 2XU. Adult tickets from £27.90, children from £15.90. www.titanicexhibitionlondon.com
An immersive journey through the life and legacy of the Titanic has pulled into the ports of Canada Water following sell-out runs across Europe and America. Titanic: The Exhibition features 200 never-seenbefore artefacts from the infamous doomed liner that tell touching stories of the ship's passengers. Thanks to the contribution of historians, as well as the worldrenowned Titanic expert and author Claes-Göran Wetterhol, visitors can experience life-size recreations of some of the ship’s interiors.
72 shortlisted artworks are going on show at the gallery@oxo at Oxo Tower Wharf as part of this year’s Derwent Art Prize. Now in its sixth edition, the competition received a record number of over 6100 submissions by 2,325 artists from 43 countries. Created in 2012 by Derwent, the Derwent Art Prize rewards excellence in contemporary graphic art by showcasing the very best artworks created in pencil. All of the works were considered by a prestigious panel of selectors: host of The Great Women Artists podcast Katy Hessel, Director of Modern Art Oxford Paul Hobson, and artist Charmaine Watkiss. The exhibition runs from February 24 until March 6, 2022, with award-winners announced at the Private View on February 23. Visit gallery@oxo at Barge House Street, SE1 9PH
Illuminate Rotherhithe’s Community Lantern Procession is lighting up Bermondsey and Rotherhithe with a dusk parade in Southwark Park. There’ll be free hot food, music and barn dancing. Bring your own lantern and shine your light on the park. Organisers are also looking for volunteers to help out.
Surrey Quays’ health haven the Lodge Space has expansive plans for 2022, starting off with a free introduction to mindful eating on February 6 (1pm-2pm) guided by nutritionist Eslem kusaslan. Neo Soul therapy meditation experiences are on the last Wednesday of every month (7:15pm-8:15pm). There’s a journey into expansion half day retreat on February 12 (1pm-6:30pm), Aerial Sound baths with crystal bowls on February 13 (4pm-6pm), an Alkaline and energy fair scheduled for Saturday 5 March (1pm-8pm) and plenty more!
Friday 4 March, 2022. illuminaterotherhithe.co.uk
120a Lower Road, SE16 2UB. www.thelodge.space/events
HIGH VIBES FOR 2022
IN ASSOCIATION WITH TEAM LONDON BRIDGE
LONDON BRIDGE COMMUNITY
Half-term in London Bridge Don Campbell
Give Netflix a day off and rediscover this most local of neighbourhoods this February
TowerBridge Family Activities - Jayne Lloyd Photography
ith parents just recovering from the not small task of packing the Christmas holidays full of family activities, the February half term appears in the calendar to test the imagination of even the most creative mums, dads and carers. Fortunately for the residents of these parts, the London Bridge area is blessed with an abundance of things to do, all conveniently close and with plenty of nearby ice-cream opportunities. If there ever was such a thing, HMS Belfast is a family friendly warship! Dominating our stretch of the river for over 50 years, the ship has 9 decks to explore - they’ve even bothered to recreate the smells of the wartime galley. They are hosting the interactive ‘Sea Legs’ all half term, were all those aged 7+ can solve nautical puzzles and discover for themselves what life was like for the ship’s company during the Second World War. There is also the Family Mission: D-Day Edition to complete. To the stern of HMS Belfast, Tower Bridge beckons. You might already know about the £1 entry tickets offered for Southwark residents to go inside and explore, but did you know about the free family trails app and booklets, and free creative activities including a scavenger hunt? Visit the Engine Rooms 15-19 Feb, 10am-
4pm, to help make a flotilla of origami boats and celebrate the dozens of vessels that pass under the bridge every day. But there’s more to the area than old father Thames. The Fashion and Textile Museum on Bermondsey Street is running two Kids’ Collage sessions on 18 Feb, while the Old Operating Theatre will be open Thursday through Sunday, showing off the fascinating yet often gruesome things that Victorian surgeons used to get up to. If that gives them a taste for all things bloody and gory then they need to be taken swiftly over to the London Bridge Experience where the scares come thick and fast, as do the delicious milkshakes in Creams Café next-door. And no day in the area is complete without a visit to The View from The Shard to see if you can spot where you live as the city unfolds itself beneath you. It’s the ultimate London game for eagle-eyed little ones. Don’t worry, even those stuck at home can join the fun – Unicorn Theatre has 5 shows free to watch online from unicorntheatre.com, including Anansi The Spider. For more about the London Bridge area go to atlondonbridge.com or call into our Visitor Kiosk at London Bridge Station
Celebrating stories from Europe's oldest surviving surgical theatre during its bicentenary! www.oldoperatingtheatre.com
arts & entertainment
Heart of Darkness Laura Burgoine
outh London artist Abstract Benna places a local estate at the heart of his new audio film, which features in the line-up of the Shipbuilding performance festival in February. Created in response to the UK’s societal climate, Shipbuilding from Certain Blacks, is named after Elvis Costello’s symbolic anti-war song and reflects upon the climate of Covid 19, Brexit and Black Lives Matter, exploring what it is to be British and diverse in these challenging times. Abstract Benna has been writing and performing since childhood. A social commentator and spoken word artist, Benna is also a storyteller and an instinctive musical collaborator. Intricate rhyme schemes and layered narratives meet sonic and visual landscapes while Hip-Hop beats and cinematic sounds form musical backdrops. This performance launches Benna’s EP Out Of Darkness. He says: “People call me a Poet, Spoken word artist or wordsmith but I just feel like a
vessel for untold stories, a time capsule for life lessons that future generations can rediscover when the stage they’re at in life requires it. Born and raised in Lambeth, this event is important to me because it’s community focused and it’s the community of Lambeth that gave me the wisdom to survive in the ways I did whilst growing up, so this project is like a nod to the community.” Set on a South London estate, Benna’s brutally honest audio film will accompany a live performance. A fly-on-the-wall inner city journey delving deeply into the mind of a young Londoner, Benna’s observational lyrics and sense of drama evoke this tense environment. The story unfolds as a set of choices that young Londoners
have to make, and the life lessons learned as they transition to adulthood and figure out who they are and who they want to become. Benna has worked extensively with young people facilitating educational workshops. His many commissions include projects for the Roundhouse and the NHS.
Abstract Benna’s Out Of Darkness is on Friday 25 February at 8pm. Admission: £10 (£6 concession) Shipbuilding runs from February 18-27 at Rich Mix, 35 - 47 Bethnal Green Road, E1 6LA. https://richmix.org.uk
W LOA ITH FRE DS O E EV F ENT O S HAL VER F -T E RM
Imagine 20 YEARS OF
12 D AY S OF JAMPA C K E D FUN
9 – 20 Feb 2022
CHILDREN’S FESTIVAL FOR AGES 0 – 11
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presents a titilating entertaining Saturday 12th Feb, 7pm.
Igloo Flowers A fabulous fanfare of flowers for your lover this Valentine’s Day, February 14th. Pre order or swing by and choose our amazing selection of roses, tulips, ranunculus, fragrant foliage and plenty more. Local deliveries or collection available
Tickets can be bought through our email@example.com or Eventbrite
Burlesque performances by Miss Giddy Heights, Compere, Elsie Diamond, guest act Sonya Titus. Sensational 3 course meal, free cocktail on entry. £75 For more details, please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org Poulet , 37 Maltby St , London , SE1 3PA
Igloo Flowers 64 Druid St SE1 2HQ The Flower Pitch Bermondsey St / Tanner St park iglooflowers.com 07497 190613
Traditional Finnish Easter treats, food products, Arts & Crafts and The Moomin products. Try the Finnish BBQ and drinks from the grill and tasty Easter pastries and cinnamon buns from our cafe. Fri 25th March, 12:00 -20:00 Sat 26th March, 11:00-18:00 Sun 27th March, 11:00-17:00
OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK 10AM - 5.30PM
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ARTS CRAFTS VINTAGE STREET FOOD Nearest Station DLR Cutty Sark
arts and entertainment
Stories of ‘70s SE1
Nelson Square adventure playground, 1973 Photo by Paul Carter / Blackfriars Photography Project
Tenants fight to be rehoused from appalling tenements in Munton Road Photo by Paul Carter / Blackfriars Photography Project
group of activists in Blackfriars and Waterloo who worked together in the ‘70s - and even published their own local newspaper - have reunited to create an exhibition Laura Burgoine of rare photographs capturing the trailblazing era. The group banded together to form SE1 Stories in 2019 after the discovery of thousands of photographs in the archives of Southwark and Lambeth councils. The pictorial treasure trove documents the story of the communities of North Southwark and Waterloo fighting for their rights during the 1970s and 1980s. “Most of us were from the Blackfriars Settlement Community Action Scheme. We were volunteers who wanted to work in the community in a sort of political way, on a local level, to enable people to have more power,” Anthony Robertson-Jonas, from SE1 Stories, told the Biscuit. The Blackfriars Settlement dates back to the 19th century; when Jim Radford was appointed as director, in the early ‘70s, he had the radical idea of not just trying to do good but also helping locals have more control over their lives. “Community action was a big thing at the time,” Anthony recalls. “SE1 has a lot of council housing and Housing Associations, particularly Peabody, so we focused on Peabody estates and helping them to start Tenants’ Associations.” Early on, the group recognised the importance of keeping locals well informed, particularly around new developments in the area and the need for more social housing. “The docks had closed, there was lots of empty warehouses and vacant land so developers saw this as a prime opportunity to build office buildings, which is where the money was at the time,” Anthony says. “Southwark and Lambeth councils were very in favour of this and saw it as an opportunity to generate income. The population in central London was declining and with it went the services: schools and shops were all closing but people were still living in the area.” With this, Anthony and his fellow volunteers decided to launch their own local press: SE1
Newspaper. “We decided it would be a really good way of telling people what was going on but none of us had done anything like that before. Morley College put on a course teaching us how to do it!” Anthony says. From 1975-1991, the volunteers wrote all the articles, took photographs, did layout and design, found a printing press and distributed the newspaper themselves. They even used an old shop front on Meymott Street that they’d been squatting in as their office. “Those buildings were owned by Sainsbury’s -they had their HQ round the cornerso we did a deal with them to use the building,” Anthony says. “It was all volunteers and we’d spend a full weekend once a month working on it. We got newsagents in the area to sell it as well and they didn’t take a cut.” “We were unapologetically campaigning but we featured local community events as well.” During the ‘90s, everyone went their separate ways; Anthony moved to Camberwell and worked in housing. The group reunited when they heard about the discovery of the photo archives and began meeting at Southwark Archives in November 2019. After the pandemic closed the centre, they switched to zoom meetings, continuing their cataloguing with the help of Chris Scales at Southwark Archives. After securing funding from Blackfriars Stories, they planned to put on an exhibition. The first showing, featuring over 50 photographs, was at Blackfriars Settlement in October 2021. It then moved to Morley College, gallery@oxo and Coin Street neighbourhood centre. It’s currently available to view online and the group are looking for more venues to exhibit at in future. “We wanted to make an exhibition that was not just a record of the past but a pointer of what’s happening now,” Anthony says. “There’s still a lot of development in the area. The more you look back, the more you realise history repeats itself.” The full archive of SE1 Newspaper is online and also available at Southwark Archives on Borough High Street. View the full exhibition online at: https://se1stories.uk
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COLLECT at London Glassblowing 18 February - 20 March
An exhibition of Britain’s best glass artists
62-66 Bermondsey Street, London, SE1 3UD 0207 403 2800
Improvements to Canada Dock underway
Construction of the first phase of the Canada Water development started last autumn. This phase will provide 265 new homes (25% of which will be homes at social rent, and a further 10% intermediate affordable), offices, shops, cafes and restaurants, as well as public open spaces and a new Southwark Council Leisure Centre. Southwark Council also recently approved plans for improvements to Canada Water Dock. These plans will be delivered alongside the first phase, and will create an exciting new public space at the centre of Canada Water, as well as improving ecology. This means that by 2024 there will be significant new public spaces including a new public square, the first part of the new high street and these improvements to the Dock. The approved plans will restore Canada Dock’s rich wetland habitat and provide a new boardwalk across the Dock as well as steps down to the water’s edge, an amphitheatre, dipping pond, and pergola. The plans will transform it into a place where people can connect with nature, enjoy being close to the water, and come together as a community. The improvements, which have been shaped through extensive local input, include three main elements to enhance the Dock for all users, including:
“It is a great privilege to provide a major new public space for Southwark and London. We are delighted that permission has been granted for Canada Dock. The proposals reflect over six years of engagement with the local community whose feedback, alongside contributions from organisations, designers, and experts across a wide range of fields, has been instrumental in shaping the plans. The new Canada Dock embodies an aspiration for Canada Water: welcoming and accessible to everyone, with open spaces, nature, and exciting urban development side by side.” Michael Delfs, Development Executive at British Land
• Improvements to wetland habitats, biodiversity, and water quality,
including three distinct wetland habitats, seven new wetland islands, and over one kilometre of shallow edges. • New steps down to the water’s edge, with waterside seating, a new
amphitheatre, pergola, and dipping pond for people locally to visit, enjoy, and learn about the heritage and ecology of the Dock. • A new 170m long pedestrian boardwalk across Canada Dock. This
boardwalk will improve accessibility and connectivity between Canada Water station and the new town centre, and will provide a new way for people to experience the wetland and water without disturbing the environment. We will also incorporate educational elements so people of all ages can learn about Canada Dock’s unique heritage and rich ecology. We plan to start on site in the coming months, with the improvements being completed during 2023. We are very excited that we are now able to turn our plans for Canada Dock into reality – and look forward to continuing to work with the community as we do so. Contact us:
0800 470 4593 (freephone)
Canada Water Masterplan
Life through the lens of a legend Michael Holland
In his new book, Rotherhithe local Brian Griffin reflects on a glittering career photographing the Queen, Iggy Pop and Paul McCartney, and supping pints with Lord Snowdon in the Blacksmiths Arms
hotographer Brian Griffin was born in the Black Country to a family that had, for generations, been human fodder for local factories, something that Brian vowed he would never be. But that is easier said than done. Brian didn’t set out to be a photographer. “It was decided for me,” he claims. In his quest to avoid a life that had killed off many of his family at an early age he went to “a good school” and then got an apprenticeship as a pipework engineering estimator. Alas, while semi-avoiding getting his hands dirty in amongst the factory grease and grime, Brian was suddenly left broken-hearted by his girlfriend. It was a sad time. “I felt I had to get out of this place and have nothing to do with it again.” Drastic measures were needed so he escaped through something that he had enjoyed as a hobby and took up a photography course at Manchester College of Art and Design. “I saw that as a way to get out quick,” he recalls. Moving to Manchester
was his first time away from home in the Midlands. “I remember thinking ‘what have I done? I don’t even like photography that much!’” The first thing Brian Griffin photographed on the first morning of the course was an egg. Such are the beginnings of the man the Guardian named Photographer of the Decade in 1989. On graduating with a First, Brian returned to the steelworks to raise money for moving to London. Eventually, with three student colleagues, they found a flat in Wimbledon where a lot of cannabis was smoked. After signing on the dole, “I knocked on every door in London to get a job but by September I was about to give up,” Brian remembers. It was then that he saw an ad for an assistant to Lester Bookbinder, a photographer Brian admired, so off Big Bang, City of London 1986
“This was the first photograph that I took of Elvis Costello, on location in the Hollywood Hills, lying on a diving board at a home owned by some record executive, and Drummer Pete Thomas of the Attraction”
“I remember thinking ‘what have I done? I don’t even like photography that much!’”
he went with his portfolio. When Bookbinder saw his work he said, “you shouldn’t be an assistant, you should be a photographer” and directed Brian towards Roland Schenk, who also looked at the portfolio and remarked “you’re the new Robert Frank”, famous for his groundbreaking book The Americans. So here’s Brian, just weeks out of college, being compared to legends. “I was terribly flattered,” he says 50 years later and now able to contain his excitement. The young graduate was given a job immediately and his career began on the “very bottom rung.” The first assignment he was given was at Convoys Wharf in Deptford. But he still felt he had to find his own style so immersed himself in films at the BFI. He could relate silent German Expressionist Cinema to his Black Country childhood and in that genre he “began to understand the symbolism inherent… which I gradually introduced into my images.” In a life lived behind a lens, Brian took photos for many magazines, shot numerous album covers and music videos. He says his career “just went up and up and up.” In fact, his list of sitters is an absolute who’s who of everyone. His Black Country dialect now pretty much hidden beneath half a century of London
living, he drops names of mates without a hint of a boast: having a few beers with Lord Snowdon in the Blacksmiths Arms, sharing joints with Ian Dury at an awards ceremony or taking mushrooms with Martin Parr in the woods around Hebden Bridge. I could tell he has a quirky sense of fun and likes to make his own rules. In 1980, Brian moved to Rotherhithe, into an old warehouse that became his studio, then further down Rotherhithe Street later on. “My work brought me down here and I liked it so I stayed,” he says. He tells of notorious parties and of setting out to know the locals so as not to be an outsider. Having grown up amongst factories, Brian knew he would be at home amongst people with similar backgrounds. He frequented the Mayflower and writes about the customers he made friends with in his latest book Black Country DADA 1969-1990: an autobiography in words and pictures of those years. “In the small bar, a collection of characters would gather, ranging from armed robbers to pickpockets.” He named Nick the Vic, from St Mary’s church, and a few other locals so I switched my recorder off for a while as we swapped tales. 1969 until 1990 were good years for Brian. He established himself as a freelance photographer and as
‘A Broken Frame’ Depeche Mode. “It was a rainy day but around mid-day the rain stopped and the clouds opened.”
the years rolled on he was given major commissions. His books and photographs won many awards, he exhibited around the world, had a cover on Time magazine, received an Honorary Doctorate, was given Professorships, and built a client list to make your eyes pop out. But I found out about these achievements from reading his book -not from the interview, although he had ample opportunity to tell me. This is not modesty but coolness. Brian Griffin is cool and that comes from within. Plus, knocking about with some of the world’s finest for most of his life. Pushing him you get to hear about doing work for the Queen, meeting heads of industry and snapping major stars: Iggy Pop, Paul McCartney, Elvis Costello, Donald Sutherland… But he also doesn’t mind discussing the shoots that went wrong, such as having to photograph David Bailey and David Hockney or when the images for Star Wars were rejected. Finishing off, Brian wanted to talk about Rotherhithe, his home for the majority of his life, and the people he has met and photographed, plus the Depeche Mode album cover he shot with them in the old Castrol building Downtown. You can find these stories and much more in the
Margaret Thatcher, Downing Street 1986
book. Having lived in Rotherhithe Street for 42 years, the photographer is now in the midst of shooting a project on the street. Black Country DADA 1969-1990 is out now for £60, available online at www.briangriffin.co.uk
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food & DRINK
Snowsfields restaurant is as right as a Trivet Laura Burgoine
hen the Executive Chef of Heston Blumenthal’s Fat Duck group, Jonny Lake, and its Head Sommelier, Isa Bal, decided to strike out on their own, the opening of their upmarket restaurant Trivet was eagerly anticipated by international jet-setters on the food scene and London locals alike. Launching in SE1’s Snowsfields, at the tail end of 2019, right before the pandemic hit, the duo had their work cut out for them. “During the lockdowns, we realised how lucky we were to have found this space and this neighbourhood,” Jonny tells the Biscuit. “It’s such a great mix of residents, small businesses and huge offices. We have a primary school just down the road but then London Bridge train station is just down the other end of the street. It’s like a little contained community. If we weren’t in an area like this during the pandemic, we wouldn’t have survived. Trivet was really well supported by the people around here.” A restaurant is, after all, limited in the number of ways it can ‘pivot’. But with Isa now recognised
Trivet owners chef Jonny Lake (left) and sommelier Isa Bal (right)
as one of the world’s leading sommeliers, having won the highly regarded title of Best Sommelier of Europe in 2008 and passing his Master Sommelier exams in 2009, a wine shop was a natural fit. “Part of our business plan was always to have a wine shop, like a retail side to what we do. During Covid, we put our shop online as quickly as we could. We have a good group of people who buy wine regularly. We’ve always had that licence here,” Jonny says. “We also did various “at home” things and some corporate stuff. We just did whatever we needed to keep busy. We didn’t have the benefit of being really established as a restaurant; we only opened in November 2019.” Even during the heaviest parts of the lockdown, Snowsfields was a pocket of London that still had people going out, even if only for their permitted one hour per day, the chef says. “Driving through other parts of London it was like a ghost town. We were very lucky to have residents. We were welcomed by everyone around here when we first opened up.”
Photography ©Tom Osbourne
food & DRINK
SPRING 2022 Hokkaido potato millefeuille
“After that long period of the lockdown, when we were allowed to reopen, it was five weeks of only being able to serve in an outdoor space. We had 25 seats out the front here and it was a real race to get everything ready. Try buying outdoor restaurant furniture when everyone else is also trying to buy it! It all came in right at the last minute. The first week of April was warmish during the day but then it turned super cold and people came and they dressed up and were sitting out there even though it’s like three degrees. You had to admire the people out there!” When searching for a location for their restaurant, Jonny and Isa weren’t looking for a specific postcode but rather a type of space. “We wanted it to just be on one level, on the ground floor. We didn’t want to have a basement kitchen. Because of financial pressures, a lot of restaurants in London have the kitchen in the basement. I think for us, it’s very important that the people working in the kitchen can
see who they’re cooking for. Otherwise, there’s this very definite separation and it’s not good. It becomes like an assembly line,” Jonny says. Isa continues: “Before the world turned into what it is now, the effects of structural changes in our industry have been highlighted. But it was actually never hunky dory.” “When you stick your kitchen crew in the basement, like animals, you end up paying like six months later. Your staff turnover is high because those aren’t good working conditions. When you’re working here, you look out and you see the sun and daylight. Working in the basement is soul crushing. Any job in a restaurant, whether it’s front of house or kitchen, is a hard job.” Working for celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal at his Michelin starred Fat Duck in Berkshire, was “pretty exciting,” Jonny laments. “We were quite fortunate to arrive there at the time we did. The whole world was, just at that moment, looking at that place and what was happening. I think it took us years to kind of catch up to that demand and attention. It was a very tiny restaurant and a very tiny team at the time. It more than doubled in the time we were there. It just grew and grew. “Looking back on it, the people that we worked with, especially in those first few years, the team that was in place was incredibly strong and you look at what all of those people have now gone on to do as well. It’s quite amazing.” He says Heston could be “quite challenging at times.” “He was always pushing for things. But that was great to just keep shooting, figuring out your place and how to keep moving forward. It just introduced me to so many new things.” Having met in 2005, both Jonny and Isa quickly discovered they were a natural fit. “We worked together for a long time. We both started at Fat Duck two weeks apart. Over the years, we’ve developed a pretty good working relationship,
“It’s like a little contained community here. If we weren’t in an area like this during the pandemic, we wouldn’t have survived.”
working on some pretty amazing projects, menus and different things in the restaurant and outside the restaurant. I think without knowing it we probably developed our style,” Jonny says. “It’s not that common, for me anyway, to have someone from the drink side of the industry to be interested in what’s going on in the kitchen. We both just like restaurants.” Creative freedom is one of the major drawcards of being a restaurant owner, the chef says. “If there’s something we want to do and we think people will enjoy it, whether it be our staff or customers, then we do it. The flip side of that is if that doesn’t work, well, you’ve got to take that as well!” “The freedom to try new ideas is what keeps me employed,” Isa continues. “It’s not about money or recognition because, quite frankly, I think both of us could get jobs and have more time off ! But there is this satisfaction of creating something that’s an ongoing thing. You keep changing.” Visit Trivet at 36 Snowsfields, SE1 3SU. Phone: 020 3141 8670. https://trivetrestaurant.co.uk
Not a crispy duck
Photography ©Tom Osbourne
food & DRINK
A new wellmannered vegan menu
Vegan Croissants include ‘Nduja,
garlic and basil sauce with rocket and Cumberland sausage and vegan sliced cheese and spinach. Both feature Symplicity Foods, meat alternatives, the brainchild of the capital’s top meat chef Neil Rankin. Designed as an alternative to heavily processed vegan foods, products are made from fermented vegetables and feature cheese alternatives and it’s imagined that even devoted meat and dairy eaters might be tempted.
The Gentlemen Baristas brunch menu includes ‘Nduja and Cumberland Sausage by Rankin’s brainchild Symplicity Foods
Vegan Toasties include beetroot
hummus, kale and avocado with cherry tomato, candied beetroot and micro herbs on rye bread, and vegan cream cheese and smoked carrot ribbons with red onion, cucumber and dill on rye bread.
he Gentlemen Baristas’ well mannered roastery and coffee house has launched a new vegan brunch menu for Veganuary and beyond. Since launching their first coffee house in Southwark in 2014, the independent coffee house has ten sites across the capital including a flagship in Piccadilly and sites in Mayfair, Borough, London Bridge, Holborn, Vinegar Yard, Southwark, Hammersmith, East India and Covent Garden. The new vegan menu will be served at all the Gentlemen Baristas sites with kitchens until 3pm and includes a range of vegan croissants, toasties and a new vegan sandwich ALT made of roasted aubergine, lettuce, tomato and mayo on sourdough.
Co-founder of the Gentlemen Baristas Edward Parkes says the restaurant can’t get enough of Symplicity Foods. “Neil’s a big part of the London food scene and it’s exciting to be collaborating with him,” Edward says. “While we are known for doing coffee, we see this as an opportunity to collaborate on some of the most amazing vegan brunch or lunch options in the capital, all washed down with a superb cup of coffee -with oat milk, of course.” The Gentlemen Baristas have long provided milk alternatives and eliminated soya from the menu in 2020 due to sustainability issues. For more information, visit: www.thegentlemenbaristas.com
A vibrant new concept serving up a fresh take on Greek and Cypriot street food classics. Souvlaki, gyros and much more! Find us on St Thomas Street, SE1, near London Bridge Station
FOOD & DRINK
A slice of Detroit on Maltby Street
etroit-style pizza doors; in many cases has landed in the permanently. But for us Laura Burgoine UK and quickly it was a chance to take become one of the stock and plan ahead. hottest food trends in London. After gaining a We asked ourselves what could launch and thrive huge following across the pond, the Party Store during a pandemic and what was London missing? Pizza team hosted some of the most exciting pizza The answer was Party Store Pizza where we created pop-ups in our capital and - off the back of this what we think is the best Detroit-style pizza in success - Party Store Pizza opened its first ever London. Bring on the square slice revolution!” bricks-and-mortar site on Bermondsey’s Maltby Nestled in a railway arch and perched at the end Street in Bermondsey, last September. of Maltby Street Market, the space boasts a chic When the hospitality industry ground to a halt industrial look with graffiti art on exposed brick during the pandemic summer of 2020, a group of and steel, an open kitchen and a DJ booth with pizza heads identified a gap in the London pizza full Funktion-One sound. As normality returns, market and decided to bring Detroit-style pizza Party Store Pizza will become a fun space with here from the USA. The plan was to keep things carefully selected DJs programmed by co-founder simple, affordable and delicious. Initially from a and esteemed London party promoter Fred Letts pop-up pub kitchen at Market House in Brixton, (Percolate, Waterworks Festival). the team served walk-ins and made local deliveries. The all-important menu was created by Everyone started talking and the kitchen sold out accomplished Executive Chef Richard Falk, former most nights. A pop-up at Lit Bar in Clapham soon Head Chef at The Dairy, Clapham and YBF Chef followed. of the Year 2016. It includes a full vegan offering Says Head Chef Sam Langford, “2020 was and applies authentic dough and baking techniques. an immensely difficult year for small businesses, After going through a 24 hour fermentation in particular for the food industry. Thousands process, the dough is tray-baked to create a of pubs, cafes and restaurants had to close their focaccia-like light and airy base, then baked a
second time for a perfect rise and irresistibly crispy cheese crust. Toppings include the finest Mutti San Marzano tomatoes, Shipton Mill heritage flour from the UK and high-grade Italian mozzarella. Pizzas include the Top Boy with vodka sauce (tomato sauce with cream), mozzarella, ricotta, nduja, pepperoni and spicy honey, and Smacks of Mac with ground seasoned beef, pickled gherkin, white onion and burger sauce. The fully realised ‘vegan mode’ includes the likes of the Bianca with béchamel, marinated courgettes, basil, dried chili and Max’s green sauce, and Bombay Bad Boy with curried aubergine, vegan mozzarella, green chili, pickled red onion, raita, coriander and Bombay mix. The pizza can be washed down with a selection of natural wines, beers on tap (including a Party Store Pizza brew from their friends at Signal Brewery) and an extensive range of canned beers from Siren, Beavertown and Tiny Rebel, amongst others. Visit Party Store Pizza at 35 Maltby Street, SE1 3PA. Open Wednesday to Sunday. Find out more at: partystorepizza.co.uk
Interior and exterior shots: ©JakeDavis @jakephilipdavis
Pizza shots: @lateef.photography
food & DRINK
The Fabulous Boiler Boys Cara Cummings
Boiler & Co founders Adam Carr and Cesar Breton join forces with Great British Menu star chef Kerth Gumbs for their new destination venue in Bankside.
p Cesar and Adam
Tell us about the Boiler & Co. concept? Cesar: Boiler & Co. as a concept was a brainchild of Adam’s. He wanted to create something bold but at the same time accessible and inclusive away from a cliché kind of bar. One of the spirit categories we found was un-inclusive was whiskey. It was very much a boy’s club associated with the patriarchy. So Adam started thinking about making that accessible, using whiskey the same way you use gin. The concept has evolved. Our location is within a strong community so we added other things that
come from a boiler that are catalysts for flavour: coffee, beer, whiskey - with that focus on inclusion. Making specialist coffee accessible not snobby, and whiskey that’s easy to drink, not burning your mouth.
a very special 24-seat cocktail bar upstairs: a bit of a secret, intimate bar which we want to make the best cocktail bar in the world.
What’s the new venue like?
C: Traditional British dishes, done in an unexpected way with added flavour and species. If people watched Kerth on The Great British Menu, they can expect food that’s a few notches up from what he presented there. It’s super exciting and full of flavour. A: He’s really going to bring his Caribbean background into it. His style is very based on those flavours - it’s international fusion, with global influences like yuzu from Asia, sumac from the Middle East… We’re working on a special seven-course tasting menu paired with five tasting cocktails. Smaller versions, of course - we want people to remember the food! It's called the Kerth Guns Tasting Experience; it’s his creation, his kitchen. He’s got full autonomy. He’s worked for huge names and Michelin-starred restaurants, where you don’t often get to run free.
What can diners expect from Kerth’s menu?
Adam: There’s around 12 small pockets of seating throughout the building that create intimacy in this large space. We’ve got an 8-seater outdoor space with the Tate Modern towering over you. We’ve got
…and from your drinks list? A: I’ve divided it into sections, with a focus on whiskey. We’ll have classics like mint julips, whiskey sours, New York sours; through to more spirit-forward drinks like Old Fashioneds and Manhattans. Then we'll have a signature drinks list - 10 sustainable sips, where each drink has a sustainable element, whether a spirit that's Fairtrade or carbon neutral, or reused ingredients. p ©William Torillo
p Kerth Gumbs ©William Torillo
For example the skin, seeds and stems of red peppers will be pureed and used in cocktails. Or passion fruit shells that are normally discarded - we’ll cook them to make passionfruit cordial. Sustainability will run through the whole menu. Then we have highs and lows: the highballs, like gin and tonics and a collection of whiskey sodas. Classic drinks. I love whiskey and soda but I prefer the two separately. We’re taking that staple and adding clarified 100% strawberry syrup with no added sugar. It becomes this refined, long, refreshing drink. You still taste all that beautiful complexity of the whiskey though. We also have our own pastry chef and counter. It’s a coffee counter by day, and at night you can sit around it and watch the pastry chef and speak to her whilst she’s working. You can have dinner then move up for dessert, or just come for pastry and a glass of wine. Boiler & Co is open now at 5 Canvey Street, SE1 9AN. Email: email@example.com
From mayhem to manager Michael Holland
hen George and Betty Smith gave birth to their second daughter Carole they didn’t know they had produced a whirlwind of chatter and mischief. George was a lift engineer for over 40 years “so they gave him a watch when he retired,” says his proud daughter. Betty worked the night shift in Peek Frean’s. “She used to come home with broken biscuits. I don’t know if she nicked ‘em or bought ‘em but we always had broken biscuits,” Carole remembers. To get away from working nights, Betty took a Nursery Assistant job at Snowsfields, the school Carole attended. “I couldn’t get away with anything! She’d always be watching me being naughty!” Carole liked junior school “but for all the wrong reasons! I only really remember reading and mucking about.” She went on to Aylwin where she enjoyed English, History, P.E. and left with O and A Levels. Out of school, Carole would play runouts and Tin Tan Tommy with friends on the Kipling Estate or be on her roller skates. “I used to put them on in the morning and not take them off until the night-time.” She recounted a tale of a roller skate race with a life-long friend that they still argue over. “She only beat me ‘cause I skidded on some oil,” claims Carole, all these years later. “I was always falling over though; my mum used to call me Cack-Handed Carole!” “We made a camp up in the water tank. I used to get up there with me skates on but I fell out off there loads o’ times. My legs were permanently bruised.” I sensed a pattern emerging. “I have an older sister Lynne who rolls her eyes at me a lot… When she got married she said I was the worst bridesmaid ever. I refused to do anything useful and took my mate in a matching outfit and pretended we were both bridesmaids.” The Red Rover bus ticket was another route to adventure. “We’d get lost all over London and try to find our way home at night-time… Sometimes we’d go fruit-picking in Walthamstow.” Picking or nicking? “Well, it’s just there, innit? There ain’t no one guarding it so you just take it! Now they call it foraging.” Continuing on the countryside theme: “I met a cow once when I was taken camping. It was the first time I’d ever seen one and it was terrifying. They’re massive, ain’t they? I’m still scared of ‘em.”
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Carole fondly remembers going with her sister and mum to stand astride the middle of Tower Bridge where the two halves met. “I still love doing it now to look down through the crack to the water and feeling it wobble as the traffic goes over.” Evenings were spent at Charterhouse youth club. “I tried Brownies once; that didn’t go well… Me mum was told not to bring me again!” Carole explains that “there were too many rules.” Carole’s work-life began as a cleaner down East Street Market at weekends with office cleaning before and after school, which meant she had money to stay on and get qualifications. Eventually, school gave way to full-time work, and youth clubs to pubs. “I used to spend all my money on clothes and going out; the Fort, the Apples & Pears, Samsons, the Dun Cow, Gillies… I started going in ‘em when I was about 14,” she reveals, adding that she often got chucked out for being underage. Her first ‘proper’ job was at Southwark Council on a trainee scheme. “They kept putting me in offices where I had to be quiet so that didn’t work; it was really boring… I would get told off for breaking things, wearing inappropriate clothes, being silly…” A spell in Spa Road Housing Office meant she would sometimes have chairs thrown at her. “Luckily, there was a barrier so nothing really hit me.” She enjoyed a good relationship with her Training Officer. “He was very patient with me” so asked if he could send her somewhere that she “could talk a lot.” He placed her in the Meals On Wheels office that she recalls as “brilliant. You could talk all day, chatting to the old ladies and doing visits.” Carole often visited a day centre and again pestered her Training Officer for a move there. “He gave in just to shut me up but I loved it. You could chat all day, and knit and play bingo -it wasn’t like work.” After spells in day centres and residential homes, Carole knew she had found her dream job and never returned to office work. After working with the elderly and those with learning disabilities since she was 18, Carole is now the Learning Disability Service Manager for Bede House Association and loves her work. “You never have the same day twice so I never get bored… Every day we challenge ourselves, and the people that use the centre, and that makes life more exciting. Even when I’ve been really busy I still go home and know something nice has happened that day.” Carole Brady is genuinely a happy soul. She now lives off Southwark Park Road. “I’ve only ever moved two miles my whole life,” she says like a true Bermondsey girl. She’s pleased to reveal that she has always worked close to home. “I had a job in Lambeth once where I had to get on a bus! I didn’t like that. I walked it one day, and then thought to myself, ‘mad cow, what did you do that for?’”
Carole Brady: “My sister actually did say I was the worst bridesmaid ever. I refused to do anything useful and brought my mate in a matching outfit”
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The sweet life in SE16 Debra Gosling
The sugar-coated stories of Bermondsey empires: Hartleys jam, Southwells confectionery and the curious medicated sweets factory Meggesons
1950s Hartleys heavy work ©Pat Kingswell
ll things sugary may be bad for teeth but they were great for Bermondsey residents. Jam has proved to be a very beneficial way of sustaining nourishment during times of hardship - a ‘doorstop’ sandwich is cheap, portable and filling. Before the ‘industrial cleansing’ of Bermondsey there were plentiful food factories in the district, the air heavy with the lovely scent of plums, currants and strawberries. William Hartley was a grocer ‘up north’ who became a jam magnate quite by accident. In 1871, the breakfast tables of Lancashire were empty after a consignment of jam failed to appear at his shop. Unfazed, Hartley made his own, designing the earthenware pots and labels himself. Twenty years thereafter, Hartley’s Jam factory landed in Alice Street. The residents were ecstatic as previously the site had been a tannery; now life was
sweet! The chimney can still be seen but the factory is now luxury flats. In 1851 Charles Southwell opened his confectionary business in Dockhead, where anything that derived from fruit was made, including kosher jam. Lemon squash and candied peel used up any glut of fruit. It was rumoured that candied peel was made from the leavings in the music halls but that was not true of Southwells: all of their ingredients were of the best quality. Oranges were a luxury for Bermondsey people with fresh fruit ‘plucked’ from the boats providing vitamin C! Southwells imported the oranges to make delicious marmalade. Risking local rival wars, they produced jelly and blancmange, all bearing the Excelsior trademark. The Christmas puddings were to die for with plenty of dried fruit, peel and spices; all ingredients that were easily delivered via the river. Boiled sweets were a speciality with lozenges and drops, plus pineapple cubes suspended in apple jelly, crystallised pineapple sweets, preserved and crystallised ginger and lemon curd. In the Fancy Sweet department a French confectioner busily made fondant crèmes, macaroons and fruit ratafias. The boilers for this sweet production were in the basement of the factory - it had its own private wharf at Dockhead (Springall’s) to load up the prepared goods for export. Just along the road in Llewellyn Street stood Meggesons, the curious medicated sweet factory that, in its early years, doled out hard drugs willynilly! Before the age of central heating, people
lived in cold houses with just a coal fire. Bedrooms were freezing and it was not unusual to go to sleep wearing layers of jumpers, a hat and socks during the winter. Colds, coughs and aches were prevalent. Before the days of sick pay, nobody absented themselves from their job because no work meant no pay. A tin of throat sweets tucked into the pocket was therefore the only bit of relief and comfort at times of illness. Established in 1746 by George Meggeson, a chemist and apothecary, the company led the market in the production of medicinal throat lozenges. In the early years the sweets were opium based, the drug at that time not being illegal or regulated. Imagine nowadays sniffing a cocaine-based powder for your catarrh or taking heroin for a bout of bronchitis! ‘A likely story’ the Judge would say as he sent you down for six months. Other sweets contained morphine! Once these magic ingredients were subject to The Pharmacy Act of 1868 the sweets were withdrawn and alternatives were found. Liquorice is a natural substance and was used extensively for both its purgative and restorative properties. Meggeson’s had a whole range of
liquorice products in their tins. Peppermint, an ancient cure-all, appeared in lozenges, along with aniseed and Pontefract cakes. Their sweet flavours were just like Southwell’s fruit products: pineapple lozenges, lemon barley sugar, ginger barley sugar and candied lemon peel. They even produced blackcurrant jam, which is an oldfashioned cold remedy when added to hot water and taken as a drink. Paregoric sweets used to be a school-days favourite as kids dawdled home with a quarter in a paper bag. Paregoric means ‘soothing’, with camphor, aniseed, and benzoic acid making up this delicious cure for suppressing coughs and preventing diarrhoea. Mothers rubbed the tincture on babies’ gums to relieve the pain of teething. Then there were the chalky sweets sucked to relieve indigestion containing bismuth or magnesia, normally with a bit of mint added for interest. Really, little has changed in the medicated sweet market. Meggesons moved out of Llewellyn Street in 1966 but they are still trading, albeit as part of a large concern owned by Merck Sharp & Dohme Ltd. They still make cough sweets in their Hertfordshire factory and, should your sweet singing voice get croaky, tins of the remedy are still readily available!
IN ASSOCIATION WITH TEAM LONDON BRIDGE
London Bridge Community
A pedalpowered planet Laura Burgoine
n independent London-born business, Fully Charged is not just another bike shop. Starting out as a small pop-up in Old Street in 2014, the business opened on Bermondsey Street in the summer of the same year. Since then, Fully Charged has grown considerably, opening an eBike showroom on Crucifix Lane and the UK’s largest dedicated eBike service centre on Holyrood Street as well as locations further afield in Silverstone, Guildford and Cornwall. Founding Partner and Head of B2B at Fully Charged, Dan Parsons, talks to the Biscuit about curating the best eBike technology on the market.
looking for alternatives to public transport. The awareness of electric bikes continues to grow year on year and we had always anticipated growth, but their popularity has exploded in the last 18 months whilst people have been exploring alternative modes of transport.
sustainable transport solution. Do you notice at the beginning of the New Year, more people are interested in cycling to improve their fitness? Traditionally winter months were considered ‘offseason’ with less interest and fewer sales but the rise in awareness of eBikes and people’s desire to improve their habits and better both body and mind has seen increases in the last few Januarys.
With more cycle paths being created in London, are you finding more people are turning to pedal power? Infrastructure is key. The government continues to invest hugely in bettering cycling infrastructure with very positive results.
Do you think the pandemic has changed attitudes towards commuting and people are looking for more sustainable modes of transport? The pandemic gave people the reason to try alternative modes of getting about. London changed dramatically, with areas of the city becoming almost inaccessible to cars and vans due to temporary cycle lanes and one-ways. At the same time people were looking to avoid public transport where possible. Those that did make the switch discovered how accessible their city is by bike – and how much quicker and more enjoyable journeys are on two wheels.
There seem to be a lot more bikes and scooters on the roads these days - and more of the TfL bike points. Has the pandemic changed people’s attitudes towards cycling? Have you found more people getting into it? Cycling in London has grown considerably in the last few years, undoubtedly accelerated by the pandemic, with people taking advantage of the quieter roads and
What kinds of bikes and products do you sell? Fully Charged is a specialist eBike retailer, offering premium electric bikes from the world’s most respected manufacturers. Initially catering for commuters and urban adventurers, Fully Charged now majors on electric cargo (or eCargo) bikes for families looking to replace cars and for businesses looking to shift their fleets to a more
There seem to be a lot more delivery services using bikes instead of mopeds now. Have you noticed increased demand for this? At Fully Charged we have seen a sharp rise in purchases of eBikes for individuals and businesses for commercial use – be it the delivery rider or business delivering bulk goods using fleets of eCargo bikes (with massive boxes on the front). Fully Charged’s corporate arm has a team of eBike experts assisting in B2B education, sales and support. What do you say to those who are nervous about cycling and getting on London roads? There’s no time like the present to give cycling a go – and no better way to get around our amazing city! Maybe try using one of London’s sharing bikes – non-electric or
electric. If you are truly a nervous cyclist, consider riding with a friend or maybe try a cycling course to build your confidence. You will not regret it! What’s your favourite product on the market right now? It’s difficult to pick a favourite when what we do at Fully Charged is curate all of the best eBike products and put them all in one place. If I were to have to choose, it would be the Gocycle G4 for around town: a beautiful piece of design, lightweight, folding and wonderfully easy to live with but it’s the Urban Arrow Cargo bikes that I think are doing the most to change the city we live in. What’s the best thing about cycling? Endorphins? Freedom? Fresh air? There is nothing better than getting on a bike, feeling the wind in your hair and moving about town not constrained by the congestion created by other vehicles. With an eBike you can now travel further, faster and have more fun, opening up areas you may never have explored before. Visit Fully Charged at Arch 6, Unit 5 Crucifix Lane, SE1 3JW. Phone: 020 7111 0977. www.fullycharged.com
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Meet new friends. Make new memories. All in a place you can truly feel at home. Get in touch to arrange a tea or coffee and a look around Tonic@Bankhouse, located in the heart of Vauxhall. • fully accessible, street to front door • optional on-site care and support • beautiful community spaces, including our rooftop garden Prices of our older persons shared ownership homes start from £133,750 for 25% of a onebedroom apartment, up to £592,500 for 75% of a two-bedroom apartment. Other charges apply.
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S O U T H WA R K , W H I C H BR OADBAN D WO U LD YO U C H O OS E? Hyperoptic has more 5-star Trustpilot reviews than BT, Sky and Virgin Media combined.* And since our broadband prices are fixed during your commitment period, there are no sneaky price rises either.
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Call 0333 920 7085 or head to hyperoptic.com *Trustpilot ratings and comparisons taken from Trustpilot website and correct as of 25/01/22.
B ROA DBA N D P R I C E HIK E Every year, many major broadband providers - including BT, TalkTalk and EE - blatantly raise their prices in line with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rate of inflation. In January, this was announced as 5.4%.* However, they don’t stop there. In fact, depending on the provider, they then add on up to 3.9% extra. This means, if you’re with the likes of BT, you could be hit with a price hike of up to 9.3%.** And although not in line with the CPI, Virgin Media also recently announced that they’ll be raising prices for existing broadband customers by a reported average of around £56 a year.† We don’t think that’s fair. That’s why Hyperoptic don’t raise our prices during commitment periods. And that means you can enjoy fixed prices on hyperfast fibre broadband for the duration of your commitment period. A deal’s a deal.
Call 0333 920 7085 or head to hyperoptic.com *Source: ONS: Consumer Price Inflation ** Each year, BT and EE increase the bills of their broadband and/or landline customers by an extra 3.9% plus that year’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) rate of inflation (www.bt.com/help/broadband/annual-price-changes-and-cpi and https://ee.co.uk/help/help-new/billing-usage-and-top-up/price-increase/price-increase; TalkTalk will increase the bill of its broadband customers by an extra 3.7% plus that year’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) rate of inflation (https://new.talktalk.co.uk/legal/annual-price-change) – information taken from BT, EE, TalkTalk websites, respectively, on 25/01/22. † According to multiple sources, including USwitch: https://www.uswitch.com/broadband/guides/virgin-media-price-increase-what-can-customers-do/ and Which?: www.which.co.uk/news/2022/01/virgin-media-announces-new-broadband-and-tv-price-rises-what-are-your-options-2/