Tag Archives: Brockwell Park

The Perfect Sunday – Brockwell Park, The Lido Cafe and Piaf

1. Get out of bed slowly, cook some eggs, shower, buy the papers, walk to Brockwell park.  Take a nurofen, ahem.

2.  Walk past tennis courts.  Admire view of the City and say something about how lovely London is in the sun.  Decide to play more tennis this year.  Remember how you said that last year too.  Oops.

3.  Walk to Brockwell Hall and trip over several small people.  Smile because its a lovely crisp sunny day and the self-inflicted cobwebs are slowly dispersing. 

4.  Admire view of Battersea Power station, London Eye and similar. 

5.  Go to Brockwell Lido.  Decide that you’ll definitely go swimming there this summer when its hot.  Remember you said that last year too.  Oops.  Go to The Lido Cafe* and order a coffee.  Pick up leaflet and consider going back for £7 deal for burger, chips and a beer.  Mmmmmmmm burgers…

6.  Walk back past The Prince Regent and take a better picture of the cool “ghost” advert for furniture.

7.  Head to Dulwich Village. Get a table at Piaf.  Roast lamb, gravy, roast potatoes, yorkshire pudding and vegetables.  Glass of red.  Perfect.

* The Lido Cafe does a burger, chips and beer for £7 on Wednesdays.  On Thursdays from 8pm there are various events including music from Franks Casket and the Fruitful Earth on 11 March, comedy from The Late Night Gimp Fight and Friends on 18 March, and a flamenco show with Flamenco Olivar on 25 March.

The Prince Regent, 69 Dulwich Road, SE24 0NJ

One of my favourite things about London is traditional old boozers especially when combined with Sunday lunch.  We’d passed The Prince Regent in Herne Hill a few times – its just by the lido at Brockwell Park – and it looked lovely, so Valentine’s Day was a good excuse for El G and I to try it out.  No heart-shaped foodstuffs here thank god. 

I’m intrigued by Herne Hill – between crazy Brixton and sedate Dulwich – especially after reading this Times article:

“EVERYONE knows someone who lives in Herne Hill. You go there, see friends, have a lovely time and come home feeling slightly envious and obscurely resentful. Then you realise that SE24 isn’t a location – it’s a lifestyle. And suddenly you want to live it.”

Inspired by my friend Pip’s recent food photos, I took my camera for the first time since I started this blog – my point and press as the SLR would be too noticeable.  No-one blinked an eyelid and even El G didn’t seem to mind (as long as it was sans flash) so I’m hoping to take more photos (hopefully a bit less blurry) from now on.

Here was the menu – brilliant choices like pheasant rillette for starter; roast chicken with cauliflower cheese, roast lamb with red cabbage or roast duck with celeriac and pak choi for main; cheese platter or creme brulee or apple and pear crumble for pud.  Good wine list too and we ordered a delicious bottle of Malbec for £15.

It reminded me more of a North London boozer (like The Scolt Head in Dalston) than other pubs in Clapham or Brixton because it was filled with kids and people of different ages (even people over 35! Gasp!) – which I reckon makes for a great pub. 

It was pretty full so we were pleased we booked – all rustic wooden floors and tables, church pew seats and noise – love it.  We started off with delicious bread and I loved the oil and balsamic in empty schwepps bottles.

Then the mains arrived – my chicken was delicious, with a generous portion of cauliflower cheese (guilty pleasure from childhood), roast potatoes and mange tout, my only minor comment being the meat was a little bony. 

El G’s roast lamb was succulent and delicious, with spicy red cabbage.   Both of these mains are better – great flavours, more interesting – than normal pub grub I’ve had in this area.

As sunlight faded, we got more Malbec – oops – and tucked into a delicious cheese platter below which was great although with the oily thick bread I was beginning to feel a little lardy

…but it was only fair we also tried the apple and pear crumble, for the blog you know…

At £30 a head for 1 main, 1 pudding and 1/2 a bottle of lovely wine and a bit more hic each, considering the quality of the food and the fantastic atmosphere, this was a really great pub lunch.  I’m definitely coming back  – both in Summer to sit outside, with a group of mates to take advantage of the church pews and for the pub quiz.  Next time I’ll try the roast duck and finally convince El G to play Risk.

On the way back to Brixton I took these two shots – an old furniture advert and a sign for St Mathews Church next to an ad for DJs playing at the club Mass under the church.  Only in Brixtonia.

Prince Regent on Urbanspoon

The Brixton rennaissance

I don’t know what’s happening or why, but there is a real sense living in Brixton that something is happening and that it’s good.  For years people have been saying that Brixton’s “up and coming” but finally it feels like things are moving.  There’s an excitement in the air – recently we’ve seen the arrival of Brixton farmer’s market on Brixton station road;  a new smaller market outside the KFC selling hemp porridge, venison sausages, olives and lamb burgers; and the Brixton market itself is alive with the now famous Franco Manca, Wild Caper and Rosie’s deli, as well as the usual jerk chicken shops, music stalls, and fish and meat outlets.  There’s new bars like The Rest Is Noise, the Prince and Dex Club and the refurbished Plan B. Everyone seems to be walking round with a smile, slightly smug, as if to say “yes, I live here” .  They’s building a new Brixton Square  to be the focal point of this new “village”, and even the tiny park on my street is being done up, in a Grand Designs type community design.  Lottery money has flooded into the gorgeous Brockwell Park (which has a view of the City that can rival, sort of, Hampstead Heath) which now has a real community feel with lots of local events.

With Victorian terraced houses at far lower prices than neighbouring Clapham, estate agents say that for the first time young professionals are choosing to move from Clapham to Brixton, rather than the other way round.  Of course, this leads to a concern about pushing up house prices, and forcing the communities who make Brixton the place it is into other areas, but at the moment its a great mix of people – if you walk round the market you see old and young, every nationality you can think of, all enjoying what Brixton has to offer.

According to my North London friend Amy, Brixton is the only place in South London that has the same vibe as north of the river.  High praise indeed.

UPDATE:  The now defunct Woolworths on Brixton high street is going to be transformed into an H&M!  Now there really is very little reason to leave our little village of a weekend…