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ISSUE 20 OCT 2011



Jess and Laura star in our vintage cakey photoshoot

Let's get ready to

crumble Rachel's Recipe


Fancy a Meal for 2 for ÂŁ1?

Free food. Help yourself!

Your chance to win one of 14 giveaways in local restaurants Plus








Andy Pontin WRITINGS

Justine Crow Susie Doyle Michael Eyre Alex Fowler Jonathan Main Howard Male Hannah McEwen Annette Prosser Olivia Staves Rachel De Thample Manish Utton-Mishra PHOTOGRAPHY

Catrin Arwel Louise Haywood-Schiefer Jeff Metal Andy Pontin DESIGN

Tony Morris Andy Pontin PRINTING

Luckily, with all the wonderful gastronomic influences we have locally, it was a delight to put this oversight right – and this issue is packed full of tasty treats for your enjoyment. Justine Crow has been to suss out what the newly-opened Sparrowhawk has to offer, while Howard Male has been busy chomping his way through some budget-conscious options. And what could be better than food that doesn’t cost you a penny? We discover that rooting around the streets of South London may be a more rewarding culinary experience than you think. We also popped down the hill where we take a look at the new Italian which has opened in Gipsy Hill. And the lovely Jess and Laura from Brown & Green café in Gipsy Hill train station had a spot of tea and cakes for our fashion shoot. Who said it had to be all work? And finally, to celebrate the foodie theme we have an AMAZING RESTAURANT MEAL GIVEAWAY for our wonderful readers. Judging by the response to previous competitions, you may have a fairly good chance of winning, so get entering. And if you do win, spare a thought for us slaving away over a hot computer to get this magazine out to you. We’ll have to check the diary, but we could be free next week…

The Marstan Press Ltd

Bon appétit,



Transmission Publications Ltd PO Box 53556, London SE19 2TL

Cover Jess from Brown & Green café, Gipsy Hill. Jess wears vintage dress and gloves from Cenci, West Norwood (see page 28) Photo by Andy Pontin


It would be reasonable to say that we dedicate quite a lot of time here at Transmitter Towers to the pleasures of eating and drinking. In fact, between us we must collectively have hundreds of years' experience of imbibing and digesting some fine (and some not so fine) food and drink. So imagine our surprise when we realised that we have never done a foodie issue.


FEATURES 10 COMPETITION TIME! We have LOADS of free meals in top local restaurants to be won 14 THE PERFECT PLOUGHMAN'S Local gastronome Manish's history of the ploughman's 18 CHEAP APPETIT! Hungry Howard Male (skinflint) eats his way round Crystal Palace


20 LUCIUS Louise Haywood-Schiefer shoots a lovely little local Italian

24 CHOCALERT! A local firm that's made it big in the gastro choc world

28 TEA FOR TWO Culinary twins in our retro lunching ladies photoshoot


38 FORAGING Rachel De Thample fills us in on how to forage 42 PALACE SESSIONS Hannah McEwen checks out a top club night in SE19



We round up all the things we know about and some we don't

16 WINE: WHO NEEDS FOOD? Michael Eyre samples wines from a local independent shop

35 FOOD: CRYSTAL PALACE COOKBOOK Rachel De Thample knocks up an apple crumble 40 RESTAURANT REVIEW: THE SPARROWHAWK Justine Crow pecks in the new arrival to the Palace food flock


46 BOOKS: THE BOOKSELLER Autumn reads from Jonathan Main

49 MUSIC: THERE’S A WORLD OUT THERE! Howard Male has been listening to some music from 'the world'


EMAIL US: editor@thetransmitter.Co.Uk


SOME TINGS WHAT is happenin' around these parts INNIT.

GOING OVERGROUND The brilliant Crystal Palace Overground Festival, which took place from 10-13 August, gave Londoners a reason to smile again after a week of devastating riots. The four-day festival got under way on the Wednesday, with the main events taking place on Saturday in Westow Park and around the Triangle. Community support was at an alltime high with an amazing 4,000+ revellers out to support the huge variety of free events across the various festival hubs which included arts, crafts and sports activities, live music and DJs and fabulous food, antique, craft and vintage shopping. Festival highlights? Local comedian Mark Steel who officially opened the festival at Westow Park on the Saturday; the bands on the Antenna music stage – including the ninepiece ukulele outfit, country, punk and ska bands; and the wonderful sight of a skiffle band and their audience spilling out onto the road outside the White Hart. Westow Park

Photo: James Balston

MUSIC FOR YOUR SOUL was the perfect venue, and looked fantastic filled with the cheerful smiles of so many people relaxing on the grass in the sunshine or enjoying the stalls, the food, the music and the fab new play area. The Triangle events included skiffle and rockabilly bands playing ‘busker like’ on the streets, an open air film screening and shorts from local film-makers, and The Courtyard Sessions at Haynes Lane Market which featured acoustic sets and the DJ World of Surprises. Lead festival organiser Noreen Meehan said she was really thrilled at how the festival went: ‘I couldn’t be happier about how the festival unfolded – it was a roaring success,’ she enthused. ‘From a week of Londoners feeling devastated about what had happened in our great city, especially to our neighbours in Croydon, to a festival of sheer delight and fun. We are looking forward to 2012 and to making the festival even bigger and better next year.’ The turnout had doubled from previous years. ‘My volunteers and I were absolutely bowled over,’ said Noreen. ‘There was a huge range of people at the festival, from young and old, and from all communities. The range of entertainment and activities were chosen to ensure that there was something for everyone and I think we achieved that.’ For more information about the Crystal Palace Overground Festival and to get involved in next year’s event, visit

Photo: Guy Milnes


Following its last very successful event at The Alma, Crystal Palace Soul will be hosting their next night at Westow House. If you want to hear quality northern and 70s soul, disco and funk, then get down there on Saturday 12 November. Entry is free, and don’t forget to bring the talcum powder (that’s for the dancefloor, not the sweat).

GRAPE & GRAIN BEER FESTIVAL Following the success of previous events, The Grape & Grain will once again be hosting a beer festival, from 7-10 October. There will be at least 60 ales and ciders on offer, and once again the focus will remain on UK micro-breweries. With some interesting offerings, such as Country Life Golden Pig, Dark Star Espresso, and Moorhouse Blond Witch, it will be an event to delight even the most discerning hop-head.

Open Studio

art and craft event


The Open Studio at The Overspill in Coopers Yard is being held on Friday 28 October 6-9pm, Sat-Sun 29 and 30 October 11am-5pm. You are invited to join the group of artists and designers for a glass of warming mulled wine to keep the winter chill away and view their latest work.

On 1 and 2 October Et pourquoi pas? are holding a weekend art and craft event. Handmade jewellery, textiles, chocolate and glassware will be available to purchase, as well as prints and paintings. There will also be face painting for children. For more information go to www.

This issue is full of the delicious food on our doorstep. Lovely cafes; refurbed pubs; local restaurants so good that posh people who don’t even live here keep on coming back for more. What are our waistlines to do? Team Transmitter aren't sensible folk to be honest, but, in the interest of keeping all you lot fit and healthy to enjoy future issues, we bring you news of a couple of new classes that (the extremely sensible) Mathilde and Taylor over at Training Points are introducing. Any young, slim, athletic types look away now, these are sessions for us real people ...

45 Westow Street, SE19 3RW Saturday 1 October: 11am to 6pm Sunday 2 October: 12noon to 6pm

Local Writers’ Group Wins National Award Sell It Mama! The Baby & Toddler Fair is back on Saturday 8 October. Sell It Mama! fairs make quality second-hand baby goods regularly accessible to new and growing families. Anything from prams, baby clothes and toys to books, nursery equipment and maternity wear from 50p to £100. Grandparents are also very welcome! In addition to bagging a bargain, there's a home-baked cake stall, high-quality refreshments, free taster sessions with Monkey Music and Little Supernovas plus face painting with Party Poppy. 8 October 2011; Christ Church, Highland Road, Gipsy Hill SE19; 11am to 2.30pm; Pregnant women can bump the queue at 10.30am for a pre-sale preview; Entry £2, children free.

Hoovering the Roof 2, the second anthology by the East Dulwich Writers' Group, has won first prize in the 2011 National Association of Writing Groups' annual competition. The award builds on the success of EDWG’s first anthology, which was a runner up in 2010. Commenting on the award, founding member, Debi Alper, said: 'We are delighted that Hoovering the Roof 2 has won this prestigious award. The anthology is a rich mixture of novel extracts, short stories and poetry, reflecting our diverse area of South East London.' Supporting local authors for over ten years, there are now over 200 people on the EDWG mailing list. Hoovering the Roof is available from local independent retailers, Amazon and from the group’s website site/eastdulwichwritersgroup/shop from £6.99. New members are always welcome.

A Keep Fit class for those who feel out of condition (including older people) will be available from October at the Church Road studio. The 30-40 minute class will focus on mobilisation, stretching, strengthening and conditioning exercises, all at a mild level of intensity. Mondays and Wednesdays at 2pm. £9 per class (or £8 each if doing both). A FREE monthly Walking Group, especially for those who feel seriously overweight, will consist of a warm-up, focusing on rotation of joints, and walking to improve cardiovascular levels and conditioning of your muscle groups, followed by stretching at the end to improve your circulation. Special conditions apply for this class, so contact Mathilde or Taylor to find out more. To start the ball rolling, they are also offering FREE blood pressure measurement and health screening throughout October and November 2011. Just quote Transmitter. 85 Church Road SE19 2TA




here was very little doubt in our minds which way our patent pending Posh-o-Meter was going to swing when we took it out for its bi-monthly bit of fresh air around Crystal Palace Triangle. In a recession-busting frenzy of wonderful post-riot activity the area is transforming itself before our very eyes into, well, an ever so slightly posher version of its endearingly scruffy old South London self. And it's gone and done it just to help us celebrate our local food issue. Thank you CP!

PUB NEWS There’s so much going on in terms of local drinking dens in and around Crystal Palace, that it’s almost worthy of a regular column in its own right. It seems that old places are shutting down and new ones opening up before you can say ‘make that a large one please, barman.’ Following the demise of The Hollybush, The Sparrowhawk now stands resplendently in its place. The change of name was inspired by Queen Victoria’s introduction of sparrowhawks to deter those pesky little sparrows from messing up the Crystal Palace where it originally stood in Hyde Park. It’s a feisty name for this new establishment, and we’ve certainly been impressed with the friendly staff, small but perfectly-formed menu and shiny new decor. At the time of writing, the lights were out at The Alma, with the sale that is due to go through still being finalised. It’s always sad to see a pub


unloved and empty on a Saturday night, but hopefully something will have changed on that front by the time you read this. And with The Alma’s future evolving, many of the late night music nights seemed to have moved down to Westow House, with Palace Sessions (turn to page 42 to find out more) and Crystal Palace Soul finding a new home there. And we hear that there may be some exciting kitchen developments at Westow House very soon. The Cambridge may be boarded up, but we hear that there may be plans afoot. Traditional boozer meets boutique B&B? Surely not – I think our Posh-o-Meter would positively explode! It’s quivering at the mere mention. However, this is somewhat of an unsubstantiated rumour at the moment, but we love a bit of gossip to get us going.

And down the hill, but not forgotten, The Mansion in Gipsy Hill is becoming The Paxton. It used to be The Paxton before it was The Mansion, and now it is changing back, although it’s not to be mistaken for The Paxton Arms in Anerley, which is a completely different establishment, and hasn’t changed its name (yet). Confused? We certainly are, and we haven’t even started on the flaming Sambucas yet.

RESTAURANT NEWS Getting us UP We heard that The Rosendale had just been rebooted and Transmitter stalwart Olivia Staves volunteered to check it out for us, see her review on page 12. Keeping us GOING Numidie has reopened and turned the volume up a bit on the North African ambiance, When we visited the downstairs wine bar (an old favourite Transmitter haunt) it was like something from Aladdin. Good luck with those low cushions in short skirts, ladies! Anyway, we still like it, even in our short skirts. Getting us DOWN Apparently The Exhibition Rooms have turned their downstairs bar into a over 21s only area, so teenagers beware. The Transmitter team (all well over 21 natch) got a lukewarm reception when we dropped in for a bit of attempted jolly. Good luck with that attitude guys.

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Happy birthday Dulwich Farmers' Market! I don’t know about you, but at the end of an exhausting day I barely have the strength to crawl around Tesco/Sainsbury’s/Budgens/ Costcutter in search of a pizza. I stagger home under the weight of my conscience, which yells at me for buying food containing a string of bizarre ingredients that sound like chemicals and were probably flown in from halfway around the world. Or genetically cultivated in Dolly the Sheep’s back garden. What I really want is to know what’s in my food, where it’s from, and that I haven’t melted an icecap by buying it. One of the best antidotes to the many dilemmas of food shopping I experience comes in the shape of the Dulwich Farmers’ Market, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this October. The market is held in the grounds of Dulwich College on the 4th Sunday of every month, and offers the chance to buy locallygrown fruit and veg, tasty treats, fresh juices, organic meat, cheeses and a whole lot more. The market is run by City & Country, a company established in 2001 by Chris Elder. With a background in food development, Chris recognised a growing need to encourage people to shop from local producers. Ten years on, and the company now runs 11 markets in various, conveniently accessible locations around London, and holds Time Out’s Best Local Food Market in London award. Along with the company, the Dulwich Farmers’ Market has gone from strength to


strength, and a very serious bunch of foodies can be seen eagerly perusing the yummy, mouthwatering stalls every month.

Next door to the market is an Arts & Crafts fair, situated in the college cloisters, where local artisans sell beautiful hand-crafted jewellery, accessories and handmade skincare products as well as photographs, prints and paintings.

Susie Doyle Dulwich Farmers Market: Dulwich College Dulwich Common, SE21 5LS 9am to 1pm, every 4th Sunday of the month, apart from December when it’s held on the 3rd Sunday


Tasty Transmitter Food Issue Meal Giveaway Bonanza!

Win a Meal for Two for £1! We have no less that 7 MOUTH WATERING OFFERS from wonderful local restaurants who are waiting to serve you a delicious meal for two*. Yes, it'll cost you a QUID, and yes, you'll probably LOSE, but a) you'll be helping to keep the Transmitter mag afloat and b) just take a look at these seven fab restaurants… Red or White?

One Runner-up can choose between a red and white from Good Taste Food, Westow Hill SE19

A Torre

19 Westow Street SE19 3RY 020 8653 9895

The Sparrowhawk 2 Westow Hill SE19 1RX 0208 761 4831

Westow House 79 Westow Hill SE19 1TX 0208 670 0654


38 Westow Street SE19 3AH 020 8768 0096

Mediterranea 21 Westow Street SE19 1RX 020 8771 7327


58-60 East Dulwich Road SE22 9AX 020 7732 7575


128 Gipsy Hill SE19 1PL 020 8761 8909 *Meal for two up to the value of £60 without wine.

Tasty Transmitter Food Issue Meal Giveaway Bonanza!

HOW TO ENTER 1. Answer the following question: Which world-renowned French master of cuisine has been referred to as the 'king of chefs'?

a) b) b) c)

Matt Le Tissier Raymond Blanc Auguste Escoffier Escoff Le Lottier

ANSWER = ............

2. Buy a £1 Competition Entry Ticket Either: a) Go to click on competition ticket and pay £1 using credit or debit card or b) Hand this form in with £1 cash or cheque to one of the participating shops and restaurants


YOUR DETAILS (please give us your name and AT LEAST ONE preferred contact method)

Name: All or any of the following means to contact you in the event that you win a prize:

Email: Telephone: Address:

THE SMALL PRINT This competition is not open to employees, associates or general hangers-on at Transmission Publications Ltd (yes, Hungry Howard Male, that does include you). Full terms and conditions can be found at

A Weekend Lunch at The Rosendale OLIVIA STAVES Follow Olivia at:


eptember is probably the busiest month of the year for us birthday-wise, not least because my own birthday falls in this month. So to kick off proceedings for me and culminate those of a friend, we decided that a weekend pub lunch was in order. Normally we head straight for the Crystal Palace Triangle, but for a change we decided to try out the newly revamped Rosendale pub in West Dulwich, now owned by Renaissance Pubs. Having checked that it was baby friendly (our friends have a 10 month old), we headed there for around 12.30. There was me thinking that this was early for a weekend lunch, and that we'd find the pub empty and without any atmosphere whatsoever; I was pleasantly surprised, however, to find that it was already bustling. To make the most of the late summer – or should I say early autumn – sunshine, we headed for a sunny corner of the back garden, taking in the inviting décor on the way. (And by the way there's a popular kids corner out in the garden too.) A complimentary carafe of water swiftly arrived and we were pleased to see the local Sambrook's Battersea microbrewery being represented at the bar. The at-table service wasn't the most prompt, but we were eating within half an hour of ordering. I opted for the fishcake special with spinach & hollandaise sauce, topped with a poached egg (£8) and a portion of chips (£3). Our other choices were the burger (£9), club sandwich (£9) and pea & shallot tortelloni (£11). The mains were thoroughly enjoyed, although a few rogue meat-stuffed tortelloni had made their way on to the pea & shallot tortelloni plate! In typical British weather style, the rain came down and we headed inside for our desserts, which were £4.50 each. To top the afternoon off, a free round of teas and coffees arrived! The Rosendale Public House and Garden 65 Rosendale Road, West Dulwich, London SE21 8EZ 020 8761 9008


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Finding the perfect Ploughman’s Lunch

Manish Utton-Mishra gets to the bottom of this much-beloved traditional lunchtime fare


ook up the definition of a Ploughman’s Lunch on Cambridge Dictionaries Online, and you will find a simple sentence: A small meal of bread, cheese and pickle eaten in the middle of the day, especially served in a pub. But where and when does it come from, this olde-worlde sounding meal that evokes an era of a more simple country life combined with hard, physical labour? And, perhaps more importantly, what does a real Ploughman’s Lunch consist of? Let’s look at the context first, as it is such a beautiful piece of deception that an entire nation fell for it. After post-war rationing had come to a full end we weren’t eating as much cheese as Sir Richard Trehane, chairman of the Milk Marketing Board (MMB) from 1958 to 1977, would have us eat. Sir Trehane duly wrote: ‘English cheese and beer have for centuries formed a perfect combination enjoyed as the Ploughman’s Lunch’ (in the preface to The Cheese Handbook by BH Axler, 1969). There is no doubt that such a meal had existed for centuries, after all it formed the perfect package for a busy rural labourer working the land all day. The phrase itself has been found earlier: JG Lockhart in The Life of Sir Walter Scott (published 1837-1839) describes how ‘the surprised poet swung forth to join them, with an extemporized sandwich that looked like a ploughman’s luncheon in his hand’. But the genius was in Sir Trehane’s romanticising of the meal. The MMB didn’t say ‘buy more cheese’, they simply sold it as a memory of a prewar England washed down with traditional English ale.


This was a time when only a few rural pubs had indoor toilets, let alone a kitchen with a cook. The Ploughman’s Lunch was designed to include raw ingredients that could easily be stored in a cool cellar and put together quickly and easily by bar staff with little or no culinary training. However, the cleverest part of the deception was in the MMB’s (or more strictly, its littleknown arm, the English Country Cheese Council) designing of the dish – with the inclusion of just cheese. This allowed each region of the country to use its own regional cheese: Caerphilly, Cheddar,

Cheese, bread, beer, pepper, gherkins, pickled cabbage, lemon slices, cucumber, olives, beetroot, radishes and sweetcorn, as well as the somewhat surprising addition of a scotch egg. However, despite the variations that can be found across just two counties, there is one key point to be made. A good Ploughman’s Lunch is a true barometer of a pub’s other offerings. In its simplest form there is nothing better than a plate of tasty bread, home-made chutney or pickle and a good wedge of artisan cheese!

I had a Ploughman's Lunch the other day; he wasn't very pleased about it Tommy Cooper

Cheshire, Derby, Double Gloucester, Lancashire, Red Leicester, Stilton, Wensleydale. All were initially served with a chunk of bread and a dollop of chutney for extra kick. Now to the more interesting and fractious part of the deception. What on earth goes into a Ploughman’s? When Keith A Faulkner researched his book The Definitive Ploughman’s Lunch (2006), he found that in Devon and Cornwall alone a Ploughman’s contained an average of thirteen (yes, thirteen) separate ingredients:

And one last thing – never let anyone tell you what a Ploughman’s Lunch should or shouldn’t contain. As my perfect version (shown here) illustrates – put in it what you have. At worst it may not be that memorable, but taste wise it won’t let you down as long as you have good ingredients to begin with; at best you will have created something worthy of any glossy food magazine. And we haven’t even mentioned any ham! For inspiration for your perfect Ploughman’s, visit Good Taste Food and Drink, 28 Westow Hill, SE19 1RX.

Wild rocket from a Crystal Palace resident. It really does grow like a weed; if you find some by the road have yourself some, as you’ll never find better!

Venison salami with green peppers. Made by Anja and Jan Jacob Baak in Fort William using meat from surrounding managed estates.

Pexommier cheese. A gorgeous soft and creamy cheese made by Carl Warburton using milk from his own herd of Holstein Friesian cows near Todmorden, West Yorkshire.

Olives (Petit Lucques and Bella di Cerignola varieties) and large caperberries

Simple crusty bread


What’s Food Got to do with it? ASKS MiCHAEL eyre


ell there we go, gang. Another totally tip-top summer out of the way and what a fab day it was, eh? This having been said, I thought we could try to hold on to some of that ‘summer magic’ for a short while longer for we know not what is around the corner weather-wise, do we? No we don’t.

All of these rather delightful pieces of work are from a stonking little shop in Crystal Palace called Good Taste Food and Drink (see page 14), which sells heavenly cheeses, mouth watering charcuterie-type meats and devastating coffee. Utterly yum! So without further ado and in no particular order we shall pile into some summer/autumn transitional drinking. Mas de Daumas Gassac Rose Frizant NV 75cl 11.5% vol £15.95 Pays d’Herault, France Here’s a lovely little starter to get the fluff off the tongue. Bright, fresh, effervescent mousse that seems to go on forever. Showing a gorgeous salmon pink colour, leading to a nose of blueberries and raspberry sorbet. A delicate, well balanced palate of yet more summer fruits make this a perfect aperitif or can be had with fruity, puddingy type things. Hold the Corn Flakes.


Rami Falanghina del Molise 2010 75cl 13% vol £9.95 Campomarino, Italy The straw-yellow colour sort of alerts one to what might be in store here. With a sizeable nose of peaches, apricots,honey and straw we get the distinct impression this is going to be quite an up-front wine. Yep, big and right up. Ace drinking. The palate is dry, full and expressive with a lovely balance of peachy fruit and acidity,rounded off with an almost salty, bitter almond twist typical of this wine. This can hold its own throughout the meal. Perfect with fish dishes, ranging from the mild and simple to the outrageously robust. White meats too, or indeed a spot of charcuterie. For those of you who drink white wine with anything and indeed for those who don’t. Chateau d’Ollieres Rose 2010 75cl 12.5% vol £10.50 Provence, France The eye catches the distinct, light salmon pink colour straightaway. Slowly sliding sideways back into summer perhaps. Not necessarily the case though. The nose has that classic summer fruity edge to it but with a slight twinge of sweet spice to hook you into autumn. The palate is crisp, fresh and well balanced with further red berry notes. A finish not too long nor too short. This is a perfect little

quaffer all by itself as you sit and watch the blood red sun sink slowly below the horizon. Alternatively, this gear goes brilliantly with light fruity salads, shellfish, goats cheese or even grilled sea bass. A wine to be drunk only if you are awake. Domaine du Cros Marcillac 2010 75cl 12.5% vol £10.50 Marcillac, France Au revoir summer. Autumn is here, in the form of this excellent piece of work. With a colour of startling deep artery red, you can almost feel the leaves turning brown as you pour. The nose continues in the same vein (no pun intended) with hints of soft dark summer fruits interwoven with edges of ground paprika-style spices. The body of the wine is more medium weight than chunky, continuing the soft fruit theme throughout. This is no bad thing as it makes it hugely quaffable with or without food. The finish has an almost ferrous edge to it which is fab and gripping. This would go with all sorts, from cheese, charcuterie, olives etc through to medium red meats like lamb or pork. Maybe a spot of game if you were in the mood. In all, not a bad little drop. Be seeing you Michael

mediterranea restaurant 21 Westow Street, Crystal Palace SE19 3RY 020 8771 7327

A genuine Sardinain experience, with a fresh and constantly varying menu featuring unique continental dishes alongside traditional pasta and homemade Pizzas baked to perfection in their traditional Italian stone-based oven. Open: Mon-Thurs noon-2.30pm, 6pm-10pm; Fri & Sat noon-3.30pm,6pm-11pm;Sun noon-10pm

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Cheap appetit!

Chip shops and kebab joints aside, where can you get lunch for under a fiver these days? On CRYSTAL PALACE Triangle, at plenty of places, says Howard Male


hat can you get for a fiver these days? Not a lot: a glossy magazine, one and a half pints of beer, half a paperback, a pair of tights. Yet astonishingly – at the centre of the universe that we call the Triangle – you can still get a half-decent lunch and, in one or two instances a wholly decent lunch, for your single crumpled blue note. And that’s without having to resort to a calorifically reckless fry-up or postpub last resort like the doner kebab. For the largest portions (my wife generally asks for a plastic container for leftovers) Noodle Time on Church Road should be your venue of choice. The majority of its couple of hundred dishes come in at under our price limit. A favourite of mine is fragrant stewed beef with noodles. Although the salad is no more than a gesture of pickled cabbage and a DNA sample of carrot, you get an unnervingly generous portion of tender (and, yes, star anise fragrant) chunks of meat. And generally speaking (although not on my last visit for some reason), a few segments of fresh orange at the end of your meal as a refreshing palate cleanser. Café Latino claims to be the only Venezuelan restaurant in London, and given that the mighty Google doesn’t appear to contradict this claim we should think ourselves very lucky to have them in our triangular hood. It’s a homely little café unaffectedly decorated with photos and nick-nacks from home that serves up a modest selection of dishes, about half of which come within our price restriction while the rest are only just over. Various combinations of black beans, plantain, chorizo, roast beef, chicken and omelettes come with corn bread or rice and salad, and can be enhanced with herb-infused olive oil, vinegar, mayonnaise or chilli sauce. Even the slight wobble of my table


added rather than detracted from the place’s slightly ramshackle charm. I recommend the succulent, gravydoused roast beef, and the simple but delicious side dish of plantain covered in melted white cheese; you won’t have tasted anything quite like it before.

well as the food, it’s hard to imagine a better budget eating experience anywhere in London. If you’re not a fan of sardines, their £4.95 lunch offer also includes whole squid, red snapper, pork fillets and chicken, all served with either rice or chips along with a salad.

A great lunchtime deal has long been available at family-run Italian restaurant Lorenzo on Westow Hill, one of the oldest and homeliest restaurants on the Triangle. The usual suspects in the pizzas and pastas each come with either a side salad (lettuce, cucumber and olive) or garlic bread. My thin, crispy Napolitana, dotted with black olives, capers and anchovies was as good as any pizza from, say, Pizza Express and given that it’s only £4.95 including the salad, it was around half the price. So what’s to complain about?

If you want only a light snacky lunch your options are even greater. For example in the Battle of the Paninis, La Bruschetta , Braziliana and the LWS Café are all contenders. A ham, pesto and fresh tomato effort at La Bruschetta had just the right amount of crunchy resistance before I hit its moist, basil-scented core. And even though the pesto wasn’t freshly made, it was of a much better quality than any jar of green gloop bought from a supermarket. The LWS Café’s mozzarella and ham panini was larger and came with a subtly dressed salad of green leaves, spring onions and tomato. And my brie, spinach and chicken panini at Braziliana had a nice sweet caramelised onion dressing. Other under-a-fiver bargains offered by these three cafes include a range of Brazilian salads, free range scrambled egg, feta cheese and spring onions on good quality toast, and jacket potatoes with a variety of fillings.

But on almost every level the best plate of food I came across was courtesy of Portuguese restaurant A Torre on Westow Street. On previous occasions I’ve ordered the seafood rice (a little lacking in intensity of flavour) or the calamari (fresh and never over-cooked) but for this survey I went for the grilled sardines. I almost swooned with pleasure at the very sight of my brown earthenware plate overflowing with four large plump sardines char-grilled to perfection, homemade chips and a lightly dressed salad decorated with a few olives. Even my glass of tap water (to stay on budget) was iced and lemoned: if such small details are important when one is dining less frugally, they are even more touching and appreciated with the knowledge of how small the restaurant’s profit margin must be when cheapskates like me come to dine. Taking into account the ambience (prettily tiled walls, flowers on each table, Fado playing unobtrusively in the background) as

Now, it’s clear you Crystal Palace folk see red whenever you see the red signage of a chain restaurant on the Triangle: in the past this has resulted in the mysterious force of your collective snobbery somehow managing to drive two culinary redtops out of town – Pizza Hut and McDonalds. But for some reason not only does the Morleys Fried Chicken franchise on Westow Hill prosper, it has also – horror of horrors – attracted clone units in the shape of Perfect Fried Chicken and Lion’s Fried Chicken. Now, I do agree that one fried chicken joint on the Triangle more than serves our fried chicken needs. And, aesthetically

And our 'winner' is... A Torre's "four large plump sardines char-grilled to perfection, homemade chips and a lightly dressed salad decorated with a few olives.' £4.95

speaking, the gaudy Legoland frontages of these establishments does make your eyes ache, even if only clocked in your peripheral vision. But a chicken fillet burger and fries for £2.79 cannot be sniffed at (and if you do sniff at it, it does smell rather tasty). And before you ask, yes that is pure breast fillet and not reconstituted meat. Their chicken comes in crisp, intensely spiced batter and the chips are of the generic skinny variety, but are fried is small batches so are generally hot and fresh. Only the overly chewy and rather dry pork ribs disappoint. And it’s actually nearly impossible to spend as much as a fiver, never mind over a fiver, at this egalitarian food outlet; the most expensive ‘meal deal’ costs £4.29 for which you get several spicy wings, a chicken

leg/thigh, three pork ribs, and a ton of fries. But the most important factor for me is that Morleys’ bold red signage is still burning bright at two in the morning when I need to refuel before writing an over-night concert review for (shameless plug) But I strongly suspect some of you Crystal Palace foodies are feeling a bit queasy by now, so let’s close this survey by getting back to civilisation in the shape of relatively new establishment Good Taste Food and Drink also on Westow Hill. As luck would have it, only a few weeks ago this stylish and friendly shop started offering cheese and charcuterie platters for that magic price of five pounds. The idea is that what’s on offer will reflect whichever cheeses are ‘ready for eating’ on any given day. Just a glance at one

day’s menu had me salivating at a Scottish cheese described as if it were a wine (‘A gorgeously creamy and spicy blue with a lovely long finish’) and a saucisson that had been made from the Black Iberian pig and air-dried for 6 months. Each platter comes with bread, fruit and chutney and – should you wish it – a detailed description of the product’s provenance passionately delivered by Manish, the shop’s owner. As you will have saved yourself a fortune by following up some of my other budget lunch suggestions, you have permission to go over budget with a sure-to-be-excellent glass of wine (at a stupidly reasonable £1.75 a glass) to accompany your chic new take on the ploughman’s (which I believe Manish gives you the history of elsewhere in this issue). Cheap appetit!


A Small Slice of Italy in Gipsy Hill Lucius show us that size doesn’t matter, BY Alex fowler Photographs by Louise Haywood-Schiefer


s you come out of Gipsy Hill Station, you could almost walk straight past it without realising it’s there. But Lucius has certainly made a big impression on the locals. Since opening in July, this Italian cafe has built up quite a reputation. ‘The locals have been really positive and are feeling really good about the food and the atmosphere’ says owner Mel. ‘Lots of people keep coming back for more’, he adds. And it’s easy to see why – as well as a mouth-watering menu filled with cooked meat platters, homemade focaccia, grilled haloumi and extravagant desserts, the place has a charming, rustic and cosy atmosphere. Mel worked hard with interior designer Gary Weekes to create the atmosphere they wanted at Lucius. ‘Our remit was to create something that makes people feel comfortable’ explains Mel, ‘It’s a small space but hopefully we’ve made it an interesting space’. They have definitely succeeded in that – the chequered tables, unspoilt wooden beams and quirky features give the place a really unique and intriguing vibe. You might think it’s crazy to start up a new restaurant business in the current climate, but Mel knows what he is doing. He has over 15 years of experience running his own businesses and has spent even longer working in the food trade. However, he is well aware of the challenges and that the majority of new start-ups close within a year of opening. ‘One of the biggest challenges is filling the place’ he explains, ‘Even if people like the food and the atmosphere, they may not be able to come as much as they’d like to in the current economic climate’. One way in which head chef Giovanni tries to keep the customers coming back is by having a small but ever-changing menu, so that there should always be something new to try.



Mel (right) is also keen on targeting the local community. Having lived all over London, he settled in the South East in the late 80s, and now lives in the Crystal Palace area. He sees the area as having a great community spirit, and is hoping to draw on this to make his restaurant a success. ‘I like to develop relationships with my customers’ he tells me, before describing Lucius as a ‘relaxed community eatery that makes you feel at home’. Lucius is a small but perfectly formed restaurant in the heart of a diverse but close community. The unique interior design, welcoming staff and lovingly-crafted menu make it a place that customers are unlikely to visit just once. The ethos is all about creating an intimate atmosphere for friends, family and lovers alike and creating a place where people of all ages and backgrounds can get together for food and drink. It is a real slice of Italy in Gipsy Hill and proves that sometimes the best things really do come in small packages.

Lucius 128 Gipsy Hill (opposite the station) London SE19 1PL Tel 020 8761 8909 Open 5-10pm weekdays, midday10pm Saturday. Closed Sundays. Starters for under £5, Mains for under £10. Bottles of wine for £15.



annette prosser SNIFFS OUT A LOCAL chocolatier PhotoS BY Catrin Arwell


o food issue of The Transmitter would be complete without a bit of chocolate in it. And as the nights begin to draw in and we start to think about all that cosy cashmere we can’t afford, our thoughts have turned to that little luscious luxury available to all. Chocoholics may joyfully recall recent ‘scientific evidence’ that eating small amounts of chocolate may be just as good for us as exercise; but hold the Milk Tray, what they’re talking about is quality not quantity. One high-end manufacturer, Rococo Chocolates, is up there with the big guys. Created and run by chocolate enthusiast Chantal Coady, the first Rococo shop was opened to great acclaim in 1983 in the King’s Road, Chelsea. Customers were wowed not only by the delicious taste but also by their brand new approach to marketing the


product: Coady describes how they invented a chocolate world that was ‘whimsical, beautiful and romantic’. Two other shops followed, in Marylebone and Belgravia, along with plaudits from the public and industry awards, and these days a selection of the Rococo range is available at London’s top department stores and the odd posh supermarket. We’re claiming a part of the action too, here in the south, as the head office of this glorious empire is right here in our neck of the woods, at the art deco industrial site at the glamorously named Parkhall Trading Estate in West Norwood. Well, who’d have thought it. In the early 2000s Rococo upped their environmental credentials too, when they became involved with organic chocolate from the Grenada Chocolate Company. Hurricane Emily had hit, devastating

the island’s cocoa, so Coady produced a special edition bar in aid of the relief fund. A few years later a joint venture between Rococo and the GCC was embarked upon, producing fairly-traded, ethical chocolate. A farm was purchased, known as Grococo, one of the founding farms of the Grenada Organic Cocoa Farmers’ Cooperative. These days, all Rococo’s organic products include Grococo beans in the recipe. Rococo’s website will tell you all you need to know, including details of their incredibly tempting chocolatier classes, plus parties available not only for children, but adults too. Now that sounds dangerous. Selected Rococo products are available locally at SmashBangWallop Westow Street, London SE19


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Cakes by C is for Cake: Yellow rhubarb & custard cupcakes with pink vanilla cupcakes Photo: Louise Haywood-Schiefer


Soulcialize January Cervantes has been on a mission since 2009 when she first started selling cupcakes online, all lovingly prepared in her own home kitchen. Her desire to move on from there led to the opening in May this year of Soulcialize, a fresh new cafe on the high street. ‘I was looking all over for a suitable location, and realised that Crystal Palace is actually where I come every weekend,’ says January, ‘and I wanted to be part of the area.’ January brings something new too, as she specialises in what she calls Freedom Cakes: delicious cupcakes which are free from wheat, gluten, dairy and/or eggs. At any given time you can enjoy both wheat- and glutenfree choices, and there’s always one totally vegan cake available. And they are totally scrummy. Look out too for her aptly-named Giant Cupcake, which you can order for special occasions! Showstopper: ‘My red velvet cupcake. A traditional recipe tweaked to my taste with added ground almond.’ Contact: for info. Orders are now made via the cafe at 11 Westow Hill, Crystal Palace, SE19 1TQ Tel 020 8670 6416

The Tartelettes It was a shared passion for home baking that brought mums Ana Miranda and Abbie Quinn together: and just a short while into their friendship they decided to give up the day jobs and concentrate fully on their newlyformed venture, The Tartelettes, which launched at the beginning of 2011. Describing their repertoire as ‘a contemporary twist on old classics,’ Ana explains that although taste is the most important factor in their creations, they also pay great attention to detail: ‘we are keen for our cakes to have a high visual impact too’. Popular favourites include their fabulous layer cakes, and yes – as their cheeky name suggests – they do love a tart, often using apples and pears from trees in their own gardens. Creations can be ordered online or by phone, but The Tartelettes are making a name for themselves at local markets too, not to mention providing delicious treats for the Horniman Museum cafe. Showstopper: ‘Our tall layer cakes – we like to make an impressive statement!’ Contact: for info or visit their regular stalls at the Dulwich Farmers’ Market (4th Sunday each month) and the West Norwood FEAST (next one Sunday 2 October)

C is for Cake Amy Kubrycht, of c is for cake, has been baking cookies, cupcakes and celebration cakes for us locals for the last two years. Firmly wedged in the 'exercise to eat' category, she is unapologetic about the ingredients that make her baking taste as good as it looks. Such buttery, chocolatey, sugary hedonism, however, is often tempered by Amy's use of fruit in things like her rhubarb & custard cupcake and mini Christmas cake (a firm favourite with her regular customers). Amy's desire to bake scratches her creative itch in a very practical way. ‘I'm a doer’, she states, ‘so it's perfect. But I do enjoy the feeling I get when people say they love what I've made for them. There's nothing like someone tracking down your stall at a market because they “just had to have” another cupcake, brownie or banana cake...’ Showstopper: ‘My brownies. They win hands down’. Contact: for more info or in the flesh at Sell It Mama at Christ Church, Gipsy Hill on Sat 8 October


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ne of my favourite dates in the Crystal Palace diary is The Secret Garden Apple Day, held in the grounds of the garden centre (right behind Sainsbury’s). There’s something quite rural about the event, and it’s a brilliant opportunity to taste a huge variety of apples. Some are so sweet, some are a bit nutty, others have a lip-puckering tang.

Hop along to this year’s Apple Day – Saturday 22 October from 11am5pm – and bag a bundle of your favourite apple and make this hearty crumble, along with some of the Kentish cobnuts and local honey they’ll also have on offer.

event. Manish at Good Taste Food & Drink also has a brilliant selection of Kentish apples for you to tumble into your crumble. You'll find my favourite apple crumble recipe over on the next page.

If you miss the event, The Secret Garden will still have apples on sale for a few weeks following the

Photo: Catrin Arwell

RACHEL'S LOCAL FOOD FINDS Hollybush Stores currently has a brilliant collection of kitchen gems, including a royal blue ‘Off With Her Bread’ Mason Cash mixing bowl. They also sell blue-rimmed enamel baking tins and kilner jars. Hollybush Stores, 28 Westow Street, SE19 3AH, 020 8653 1258 Our brilliant Polish deli has some lovely autumnal treats, including frozen plums, buckwheat honey, large jars of apple cinnamon pie filling and rosehip syrup. Piast Deli, 3 Hollybush Terrace, Westow Street, SE19 3SD. 0208 768 5166 My absolute favourite chocolate is the unsweetened, cacao cylinders made by Willie Harcourt-Cooze in Devon. The cacao makes the best hot cocoa ever, and his chocolate cloud cake recipe inside the label is pure heaven. A perfect treat for Halloween. Available at SmashBangWallop, 40 Westow Street, SE19 3AH 020 8771 5517


INGREDIENTS: Prep: 15mins Cook: 30-45mins Serves 4–6 100g plain white flour for topping, plus 1 tsp for filling 100g rolled porridge oats pinch of sea salt pinch of ground nutmeg and/or cinnamon 100g butter 75g honey, plus 2 tbsp for the filling 6 heaped tbsp cobnuts or hazelnuts, roughly chopped 6 sweet eating apples, peeled, cored and cut into hunks ½ vanilla pod, seeds scraped (optional) 1 tbsp brandy or apple juice Preheat the oven to 180˚C/gas mark 4.





Make the topping by mixing the flour, oats, a pinch of salt and the nutmeg and/or cinnamon. Cut the butter into hunks. Rub it in with your fingers so it is thoroughly mixed. Drizzle in the honey and mix through.

Stir in the nuts, but reserve 1 tbsp for later. The mix should look damp and have a few granola-ish clumps of honey, nutty oats. Tumble the cut apple hunks into a baking dish. I prefer a narrower, deeper dish, so you get thick layers of crunchy topping and soft apple below. But any medium-sized baking dish is fine. Drizzle the brandy or juice over the apples. Stir through, along with a bit more honey. Fold in the scraped vanilla seeds (if using). Then dust the extra flour over and fold through. Evenly scatter the crumble mix across the top, so it fully covers the apples. Sprinkle the reserved hazelnuts over, so you get a lovely nutty-looking finish. Gently press them in. Pop in the oven for 30 minutes, or until the topping is golden and the apples are tender. If your topping cooks before the filling, turn the oven off but leave the crumble in the warm oven for a further 15-20mins. It will cool a little as well, making it a delicious temperature for tucking into. Serve warm with a dollop of clotted cream and an added drizzle of honey over the top. Or, have it cold for breakfast with some vanilla or natural yogurt.

Photo: Catrin Arwell




It’s fun, it’s free, it’s FOOD! says Rachel de Thample It takes me twice as long to get anywhere these days. Everywhere I go, there’s food. It’s literally dripping from the trees, falling on my head, leaping out of the ground, getting tangled in my feet, and luring me into to the hedgerows (darn bramble!). I can’t help but bundle some of it up. It’s like I’m a squirrel.

they tend to come out a little later than wild cherries.

I’ve always foraged for blackberries but my primitive gathering instincts really kicked in after someone told me there were some cherry trees in the common land on Belvedere Road.

Phew. Once I felt safe eating the cherries, I started seeing the trees and fruits all over Crystal Palace. In Alys Fowler’s new book, The Thrifty Forager: Living off your local landscape, she notes that housing estates are a great place to find cherry trees because loads of them were planted near estates in the 1970s because they were cheap to plant and the trees don’t mind pollution.

I used to walk beneath a cherry tree on my way to work, the pavement literally covered with red splats. Amidst the Pollock-esque pattern were mounds of withering fruits. I always assumed that they were poisonous. Why else would everyone ignore them?

There are tons of cherry trees along the top of the estate on Central Hill. Venture there in the spring, note the fragrant cherry blossom (as seen in Japanese paintings) and return a month or so later, once the fruit starts to dangle.

It turns out they’re perfectly edible, and rather delicious. Admittedly, following my first few nibbles, a quiver of panic ran through me. Worried that the cherries were rather like Snow White’s apple, I contacted life-long and expert forager, Fergus Drennan.

Of course, you don’t have to wait until springtime to launch your foraging career. Autumn is probably the best time of year to start and Crystal Palace is currently heaving with free food. Be warned, though: foraging is hugely addictive. You’ll never be able to power walk through the park again!

‘I’m glad you’re still alive,’ was his immediately reply. I thought it would continue saying that indeed eating the fruit could have sent me to hospital. Instead, he shared his love for wild cherries but he did warn me about cherry laurel. It can give you a serious tummy ache, if not worse. The difference is that that wild cherries dangle from single stems. The fruits have a heart shape to them. The bark is shiny, a bit silvery with distinct red bands. Cherry laurel is a bush and the cherries grow in clusters, and 38



Deep purple berries that dangle from a small branch in stemmed clusters. The wood of elder has little polka dots along it. USE: Add to porridge along with some grated apple and honey, fold into an apple crumble, or juice them and simmer with a little honey or sugar to make a cordial (great for fighting colds).

These are reddish orange and oblong berries that grow on Dog Rose or other rose bushes once the flowers have fallen. USE: Mush them up. Boil in some water. Sieve. Sweeten the rosey water with sugar or honey and reduce down to a syrup, which you can use on pancakes.

crab apples From a distance, they look like cherries but are firm like an apple. To help identify: slice one in half horizontally; it should have a star pattern like an apple does when you cut it the same way. USE: to make a stunning jelly or to help a blackberry jam set.

hawthorns or haws Hawthorns have smallish leaves with ruffled, rounded edges. The berries are round and smaller than blueberries. They hang like cherries and have a brown star pattern on the bottom. USE: they have tough seeds so you need to press the berries through a sieve to get these out. Use the paste in a smoothie along with some apple juice and vanilla yogurt.

sweet chestnuts Horse chestnuts have smooth-ish spiky skin whereas the shell of sweet chestnuts is more like a hedgehog. USE: urban sweet chestnuts are rather dinky but I’m hoping to roast my finds and then grind them up to make chestnut flour.

dandelion roots The classic yellow flowers you see everywhere have index-finger like roots – they’re blackish brown on the outside and white in the centre. USE: Dig the roots up. Scrub clean. Roughly chop. Roast until crisp. Grind it up for coffee.

fuchsias Once the hot pink and purple flowers fall off they produce an oblong berry. The fatter it gets, the sweeter it will be. USE: The berries have a delicate honeyed flavour, with a peppery aftertaste. Lovely in a fruit salad or with vanilla ice cream. A FEW FORAGING RULES 1 Ask permission from the landowner 2 Never take more than 1/3 – it’s important to ensure there’s plenty for wildlife to feast on. 3 Spit the seeds out and leave plenty behind so more things can grow. HEALTH & SAFETY Be cautious of food near lamp posts, trees or low-lying areas where dogs may have peed – not tasty or good for you. Don’t eat anything you cannot 100% identify. Courses and books will help you. RESOURCES The Thrifty Forager: Living off your local landscape by Alys Fowler (Kyle Books; £16.99). Available from Bookseller Crow Wild Man Wild Food. Foraging walks in Kent with expert Fergus Drennan. Highly recommended. £150 for a full-on, 12 hour day. Invisible Food Walks, in Brixton every 1st Saturday of the month.Contact Ceri on 07963 446605 lambethbandofsolidarity. Food for Free by Richard Mabey (Collins Gem; £4.99) 39

THE sparrowHAWK


Photos: Catrin Arwell


s a fully paid-up member of the Ornithological Nomenclature Domination Society, (Great North Wood branch), it was with rising excitement that we noted the name change on the corner pub, certain that it would ruffle several feathers in our Phoenix suburb. However, what got our peckers up was the prospect that with the change would come a transformation of a stubborn old-style boozer, with its intimidating dark interior and stuffed stools that reflected the grim stoicism of its regulars. When one intrepid bookshop customer went inside on World Book Night to give away free novels, she was told, not unkindly: ‘No thanks love, we don’t do books in here…’ We cocked our heads in querulous anticipation as an invigorating oyster grey wash the colour of clean shingle replaced the unmemorable bottle green (was it green? It certainly was bottle ...) and the building’s best asset was realised


– its location. Now the handsome windows are a feature and when we finally got inside, the natural light was an exquisite surprise. ‘Crikey,’ said the bookseller as he gazed down Gipsy Hill with his pint, ‘I can see the sky ...’ his wings all aquiver. ‘How much was the beer?’ I asked, mindful that the only grumble we’d heard in the wood thus far had been about price. ‘Listen, if you want cheap, go to Wetherspoons!’ he chirped back.. Well, I knew where I’d rather be as dusk fell behind the Welcome to Lambeth sign in the near distance and the candle in the delicate bone china cup and saucer flickered. Despite the paint still being fresh and the walls as yet unadorned, the mood was easy. Simplicity is the key to the grub, which makes good sense when you are just starting up, so the menu didn’t strut

about. To begin, a straightforward onion and parmesan tart was on offer, beside a courgette salad and – fellow feathered friends, look away now – potted duck. I had a bar snack half-pint of prawns as a starter – they also do homemade pork scratchings (I can see serious addiction developing here) – and the bookseller risked the calamari. Now, he has history with squid. Once, when he was expecting the standard tapas, most of Barcelona sniggered as a waiter placed a whole charred beast, the size and texture of a tennis shoe, under his beak. It was impossible to cut even with one foot on the tentacles and a knife in both hands (it was a day after the famous sausage tree incident so he was a tad exasperated, and hungry). No such worries tonight. The pale, sweetly coated rings were delicious, the little battered baby guy a bonus. Thankfully my aioli wasn’t too overwhelming in the garlic dept, and

I wondered what the incumbents of the pub’s previous incarnation would have made of the pretty vintage finger bowl that looked as if it once entertained a powder puff. To go with the mains we ordered a gooseberry-esque half carafe of Gascogne that was the perfect temperature to aid the cleanup operation of the compelling home-baked onion topped bread. The bookseller was reminded of the shameful dinner we had some time ago after the launch of another new establishment on the Triangle where, despite the supposed culinary provenance of the food, the thrice-forgotten bread basket eventually arrived containing shop-bought stale rolls scattered with catering-pack pats of Anchor. Shudder. Later, too late in fact, I discovered they’d sliced the cucumber in my salad with the plastic sheath still on. I definitely knew where I’d rather be now. Here. I had been much tempted by the steak and ale with mash and was briefly distracted by the combo of cod and saffron, until I was nearly persuaded by the moules frites. Lorks, and I love a mushroom risotto too. Meanwhile, Big Bird was struggling with the burger dilemma – he usually can’t keep walking when there is one on a new menu to be compared with glorious beef patties past, but he finally decided he’d have a good excuse to go back another time and instead went for the chicken, leek and mushroom pie. I, on the other hand, threw caution to the lofty breeze and had steak and chips. Cooked rare. Never let it be said I give ‘em an easy ride.

his pie. He said it was very, very good. I didn’t get a taste. And he ate all his broccoli up like a good bird. Our only gripe during the whole evening, apart from being too full for pudding (and there was treacle tart too, criminal) or cheese, was that we could hear the hand drier blowing like a dentist’s drill every time someone went for a tinkle. ‘At least we know,’ I remarked positively, ‘that they’ve washed their hands.’ I absolutely love that part of the Triangle: Willie Smarts, the style pioneers; Do South the visionary; Blue Door Bicycles, historically important tradition with a useful twist; Good Taste Food and Drink on a gastronomic mission to cure us from our laziness; Soulcialize reminding us that food can be fun, and now the handsome, bright Sparrowhawk, bravely reclaiming the light. These days we have such an enviable choice of pubs and restaurants to suit the whole neighbourhood so all we need now is a proper greengrocer and a butcher too. Throughout history corner houses have always rung the changes so let’s hope the rumour is true about the dear old Cambridge becoming a bijou hotel. If so, they might need a new name. I’ll get my Dictionary of British Birds out - I’m sure with we can come up with something! The Sparrowhawk 2 Westow Hill, London SE19 1RX 0208 761 4831

Phew. It was. I dread that moment when the knife goes in only to carve off a piece of chewy grey disappointment. The chips weren’t the ubiquitous chunky variety that bores us both either, and the peppercorn sauce that I tipped out of a darling mini casserole (all the rage, I happen to know) packed all the right tongue punches. Once the bookseller’s knife and fork emergency was sorted – nothing worse than a steaming plug of pastry and no way in, I have nightmares about things like that – he set about


Words: Hannah McEwen Photography: Jeff Metal

The Palace Sessions crew, clockwise from left: Jay Pearce, Jeff Metal and Joel Primecuts

Joel Primecuts, a member of DJ collective Scratch Perverts, talks to The Transmitter about his latest musical project in Crystal Palace 42


f I was to award a ‘coolest night-out’ honour to somewhere in Crystal Palace, it would undoubtedly have to go to Palace Sessions. Taking place every two months, the local night has just recently relocated to Westow House, SE19.

Behind the night is Joel Primecuts, a member of the internationally-renowned Scratch Perverts, along with DJs Jeff Metal and Jay Pearce. With special guests making an appearance each time, they bring some of the best roots, dub, hip hop, funk, dubstep and house tunes that you are likely to hear anywhere. And all this is pumped through a hefty Funktion-One sound system, courtesy of Project Audio, which ensures that the listening experience remains absolutely top-notch throughout the evening. It also gives the foundations of the pub a gentle workout. I caught up with Joel to find out why he’s decided to bring his legendary mixing

skills and those of his fellow DJs to our very own doorstep when, let’s face it, he could probably be making bags of money somewhere else. Living just down the road in West Norwood, Joel wanted to do something in the area, ‘I really wanted to bring a party to Crystal Palace that people wouldn’t have to pay a penny for, almost as a community thing. When I first started going out and hearing really good music it was by going to pubs. I have very fond memories of listening to certain tunes for the first time, and I still believe that a pub is a great environment for that type of thing.’

Joel started DJing as a teenager, and has been doing it professionally for 14 years – joining the Scratch Perverts in 1997. As someone who is used to playing all around the world at clubs and festivals, as well as having a residency at Fabric in London, I wonder how running a night round here stacks up. ‘Playing in Crystal Palace is quite different, to say, Fabric’, he explains. ‘When we started Palace Sessions, at first we were determined to be quite militant in keeping the music completely contemporary, but we quickly realised that this didn’t quite suit the night, so now we play across the board. You get a much wider range of people here, so it affords us the opportunity to play a really diverse range of records to an audience that appreciates them.’ When he’s not spinning tunes, Joel works out of his studio in Crystal Palace. At the moment he’s producing a body of work for his new label Black Gold, in collaboration with DJ Kutz from Croydon, with some new releases out very soon. He also works alongside

is playing the next day at Creamfields festival. He seems a little unsure about how it’s going to turn out, and I’m not surprised – after all, this is music that definitely deserves to be played out loud.

fellow Palace Sessions resident Jeff Metal in production outfit Mutants. With dubstep being a music genre born in south-east London before going global, who is he listening to? ‘Dubstep has moved to a formulaic type of music quite quickly, so I think that people are just waiting for the next new sound movement. Brighton-based producer Dismantle is playing music at the same kind of tempo as dubstep, but he is someone who is really doing his own thing, with a house-influenced aesthetic to his work. Joker is another dubstep producer from Bristol who is a little bit different to everyone else at the moment.’ And there is still plenty of local talent Joel reports: ‘I am still a big fan of Benga, and he has got some really good new material in the pipeline. He is someone who can use music to put across an idea in a perfect way, as well as being an exceptionally talented producer. Coki from dubstep productionduo Digital Mystikz came down to the last night - it’s great to have talented producers dropping by.’

The DJ culture at Palace Sessions seems to remain centred around vinyl, and Joel isn’t convinced about the current tendency to move towards ‘touch of a button’ DJing without decks or CDs: ‘As an audience member, I don’t see where the excitement is in operating a piece of machinery. I still feel that in order to be entertaining, dance music needs to be presented in a way that is interesting.’ And one thing you certainly couldn’t accuse him of is being boring behind the decks – his mixing skills are enough to make you dizzy, even before you’ve hit the bar. As I leave, Joel is making plans for the silent disco he

The Palace Sessions boys are busy lining up very exciting special guests for future nights, including some big names. But we have been sworn to secrecy, so if you want to find out more then you’ll just have to get down there. For those of you reading this issue on the very first day it hits the streets, Palace Sessions is taking place tonight, Friday 30 September, at: Westow House, 79 Westow Hill, Crystal Palace. 9pm to 3am. Free entry. Otherwise, follow them on facebook for news of the next date in November 2011.

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The Bookseller

Local authors rub shoulders with some big guns in Jonathan main's autumn recommendations

I mean, Christ, how the hell does one man stand a chance against 4bn assholes?


You try to make the world a better place and what does it get you? he says, challenging a guy who has dropped litter on the street. I mean, Christ how the hell does one man stand a chance against four billion assholes? How will the story end? You have a choice of three options, with option A being ... Andy zaps everyone in the world until he is the only one left.

he other day I opened up the shop and a man came in and produced a book from out of his satchel. ‘I’m a local author,’ he told me, ‘and I wrote this in my office across the road.’ For a terrible moment I thought that he was pointing to the Wetherspoons opposite and I braced myself for what manner of manuscript might have been written in the building we fondly refer to as God’s waiting room. But no, his name was Art (Art Lester actually), which to my mind was reason enough to take him seriously, his studio was somewhere in the centre of the Triangle, and the book he held out to me, written with the illustrator Steven Appleby, is called, The Coffee Table Book of Doom (Square Peg £14.99). I know what you’re thinking. A compendium of all the ways in which the world might end tomorrow, or the day after, isn’t likely to be a house of fun. But trust me, it is. Just don’t make any plans for anytime after the 21 December 2012, at least according to the ancient Mayan calendar and coincidentally, the predictions of St Malachy, who in 1143 said that the world would end during the tenure of the 112th pope. The current pontiff, Benedict XVI, as the book points out, is the 111th, and he’s 83 years old.


Or perhaps it will be The Death Ray for us all. The new graphic novel by Daniel Clowes (Jonathan Cape £14.99), shop favourite and author of Ghost World, Wilson and Mr Wonderful, delivers the chilling tale of the orphan Andy who inherits a hulk-like power from his scientist father that is triggered each time he smokes a cigarette. Furthermore he possesses a death ray gun that only he can use and which makes objects and people disappear: a handy weapon to have for a late 70s/early 80s suburban American adolescence. The story begins with Andy looking back from 2004.

Magnus Mills’ world is an altogether calmer place. I think. At first glance, A Cruel Bird Came to the Nest and Looked In (Bloomsbury £12.99) reminded me of a version of Alice in Wonderland set in Greenwich Park. It is the story of the ancient Empire of Greater Fallowfields, a place out of kilter with itself, presided over by an Imperial Cabinet of winsome cluelessness. The Imperial Orchestra has a composer who has never played a note; the Astronomer Royal, who has no knowledge of the stars, can only use the imperial telescope when he can find a sixpence to put in the slot; and an edict is passed so that the clocks are continually adjusted to allow the sun to set each day at five o clock. Whilst, all the time, a ‘cruel bird’ is getting closer. This is Mills at his most elliptical and satisfying and it is unlike anything else you will read this year.

This autumn is certainly the season of the long-awaited new novel, with Jeffrey Eugenides, author of The Virgin Suicides and Middlesex, bringing out his first novel for nine years and counting. The Marriage Plot (Fourth Estate £20.00 published 13 Oct) is a college love story set on graduation in 1982, that concerns itself with religion, depression, the Victorian novel and Roland Barthes: anyone who studied for an Arts degree from the late 70s onwards is going to find a lot they will recognise here. A couple of weeks later the longawaited new novel from Haruki Murakami 1Q84 is published: a sensation in Japan where – at almost 1000 pages long – it was published in three books and sold more than a million copies in its first month of publication. In the UK it will be published in two volumes, the first on 18 October (Harvill Secker £20.00) and the second on 25 October (Harvill Secker £14.99) giving you a week to read almost 700 pages. Look out, too, for the new novel by Umberto Eco author of The Name of the Rose. The Prague Cemetery (Harvill Secker £20.00), which deals controversially with the forgery of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, is his first

since 2005 and was the best selling book last year in most of the rest of Europe. I wanted, he has said of the book, to give the reader a punch in the stomach. You have been warned. Joan Didion wrote The Year of Magical Thinking about the death of her husband John Gregory Dunne in 2005 and it quickly established itself as a classic of what wikipedia calls ‘mourning’ literature. It was also turned into a successful play starring Vanessa Redgrave. Blue Nights (Fourth Estate £14.99 published 4 Nov) tells the moving story of her adopted daughter Quintana Roo – named after a place she and John Gregory had seen on a map of Mexico (eat your heart out Mr and Mrs Beckham) – and her subsequent death shortly after that of her husband. Poignantly, Quintana was a childhood friend of Redgrave’s daughter, Natasha Richardson, who died in a skiing accident in March 2009 and so an odd sort of circularity presents itself. Reading memories of the respective families at play, in California, New York, and the south of France, is not unlike reading about a latterday Bloomsbury Group. Nonetheless, with Didion as a guide, it is also impossibly riveting. Finally, another local author presents himself, book in hand.

Christopher Bowden has now written three novels, in what might be called his primary colours trilogy – The Blue Book, The Yellow Room and now The Red House (Langton and Wood £8.99). A man sees a drawing of a young woman that he used to know on display at the local market and is propelled on a search to find her. Sir Derek Jacobi, no less, thoroughly enjoyed it. So there you have it: all – as the man said – good and nothing bad. Catch you next time, God willin’ and the creek don’t rise.

Jonathan Main 47

Crystal Palace Osteopaths & Natural Health Therapies for people of all ages

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A shop full of books that you might want to read


THERE’S A WORLD OUT THERE! What’s this? Women make more adventurous musicians than men? And Howard Male isn’t talking Adele or Lady Gaga either


’ve long thought that female singer-songwriters are generally more cutting edge than their male counterparts although it’s hard to put a finger on why this might be. Perhaps it’s the fact that male musicians can be such stick-in-the-muds. They immerse themselves in their favourite genre whether it’s rock, reggae, folk or heavy metal, and then plough that furrow for the rest of their careers. Whereas perhaps the female singersongwriter sees these already delineated genres as being created by men, and therefore feels the need to rearrange the furniture, change the curtains, or generally make something entirely fresh from them. The most invigorating example of such radical dissection and reconstruction I’ve heard this year was by Merrill Garbus of Tune-Yards. But as I covered her shiny, noisy new album in issue 18, I will move swiftly on to the woman who could easily be her genteel English cousin, Mara Carlyle. At first the comparison may seem inappropriate: Carlyle’s album is steeped in lush string arrangements and she sings in an exquisite, controlled manner, whereas Garbus’s work is all about guttural self-expression, arty chaos and jazzy dissonance. And yet a line like, 'Don’t let those little fuckers steal your sparkle' has all the more bite for being delivered in a butterwouldn’t-melt voice. And there’s still

plenty that’s off-kilter and deliciously strange about Floreat (Ancient and Modern Records), despite the tasteful window dressing, that makes it an invigorating and original work. The climate of Floreat is sultry and sun-kissed, whereas Susheela Raman’s latest, Vel (EMI Records), drags the listener kicking and screaming into the darkest and most foreboding of forests where all kinds of dangerous spirits and beasties lie in wait. This is thunderous minor-key music in which the tampura and the tabla do battle with the electric guitar and bass, and the music overall draws on both traditional Indian folk music and the likes of Siouxsie Sioux and Patti Smith. You’ve got to be in the right mood for something this opaque and confrontational, but if you are, Vel is invigoratingly transportive and uncompromising. Calming things right down, Malian singer-songwriter Fatoumata Diawara has her first solo album Fatou (World Circuit) released this month. Ostensibly this is fairly typical coffee-table ‘world music’ that isn’t going to frighten the horses. But beneath this calm and tasteful surface of gently plucked and tapped acoustic instruments, Ms Diawara boldly tackles women’s rights in Africa, including their right not to have their genitals surgically removed in a shocking and inhumane practice that still hides behind the euphemistic label ‘female

circumcision’. But controversial issues aside, this is a graceful and soulful record that suggests the ever-smiling Ms Diawara could be the next Rokia Traore if she doesn’t become mired in what her record company thinks her audience wants. Finally, for your delectation, we have the London-based French singer Florence Joelle. Kiss of Fire (Zoltan Records) is a sophisticated if agreeably raw (the album was recorded live, straight to analogue tape) mix of French chanson, garage rock — and whatever the charming and gently eccentric Ms Joelle brings to the table herself. Covers such as When I Get Low I Get High and Unchain My Heart sit comfortably alongside Joelle’s own songs, one of which – the rockabillyinfluenced Hell Be Damned And Look Out – I saw her perform as a refreshingly unsentimental tribute to Amy Winehouse on the evening news came through of her death. Ms Joelle’s band are still at the stage of doing lots of live (often free) gigs in small London venues, and their music takes on a whole new dimension in this context, so do check for up-and-coming dates on Facebook. So, yes, women really are doing it for themselves, and as far as I’m concerned they are leading the way in remaking and remodelling pop and world music so that it no longer fits neatly into the record store boxes us anally-retentive blokes designed for it.


MUSIC Dulwich Picture Gallery Gallery Road, Dulwich SE21 7AD

Saturday 24 September 6.30- 9.30pm

Jazz in the Garden Charles Cary-Elwes and Friends £18, £15 for friends, £5 for students Enjoy a relaxed evening in the Gallery garden with Charles and his jazz group; also featuring performers from JAGS, Dulwich College and the Charter School. Book a supper in the Gallery Café or bring a picnic. Bar available. (Gallery open for visitors 6pm-8pm)

COMEDY The HOB Comedy 7 Devonshire Road Forest Hill, SE23 3HE 020 8855 0496

Saturday 1 October Stand Up Comedy Mandy Muden mc, Andrew Roper, Ronnie Golden, Hal Cruttenden 9pm £9/£6concs Late bar

Monday 3 October The All New Stand Up Show Headliners try out new material 8pm £3

Sat 8 October Stand Up Comedy James Redmond, Tom Davies, Pat Burtscher and Eddie Kadi 9pm £9/£6concs Late bar

Friday 28 October Supper with Music: An Evening in Italy 7.30-11pm in the Gallery Café An evening of glorious Italian music and food with soprano Alexandra Carter and Maurizio Minardi on accordion. £10 per person plus £15 for two courses, £19 for three

Thursday 10 November Imogen Cooper – Celebrity Piano Recital 7.30 Recognized worldwide as a pianist of virtuosity and poetic poise, Imogen Cooper has established a reputation as one of the finest interpreters of the classical repertoire. Programme includes works by Haydn, Schumann, Beethoven and Brahms. £30, £28 Friends includes a glass of wine

Monday 10 October

The All New Stand Up Show Headliners try out new material 8pm £3

Saturday 22 October Stand Up Comedy Andy Zaltzman, Jess Fostekew & guests 9pm £9/£6concs Late bar

Monday 24 October The All New Stand Up Show

The All New Stand Up Show Headliners try out new material 8pm £3


Friday 15 October Fifth Element Friday 21 October Life of Brian Friday 28 October Sociology

The Grape & Grain Anerley Hill, London SE19 2AA Tel: 0208 778 4109

Every Sunday 2pm -4pm

Live Jazz Every Sunday 5pm- 8pm

The Hugo Simmonds Trio Every Monday 8pm

The Big Beer Band A seventeen piece Swing band bringing the best of big band music to Crystal Palace

Last Wednesday of every month

8pm Bring along your favourite tracks to play or simply bring yourself to this night for vinyl lovers. Drink, discuss, enjoy.

Monday 17 October

Monday 31 October

The New White Trash

The R.P.M. Club

Stand Up Comedy Windsor, Johnny Kats, Paul T Eyres and Ninia Benjamin 9pm £9 (£6concs)

Charmian Hughes, Mandy Muden, Josh Howie and Andrew Lawrence 9pm £9/£6concs Late bar

Friday 7 October

First Wednesday of every month

Saturday 15 October

Stand Up Comedy

Live MUSIC Every friday from 10pm bar til 2am - Free Entry

Open Mic Night

New act open mic night 8pm £3

Saturday 29 October

7 Devonshire Road Forest Hill, SE23 3HE 020 8855 0496

8.30pm all abilities welcome instruments provided

The All New Stand Up Show

New act open mic night 8pm £3

The HOB Music

Imogen Cooper

Every Wednesday in November Lunchtime concerts: From Blues to Bach 1.30- 2.00pm - Admission Free Talented performers from the neighbouring Foundation Schools will perform again after last year’s successful lunchtime series.


Send listings information to:

MUSIC Dogstar

FILM Gallery Film

389 Coldhabour Lane SW9 8LQ 020 7733 7515

Dulwich Picture Gallery Gallery Road, Dulwich SE21 7AD

Saturday 22 October The End of the Pier 7pm - late £5 The Peryls launch their debut abum 'A Man He Was to All the Country Dear'. The End of the Pier show is packed full of performance and intrigue as The Peryls are joined by enigmatic troubadour Robin James, bulesque queens The Thrill Billies, mesmerist The Great Dardido and others. Smart clothes and boaters for the gents and summer dresses fr the ladies. Tickets available from

All films begin 7.45pm Bar from 7.15pm £8, £6 Friends Tickets available from the Friends 020 8299 8750 10-12 or e-mail

Monday 10 October The African Queen (1951) Cert PG 105 minutes Directed by John Huston and starring Katharine Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart as one of the most famous screen partnerships ever. Bogart deserved his Oscar for this stunning performance. Free wine and snacks provided by Romeo Jones, Dulwich Village

? QUIZ NIGHTS The HOB 7 Devonshire Road Forest Hill, SE23 3HE

every Thursday Celebrity Pub Quiz A different comedian as host each week Cash prizes & drinks to be won. 9pm £2

Dulwich Picture Gallery Gallery Road, Dulwich SE21 7AD

Saturday 12 November Quiz Night 6.45 for 7.15 in the Gallery Special new rounds this year to celebrate the bicentenary of the gallery. Pit your wits against other contestants, surrounded by masterpieces. £18, £15 for Friends. Includes a glass of wine and a fork supper. Make up a table of six or be allocated to a table.

SPORT Sydenham Tennis, Squash and Croquet Club

White Hart

Lawrie Park Road Sydenham SE26 6ET

Wednesday, 2nd November to Wednesday, 7th December Beginners Introduction to Tennis 7-8 pm Want to start playing tennis or would just like to brush up on your skills after a long break? Come to Sydenham Tennis Club and learn basic technique, meet players of a similar standard and have some fun playing doubles. For more information about our six-week introductory taster courses call 07776 231 676. Booking essential. Age group: Adult £20 for six sessions email: website:

Monday 21 November Apur Sansar ( The world of Apu) (1959) Cert U, 105 minutes Introduced by Andrew Robinson, biographer and friend of Satyajit Ray, the film’s director. In Bengali with subtitles. The film concludes one of the greatest film trilogies of all time. Free Indian beer and food supplied by Ganapati Indian Restaurant.

The HOB Film

96 Church Road SE19 2EZ 020 8771 9389

every Monday Quiz Night from 8pm

The Grape & Grain Anerley Hill, London SE19 2AA Tel: 0208 778 4109

every Thursday Quiz Night from 8pm

Wednesday 26 October Film Club This Is Spinal Tap 8pm £4 Screamers Club for Mums & Babies at 1pm £2



THEATRE Edward Alleyn Theatre

ART Dulwich Picture Gallery

Dulwich College

Dulwich Picture Gallery Gallery Road, Dulwich SE21 7AD

Wednesday 19, Thursday 20, Friday 21, Saturday 22 October

KIDS & FAMILY Dulwich Picture Gallery

The Dulwich Players present

Dulwich Picture Gallery Gallery Road, Dulwich SE21 7AD

The Dulwich Players are back in the autumn with the production of Nuts by American writer Tom Topor. Originally a Broadway hit, Nuts has been called the best courtroom melodrama since Witness for the Prosecution. Set in a courtroom in New York’s Bellevue Hospital, the story follows a high-priced call girl incarcerated on a charge for killing a violent client. An appointed psychiatrist battling against an aggressive prosecutor will unveil Claudia Faith Draper’s psyche as she attempts to prove that she isn’t 'nuts' and claims the right to trial for manslaughter - to the dismay of her family.

Friday 28 October Thumbelina 10.30am – 11.15am And 12.30 – 1.15pm The Banyan Theatre Company presents Norwich Puppet’s Theatre’s Thumbelina. Come and join us for a special half-term family performance. Tickets £8 Adult, £6 Child. This show has been especially created for young audiences and is suitable for children and their families.-

CRAFT Christchurch Highland Road, Gipsy Hill SE19


Ticket office 020 8693 4830 or from The Dulwich Stationers in Dulwich Village.

Saturday 8 October

Stanley Halls

Sell it Mama! Fair

South Norwood

11am-2.30pm £2, children Free. Quality second-hand baby goods, from prams, baby clothes and toys to books, nursery equipment and maternity wear from 50p - £100. FREE taster sessions with Monkey Music, Little Supernovas plus face painting with Party Poppy.

Et pourquoi pas? 45 Westow Street, SE19 3RW

Friday 30 September Saturday 1st October St Mark’s Players

Love Hurts Friday : 7.30pm Saturday: 2:00pm & 7.30pm £14 show & fish and chip meal or £11 for show only

October 19 - January 8 Painting Canada: Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven This exhibition has been organised by Dulwich Picture Gallery in partnership with the National Gallery of Canada.

Thursday 24 November David Hockney: Mr and Mrs Clark and Percy From Tate London David Hockney achieved success almost straight out of Royal College of Art. Best known for his bold bright works of Californian swimming pools and this very famous portrait. Lecturer: Melanie Paice

Still Moving Gallery 93 Church Road Crystal Palace SE19 2TA

Friday 30 September Roy Peterson Major new exhibition by local Crystal Palace artist Roy Peterson. Open Night Preview 7-9pm

Congregational Hall Kenilworth Road, Penge.

Friday 28, Saturday 29 & Sunday 30 October SE20 6th Annual Art Exibition Friday 7-9pm, Saturday 10am-6pm, Sunday 12-5pm

Saturday 1 October Sunday 2 October Art and craft event Et pourquoi pas? are holding a weekend art and craft event. Handmade jewellery, textiles, chocolate and glassware will be available to purchase, as well as prints and paintings. There will also be face painting for children. For more information go to www. 45 Westow Street, SE19 3RW Saturday 1st October: 11am to 6pm Sunday 2nd of October: 12noon to 6pm


David Hockney: Mr and Mrs Clark and Percy. Courtesy Tate London

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The Transmitter Issue 20  
The Transmitter Issue 20  

A South East London Lifestyle magazine