Bermondsey Biscuit & Rotherhithe Docker - spring 2020

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Spring 2020

Issue 6

Life of pie

The upper crust of Bermondsey society

A thank you to our sponsors We'd like to acknowledge all our sponsors and supporters for helping us bring the Bermondsey Biscuit and Rotherhithe Docker to life.



11 - The bartending school at the Biscuit Factory

Editor’s Letter Laura Burgoine


elcome to the sixth edition of the Bermondsey Biscuit and Rotherhithe Docker. For our spring edition, Michael Holland lifts the lid on Manze’s pie and mash at their iconic Tower Bridge Road shop. We go behind the scenes at the old Biscuit Factory to uncover the eclectic mix of creatives and entrepreneurs who’ve moved into the space, and we meet the makers and artists who are flinging open their studio doors at Oxo Tower Wharf. You can also learn the tricks of the trade at Arabica’s cooking class in Borough Market, and read all about the grand plans brewing at Anspach and Hobday, under the arches on Druid Street. To all our readers, sponsors and advertisers, thank you for your ongoing support. We look forward to sharing more of your stories in the year ahead.

About us Editor Writers

Laura Burgoine Michael Holland, Debra Gosling, Cara Cummings, Josh Salisbury Photography Hakob Muradyan Marketing Tammy Jukes, Anthony Phillips Design Dan Martin, Lizzy Tweedale Finance Emrah Zeki

Contact us Email Phone 020 7231 5258 Website Facebook BermondseyBiscuit Instagram @bermondseybiscuit

19 - The makers of Oxo Tower Wharf

31 - Getting crafty with Anspach & Hobday

Going out, out What’s on this spring 5 People Double double - four generations of Manze’s pie and mash 8-9 Art Peter Layton talks ten years on Bermondsey Street 14-15 Memory Lane Gary Magold recovers lost time 22-23 History The fizzing factory of Pearce Duff 24-25 Food & Drink A Middle Eastern masterclass at Arabica 29 Wellbeing Flying high with aerial fitness 34-35 Our summer issue hits the streets in May. Contact us to get involved

fe Print Printed by Ilif Published by Southwark Newspaper Ltd



Southwark Business Excellence Awards in association with LSBU – open for entries after sparkling launch


he borough’s flagship business awards are now open for entries following a spectacular launch at Sea Containers’ 12th Knot bar.

Now in their third year, the Southwark Business Excellence Awards in association with London South Bank University (LSBU) recognise the successes of the borough’s 18,000 businesses. More than 200 guests attended the launch on January 21, to listen to inspirational speeches and live music from Soulful Sounds. They enjoyed refreshments and drinks from Hiver Beers, last year’s Independent Retailer of the Year winner. Hiver’s Sophie Napleton told guests: “Southwark Business Excellence Awards were so supportive and we were really well looked after. The Award win was the icing on the cake. It led to new business and created amazing new relationships within the community. I would urge you all to apply.” The Awards programme is organised by White Label

on behalf of Southwark Chamber of Commerce and Southwark Council. There are 14 categories to enter. British Land, Great Portland Estates, Landsec and Lendlease are sponsoring ‘Women in Business’, ‘Contribution to the Community’, ‘Best Employer’ and ‘Independent Retailer’, respectively. Alison May, Apprenticeships Manager at headline sponsor LSBU, said: “We’re supporting these awards because of our commitment to providing Southwark sand South London with the skilled workforce they need. To date we are working with 500 employers and 1600 apprentices are on our programme making us one of the largest higher and degree apprenticeship providers in the England.” The finale is a black-tie Gala Dinner & Charity Ball awards’ presentation on June 25 at Hilton London Bankside. Visit:



ENTER NOW! Closing date for entries: Friday 13th March 2020

Don’t miss your chance to showcase your business talent and innovation this year! I N PA R T N E R S H I P W I T H







going out, out

What’s on this spring in SE16 and SE1 Tap out Tate Modern’s Tap takeovers are back for the third year, showcasing the best of the British craft brewing scene on the last Friday of every month. In February: Leeds brewers Northern Monk Brew Co take the stage, while in March it’s Tiny Rebel Brewing from Wales, and in April: Burnt Mill are bringing unfiltered beers from their Brewhouse on a farm in Suffolk. Tate Modern Terrace Bar, Level 1 Blavatnik building.

Fighting fit Guy’s and St Thomas’ run 12-week community-based weight management courses in Lambeth and Southwark for people referred by their GP. The weekly classes include diet and nutrition workshops and an hour-long physical activity session with the option of discounted gym membership on completion of the programme. The service has supported around 18,000 people with obesity and other long-term conditions since it began in 2011. If you would like to join Guy’s and St Thomas’ weight management programme contact your GP to make a referral or call 020 3049 5242 or email: for more information.

Nip/Tuck Go back in time and play spectator to a mock Victorian surgery demonstration at the Old Operating Theatre. Before the advent of anaesthesia, an operation had to be swift and chances of infection was high without hand-washing or antiseptics. Observe the operation from the perspective of a 19th century medical student, within the original architecture of the old operating theatre of St Thomas’ hospital, dated to 1822. February 6 and April 9.Tickets: £12. Phone: 020 7188 2679.


Belles of the Borough The Borough Belles Women’s Institute is looking for likeminded ladies to join their group. Founded in 2009, the Belles celebrate all the things the Women’s Institute stands for with insightful speakers and presentations, interesting craft projects, and a lot of cake. The Belles meet on the third Wednesday of every month, from 7.30pm-9.30pm at the Bosco Centre, 281 Jamaica Rd, SE16 4RS. Guests are always welcome: £5 (or £2.50 if you’re a member of another WI.)

Power in numbers How might a son feel to discover that he is only one of a number of identical copies? What happens when a father is confronted by the results of an outrageous genetic experiment? In Caryl Churchill’s thrilling drama, which won the 2002 Evening Standard Award for Best Play, Roger Allam plays Salter, the father. Colin Morgan plays all his sons, and Polly Findlay directs. A Number is at the Bridge Theatre, 3 Potters Field Park, SE1 2SG, from February 14-March 14. Tickets: £15-£55.


London Bridge Community

Take part in Make Music Day 2020

Team London Bridge is excited to support Make Music Day 2020; a grassroots celebration where communities, musicians, venues and promoters collaborate to put on free music events in their local area. This year Make Music Day takes place on Sunday 21st June. You can organise or attend an event here in London Bridge, while joining thousands of other music lovers around the world in 125 countries! We want music to pop up in all sorts of places and you can help that happen! ORGANISE AN EVENT If you’d like to organise your own event, in a venue you use regularly or in a new space, you can list your event on the Make Music Day

map. Your event can be anything, as long as it’s free entry and involves music. SIGN UP AS A MUSICIAN Maybe you’re a band, singer, DJ or choir who would like to take part but have nowhere to perform. If this is you then sign up and you’ll be able to upload a performer profile. SIGN UP AS A VENUE If you’d like to host an event in a space that you own or manage then you can register and upload a venue profile, it’s a fantastic way of opening your venue to new audiences. Find out more at:

Join our mission to recycle 2 million coffee cups in 2020 Did you know 8 million disposable coffee cups are thrown away every day in the UK, with just 4% recycled? Alongside neighbouring Business Improvement District Better Bankside and recycling experts Paper Round, Team London Bridge has launched an area-wide recycling programme to help tackle the problem with the aim to recycle 2 million of these cups in 2020. Next time you buy a drink in a disposable cup, look out for the network of eye-catching

orange bins in Potters Fields Park, Tooley Street and St Thomas Street, as well as across Bankside, and recycle your cup. Your cup will be sent to a specialist firm to be turned into new paper products using a unique process. The project is part of Hubbub’s national Cup Fund initiative, a scheme financed by Starbucks who introduced a 5p charge on paper cups in 2018 to encourage customers to increase their use of reusable cups. For more see

Book now for Illuminated River boat tours The warmer, yet still dark evenings of spring are the perfect time to view Leo Villareal’s Illuminated River installations. To make the most of this, Thames Clippers have announced new dates for their Illuminated River Guided Boat Tours which take place every week on either Saturdays or Thursdays. The tours depart from Tower Pier and take-in phase one of the Illuminated River project, covering London, Cannon Street, Southwark and Millennium bridges. Tickets are available from

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Barnacle Vessel, Louis Thompson & Sophie Thomas. Photo, Ester Segarra.

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Untitled-7 1

03/02/2020 15:1

local people

Four generations of pie and mash Michael Holland



local people


he historic name M. Manze over a shop door has been the sign of good quality pie and mash for over 100 years, and with the fourth generation of the family now proudly flying the Manze flag that tradition will not be stopping in the near future. Rick Poole, his daughter Emma, and her husband Tom run the three M. Manze shops now that Rick’s brothers, Graham and Geoff, have retired. Emma concentrates on the social media, Tom, the business, while Rick, with his years of experience, looks after quality control in the kitchen. "It’s a good 3-way split,” says Rick, when I met him and Emma. I needed some backstory so Rick obliged. “The 87 Tower Bridge Road shop was originally a Cooke’s (The East London pie and mash dynasty). Robert Cooke’s daughter Ada married Michele Manze from the icecream shop at 85 Tower Bridge Road, and they were given 87 as a present.” This became the first to bear the Manze name and is the empire’s flagship. But what about the Pooles, I asked? “The Pooles had a pie and mash shop in Shadwell in the 19th century and Ada was related to them too.” Michele and Ada eventually had five pie shops. “Two in Chrisp Street, Poplar; Southwark Park Road, Peckham and Tower Bridge Road,” says Rick. “But between my grandfather and his brothers there were 14 pie and mash shops around London with the Manze name.” As the other shops got sold off the buyers kept the Manze name above the door because it had built a reputation they wanted to keep, but it is just the Peckham and Tower Bridge Road establishments that have a true connection to the Manze name, plus the Sutton pie shop they opened in 1998 to feed the demand of Londoners moving to the suburbs. Emma recalls doing her first Saturday shift when she was 17 in Sutton, where her mum worked. Now, with children of her own (Albert and Arthur), she and husband Tom have taken the place of Geoff and Graham to work alongside her father. I asked why she wants to work in this business: “It’s a passion, and we have the family history to carry on as well as the London tradition of pie and mash - I don’t want to let that tradition die,” she says. Rick added: “It’s because of the whole tradition of pie and mash that I’m still here - My two brothers didn’t want to retire but due to age and health they decided to bow out.” What’s changed? “Bringing in some new blood with new ideas is for the better,” he begins. “After 40 odd years you can get a bit stale so you have to change with the times, like with our internet chilled delivery business and local hot delivery, but you have to keep the core, traditional pie ’n’ mash and not move away from that.” Emma adds, “Fresh eyes looking at the business can only be a good thing… What we’re asked most frequently is if we deliver to Europe, so we’re looking into that, especially Spain where there is a large number of British expats. At the moment we’re testing how long we can keep it chilled for… Yesterday, on Facebook, I was asked if we could deliver to Australia!” “A new website is now up and running which makes online booking a lot easier as it’s more customerfriendly,” Emma continues. “It shows people what we deliver and that we deliver all over the UK; it gets the

"What we’re asked most frequently is if we deliver to Europe, so we’re looking into that, especially Spain where there is a large number of British expats"


message out to those people who moved out of London and think they can’t have their pie and mash anymore. The website also gives a bit of family history.” “We’ve been doing deliveries for 15 years now… it’s grown into another business, more or less,” interjects Rick. Over the years there were times when pie shops were under pressure. Rick recalls that “with the mad cow disease we were big on traceability and were able to say that all our beef was British, to say what farms we bought from, and because we butcher the meat ourselves we knew it was safe.” How do you combat competition from all around the world now? “We keep plodding on. Of course the number of customers changed - there was a time when we could open in the morning at 9 and stay open right the way through to 12 o’clock at night. That kind of trade has gone; we now take all week to sell what we once sold in one day.” And the future? “We’re looking to do more deliveries while never detracting from what our core business is.” Emma says the vegetarian and vegan pies are very popular these days. “We get a lot of Deliveroo orders for them,” she says. Before we finished, I needed Rick to dispel some longstanding myths: Liquor: “We haven’t used eel stock in our liquor for over 40 years now. We never used that much before but changed the original recipe because some people were allergic to it.” Upside down pies: “In the old days the temperamental coal ovens sometimes overcooked the pies, so we’d serve the pie upside down to hide the burnt crust.” So there you have it from the experts, proving that the pie and mash in Ada’s blood from both sides of her family has truly trickled down through the generations. Manze Pie and Mash is at 87 Tower Bridge Road, SE1 4TW. Phone: 020 7407 2985.

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the biscuit factory

Called to the bar


Laura Burgoine

he basement of the Biscuit Factory’s B-block is a world of cocktails and dreams with a whole lot of flair – much like the kind that lit up our screens in Tom Cruise’s ‘80s classic movie Cocktail. At London’s European Bartender School, students from all over the world are learning to stir and shake. The school manager Jaime Dyer tells me most begin with no experience or training, and within the four-week course, they’ve learned to master and memorise 72 cocktail recipes, to free-pour (through a counting method), set up a bar, a bit of history, and a basic flair routine for good measure. The school is set up exactly like a real bar, but I’m assured they’re practising with coloured water not real alcohol. Six Swedish guys started the European Bartender School franchise in Phuket. There’s now 28 schools worldwide across the UK, Europe, the US, Sydney, and Phuket. In 1991, Jamie’s brother Tom Dyer, a world champion flair bartender, and his business partner Stephen started up the London school. They’ve been in the B-block of the Biscuit Factory for ten years now. “They needed a big space with high ceilings for teaching flair,” Jamie says. Places on the courses are in high demand with around 30-60 students enrolled per month. They offer day courses in English and language-specific evening courses, with one teacher per 12 students. Students also complete work

experience with some of the school’s venue partners, including Adventure Bar, London Cocktail Club, and Lucky Voice Karaoke. The bartenders-in-training learn to make drinks largely by muscle memory; repeated action helps them learn the recipes. All bars are set up in a fairly uniform fashion, Jamie says, with a speed rail in front (with the most frequently ordered drinks: vodka, gin, rum, whiskey, soft drinks and garnishes), and the back bar of spirits behind.


World champion flair bartender and founder of the London European Bartender School Tom Dyer

The European Bartender School also holds a two-day mixology course for experienced bartenders and graduates of the four-week course, a working flair two-day course, advanced flair course, and a basic bar course over five days. In a room upstairs, they teach a barista coffee course. “Flair was big in the ‘80s and ‘90s. In places like TGI Friday’s. Now it’s more about mixology,” Jamie says. “London is the cocktail capital of the world,” she continues. “There’s always jobs for bartenders. Venues are always looking for staff and it’s a great traveling job.” The London European Bartender School is at Basement block B001, 100 Drummond Road, SE16 4DG. Phone: 020 3627 0292. The School opens to the public on selected last Fridays of the month with £5 cocktails. The next event is on January 31, followed by March 6.



Tues - Thurs 8am-9pm Fri - Sat 8 -10pm Sun 8am-9pm Monday Closed except bank holidays. Available on




At Pact coffee, 13 types of fairtrade coffee from over 9 countries in five different grinds are packed in the Biscuit Factory and delivered to your door. Founded in 2012, Pact sells coffee ‘plans’ to its members with free next day delivery that fits through the letterbox. A Block, Unit 403 Phone: 020 3095 3975

the biscuit factory

The Factory Laura Burgoine

Once a bustling production plant churning out Bourbon biscuits, Custards Creams and Christmas puddings, today the Biscuit Factory in Bermondsey is home to a new world of creatives.

London-based wedding dress designer Cherry Williams combines vintage inspired silhouettes with modern fabrics As a couture costume maker at Jane Law Costumiers, Cherry worked on a range of Hollywood productions, including Pirates of the Caribbean, The Other Boleyn Girl, Sherlock Holmes, and Snow White and the Huntsmen. She then went on to work with renowned bridal designer Kate Halfpenny before launching Cherry Williams London.

The Pole Exotica school is run by accountant-turned-professional pole dancing instructor Veronica Cebotari. Certified by the Russian Pole Dance Association and a competition winner in her Russian homeland, Veronica has classes every day of the week. You get a pole to yourself for what promises to be a strenuous one-hour workout. F Block, Studio 16

F Block.

According to the grapevine, Elicite delves into the wine world with an online eCommerce shop and digital content. Selling a range of wines including organic, biodynamic, and vegan, bottles range from up to £20 to over £100.

The team at I Heart Studios photographs and styles campaign editorial, look-books and still life imagery for the fashion industry. With studios in London, Amsterdam and Hong Kong, they’ve created digital content for Converse, Sweaty Betty, Adidas, Aquascutum, Asos, Agent Provocateur, and Harrods.

A Block, 302A,

J Block, 409.


You’ll likely see the queues before you see the Arch Climbing Wall. The indoor climbing wall is the hottest ticket in town, with 15,000 square feet of modern bouldering and training areas in the former Damien Hirst gallery. A single peak session (weekdays after 4pm, all day weekends) will cost you £11 plus £3 for shoe hire. Open 6:30am-10:30pm weekdays, and 9am-9pm weekends and bank holidays. Building One is on the ground floor of the A Block (you can’t miss it when you walk into the carpark’s Drummond Road entrance). Phone: 0207 237 4418.

art & design

“It’s all about evolution here… I’m 82. I might be the oldest glassblower in the world”



art & design

Glass half full Laura Burgoine


s glass-blowing artist Peter Layton celebrates his studio’s ten year anniversary on Bermondsey Street, he looks back on its beginnings, down river. Now 82-years-old, Peter, who was born in Prague and raised in Yorkshire by Austrian parents, opened his first studio in Rotherhithe in the late ‘70s, on the river near the Mayflower pub. “It was deserted, on this little Dickensian street and it was just the right space with a tin roof,” he recalls. “There were derelict warehouses on each side. I could’ve bought that for a song if I’d had the money.” Trained as a potter in ceramics, Peter was one of the pioneers of British studio glass, transforming it from an industrial medium to a collectable art form. “We were all new to glass in the ‘70s and concerned about fire risks in the studios,” Peter says. “I’d worked at the Glass House in Covent Garden and they had flats above that always made me a bit nervous.” “In the 17th century, it was seen as a fire risk so the Venetians were put on the island of Murano,” Peter continued. With roots in Venice, Bohemia, and Holland, glass was seen as a family trade, where secretive skills were passed down through generations and chemical formulas were not to be passed on to outsiders. “There were errant glassblowers wanting to sell their secrets, like industrial espionage,” Peter says. In 1995, Peter moved his studio to Leathermarket before making Bermondsey Street home. “We’ve got some of the best glass-blowers in the


country working here,” Peter says. “They help me with my work, and I help them with theirs. We’re all striving to achieve our own style. Often you go off on an avenue you didn’t imagine.” The artist has created high-profile commissions for the Tate, the National Gallery, and even Prince Charles – for an exhibition at Buckingham Palace. “He didn’t buy anything though,” Peter laughs. “My work is inspired by painters, like David Hockney, Picasso, Georgia O’Keeffe, and also by travel,” the artist says. A recent trip to Japan was the source of inspiration for his latest collection. The Bermondsey Street studio is open to the public, where people can watch the glass-blowers work. “We try to make people feel welcome. It’s an enchanting process to watch,” Peter says. They also host “experience day” classes for beginners, which are booked solid until May. Peter and his wife Ann, who runs the studio, live in East Dulwich and have always called south London home. The artist is showing no signs of slowing down. “I suppose I’m getting a bit long in the tooth. I’m lucky to have very good help here with my work,” he says. “I’m 82. I might be the oldest glass maker in the world... It’s all about evolution here. I’m an experimenter.” London Glassblowing is at 62-66 Bermondsey Street, SE1 3UD. Phone: 020 7403 2800

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Meet your maker Laura Burgoine

The who’s who of designers and makers at Oxo Tower Wharf


he Oxo Tower Wharf on South Bank is home to some of the UK’s most innovative and internationally renowned contemporary designers, restaurants, cafes, bars and exhibition venues. During its industrial heyday it was owned by the makers of the OXO brand, but by the 1970s it had fallen into disrepair and was largely derelict. Oxo Tower Wharf was resurrected in the ‘90s when it underwent a £20 million refurbishment by Coin Street Community Builders, and it now houses over 30 retail design studios, specialist shops, restaurants and 78 cooperative homes. Oxo Tower Wharf is owned and managed by Coin Street Community Builders, a social enterprise working in Waterloo and North Southwark. From a derelict site in 1984, they have created a thriving, diverse, vibrant and welcoming place for people to live, work and play of which Oxo Tower Wharf is part. (see overleaf )


A MESSAGE FROM THE CANADA WATER MASTERPLAN TEAM The Canada Water Masterplan is a partnership between British Land, Southwark Council and the local community to create an outstanding new town centre for Southwark and make a positive long-term contribution to local life. Incorporating Surrey Quays Shopping Centre and Leisure Park, the Printworks, and former Police Station, it will provide jobs, homes (with a minimum of 35% affordable, of which 70% will be at social rent), offices, public spaces and facilities, including the first new High Street in London for a hundred years and a new leisure centre.

Southwark Council’s Planning Committee resolved to grant planning permission for the Masterplan in September 2019, and we continue to work with the council to achieve an implementable planning permission, with the aim of then starting construction of the first phase later this year. You can find out more about the plans on our website In the meantime, we wanted to share a round-up of just some of the exciting activities and programmes that are coming up in the local area in the next few months that we are delighted to be a part of.

Bacon’s College students enjoy a host of arts activities

Notebook created at one of the recent Bacon’s College workshops

We believe art is a great way to connect with local schools and support students’ education, providing the opportunity to encourage and discover young emerging, creative talent. We’re pleased to work with Bacon’s College to support students in their art education and over the past four years this has included lending art from prominent artists to the school as well as providing exhibition spaces for GCSE and end of year displays. This academic year, we are thrilled to be loaning art from artists including Tom Philips and Tracey Bush, as well as supporting a number of creative events organised by our fantastic Art Curator, Rosie Glenn. Rosie is organising lots of workshops and art tours for the students, including a Life Drawing class with artist Charlotte Steel and a Walking Tour which will focus on British Land’s public art collection at Broadgate and Paddington Central.

Over 4,400 Southwark young people discover careers through the Shaping Southwark’s Future programme

Students taking part in Shaping Southwark’s Future

It’s vitally important that local residents can benefit directly from the changes to their area, and it’s also well publicised that construction-based professions are facing skills shortages. That’s why we helped to launch the Shaping Southwark’s Future programme across North Southwark together with Construction Youth Trust, United St Saviour’s Charity and Southwark Construction Skills Centre. An important aim of the education and employment partnership is to make young people aware of the numerous employment, skills and career development opportunities that construction works will generate over the next decade in their local area, in order to tackle head-on some of the employment issues we are facing. Over the past year, Shaping Southwark’s Future has seen construction and built environment professionals volunteer a total of 371 hours across seven schools to help inspire young people into careers in the sector, with 13 of these beginning their career journey by embarking on construction related apprenticeships. In total, over 4,400 young people in Southwark have now found careers through this programme. The partnership also supports young people who aren’t in Education, Employment or Training to gain skills and experience to begin to build a career in the built environment sector through a free 8 day Budding Builders course. To find out more, visit

Get your entries in for the 2020 Southwark Business Awards

The Southwark Business Awards are back again in 2020 to celebrate Southwark’s thriving business community. The awards are free to enter, and there’s a vast array of categories to suit businesses of all sizes in every sector across the borough. We are delighted to be sponsoring the Women in Business Award this year. There are many hard-working and successful local businesses and it would be fantastic to see them recognised again after the local wins last year, including Ballers Football Academy for Contribution to the Community and Bodytonic Clinic for Entrepreneur of the Year. Businesses can enter up to three categories for free, with the exception of Business of the Year which is chosen by the judges. Award submissions must be entered by Friday 13 March. For full details about entering the 2020 awards, visit

To get in touch with the Canada Water Masterplan team, you can: Check out the website: Email us on: Freephone:

0800 470 4593



The designers of Oxo Tower Wharf

Sima Vaziry & Katherine Elizabeth

Award-winning Millinery designer Katherine Elizabeth has exhibited at Fortnum & Mason during London Craft week, and is also a Member of the Walpole British Luxury group. Katherine’s designs constantly push the boundaries for strong conceptual creations and show-stopping collections. Whether it’s Royal Ascot, Henley Royal Regatta, a wedding, garden party, or you simply need a glamorous headpiece, you’ll find them here! All of her pieces are hand-made with love and care by the small London team, using fine French lace, Italian silks and hand embellished applique & beadwork. Having come into jewellery making as a second career from a graphic design background, award-winning designer Sima Vaziry creates handmade designer jewellery. Her first collection in 2011 was chosen by the British Museum and her work now is part of the core range at the institute’s shop. Inspired by Islamic designs and the precious metals and stones of Afghanistan and Persia, Sima’s work is designed to tell stories - with her latest collection ‘Alina’ being a celebration of the creativity and skills of Afghan women. At Archipelago Textiles, Doreen Gittens designs and produces seductive hand-woven textiles using the finest natural yarns of cotton, linen and silk, which are hand-dyed by herself and woven using the traditional loom situated in her studio. Archipelago Textiles was named after spending much of her life and career ‘island-hopping’ – living in Jamaica, Birmingham, Grenada, Barbados and Glasgow before setting up her studio at Oxo Tower Wharf. Her beautiful range includes scarves, shawls, throws, bed covers and curtains, all of which are woven to commission for customers around the world, who appreciate her attention to detail, quality and design. One of Doreen’s luxurious scarves (as seen in the Tate Edit Makers’ Showcase) can take up to 3-4 weeks to produce.

 p

Sotis Filippides

Doreen Gittens

Sotis Filippides makes contemporary ceramic wall installations and vessels, from generous bowls to tapering pots, with each piece being a tribute to his love of texture. Expertly thrown, and fired in his studio at Oxo Tower Wharf, the grainy exteriors in dark earthy shades softly contrast with the interiors in 24 carat gold. Crispin Jones is the founder and designer of collectable watch brand Mr Jones Watches. The cult brand from London follows the premise that a watch should do more than just tell the time – it should make you think, start a conversation or simply make you smile. The brand collaborates with a range of artists and illustrators to produce the inspiring and distinctive designs on offer. Contemporary jewellery designer Loveness Lee took up residence at Oxo Tower Wharf in December 2019. Designing contemporary creations for her eponymous jewellery brand, the Chinese-born designer uses natural forms, vivid hues and irregular textures to define the brand’s statement style. Using a skilled process of cuttlebone casting, lost wax casting and enamelling, Loveness Lee manipulates traditional techniques to create naturally free-formed shapes and textures. The extraordinary creation process she employs makes each piece of Loveness Lee jewellery as unique as the woman who wears it. Oxo Tower Wharf is at Bargehouse Street, South Bank, SE1 9PH. Phone: 020 7021 1600.

p Loveness


p Crispin

Jones of Mr Jones Watches


Most of the shops/studios are open from Tuesday to Sunday from 11am-6pm, and visitors can wander in, free of charge. Date for the diary: Inspired by what you’ve seen ? Why not combine your visit to Oxo Tower Wharf with a visit to THE FUTURE OF CRAFT 2020 at the Bargehouse (from April 27 until May 3) as part of London Craft Week, with five floors of craft, talks and installations.



It's nicer than Nice Katie Kelly


ed up with grey skies and Brexit doom, I escaped this week to the French Riviera for some guaranteed fun and sunshine. All this without even leaving Southwark! The Menier Chocolate Factory’s latest production, The Boyfriend, by Sandy Wilson, is a brightly lit, colourful romp and would warm the cockles of even the weariest Londoner’s heart. The 1950s show is set in a finishing school full of giggling girls who are all desperately in search of that life essential: the boyfriend. Amara Okereke, fresh from success in Oklahoma at the Chichester Festival theatre, and Dylan Mason impress as the star-crossed young lovers Polly and Tony. Polly is the daughter of a millionaire, posing as a secretary to find a man who isn’t just interested in her money. Tony, working

as a messenger boy, has his own secrets to hide. They sing together of their humble aspirations for a simple ‘room in Bloomsbury’ to knowing chuckles from the audience before being separated in a predictable plot twist. Will they be reunited at the ball? Will they Charleston the night away together? No plot spoilers here. Janie Dee as the school principal, Madame Dubonnet, has a bit of a wandering accent but her comic timing is always in exactly the right place. The highlight of her performance was the powerful and poignant rendition of ‘Poor little Pierrette’ which created a moment of genuine emotion in what is a mostly ‘frothy’ show. Adrian Edmondson brings a comic, though rather un-PC touch to the ageing philanderer Lord Brockhurst.


The dancing and music throughout are splendid. Hats off to the choreographer, who at one point gets all 19 cast members twirling on the small stage. The showstopper Charleston is irresistible and we also get a tango, waltz and quickstep. The music swings along with some fabulous vocal performances. If heart-warming, distracting fun is what you are in need of this winter then get yourself a ticket quickly, as Menier shows can sell out fast. The Boyfriend is at the Menier Chocolate Factory, 53 Southwark Street, SE1 1RU until 7 March. Admission: £39.50-£47.50. Phone: 020 7378 1713.


F A ALBIN & SONS Family Run Funeral Directors

020 7237 3637

Serving the people of Bermondsey & Rotherhithe for over 200 years


DEPTFORD 164 Deptford High Street, LONDON, SE8 3DP WALWORTH 88 Brandon Street, LONDON, SE17 1ND


“Me Dad made the grandfather clock in the living room with wood from when Powell’s Wharf was demolished…"

The timekeeper Michael Holland


ary Magold was born in Guy’s to a machinist mother and a Master cabinet maker father on January 1st. ‘Me mum went into labour on Christmas Eve, so me eldest brother Steve went round Aunt Maureen’s, and me dad spent that week in the Rising Sun having the best Christmas of his life’, says Gary laughing. Home was a bungalow in Jamaica Road until 1967 when the family moved to new flats in Emba Street where Gary, Steve and younger brother Chris grew up. Gary’s mum was born in Dombey House, Dickens Estate, his dad in Llewellyn Street and the grandparents are also Bermondsey people. Family members signed up for WWI; some dying in battle, others returning without limbs, while his father saw action at the end of WWII, which all led to Gary’s connection to war memorials. With a Master Carpenter indoors Gary grew up surrounded by wood: ‘Me dad made the grandfather clock in the living room with wood from when Powell’s Wharf was demolished… He saw me and me mates pulling wood out of there for a bonfire and said, “Oi! You can’t burn that, it’s oak!” He made that clock and others I’ve still got - I’m a clockaholic.’ As if on cue a medley of gongs and bongs filled the air as his collection struck the hour just as he spoke of dad getting a ‘tuppence ha’penny pay rise’. His mother made clothes for the royals in a Tower Bridge Road firm: ‘They sewed Harrods labels in the clothes they made for Prince Charles,’ he reveals. Gary went to St James’ School, as did his dad, but when it was annexed at the top of Riverside School. ‘It had been bombed and they hadn’t rebuilt it by then,’ he says. After that he attended Bacon School in Pages Walk. He recalls shopping at Whitehall Clothiers for his uniform and still smarts at how there was a special gym kit his parents had to buy! ‘Holidays were a big family affair and we’d drive down to Bognor or Dymchurch in a rented minibus,’ Gary remembers while looking over old photos. 'We couldn’t afford to go away every year, but when we did it was to caravans,’ he adds while bells chime another half hour. Gary had his first job for 22 years until they closed and he was made redundant. This became a theme and he is proud of the fact that in his working life he never left a job - ‘Jobs left me,’ he jokes.




He is the ‘Family Archivist - I keep anything and everything’ - and his home is testament to that: old photos, street signs, the Bermondsey Borough Council coat of arms, Peek Frean’s paraphernalia, plus a constant ticking and chiming from the clocks. He is surrounded by memories and his interest in Bermondsey’s history has made him one of the most knowledgeable. Plus, Gary’s interest in his local community has meant he has been instrumental in making Bermondsey better. The first project he got involved with was getting swings erected for land abandoned when the wharves along the waterfront were demolished. His next journey into community work was joining the Friends of Southwark Park (FoSP) group, where he became the Treasurer. ‘There was a small committee having meetings in a room under Layard Square, and our first big step was going for Lottery money to improve the park, which was successful.’ Finding people on the council who believed in the cause was key to their success and they have gone on to do wonderful things in the park. The FoSP has been the force behind many improvements extending the lake and bringing the boats back; having the bandstand rebuilt - and they still fight for more. Campaigning for a better Bermondsey is in Gary’s blood, and with like-minded people he got funding to renovate the West Lane War Memorial that now has landscaped gardens and inscriptions in the Millpond Bridge pavement. More funding was granted to save a war memorial for local men that went to the Boer War, which was moved inside St James’ Church. Gary was also a major player in getting the caryatids brought back to their spiritual home in Rotherhithe. The beautiful statues were once the only reminder of the bombed Rotherhithe Town Hall, standing proud on Lower Road until someone with a pen gave the order for them to be moved to the Heygate Estate, where they stayed for 30 years. That was until Gary read a book about his hometown that told him where the caryatids were located, which spurred him on to ensure their return. After a long battle they came back to a beautiful setting in Southwark Park. Another role Gary has taken on is the Peek Frean’s Museum. He was involved with the Pumphouse Museum until funding cuts forced them to close. ‘I couldn’t bear to see all that stuff being thrown out,’ he says. A meeting with a Workspace director got Gary and his museum partner Frank Turner free space in the old Peek Frean’s factory to exhibit all the Peek Frean’s memorabilia from the Pumphouse. ‘The biggest problem,’ begins the man who works tirelessly for the area, ‘was getting the replica of the Queen’s wedding cake remade after it was vandalised.’ With a few phone calls they had Warwick University and the British Sugarcraft Guild involved: the university scanned the damaged replica to make 3D prints, and each tier was sent to various branches of the guild to be recreated. Gary’s current campaign is getting the legendary St James’ Church slide replaced. He was quick to tell me that ‘Fergus Carr, the great grandson of Arthur Carr, the Peek Frean’s Chairman who funded the original slide, has designed the new one, which is fantastic’. I don’t think Gary Magold will fail in this endeavour.



Just add water Debra Gosling


ith the trend for vegetarian and vegan food blancmange has been written off the menu. As comforting as custard, maybe in these troubled times it could make a welcome return? It was considered an invalid food in Victorian England; all those suffering with TB, scarlet fever and various poxes were put on a light, nutritious diet. Blancmange fitted the bill, but started off as a savoury Middle Eastern dish going back to mediaeval times. The Muslims made it with almond milk and fragrant rosewater, whilst the Persians added chicken and rice. Besides this rather shy and retiring convalescent dish there was the other sort of Blancmange, the sort that made birthday parties worth going for. The Victorians had changed the recipe to suit their sweet tooth and it became a towering, quivering confection - with a cherry on the top for a bit of attitude. All this architectural cuisine needed something to keep it together and so in came (non-veggie) gelatine. In 1847 Pearce Duff set up their business in Rouel Road (at the Spa Road junction), manufacturing the stuff with the waste products derived from the tanneries. They were just up the road from Bevingtons and around the corner from what later became Young's glue factory, so source and supply were very close at hand. As the years rolled by, science lent a hand to the gelatine business and, not wanting to miss the tide, Pearce Duff started to produce custard powder, jelly crystals and lemonade sherbet. Bermondsey was the tops for all things fizzy and sweet! It did not stop there, as by 1910 there were producing baking and raising



powders, dried egg, soups, herbs, pea flours and health salts – as well as blancmange powder. Now all that was needed was to add water or milk. How convenient! Besides all the chemists, bakers and factory staff there was also a very talented team of label designers. A catalogue of 1910 demonstrated the elegant and attractive creations that were being slapped on all of those mixtures. Not content with bright colours on the labels they added metallic gold highlights to show these were quality products. There was no stopping them now! At this time the factory was churning out all manner of goods such as Boracic Powder, Borax, bath cubes and talcum powder for chemists. What a strange cloud of smells must have drifted over the district! However, it was not all scented talc and fizzy powders, this was still an industrial site with all manner of machines spinning and pounding. Like all factories there was always an accident just around the corner. It was not just for hygiene that a girl was made to tie back her hair; if it got caught in the cog wheels it could scalp her. One lapse of concentration and it could mean a matter of life and death. In the late 1920s a very young Dolly Burgess caught her finger in one of the machines, taking the top of it clean off. Nonplussed, the supervisor sent her home, sans fingertip, and she staggered back to St James' Road with her hand in a bandage that was quickly turning red. Her mum Emma was horrified – and promptly walked her back out again and up to Guy's Hospital. Poor Dolly never returned to Pearce Duff, nor did she retrieve the other half of her finger. Perhaps it turned


up beckoning, amid a blancmange at someone's birthday party. Pearce Duff were always known for their custard but they also produced black lead for grates, dolly blue for whitening the sheets and bird seed too! It may have seemed strange for a custard factory to process bird seed, but there were quite a few pet parrots and budgies in Bermondsey. It may be these birds were progeny from the days of exotic cargoes up the river. This splendid company bid Bermondsey adieu in the 1980s and the site was demolished.


food & drink


Facetime How it works

Josh Salisbury

Powered by machine learning technology, the system works by displaying a live video of everyone queuing on a screen above the bar.



Bermondsey bar has become the world’s first to use facial recognition technology to make sure punters can’t skip queues when waiting for a pint. The Underdog, on Crucifix Lane, became the first to trial the A.I. Bar, which scans the faces of those waiting to tell bar staff who is next in line for their order. The tech, developed by firm DataSparQ, also lets thirsty punters know how long it will take them to be served via a display screen. “We’re excited to be the first place in the world to have an A.I. powered bar,” said Sammy Forway, owner of The Underdog. “We got a great response when we trialled it, everyone knew who was next and exactly how long they had to wait to get served." The brains behind the queuing system also say the tech helps with ID – as it scans the faces of punters and lets bar staff know in advance if they look under 25. Also being developed is a ‘Face Tab’ feature, which

A number appears above each customer’s head, which represents their place in the queue.

would let customers link a bar tab to their face, so that no-one could put orders on their tab. The Underdog hopes to use the tech at peak times, but under privacy law they must currently obtain consent from everyone inside the bar when it is being used. However, privacy campaigners have lambasted what they call the use of repressive technology for a ‘gimmick’. “The problem is that it normalises quite dangerous surveillance techniques … it’s quite privacy intrusive,” said Silkie Carlo, director of Big Brother Watch, a privacy lobby group. “It’s not solving a problem that desperately needed solving.”


Customers look up at the display to see where they are in the queue and how long the system estimates it will take until they get served. Bar staf f are then told who’s next- they also have an iPad or Android tablet which tells them who to serve next and if they should ask the customer for I.D.


Music of migration Laura Burgoine

Rotherhithe local Eleanor Thorn has been running the Tuned In London world and folk music programme for eight years now, bringing world class musicians to Rotherhithe and now Bermondsey. This year there is a special focus on the music of migration, linking to 400 years ago when people boarded the Mayflower on Rotherhithe’s shores to set sail for lands unknown.

OLCAY BAYIR Wednesday 12 February, 7pm (doors 6.30pm) Finnish Church, Albion St, Rotherhithe Of Kurdish origin, Olcay Bayir's music crosses boundaries in evocative and heartstoppingly beautiful ways. Opera-trained, she was born on the Turkish side of the Syrian border, and her soul is rooted in the deeply-emotional music of Anatolia, home to many peoples: Turks, Kurds, Armenians and Arabs, many of whom have been displaced from the lands of their forefathers. "One of the finest, most intriguing singers on the British world music scene" (The Guardian), with two acclaimed albums to her name, Olcay returns bringing her exquisitely clear voice that defines her original repertoire, combining jazz, folk and neo-classical with Mesopotamian and Anatolian tradition.


RAPASA NYATRAPASA OTIENO Thursday 5 March, 7pm (doors 6.30) Finnish Church, Albion St, Rotherhithe Rapasa is a singer songwriter and great advocate of traditional music. He plays many East African indigenous instruments, his principal love being the Nyatiti, a beautiful lyre of the Lüo community, whose people now live along the Kenyan shores of Nam Lolwe (Lake Victoria), from where he hails. His music, steeped in heritage, is a journey, that follows the music of the Nyatiti as his ancestors migrated with it along the great waterway that is the Nile, drawing a likeness to those who set sail aboard the Mayflower and headed seaward from our own riverside community.

TOUKI: AMADOU DIAGNE and CORY SEZNEC Thursday 26 Mar, 7.45pm (doors 7.15) St Mary's Church, Rotherhithe Amadou Diagne from Senegal and French-American Cory Seznec planted the seeds of a future collaboration at a chance encounter busking, weaving musical inspirations that draw on West African, American and Ethiopian traditions. Life took them on different touki (journeys in Wolof ), but a decade later their paths have rejoined & their brand new album, Right of Passage, is fresh out of Peter Gabriel's Real World Studios. Kora dances playfully with banjo and guitar whilst the calabash adds powerful, driving beats. Their silky, soulful voices entrancingly envelop the music.

Wednesday 22 April, 7.45pm (doors 7.15) Sands Films, Rotherhithe Two Syrian brothers whose stellar music accreditations and accomplishments know no bounds: conducting, composing, singing, choir-leading, oud and qanun playing. Basel and Taim Saleh's performances have resonated far beyond their native Homs. Along with Damascusborn James Zedo on percussion, they present old Syrian folk songs & give us their own take on Andalusian Muwashshah, inviting us to savour the culture & music of the country they left behind on touring with Damon Albarn's Orchestra of Syrian Musicians, 2016.

IYATRAQUARTET Album Launch Special. Wednesday 6 May, 7.45pm (doors 7pm) City Hope Church, Bermondsey One of the most exciting new music groups around, iyatraQuartet have captivated audiences with their original, boundary-bending music for violin, cello, bass clarinet and percussion, flavoured with “dizzy Balkan revelry” and hints of plainchant and Indian raga. They dream up pieces of acoustic music and songs each as unclassifiable and varied as the last. In this Mayflower anniversary year, their name is apt: 'iyatra' is 'travel' or 'pilgrimage' in Hindi. Here they launch their second album “Break the Dawn”. Join them to break this album dawning.


For more information on this year’s Tuned In London series, visit:


food & drink

Eat, drink and be meze Laura Burgoine


ans of Borough Market’s Arabica Bar and Kitchen can learn to recreate some of their favourite Middle Eastern dishes at home, at a Modern Meze masterclass. Led by Arabica chef, David Jones, the intimate cooking class is held in the Cookhouse, a stylish space I never knew existed until I was directed to a green door, then led up a flight of stairs to a kitchen where I was met with an apron and a fabulous view over the market. In the three-hour class, I was introduced to the ‘new wave’ modern Middle Eastern cuisine that the restaurant is famed for, and some of Arabica’s hallmark herbs and larder mainstays, including wild sumac, tahini, pomegranate molasses and Za'atar. On this particular rainy Saturday afternoon, I was joined by six other students as David and his sous chef began with arguably the most in-demand Middle Eastern staple: hummus. But with green zhug. Here we learned that most supermarket hummus is made with concentrated lemon juice (highly acidic so it can stay on the shelves for longer) and rapeseed oil instead of olive oil, which significantly reduces the health benefits. The fresh stuff, made with chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice from real lemons, extra virgin olive oil, garlic and sea salt, you could eat by the spoonful. We made the green zhug (coriander, parsley, chillies, cumin, caraway seeds, cardamom, cloves, black pepper, lemon juice and olive oil) with a pestle and mortar, which, in the old market setting, feels rather like being a student at Hogwarts. Next came the crowd-pleasing Babaganoush, in which


we learned you can prick a few holes in a whole aubergine, stick it straight onto the hob and blacken it against a naked flame. The smoky aroma is intoxicating, and the novelty of a real flame for those of us used to induction stove-tops far outweighs the mess. I was assigned the task of massaging the spinach for the spinach and feta cheese boregi, a job I was entirely unqualified for - despite decades of Popeye-like affinity for the green stuff, I’ve never massaged it. Mixed with feta, eggs, onion, ground nutmeg, sea salt, pepper, and nigella (Lawson?) seeds, this was to be the filling for the boregi, which was then rolled into filo pastry as fine as pages of a bible and twisted into a delectable knot. The show-stopper for me was the chicken and pistachio shish. I’ve since recreated it at home and felt incredibly smug. This is one of Arabica’s most popular dishes. For good reason. The marinade really escalates an ordinary chicken breast or thigh into something pretty spectacular. The final dish: the Fattoush added a splash of summer to our menu; the colourful medley of cucumber, radishes, tomatoes, mint, parsley, Za’atar and pomegranate seeds reminded me that these readily available ingredients really up your salad game. The sumac and pomegranate molasses in the dressing add an impressive exoticism that’s bound to wow any dinner guest, thus making it a useful weapon to have in your armoury. Cooking classes are in the Cookhouse at Borough Market, Southwark St, SE1 1TL, and cost from £100£125. Phone: 0208 708 5577.

food & drink

Family of breadwinners Cara Cummings


harmaine Wasif is the Managing Director of Eco Group, a family-run food business behind some of south London’s favourite restaurants including Absolutely Starving in London Bridge and Eco, Esca and The Pepper Tree in Clapham. She talks to the Biscuit about working with family, how her parents helped set up Franco Manca and the mysterious power of bread... How did your family get started in the food business? My parents ran Pizzeria Franco in the 1980s as was their first business venture. Dad [Sami Wasif, also cofounder of Hakkasan] came from Egypt in ‘76 and didn’t speak English; he was the child of a shoemaker, part of a really big family and didn’t know anyone in the UK when he arrived. He worked his way through the ranks and then in 1989, he bought Pizzeria Franco in Brixton from Franco himself. That became what is Franco Manca today. Mum [Laura] and dad grafted - they washed the dishes, they made the salads, did everything from scratch and built it up enough that there were queues around the block. Franco taught my dad to make pizza and dad evolved his understanding from there about how climate affects the dough, how the human being affects the dough; the flour, the water, the temperature - all of the elemental life force affects dough. He built his own recipe from that. Thirty years down the line, it’s still being used here at Eco - a thirty-years-evolved recipe of dough. Dad is still very engaged - he writes all the menus with me and tastes all the food. The food is the way it is because of him and his passion. If a chef ’s not producing the standard that he’s created, he’ll know! Eco’s sourdough pizzas are legendary. What’s the secret? As a family, we have a whole bread-related lineage that’s really incredible. Back in Egypt at the Spring Equinox, dad’s grandfather would take live yeast to the town, bless it and distribute it as mother dough to the villagers. Bread in Egypt is called ‘eish’ - eish means life force, and if you can make bread then you can make anything. For us, food is all about people - that’s what he brought from Egypt, and what he’s always told me: “It’s about the people, Charmaine.” He has to see them sat there happy, relaxed, comfortable and enjoying themselves. If they’re not, then we’ve got trouble! Why do you think the family business has flourished so much? There are lots of elements at play when you sit in a really fantastic restaurant concept. It’s the sound, the acoustics, the temperature, the smell; plus the atmosphere. When

you come into one of our places, you get immersed in the family, the staff, all the connections we have and that heritage. That’s already there in the atmosphere - the family dynamic.Then you have the lighting; dad’s obsessed with lighting! He’s on us all the time about bulbs. We have a whole technical spec sheet of which lights do what! (laughs) How did you get involved with the family business? My whole life education is these businesses and watching my mum and dad do this. I studied architecture and started working in a practice, but when I was 23, I thought - oh no, this isn’t what my heart is telling me I should be doing. I said to dad: “Dad, I think I’ve made the wrong decision. I really want to come and work with you and mum and understand what this is all about.” I’ve been here ever since. What’s it like working with family? Mum and dad, my sister and several cousins all currently


work within the business. It’s very rewarding. For the fifteen years that I’ve worked with my parents, the main challenge is working with a dad who’s meticulous and not taking it personally - I’ve been killing my ego off for fifteen years! It can be challenging because he’s a no-nonsense perfectionist, but that also makes it really fantastic to be part of. We’re also lucky enough to have staff who’ve stayed with us for many, many years - Roberto, who worked at the original Pizzeria Franco before dad bought it, still works there on Saturdays and other staff have been with us for 20+ years. They are our extended family. It’s a bit like the mother dough fermenting and working its magic - this vision grows and grows. I can see my nephews being interested in becoming a part of it and I’m happy to hold this for as long as it takes for them to feel ready. Absolutely Starving is at 51 Tooley Street, SE1 20N. Phone: 020 7407 7417.


food & drink

An ale of two cities Laura Burgoine

Anspach and Hobday open second micro brewery


ou’ll find Anspach and Hobday craft beer in Michelin-starred restaurants like Le Gavroche, Storey in London Bridge, the Dorchester, and the Shangri-La’s Gong bar in the Shard. Kindergarten pals from Epsom, Jack Hobday and Paul Anspach started off as home brewers, before moving onto the Bermondsey Beer Mile and opening their Pigeon pop-up bar on Camberwell Church St. Now they’re scaling up with a second micro-brewery in Croydon. Jack talks the Biscuit through the craft.

The craft community We started the company in 2013, and were the joint fourth brewers to come to the Beer Mile: it was Kernel, Partizan, Brew by Numbers, then Four

Pure and us. When we decided to come to Bermondsey, we wondered if it would be saturated or an area of specialisation. Because it’s niche, for customers it makes life easier to have all of us in one place. Everyone’s trying to make the best beer they can. Of course we’re up against big competition but there’s also great camaraderie. We see is as it’s us: the craft brewers, against the big guys.”

Hop to it “I started with home brewing. I liked beer. A lecturer at my university used to home brew and he told me: you’ll save a lot of money. We entered our porter in a professional competition in 2013 and won a silver medal. It cost £350 to enter the competition and we only had £500 in our business account. But we had no credibility. After we won the medal, then we approached investors.

Paul [Anspach] worked in a wine shop and he used to give out samples of our beer to customers. One day the marketing director of PepsiCo came in, and he knew craft beer was coming up.”

The Beer Mile Beer tourism is huge. We have people come to visit us on from the US, Scandinavia, Germany, and Australia. A huge number of sales come from taproom visits. People see how small scale we are. The CAMRA real ale campaign of the ‘80s sparked a counter-culture during a time when lager was killing off cask beer. I think the craft beer trend has grown out of the demise of British brands, when everything became homogenised. I think it’s a backlash to mass production.”

Big plans a-brewing “In 2018, we produced around 150,000 litres of beer. At the Croydon site, we’ll be able to grow this number to 500,000 litres. Small brewers pay half the duty that big brewers like Fullers or Heineken do. To be considered a big brewery, you have to be producing around 6 million litres.


Yes we can “We plan to start canning. Cans are shatterproof, they’re smaller -so easier to transport, and they’re better for the environment so long as you recycle the cans. It’s also good for festivals where glass is banned. In terms of freshness, cans are better for beer. We’re going to keep the darker beers in bottles as they’re better for ageing.”

The future “We’re going to extend our tap-room hours from Friday, Saturday and Sunday to also include Wednesday and Thursday. We’re always looking forward. The generation after millennials are less likely to drink, they’re more health conscious and environmentally conscious. Owning a micro-brewery is a lot of work and a lot of fun. The first four years we were working six days a week. Now we have weekends off. We launched our online shop at the end of 2019. This opens up a new market for us.” Anspach and Hobday is at 118 Druid St, SE1 2HH. Phone: 020 8617 9510.

A new independent coffee shop for The Blue, Bermondsey

Speciality coffee Pastries Vegan Freshly made sandwiches 196C, Southwark Park Road, SE16 3RP


food & drink

Italian surf and turf in SE1 Laura Burgoine


accalà is now open on Bermondsey Street, serving up Italian seafood dishes, prepared in front of diners, using local, seasonal and fresh produce from the sea and the garden. The wine list is a journey through all twenty regions of Italy, paired with dishes to deliver a perfect gastronomic experience. Unit B3, 194 Bermondsey Street, SE1 3TQ. Phone: 0207 407 5514

Fine and Dandy Laura Burgoine


hanks to a successful crowdfunding campaign, beloved pop-up Dandy has opened its first permanent site on Maltby Street - and beer is big on the menu, with 12 local brews on offer and an onsite brewery planned for later in the year. Perfect to pair with chef Dan Wilson’s “seasonally-driven, comforting dishes” – which also include brunch classics. The third Australian café/restaurant in the series, Dandy is the brainchild of chef Dan Wilson and co-founder Matt Wells (from the Dairy in Clapham), set across two levels with a dining room and a mezzanine. 35 Maltby Street, SE1 3PA



“The fact that your blood-flow is having to change direction because you’re upside down is very good for your circulation it wakes the whole system up”

Up, up and away

Cara Cummings


rom the dizzying heights of Union Street, you can turn your world upside down at Flying Fantastic’s aerial fitness studio. The Biscuit sits down for an exclusive Q&A with founder and ‘Ringmaster’ Chris Wigan. First things first - what is aerial fitness? Anything that gets you in the air and gets you fit! We do a number of traditional circus disciplines and try and bring them in to the mainstream - things like aerial silks, which is lengths of material hanging from the roof where you can climb up, wrap yourself in knots and then let go and do drops, figures and tricks; through to rope, aerial hoop and trapeze. Our static trapeze class involved using two ropes connected with a bar, whilst our aerial hoop is a large metal ring and involves lots of spinning. It’s great for creating sequences and flows of different movements, figures and shapes. Why work out in the air? Fundamentally, using your body as levers to haul around in the air is going to get you fit. It’s an incredible workout for your upper body, your core and your legs. The fact that your blood-flow is having to change direction because you’re upside down is very good for your circulation - it wakes the whole system up. If you look at things like aerial yoga, there are some specific health benefits like decompression of the spine. It’s fantastic for depression as well because you have to concentrate 100%. Even if you’ve had a helluva day, when you get on the apparatus you switch off all your other worries and give this your full attention.You step away from your problems. It’s gravitational mindfulness.




The exciting bit for me is falling through the air and completely defying gravity. It’s so exhilarating. Honestly, it gives me goosebumps every time. How did you discover aerial fitness? In 2008 my wife and I moved to South America to work for some charities. One day in Buenos Aires, I went looking for a gym and ended up at a small warehouse. There were crash mats all over the floor - you know that something exciting happens where there’s crash mats and a load of ropes and material hanging from the roof, which was all completely alien to me. I’m not a gymnast; I’ve never done acrobatics. In my first class, we were all sat on the floor trying to touch our toes and I was about a foot higher than everyone else. They were all there in lycra, and I was in rugby shorts; it was all very embarrassing. But I loved it. I started going three times a week and it was hard muscles hurt that you never realise you had, and you get the odd bump and bruise because that’s the nature of hurtling yourself around in the air. But after about a month - and I’m not a particularly vain bloke - I looked in the mirror and suddenly thought: ‘Woah - abs! Where did they come from?!’ Why should fitness fans try Flying Fantastic? We always say: anyone can come and give this a go. You don’t need to be classically trained with gymnastic background; we do all we can to make it as accessible as possible. If you can’t get on the apparatus, we will lower the apparatus. Our classes our flexible, so you can come and go whenever you want. We run all levels of classes in a typical class of 12, we have two trainers working so that no matter who turns up, or whatever level you’re at, we’ll have students who are there or thereabouts too and a dedicated trainer looking after you. It’s a really sociable activity. You’re always working with a buddy partner and you’re relying on them as much as they’re relying on you. It’s not competitive; circus generally has a really supportive atmosphere and there’s such a nice sense of everyone helping everyone else out. What’s the best thing about helping people fly? The bit that I love is that people always exceed their expectations. It sounds very cheesy but I genuinely get goosebumps when people overcome their fears. Inverting in the air is a big deal - it takes something both mental and physical, and that’s a really big thing. When we get people coming to us who haven’t inverted, or who have maybe been coming for a couple of weeks and they can’t quite do it - when they get it, there are always whoops and cheers from the studio. It’s so supportive. That’s really, really rewarding. Flying Fantastic is at Arch 27, Old Union Yard Arches, 229 Union St, SE1 0LR. Phone: 020 7928 2093. The new Peckham studio is at 1 Bellenden Road, SE15 5BA.




Homeward Bound

The new heart and soul of SE1

New builds, luxury flats, affordable housing and what’s up your street


ermondsey is one of London’s most fashionable districts while retaining its authentic vibe, with culture, fantastic food and drink and an urban energy and style in its historic streets. This unrivalled blend of old and new is loved by readers of the Sunday Times, who voted it one of the top places to live in the capital. At the centre of this buzzing area, London Square Bermondsey has captured that mix of heritage and contemporary in a new £220m neighbourhood of homes, flexible workspaces and art studios in a collection of former industrial and modern buildings, with 70 per cent sold from the first release. The development opens up the 4.7acre site for the first time, once home to a tannery and the Crosse & Blackwell pickle factory, creating new squares, open green spaces and walkways that connect to its surrounding streets. Tannery Arts, a charity working with emerging artists, will be provided with studio and gallery space in the development. The new neighbourhood is a 12-minute walk to London

Bridge station and the Thames, with Jubilee, Northern lines and national rail, Thames Clipper commuter boats, good bus links and a 12-minute cycle to the City. Award-winning developer London Square is creating a collection of two and three bedroom warehouse style and newbuild duplexes as part of the development. Each duplex has the added cachet of its own private front terrace and entrance, plus the benefits of a 24-hour concierge, on-site gym, underground parking and security. The duplexes are designed to complement and reflect the building’s heritage and original use, yet configured to create the look and feel of a self-contained house. Generous open plan living spaces feature sleek interiors, perfect for entertaining, incorporating the latest Siemens kitchen appliances and underfloor heating. All duplexes have large, private terraces. Prices are from £1,140,000. As well as the duplexes, there are also a number of highly individual apartments with characterful, stand-out design, all with excellent specification and detailing. Many have dual aspect, and in some cases, triple aspect, maximising light and space, with some apartments enjoying fabulous views across the capital, with open-plan living areas for


relaxing or entertaining. All apartments have private outdoor space, concierge and a gym, equipped with the latest cardio and conditioning machines. Prices are from £895,000. London Square Bermondsey is the showcase scheme in the wider regeneration of the Old Kent Road area of the capital, set to bring thousands of new homes, schools, jobs, parks, public areas and two new tube stations for the Bakerloo Line extension. The SE1 area is a great place to live and invest in property. Leading experts will be discussing its potential and the future of the London property market at London Square Intelligence, an event which takes place on Thursday 5th March at 6.15 pm for 6.45pm at London Square Bermondsey. The debate will be chaired by Anne Ashworth, the award-winning property writer and TV and radio commentator. To join the audience and submit a question for discussion at the debate, please contact For sales information on London Square Bermondsey, please contact the sales suite on 0333 666 4343.

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• High specification homes • Concierge and residents’ gym • New squares, walkways and open space for the community • London skyline views to some apartments

2 and 3 bedroom apartments and duplexes from £895,000

0333 666 4343

Sales Suite and three Stunning Show Apartments, open daily. 58 Grange Road, Bermondsey, London SE1 3BH. Computer generated image depicts London Square Bermondsey and Show Apartments photography is indicative only. Distances are approximate and are sourced from Details and prices are correct at time of going to press. February 2020.