The South Londoner - January 2022

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SOUTH LONDonER January 2022

IN HER ELEMENT former miss universe jamaica, apprentice contestant and proud local april jackson on new restaurant wood and water

Issue 10


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January 2022

About us ― We’ve been based in the old Biscuit Factory in Bermondsey since 1994.

Contents ―

We are proud to be a London Living Wage employer. Our flagship publication, the Southwark News launched in 1987 and is now London’s only independent, paid for newspaper. We also publish the Greenwich and Lewisham Weekender every week.

We use 100% recovered paper from the Ortviken papermill in Sweden, a green energy provider who use biofuel instead of oil and provide heat for 10,000 single family homes.

Laura Burgoine

Deputy Editor

Cara Cummings


Lizzy Tweedale, Dan Martin, Aurelio Medina


Tammy Jukes, Clarry Frewin, Sophie Ali, Katie Boyd

Media Partnerships

Anthony Phillips


Emrah Zeki

Managing Directors

Chris Mullany and Kevin Quinn

Catch Streatham’s David Harewood at the Old Vic, all aboard for Titanic: the exhibition & Dulwich Picture Gallery’s first major UK exhibition of Helen Frankenthaler’s woodcut prints.


Local faces

Miss Universe Jamaica, Apprentice contestant and Brixton restaurateur April Jackson opens up about her new culinary venture.

8 Family

Bring it on: the musical cartwheels into the Southbank Centre, junior open mic in Herne Hill & new classes for mini performers in Woolwich.


Food and drink

The latest bitesize news on restaurants, bars and cafes in your ‘hood & Boiler & Co’s new destination venue on the south bank.

21 Wellbeing


Start the New Year on the right foot with Pilates, yoga, urban forest bathing, conscious skincare, the hottest picks of aesthetics for 2022 & a new generation acupuncturist.

33 Education

Contact us ― Email Phone

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We created the Bermondsey Biscuit and Rotherhithe Docker in 2018 with support from sponsors including Sellar, Grosvenor, British Land, and many more local businesses.



020 7231 5258

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Flock to it: Amaryllis feather light shades handmade to order at Coldharbour Lights in Herne Hill.


A love letter to south London

Mark Taylor runs a medical aesthetics practice in Crystal Palace and loves messy comfort food at Dip & Flip, Jaffina House’s Sri Lankan cuisine, and living on the right side of the river!





January to April New opportunities andopportunities fresh ideas New and fresh ideas for you and your little ones

for you and your little ones

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January 2022


TITANIC: THE EXHIBITION An immersive journey through the life and legacy of the Titanic comes to Canada Water this month, 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 world-renowned Titanic expert and author, Claes-Göran Wetterhol, visitors will also be able to experience life-size recreations of some of the ship’s interiors. Dock X London, Unit 1 Canada Water, Surrey Quays Road, SE16 2XU. Adult tickets from £27.90, children from £15.90.

The local line-up for your diary ― Cara Cummings


p David Harewood and Charles Edwards in Best of Enemies ©Wasi Daniju

David Harewood and Charles Edwards star in this critically acclaimed staging of political playwright James Graham’s latest play, based on the nightly feuds between conservative TV pundit William F Buckley Jr. and his liberal adversary Gore Vidal during the 1968 American election. With both leads on career-defining form, this is one not to miss. Until Sat 22 January. 66 The Cut, SE1 8LZ. Tickets from £10.

HELEN FRANKENTHALER: RADICAL BEAUTY Dulwich Picture Gallery presents the first major UK exhibition of woodcut prints by leading abstract expressionist, Helen Frankenthaler. Frankenthaler (1928–2011) is recognised among the most important American abstract artists of the 20th century. This exhibition shines a light on her groundbreaking woodcuts, which appear painterly and spontaneous with expanses of colour and fluid forms.


Until 18 April. Gallery Road, SE21 7AD. Adult tickets £15 (£8 concs), kids go free. www.dulwichpicturegallery.

Following sell-out events in 2019 and 2020, London's favourite Burns Night Ceilidh is back. Expect a night of wild Scottish dancing soundtracked by band The Ceilidh Tree, along with a special supper featuring an ode to the Haggis. But of course. Start practising those reels - and lateral flow before you go…

 Helen Frankenthaler, Cedar Hill, 1983. Ten color woodcut ©2021 Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, Inc. / ARS, NY and DACS, London / Crown Point Press, Oakland, CA

Sat 22 January, 7.30pm. Sternhold Avenue, Streatham Hill, SW2 4PA. Tickets £15, supper £8.


COUNSELLING WITH MONICA BASSANI January can be a difficult time. If you’re looking for a helping hand, counsellor Monika Bassani can help provide a private outlet in which to talk of difficulties emerging from family dynamics, interpersonal trauma and loss. Monika can also guide couples in exploring the dynamics in your rapport, attachment styles, how to accept differences and improving communication, including in a pre-marital framework. She uses an integrative approach to counselling and psychotherapy, a blend of theories and interventions to suit the individual needs of the client. Contact Monika to find out more via

HOT DESKING AT THE PAXTON CENTRE Already tired of WFH? Head to The Paxton Centre, where you’ll find co-working spaces on offer from 10am-5pm, Monday to Friday. At just £6 for a 3-hour slot, with WiFi and a hot or cold drink or your choice included, you may never want to go back to the office again… Especially when you discover the on-site cafe serving delicious breakfasts, lunches, cakes and drinks. Commute? What commute? 52 Anerley Hill, Crystal Palace, SE19 2AE. Call 0208 659 4701 or email to book.

local faces

January 2022

“I never felt there was anything limiting me. That’s powerful.” ― Interview by Cara Cummings

Miss Universe Jamaica. Contestant on The Apprentice. Hit Caribbean restaurateur. As April Jackson’s iconic Three Little Birds reopens as Wood and Water, we ask: is there anything this south London powerhouse can’t achieve? (Clue: the answer is probably no…)

Your iconic restaurant Three Little Birds is now Wood and Water. Tell us about the concept behind your new restaurant, Wood and Water. I was in Brixton for six years as Three Little Birds before Covid hit. The pandemic gave us space to reflect; I realised that the reason I started in this industry is that I wanted to change perceptions about Caribbean food. In the UK, it’s very much still seen as takeaways, lots of rice and meat; nothing with much finesse. We were doing small sharing plates at Three Little Birds, which was a twist on the usual Caribbean offering, but too many things on the menu felt familiar. I felt like we were treading middle ground. It was time to really push the boundaries that we set out to push in the beginning. I couldn't have opened Wood and Water six years ago. I wouldn't have had the confidence. People call me a chef now, which still makes me laugh. I prefer to say I cook, and people pay for it! Wood and Water is a reflection of my personal journey. It’s called Wood and Water because ‘Jamaica’ is derived from ‘xaymaca’, which means ‘land of wood and water’. We’re a modern British restaurant with a Jamaican soul. How’s the reception been so far? This Covid beast has been really hard in terms of figures. You can get squeaky-bum nervous


 Pimento Old Fashioned

sometimes. But then, when customers come and say they feel we’ve achieved our aims, that feels amazing. The Sunday Times recently voted us one of the best restaurants of 2021, too. I do feel hopeful - it’s too soon to say whether the risk will pay off, but if nothing else, we've changed people's ideas and that’s something I’m really proud of.

We are super warm. Hospitality should have that feelgood factor. I tell my team: that's what we’re in the business of, and if we’re not doing that then we’re doing something seriously wrong.

What does food mean to you on a personal level? Some people get excited about dressing up their kids - I get excited about introducing mine to new food. For me, it's hugely important; particularly in times like ours, which are strangely divisive. There’s something very beautiful about being able to bring people together over food, introducing them to your culture and piquing their interest to find out more.

(Laughs) Where do I start? I’m very close to my dad. He's the reason why I got into business, because he’s always had his own too. I’ve always had a strong work ethic. I called a meeting with dad when I was nine, and said ‘Dad, I’m bored of filing: I need more responsibility.’ Sometimes I think it was easy for my dad to parent me because I wanted to work, to have independence. Of course, he now says he wanted me to work hard, but not this hard!

How central is Jamaica - and Jamaican food - to who you are, and your vision?

What was it like representing Jamaica in the Miss Universe contest?

I wouldn't be who I am without Jamaica, and Jamaican food. I was born here, raised in Jamaica and I’ve lived in New York and France at points. Hospitality varies so much around the world. In the UK, service is still very formal - there’s a clear divide between customers and staff. But inside Wood and Water’s walls, it’s about Jamaican hospitality.

I entered when I was just 18. I’m very outspoken and don't play ‘the game’ very well; I certainly didn’t know about diplomacy, back then. People were comparing makeup and feeling each other’s silicone implants at the breakfast table and I’d be like - are you mad!?! Turns out honesty isn’t the best policy in some circumstances…! I just wanted to taste

Let’s talk about you, April. Because you’ve had a pretty amazing life…

new food in Vietnam. Ultimately, it was a great experience. I don’t regret it all, but I could have made more of it, I think. Tell us a little about your experience on The Apprentice. I honestly thought it would be like an MBA, where you get to try out different industries. I was excited by that. A lot of people think they’ll be famous after taking part in the show, and if you lived out in the sticks, then maybe. But this is London. Mega famous people live here, so the idea you’d be famous after five minutes on the BBC was laughable to me! But it was brilliant for my business - lots of publications that wouldn’t have looked at me were interested. I think the producers thought I’d be a queen bitch. Because I’m direct and outspoken, they perceived me as someone who would be controversial. But in Jamaica, we have a saying: ‘Ghosts know who to scare.’ No one ever came for me, so why would I randomly start shouting at people? I wasn't prepared to be the angry black woman. My nieces were watching - it was far more important for me to set a good example than create extra entertainment. What made you want to set up a restaurant and make food your focus? I’m laughing because I wish I hadn’t - I wished I’d stayed as the person that just loves eating out! I’ve always known I would have my own business. The advice is always ‘do what you love doing’, and I followed that. But as a black woman in hospitality, Photography ©Jonathan Sharp


people ask me a lot of silly questions. Like: do you file taxes? There's this perception that as a black woman, you don’t run your business professionally. But growing up in Jamaica gave me the idea that I could be anyone, and do anything. I don’t think I’d have had that growing up here, where people talk about paying for billboards so that their daughters can see people who look like them in prominent roles. In Jamaica, we’re not racially divided - we’re Jamaican, first and foremost. The sense of unity is huge. There’s an idea that if you work hard, you can be anything. I really want my girls to grow up with that. I never felt there was anything limiting me; that’s so powerful. What does south London mean to you? (Laughs) It means that I can get plantain really easily! South London to me is all I know. I’ve never lived anywhere else in London. It means community to me in a way that other areas just don’t. What does the future hold for April Jackson? I feel like the big stuff is still coming. It has to - there’s no way the universe would be making me slave away like this just to be where I am now! That said: ambition is a great thing, but it's also dangerous. It can drive you to a dark place, because you’re constantly chasing. At the same time, I hope I can make my mark. I haven’t even started yet, to be honest… Wood and Water is at 412 Coldharbour Lane, SW9 8LF. Phone: 020 3910 1870.


Fits a family of flair ― Cara Cummings

January 2022



Inspired by the iconic film, hit cheerleading musical Bring It On backflips to Southbank this month for a run of high-octane shows at Queen Elizabeth Hall, starring Amber Davis and Olympic gymnast Louis Smith. Stuffed with incredible choreography and cheerleading tricks, it’s a guaranteed good time - with 5-star ratings from critics to boot. Suitable for ages 10+.

The UK’s leading Performing and Creative Arts school - which is completely free to attend - offers Key Stage 4 (join at 14) and Post-16 courses for young people to study Film and Media Production, Interactive Digital Design, Visual Arts and Design, and Production Arts (Post 16 only). Alumni include musicians like Adele, Jessie J and Rex Orange County, actors including Tom Holland (Spider-man) and Ashley Thomas (24: The Legacy). Graduates have also gone on to work at top organisations like Apple, Facebook, ITV, BBC, Warner Music, ASOS, Sony and TikTok.

Until 22 January. Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, SE1 8XX. Tickets from £22.50. p Bring It On the Musical

NEW PERFORM CLASSES COME TO WOOLWICH Perform, the children's drama school, will open two new classes in Woolwich this January - and your child can try a free class! Perform’s weekly drama, dance and singing classes focus on boosting confidence and self-esteem rather than perfecting lines or producing the best dancers. Weekly fun-filled classes for 4-7s and 7-12s use performing arts-based games and activities to develop confidence, concentration, coordination and communication.

p Perform Woolwich

Sunday 16 January, 12pm-6pm. Arch 645, 301-303 Railton Road, SE24 0JN. Email to book a performing slot.



Sunday 30 January, 10am-5pm. Gallery Road, SE21 7AD. Adults £15.


Budding Jaggers take note: Junior Open Mic Youth Music Sessions return to Off The Cuff, Herne Hill’s premier live music bar this month. Expect three sessions formatted for age and experience - all of which are free - including Beyond The Living Room, where musicians perform in private on a purpose built stage with pro-sound engineering; a Junior Open Mic session for ages 4-12, and a Youth Open Mic session for ages 12-18. All performances are professionally sound engineered on a fully equipped stage, with free drinks tokens for performers and Certificates of Bravery for younger artists.

Applications for 2022/23 close this month visit and follow @thebritschool on social media to discover more.

Keen to see the Helen Frankenthaler: Radical Beauty exhibition? The kids can come too, thanks to this family-friendly Sunday special at Dulwich Picture Gallery. Enjoy age-grouped workshops on marbling, paper pulping, fabric art, light projections and more; create colourful costumes, parade around the Gallery and get involved with colour-themed storytelling. Tickets include entry to the exhibition itself.

Opens 18 January. Tuesdays: 4-7s at 5-6pm and 7-12s at 5.05-6.05pm. Perform Woolwich, Under1 Roof, 9 Skeffington Street, SE18 6SR. Visit to book free class.


Citizen Artists Kids is the brainchild of two mums and fellow opera lovers, on a mission to share their love of opera with kids. This fun-filled 45-minute family concert includes a screening of Mozart's 'Le nozze di Figaro’, live performances from opera singers Marika Rauscher and Josephine Thorpe and a fun, interactive singing workshop for kids aged 4-9. Sunday 30 January, 3.30pm. Blackburn Hall National Opera Studio, 2 Chapel Yard, SW18 4HZ. Adults £7, children £5.

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Opening Hours - Monday to Saturday 10:00 – 18:30 Sunday 11:00 – 17:00

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food & drink

January 2022

Bitesize ― Cara Cummings


FANTASTIC FIVE SUPPER CLUB AT CINNAMON KITCHEN Grab your diary: next month, Battersea’s legendary Cinnamon Kitchen will host a truly spectacular supper club. ‘Fantastic Five’ sees founder Vivek Singh join forces with Santosh Shah, Philli ArmitageMattin, Bart Van der Lee and winner Alex Webb - aka the 2020 Masterchef: The Professionals final four - for a 10-course extravaganza. Each chef will prepare a signature ‘snack’ or small plate, followed by a main. It’s a culinary tour de force featuring Philli’s cheesy Chawanmushi (a Japanese egg custard) alongside Santosh’s Timur spiced octopus, nettle leaf potatoes, fenugreek pickle, dungri popadum and spiced yoghurt. Also expected are Bart’s grilled scallop with sea buckthorn, yarrow and chicory, plus Alex’s iconic Chalk Stream trout with parsnip, parsley, mussels and caviar sauce - the dish which won him the Masterchef trophy last year. Unmissable: and all for just £120pp including a glass of champagne.

FLOR BAKERY OPENS AT SPA TERMINUS Food mecca Spa Terminus continues to go from strength to strength with the arrival of Flor Bakery, a new bread-and-pastry focused offshoot of Flor restaurant in Borough. Using flours milled on-site and from trusted farmers across the UK, Flor Bakery will produce a range of new loaves including house sourdough, a ‘Baker’s Choice’ porridge loaf and a 100% rye tin loaf made with house-sprouted rye berries. You’ll also find a range of Flor’s pastries made with handmade cultured butter - drool - like twice-baked almost croissants, lardy buns (croissant dough buns with tea-soaked currants, laminated with pork fat from free-range Cornish pigs and dipped in sticky mace caramel) and Danishes topped with different seasonal produce. Race you there. Spa Terminus, Unit 6, Spa Road, SE16 4RP.

4 and 5 February, lunch and dinner service available. 4 Arches Lane, Nine Elms, SW11 8AB.

South London boasts a lot of great pizza joints but news of Zia Lucia’s new opening is something for foodies to really be excited by. Their famous 48-hour slow fermented dough - available in four different varieties, no less - has won Zia Lucia armfuls of awards and even a spot on global food hotlist Where Chefs Eat. Hotfoot to Balham High Road and feast on an Arianna Sbagliata - mozzarella, gorgonzola, fresh sausage, honey, truffle oil - or a Red Vegana (tomato, garlic, oregano, roasted peppers and olives) to see what all the fuss is about. 65 Balham High Road, SW12 9AP.

TATALE AT THE AFRICAN CENTRE Something special is coming to Great Suffolk Street this spring, where Ghaniana-British restaurateur Akwasi Brenya-Mensa will open Tatale, a panAfrican concept eatery based on West African chop bars, at The Africa Centre. Featuring dishes and techniques with both continental and Ghanian roots, Tatale’s signature dishes will include 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. 66 Great, Suffolk Street, SE1 OBL. Follow @tataleandco for opening updates.

WALTER’S ARRIVES IN WEST DULWICH West Dulwichers, listen up: a brand new bar and restaurant from the duo behind Covent Garden’s much-loved seafood bar and kitchen The Oystermen is coming to your neighbourhood. And with Head Chef Khalid Hassan, formerly of Social Eating House, L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon and Murano in the kitchen, you know Walter’s is going to be good. We hear Hassan’s menu will feature snacks like trout skin with a cod roe dip and truffle arancini; small plates including a Bloody Mary crab salad; apricot and harissa glazed lamb belly, and Jerusalem artichoke orzo risotto; and mains like roasted venison loin and parsnip, and roasted hake with romesco sauce along with spiced cabbage and a slow cooked duck egg. The drinks list, meanwhile, promises a focus on sparkling wines, high quality grower champagnes and the best of the new wave of English producers. PHWOAR. 84 Park Hall Road, SE21 8BW.



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9 – 20 Feb 2022



The home of stunning glass art 62-66 Bermondsey Street Open Tuesday to Friday 10am to 5pm

January 2022

food & drink

The Fabulous Boiler Boys ― By Cara Cummings

Adam Carr and Cesar Breton open their new destination venue in south London this month. And they’ve got Great British Menu star chef Kerth Gumbs in the kitchen… The Boiler & Co. cofounders share a sneak preview of their bar and restaurant, and what to expect from the menu.

p Cesar and Adam


What’s the thinking behind the Boiler & Co. concept?

Can you give us a sneak preview of what the new venue is like?

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 cliche kind of bar. One of the spirit categories we found was un-inclusive was whiskey. It was very much a boys' club, associated with the patriarchy. So Adam started thinking about making that accessible, using whiskey the same way you use gin. That’s the core of Boiler & Co - recreating what the perception of whiskey is in a cocktail. With that as a base, 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.

C: There were two concepts that we set out to achieve with the fit out. One was a bit of affirmative action by looking for a female-led, female-owned design company. The other was sustainability, rather than throwing everything in the bin and sending it to landfill. Even if it cost a bit more, we wanted to create a different norm to the usual fit out, which is very wasteful. Adam: We want to make an impact, in every sense. Design was a process - it's a huge, industrial space we’ve inherited with big open ducts and concrete cylinders. But there’s lots of beautiful wood as well. Our ethos of sustainability was to repurpose as much as possible. We recycled wood, took panels off the bar and refinished them and now they hang off the ceiling with acoustic panels hidden on top. There’s around twelve small pockets of seating continues on page 17

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08/11/2021 12:26

January 2022

food & drink

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 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. Tell me about Kerth. Are you excited to have him at the helm in the kitchen? A: Very! We’d been looking for a chef for a while. When I saw he was ‘open to work’ on LinkedIn I almost fell off my chair! Chefs like that get snapped up so quickly. We instantly clicked. On the third chat we made him an offer and he accepted. That was a good morning! We’re not opening a restaurant - it’s a gastro cocktail bar. But now that Kerth is on board we’ve changed things around a little. We’ve invested in a huge open kitchen so that Kerth has a beautiful home because he deserves it! He’s such a great chef. C: His food is so innovative. It's food you think you know, but then it arrives and it’s such a fresh surprise. It’s like Adam’s cocktails - surprising, new, unexpected. A: We also have our own pastry chef and counter. p Kerth Gumbs ©William Torillo

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. What can diners expect from Kerth’s menu? C: What you can expect is 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. …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 p ©William Torillo


“That’s the core of Boiler & Co, recreating what the perception of whiskey is in a cocktail” Fairtrade or carbon neutral, or reused ingredients. 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. Sum up Boiler & Co. in a sentence. C: A specialist cocktail, whisky led-bar. A: Wow, that’s a challenge! I’d say we’re challenging the norm of what a whiskey bar is a modern adaptation of a traditional whiskey bar, with no balding old men in corporate suits in the corner smoking cigars! We’ll have over 100 whiskeys, but something like you’ve never witnessed before… Boiler & Co opens this month at 5 Canvey Street, SE1 9AN. Email:

22 ST MARK’S CHURCH, SE11 4PP 10-13 FEB 20 5 distinct performances over 4 nights to bring you back from the depths of winter

“” Everything the classical concert in the 21st century should be




The Festival will be run at a reduced capacity and will follow government guidelines on Covid-19 safety.

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January 2022


Urban forest 'bathing' in Crystal Palace ― By Cara Cummings

A Citizen Science Green Health Podcast Project is encouraging wellbeing sceptics to try forest immersion in urban parks.

that left her blind and paralysed in 2012. Walking in nature and meditation proved effective tools in her recovery arsenal and launched her onto a new career path researching mindbody practices with Cambridge neuroscientists. Part citizen science and part podcast project, ParkBathe is funded by the National Lottery to improve the health and wellbeing of local residents. Dr Kirsten McEwan, a health researcher (and qualified forest bathing guide) and Vanessa have provided free Forest Bathing sessions in Crystal Palace Park to over 160 adults, teens and children throughout autumn 2021 while collecting valuable wellbeing data. Before and after each walk participants filled in wellbeing surveys and a number wore a HRV (heart rate variability) chest strap so Kirsten could collect objective data too. HRV is a good indicator of stress levels.


arkBathe is an exciting post-Covid mental health project in SE19. “Forest Bathing,” is a clinically-proven health prescription developed by the Japanese government in the 1980s to target stress and fatigue. It traditionally involves a 2-3 hour slow, mindful walk in ancient forests while absorbing the atmosphere via the senses. The ParkBathe model has adapted this to provide a onehour, streamlined version in urban parks. ParkBathe is the brainchild of local wellbeing author and producer Vanessa Potter. Vanessa experienced first hand how nature aided her recovery after she suffered a neurological illness


Vanessa and Kirsten chose Crystal Palace Park as it offered access to ancient woodland (the Great North Woods) and was close to lower socio-economic areas, which included some of their target groups. A number of local guides assisted each group, which consisted of around 10 people. The ParkBathe podcast, coming soon, follows the experiences of the people who tried ParkBathing and features interviews with researchers, health experts and promotes green health — along with exploring the science of forest bathing and providing helpful tips and guides. ParkBathe is not prescriptive. It is a simple, flexible method that anyone can learn and use in their local park to help lower stress levels. Their aim is to make ParkBathe as accessible and open to everyone — even sceptics who might normally be put off wellbeing interventions. For more information, visit:


January 2022

Ajna Magomedova shares her journey of launching a sustainable skin-care brand in the pandemic ―


rowing up in a Russian / Dagestani household, there has always been an emphasis on beauty and caring for your skin. My mom is also a beauty therapist so I was surrounded by skincare products. Many years later, I am in my third trimester and I just got made redundant from my entry-level marketing job in the middle of a pandemic - pretty awkward position to be in, one might think. At these times, the idea to found my own sustainable skincare came to me so naturally. Beauty has always been a huge passion of mine and sustainability should simply, in my opinion, be the industry standard. So how has the journey been for me? Studying business at university is all fun and games until you’re a one woman band and you have to find ways to get your brand out there. That includes creating professional-looking product photography, supplying content to the insatiable Instagram algorithm, finding ethical suppliers, constantly researching, keeping up with orders, writing LinkedIn stories. The list goes on - small business owners will relate. Oh, and also taking care of a small baby!

What are my products? I have focused on three skincare products to complete a great skincare routine.

Self Love

Nourishing face oil Self Love is a magic potion that feeds the skin fatty acids, vitamins and phytonutrients to restore and balance vitality for beautiful, glowing complexions. This nutrient-dense miracle oil is 100 percent natural, vegan and cruelty-free.

Glorious Green Cleanser

Gentle oil-to-milk cleanser This all-natural cleansing oil effectively removes daily grime and make up, leaving your skin soft and grateful. Organic hemp and blue tansy work in synergy to deliver a sensorial feast and antioxidant-rich goodness to you every evening. It is also super gentle and sting-free - even around the eye area.

Nude Glow Concentrated face cream

thirds of the world’s population will face water shortages! Waterless skincare also doesn’t require preservatives and is toxic-free, meaning you’re won’t be increasing rinse-off chemical waste that goes into our water system, which would then require more energy to purify.

This beautifully smooth, face cream is different to other creams. We don't use water, so our formula isn't diluted with unnecessary fillers, emulsifiers or preservatives, which means that all ingredients are active ingredients! Why is waterless more sustainable? All the effort is totally worth it thanks to the sense of purpose that this waterless brand gives me. Not only will water-free products save you money in the long run thanks to their high potency but they’re also considered more sustainable than water-based cosmetics. The logic is simple - water, which makes up to 90 percent of a product formula is added as a filler. It has to be extracted, purified, blended, packed and then shipped to your home, creating unnecessary carbon footprint. Not to mention that water is considered a luxury ingredient as, according to WWF, by 2025, two-

Natural, vegan & cruelty-free First of all, I ensure that none of my products are of animal origin and are strictly cruelty-free. Deforestation, pollution, and dead zones are some of the leading causes associated with animal agriculture industry - therefore, opting for plantbased ingredients as an alternative helps to cut down on all this bad news. Besides, the almighty plant-based products are super nourishing and a great source of antioxidants which gives you the desired, healthy skin glow.


Sustainable packaging and processes Being an eco-friendly brand doesn’t stop with the product itself. I choose glass packaging, which is fully recyclable and re-usable; the lids are made of recyclable plastic. The box filler is created from biodegradable corn starch and the box itself consists of already recycled material. Thanks to being a small batch beauty brand, the amount of waste and pollution in the production process is significantly reduced when comparing to high street cosmetic brands - I am recycling and re-using as much as possible!

Join Balmista on a journey to conscious skincare:



Flying Fantastic is a dedicated aerial and circus school, with studios in Waterloo, Peckham and Wimbledon. We have regular weekly classes and courses for both kids (age 7+) and adults. Classes include aerial silks, aerial hoop, slings, trapeze, rope, and straps. We offer birthday parties, group bookings, taster workshops, holiday camps and much, much more! There’s something for everyone! Come fly! No previous experience necessary – we promise! Flying Fantastic: Peckham, Waterloo, Wimbledon 020 7928 2093 |

You may consider seeking therapy To try to understand repeated and destructive patterns of behaviour – (relationships, addiction, drugs, alcohol, food, etc.) A change in your circumstances or becoming aware of memories about your past may cause an unexpected change in your feelings to those around you I welcome all individuals irrespective of gender, body size, creed, religion, hair colour, abilities, sexuality, and political values. Accredited Member of the National Counselling Society, ICO Registered.

Monika Bassani

Monika Bassani Counselling

Medical and aesthetics Clinic East Dulwich Anti-wrinkle Medical Microneedling medical grade skincare incontinence medical weight loss skin boosters SkinPen Precision cryotherapy

133 Lordship Lane, London, SE22 8HX

Advanced Nurse Practitioner AND INDEPENDENT PRESCRIBER IG: @aestheticsbylaurenturner p: 02082263800 e:

January 2022


The new generation acupuncturist ― By Laura Burgoine

One of the first in the UK to hold a degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture, the Dulwich Therapy Rooms founder treats everything from long-Covid symptoms to fertility issues

and down to earth. He’s a far cry from the “hippie connotations” associated with the therapy he practises. Having lived in Brussels for many years, Daniel is part of a new generation of acupuncturists and one of the first in Britain to receive a BSc (Hons) in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)/ Acupuncture from the University of Westminster. The three-year degree included rigorous training and learning a lot of the basics of Western medicine. Today, he fuses traditional Chinese with modern medicine healthcare. “Acupuncture is about empowering people,” Daniel says. “Sometimes the right course of action is actually to encourage someone to see their GP. Acupuncture is nowhere near as needed as Western medicine but it’s certainly complementary.” Daniel has extensive clinical practice, working for London’s leading private clinics and was Head of Anatomy and Physiology, Access to Higher Education for Nursing and Physiotherapy and Complementary Therapies at Morley College. In 2002, he set up his own practice, Dulwich Therapy Rooms, on Lordship Lane, an integrated multidisciplinary health centre with 25 different practitioners offering physiotherapy, counselling, hypnotherapy, acupuncture, massage, reiki and a range of other complementary therapies. “It’s a lovely team and everyone keeps their autonomy and runs their individual practice how they want to,” Daniel says. “If someone comes to see me and


s we march into a new year still navigating “These Strange Times”, taking autonomy over our health on an individual level is front of mind for many. The pandemic has been sobering. Covid has swiftly shattered multiple illusions that our society clings to, not least the belief that we can all defy death if we could just find the right eye cream. So it comes as no surprise that people are increasingly looking for solutions to what ails them in alternative therapies. In East Dulwich, acupuncturist Daniel Bevan is even treating long-Covid with needling. Along with a range of other physical and emotional issues, like pain management, arthritis, stress, anxiety, depression, grief, fertility, menopause and ageing. The co-founder of Dulwich Therapy Rooms, and a member of the British Acupuncture Council, Daniel’s approach to acupuncture is compassionate


I think they’d actually be better suited to one of my colleagues, I’ll re-direct them to the person who can best treat the issue at hand. Sometimes people come in with headaches or migraines and cranial massage would be better for them than acupuncture, in that particular instance.” The acupuncturist has helped thousands of clients with muscle and joint pain, stress, headaches, anxiety, grief, depression, insomnia, musculoskeletal problems, respiratory and digestive problems. Daniel is also an expert in fertility, supporting single people and couples through the challenge of IVF, miscarriages, and birth with a holistic and caring approach. “We were able to work within a month of the pandemic starting so we were basically just doing anything we could to help people stay out of hospital, whether that’s treating tiredness, headaches, breathing issues,” Daniel says. “Acupuncture is about longevity. It’s a natural observation of the world. It takes into consideration diet, lifestyle, climate and genetics, as well as examining general patterns. “The ethos of acupuncture is live your life with a smile on your face. Whatever you’re doing, be happy in it. Energy follows intention.” Dulwich Therapy Rooms is at 47a Lordship Lane, SE22 8EP. Phone: 07867 975 944.


Why a restorative yoga practice is always a good choice

January 2022

Iyengar Yoga teacher Poppy Pickles shares her tips


uring the winter months, after a long period of uncertainty, making time for rest has never been more important. As a local yoga teacher I’ve been speaking to my students over the past few months and it feels as if things are very busy for many of us. This isn’t surprising as this is the first time in a while that we have been ‘back to normal’ while at the same time, living in a country that currently has the highest rates of Covid in Europe. This is on top of the usual coughs, colds and seasonal bugs that are doing the rounds. The beauty of Iyengar yoga, the type of yoga I teach, and having a yoga practice, is that our practice can be a perfect fit. It can change according to your mood, the season, the time of day, your energy levels and so on. This is where a restorative practice comes in.

A bit more about restorative yoga BKS Iyengar is credited with having ‘invented’ restorative yoga as a concept. Due to the ill-health he suffered in his formative years, Iyengar had to fashion props from bits of wood or everyday objects in order to get into yoga poses. His inventive use of props meant that the benefits of poses could be felt without overstraining the body. Restorative yoga is about allowing the pose to do


you, rather than you doing the pose. You have to allow the body to inhabit the pose, and then let the breath inhabit the body, and the mind inhabit the breath. When you become fully passive in the pose there is a sense of weightlessness and submersion in the pose.

Why restorative yoga isn’t resting yoga (necessarily) The name restorative can be misleading. Some students get overexcited when the bolsters come out but restorative yoga doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to be resting. Restorative yoga is about restoring the natural balance of the body, physically, emotionally, and hormonally. Sometimes this is done through supported backbends, long holds of inverted poses and other things that can feel distinctly UNRESTFUL while you’re doing them.

Why inverted Asanas are especially important All restorative yoga poses have their benefits but inverted restorative poses are particularly important for a stressed-out nervous system and for mental and emotional health. Any pose where the head is positioned below the heart counts as an inverted pose, so you don’t have to be up in full headstand or shoulder-stand. Also standing inversions, such as Uttanasana (standing forward fold) and Adho mukha svanasana (downward dog) with the head supported (preferably on something soft) give the same benefits.


Focusing on relaxing the eyes We can feel tired after a whole day spent working on the computer but it’s ‘brain tired’. Our eyes are pushed forwards from looking at the screen and we haven’t been breathing properly so the body is not fully oxygenated. With so much of our lives now conducted on screens – Zoom meetings, online yoga, WhatsApp chats and so on, we need to find a way to take a break from all the screen-related activities. Yoga gives us this time to rest our eyes. Here’s a simple exercise you can try: take a bandage and softly cover the eyes. Lie in supported savasana and allow the eyes to completely soften. Focus on the breath. In any yoga pose, it’s important to check on what’s happening with the eyes, especially strenuous poses such as backbends. We need to learn to soften the face, even while working the rest of the body – this eventually leads to the ‘effortless effort’ of Patanjali’s sutras.

Practical help If you’ve felt inspired to start a restorative yoga practice, then why not check out my YouTube video on the Five Basic Restorative Poses for some practical help: Poppy Pickles runs in-person classes at the Crystal Palace Osteopathic Practice on Westow Street. For more information, visit:


Book Your Consultation Now PHI-BALANCE Medical Aesthetics Clinic, resident at SkinTouch, 77 Church Rd, Crystal Palace

: phibalance.aesthetics






January 2022

Reform your body with Pilates ―


By Laura Burgoine

“Change happens through movement and movement heals” ― Joseph Pilates

claykilncraft Pottery Teaching School + Open Access Membership + Commissions

Pottery classes, courses & open access studio

We are a small independent pottery teaching school offering one-off classes, longer courses and open access membership studio for beginners, enthusiasts, amateurs and semi-professionals in a friendly and relaxed environment. Check out our website or email for details of all the fab classes & courses we have coming up in 2022

facebook: Clay Kiln Craft at Do and Play twitter: @ClayKilnCraft instagram: @claykilncraft phone: 07976 290735 web: email: 20 Church Road, Crystal Palace, London SE19 2ET

ertified Polestar Practitioner and local mum, Michelle Kemp, creates bespoke 1-hour Pilates sessions, teaching 1:1 Reformer classes from her garden studio in SE23. The reformer bed is a wonderful piece of Pilates equipment and a favourite of elite athletes and celebrities (like Adele!) right through to people who are new to any type of Pilates. Unlike mat Pilates, which uses just body weight and gravity to challenge movement, the reformer has weighted springs which can be used to resist or assist movement. The reformer offers all the benefits of Pilates in a safe, efficient and dramatic way, by working on overall strength, flexibility, coordination, and balance. These things, in turn, lead to daily life improvements like better posture, mindfulness and efficient movement, and for many, relief from injuries and pain. As its creator, Joseph Pilates says: “Pilates is complete coordination of body, mind and spirit.” Northern Sky Reformer Bed Pilates is at 246a Devonshire Road, SE23 3TQ. 1 hour costs: £50 / Block of 4 costs: £45 per hour. Phone: 0786 778 7091.


Flu and COVID-19 can both be life-threatening and spread more easily in winter. Covid-19 boosters are now available to every adult in the country. If you’re 50+ you can have a free flu vaccine too.


January 2022

Top beauty treatments for 2022

Top of the list of my top picks is Profhilo! This is almost like an injectable moisturiser and is also known as a 'Bioremodelling' treatment. This is suitable for face, neck and decolletage area and for 2022 body treatments using this are also available. Profhilo stimulates four different types of collagen and is an innovative approach to anti-ageing, counteracting skin laxity. It is pure hyaluronic acid and improves skin texture, elasticity and provides a plump glowing look with immediate tightening effect. Initially two sessions are required four weeks apart. This is one of my favourite treatments for myself !

East Dulwich’s Advanced Aesthetic Nurse Practitioner and Clinical Director Lauren Turner shares her pick of therapies that’ll have you looking and feeling your best this New Year

Next is Micro-needling I feel this treatment is very underrated and is going to be a big one for 2022. Here we use SkinPen Precision for Medical Micro-needling which is the only FDA approved micro-needling device on the market. This comfortably creates thousands of micro-injuries in the skin to trigger the body's natural wound healing process. This in turn results in the formation of Collagen. This treatment may also be recognised by some as 'Collagen Induction Therapy'. The result is a more even texture, smoother and youthful looking skin. This is excellent for acne scarring and also mild hyperpigmentation and fine lines. For optimal results a course of between 3-6 sessions are required.


Third is EmSella Chair This is to treat different types of incontinence. The EmSella is a revolutionary breakthrough treatment, which is comfortable and non-invasive. It is a great option for women of any age that struggle with this issue and can lead to a huge improvement in quality of life. It stimulates the pelvic floor muscles and leads to regained control over bladder function with satisfaction rate of over 95%. Initially you require between 4-6 sessions. This is an important one as I don't think this issue is talked about enough.

Fourth, it's not all about treatments within the clinic, at home skincare regimes using Medical Grade Skincare Products is essential. Especially if you wish to begin the journey of non-surgical and injectable treatments. Having the skin in optimum condition means that these further treatments will reap the benefits and likely last longer. Using active prescription products at home instead of over the counter cosmeceutical products such as Vitamin A and high strength Salicylic Acid among many can really improve ageing and texture. Visit Aesthetics by Lauren Turner at 133 Lordship Lane, SE22 8HX. Phone: 020 8226 3800.

OPEN EVENT saturday 22 january 10am-2pm Apply for courses starting now REGISTER ONLINE: LAMBETHCOLLEGE.AC.UK


January 2022


Why study Creative Arts at The BRIT School? ― By Cara Cummings


he alma mater of Adele, Jessie J, Rex Orange County and actors including Tom Holland (Spider-man) and Ashley Thomas (24: The Legacy), the BRIT School offers another dimension of arts education within the Creative Arts. Students who join at Key Stage 4 (aged 14) and Post 16 (aged 16) can study Film & Media Production, Interactive Digital Design and Visual Arts & Design and Production Arts (Post 16 only) -and you can study for free as nobody pays to attend the BRIT School. Build skills, confidence and creativity with likeminded individuals to develop careers like some of the10,000 graduates who now work in top organisations including Apple, Framestore, PRG, Britannia Row, Royal Albert Hall, Facebook, ITV, BBC, Warner Music, ASOS, Sony, TikTok and Ralph Lauren. The BRIT School promotes five qualities in its students: originality, responsibility, ambition, inclusivity and kindness. The school creates space for students to unlock their creative potential, be their own person, be kind and act responsibly, and be accepting of the diverse community of artists they will work with every day. Visit and follow them on socials @thebritschool to discover more. Applications close for Key stage 4: 10 January 2022 and Post 16: 31 January 2022.


Adult Learning Lewisham


30 YEARS 1990 | 91 2020 | 21

Our courses can help you develop your creativity or gain the skills and qualifications you need for work and further education. All photos are of our classes

Find out about the wide variety of classroom based and online courses on offer at: Adult Learning Lewisham



Enrol for January

January 2022


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The Amaryllis feather light shade is handmade to order in Herne Hill. Coldharbour Lights has a myriad of colour combinations for you to choose from feathers that are hand-dyed in the UK. Feather samples can be sent

by request. Measuring a soft 85cm in diameter, with a 45cm drop and weighing less than a kilo, the Amaryllis can be installed in seconds for a soft burst of textural interest and joyful impact in your home. 35

Price: £815, quote 'The South Londoner' to access the 2021 price of £775. Contact: insta @coldharbourlights

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Bermondsey Place is a new development of 1, 2, and 3 bedroom apartments launching soon in SE1. Located moments from Burgess Park and with new landscaping at its heart, residents can enjoy living within green space whilst also being conveniently located to the City, with good transport links nearby. Residents at Bermondsey Place can enjoy tailor made facilities for a modern London lifestyle, with Berkeley bringing its trademark luxury and well-designed homes to an exciting area on a journey of change.

Computer-generated images are indicative only.

the last word

January 2022

A love letter to south London ― By Cara Cummings


ark Taylor is the founder of PHI : BALANCE, a medical aesthetics practice based in Crystal Palace. Mark shares how moving to south London changed his life – and what to order at Tooting’s hidden Sri Lankan gem, Jaffna House…

How long have you been living and working in south London? What made you want to set up here? I’ve been living in London since 2011. I trained as a nurse in York - it was the kind of place where someone had to die or retire in order for me to get promoted. I was young and ambitious and so the bright lights of London beckoned. My first job was in Tooting and I’ve remained in south London since. Being in London opened up more opportunities than I could have ever envisaged within my nursing career. I feel very privileged that it has been so rich in its experience, leading me to where I am today. I never thought I would be a business owner and still find it difficult to believe I made the jump from stability into the unknown. It’s only in the last few months that I was lucky enough to get the amazing opportunity of a home in Crystal Palace - PHI : BALANCE, something I’ll be eternally grateful for. What does a typical day involve for you? There isn’t one to be honest! Treatment requests seem really varied at the moment. People are loving skin rejuvenation - a lot of the clients I’m seeing are taking their first dip into the medical aesthetics world, so rejuvenation feels less daunting but has great outcomes. On the days I have the big packages, like full face rejuvenations or profile harmonisations, I get really excited as I know how much it’s going to impact on the person’s psychosocial wellbeing.

What are some of your favourite south London restaurants, and why?

opened so many doors for me, and led me to make some great friends and some amazing memories. I’m really excited to see how PHI : BALANCE can grow in Crystal Palace and impact people’s lives in a positive way.

If I want something naughty then I have to recommend Dip & Flip. You get to dip burgers into gravy wells - it’s pure, messy comfort! There’s a really tasty Sri Lankan restaurant in Tooting called Jaffna House, too. The Kothu dishes are amazing, along with their paneer curries and jalfrezi. For a Sunday Roast then it has to be Mr Fox in East Croydon – unbelievable.

Have any fellow south Londoners been an inspiration in chasing your dreams? I think anyone who has their own business and is brave enough to go it alone is an inspiration, to be quite honest. It’s blummin’ tough and scary at times.

Any pub, bar or club recommendations? There are some really great pubs in Earlsfield with huge outdoor spaces. I’m a sucker for a cocktail; espresso martini is my fave. The biggest loss for me during the pandemic was the closure of clubs and places to dance. I love music and dancing; I’m still sad that I lost touch with it and have found it hard to reconnect with it since lockdown ended.

How has south London changed whilst you’ve lived and worked here? It’s hard to know whether south London has changed or if I’ve changed. My life has massively altered since the pandemic. Before, I was running a huge psychiatric hospital. It’s been really tough losing that and having to make the decision to walk away, but everything happens for a reason and I love what PHI : BALANCE has become since then and what it has the potential to achieve…

How has south London shaped your life? It’s given me a home and a place for my business. Thinking back to that first promotion in Tooting, it


How would you describe south London - and south Londoners - in a nutshell? Home from home and the right side of the river. Finally: what’s the one place, thing or activity in south London that everyone should try at least once? A dip into the medical aesthetics world with PHI : BALANCE. PHI : BALANCE at SkinTouch salon, 77 Church Road, SE19 2TA.

HEALTHY HABITS START TODAY Whether you’re interested in getting back to the gym or you want to find simple ways to be fitter and feel better, we’ve got a range of programmes tailored to suit you and your lifestyle best. Working in partnership with the Better Health campaign, our range of Better Health memberships offer greater opportunities to help more people lead healthier and active lives. If you’d like a bit more support and need some extra guidance about getting into physical activity, try our Give It A Go programme - included with any Better Health membership at no extra cost. For six weeks we’ll be by your side supporting you in a range of activities. At the end of the programme, we’ll have helped you to feel more confident around your activity choices and you’ll be able to work out what’s best for you in the busyness of life. A healthy community is a happy community. And that’s why we’re working to create better health across the country through our Healthy Communities initiative. By joining forces with us, you can help to boost the wellbeing of your community through physical, mental and social activity.

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START YOUR JOURNEY TO A HEALTHIER YOU Whatever activities you like doing, you’re bound to find something that suits you at one of our leisure centres across Lambeth. There’s a variety of membership options available – with so much on offer there really is something for everyone. • State-of-the-art gyms with the latest equipment.

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Better is a registered trademark and trading name of GLL (Greenwich Leisure Limited), a charitable social enterprise and registered society under the Co-operative & Community Benefit & Societies Act 2014 registration no. 27793R. Registered office: Middlegate House, The Royal Arsenal, London, SE18 6SX. Inland Revenue Charity no. XR43398.