Crofton Park

CROFTON COLUMN #49

BROCKLEY MAX 2016 - SPONSORS AND ADVERTISERS

So, the wonderful Brockley Max festival is now only a month away (running from 27th May until 4th June) It is once again celebrating all the best in music and arts that our amazing area has to offer, over 9 days. This year it falls over the May half term break so we hope that families/children will be able to enjoy the many activities in the programme, particularly the treasure trail which involves going to 15 of our local businesses, collecting nature stamps and entering into a prize draw. This is kindly sponsored by Lewisham Card. The treasure chest will be given to our lucky winner during our fantastic family ‘Art in the Park’ event at Hillyfields. We have 70 events in the programme this year covering art/music/comedy/theatre/cabaret/poetry/craft/film/walks/talks and much more.

However Brockley Max is a voluntary run organisation and so the festival would not be possible without the generous sponsorship and advertising from our local businesses. I therefore thought it appropriate to include them all in a blog post, with a short paragraph on each business. When I decided to do this I did not realise that there would be 38 separate businesses supporting us this year- a record number!! It will therefore be quite long but I hope you find it interesting and gives you some information that perhaps you did not already know and hopefully it may get you to visit a shop/cafe/restaurant that you have not been to before.

SHAPE REAL ESTATE along with Boultbee London and Peveril Securities Ltd. We are very proud to have our first Headline festival sponsor. Last year they very kindly sponsored us for the opening night as they are the three main companies behind the new housing development at 180 Brockley road, SE4. As many of you will have seen the development is near completion with the first tenants moving in over the next month. The Shape team have decades of experience in high-end residential led developments and their commitment to excellence is reflected in everything they do.

They are delighted with their Brockley scheme, creating a landmark building set around a landscaped courtyard, incorporating bright and spacious 1,2 & 3 bed apartments with contemporary designed interiors to a high quality specification. They always want to be part of the community they work in and Riccardo Dawson at Shape was very keen to get more involved in the festival and so there are sponsoring an open art competition ‘Taking Shape’, providing materials for an ‘Art Jam’ on the opening night and leading the way in a debate ‘Shaping Brockley’ . Huge thank you to all at SHAPE for being our headline sponsor.

BRYAN & KEEGAN  This independent estate agent, situated in the heart of Crofton Park, is a great supporter of the community. It was established in 2013 combining the family building business of Bells of Westminster with the experience and skills of Jon Keegan as an estate agent. It has soon gained a great reputation for buyers and sellers of property, having excellent local knowledge. It also manages and rents out flats and houses. I have personally used them and found them both professional and friendly and so can certainly recommend them as a local estate agent. This will be their 3rd year as a major festival sponsor for Brockley Max whilst also sponsoring us with their eye catching lime green and dark grey boards. A big thank you for their continuing support.

BROCKLEY’S ROCK Situated in midtown Brockley this has to be one of the most popular businesses in the area. Opening in 2011 owner Kyri has kept it a very family affair with his son, Ricco, now running their sister shop in Brixton. They guaranteed to bring you more than the traditional cod and chips whilst providing sustainable and ethically caught fish and have not disappointed. Grilled sea-brass and prawns, salmon, calamari, mackerel are just some of the items on the menu whilst many daily specials feature. They do a gluten free Tuesday and have won ‘best chippy chips’ award for the past 2 years. They are always keen to get involved in the community and didn’t hesitate to sign up to be our ‘Art in the Park’ sponsor again this year, and will be up at Hilly fields with their popular fishing pond stall. Pop by and and say hello. 

              

GOLD SPONSORS

PROUD SOW I feel very lucky to live only 2 minute’s walk from this great business. Number 1 Ewhurst road has been operating as a butchers shop since 1908. Owner Oli, with Josh and latest recruit Ben took over from Peter James in July 2014 and it’s customer base has been growing ever since. They sell quality, traceable English meat, all provided with excellent customer service. You can also buy your fine wines and craft beers to accompany your meal, fresh bread from Cooper’s Bakehouse, Hartland pies, smoked salmon, some deli items, and now cheeses from Jones of Brockley plus lots more. We are delighted Proud Sow have taken out gold sponsorship with Brockley Max again.

THE TALBOT  Lesley and partner Mike took over this public house at the end of Tyrwhitt Road, SE4 in July 2014 and made an immediate impact in the area. Everyone receives a friendly welcome when they go into the pub and garden and they put on many events. Their Sunday lunches are highly popular. Last year they provided a fantastic programme of events for the Brockley Max week and I enjoyed many things there. This year they have equally thrown themselves into the festival and totally embraced the spirt of Max with lots of music/comedy/art spread over the 9 days. I will certainly be there – big thanks to Lesley for taking out gold sponsorship again.

BROCKLEY BREWERY I love this local business! They were one of the first places I visited for my blog over 3 years ago and I remember Debbie being so welcoming, having only opened the brewery a few months earlier. They started out stocking a few local pubs but have proved so popular that their bottles grace most shelves of the shops/delicatessens/bars/restaurants in the area and beyond. They are now open at the brewery over the weekend to sit down and sip a pint or two or take away pints/kegs. As great community participants it was no surprise that they took out gold sponsorship with Brockley Max and they are hosting an event during the festival whilst providing beer tents at both the film night and Art in the Park.

          

SILVER SPONSORS

THE LARDER  The Larder was opened in April 2014 in the heart of Ladywell village by Cynthia and Katherine who share a passion for food. “We just love good, honestly produced, fresh food which is produced locally where possible. If we can’t source local, we’ll source the best” In two years this delicatessen has become a firm favourite for many locals who share their love of quality food and alcohol. Wine tasting events and pop up suppers are held regularly in the shop and have always been a sell-out. They advertised with us last year and decided to take out silver sponsorship with us this year.

BROCKLEY BARGE This Wetherspoon’s pub is one of the main landmarks of Brockley. It is always busy and that is no surprise when you see the prices for their food and drink! Sporting events are televised and there is always a friendly atmosphere when I go in. They contribute to Brockley Max with sponsorship and being the pub right by the opening night on Foxberry Road they certainly do very well that night when they do a Brockley Max special meal deal. Watch out for the art work in their courtyard, resulting from the Merging Inks event on the 27th May.

GREEN TEA ARCHITECTS This architect practice, specialising in sustainable design is based in the tea factory, Brockley Cross, and moved in nearly 7 years ago. It was founded by three Forest Hill residents who wanted to be locally based with good transport links. As a practice their projects range from educational, religious and community projects through to residential and retail developments. They can cater for all your design needs including graphic, landscape, product and interior design. They are big supporters of encouraging culture and creativity within the local area and were silver sponsors for Brockley Max last year so did not hesitate to sign up again! THANK YOU!

          

BROCKLEY DELI This is another business in Brockley Cross that took out silver sponsorship with Brockley Max last year and very happily signed up again. Business partners Zoltan and Martin opened the delicatessen in June 2014 and are firmly established after nearly 2 years of trading and have helped transform the Brockley Cross area. They stock the usual deli items but are also a very popular cafe serving coffees, teas, delicious looking cakes & sandwiches. I can’t recommend enough their toasted goats cheese, caramelised onions and rocket sandwich! They are open in the evenings until 8pm, Friday and Saturday until 11pm with wine, beer and nibbles. Zoltan was very keen for the deli to become an active event venue for Brockley Max this year and there are 4 exciting music evenings plus a storytelling/poetry eve so check them out.

HONOR OAK WELLNESS ROOMS Since opening in February last year they have been very keen to engage with the local community and immediately took out an advert with Brockley Max and have supported us ever since. Based at 82 Brockley Rise they specialise in chiropractic care to help manage pain and improve health. They also offer yoga/pilates/massage therapy and have many open days with taster sessions etc. Check out their website for prices, times, further information or pop along to have a chat in their beautiful, calm environment. See www.honoroakwellnessrooms.com

THE ORCHARD Established in 2009 this relaxed bar/restaurant is one of the most popular destinations in the area and always busy. Local owners, Edmund and Emily, have created a great place to meet for a coffee, drink, brunch or a 3 course meal. The menu changes regularly and they have a wide selection of wines, craft beers and ever changing delicious cocktails. They have always been great supporters of the local community and sponsored the festival over a number of years. We welcome them again as silver sponsors.

           

L’OCULTO Ana and Teresa have been running the highly successful company ‘Flavours of Spain’ importing cheeses, charcuterie and wines from Spain. They source and import all their own wines direct from the producer which include limited production organic, biodynamic and natural wines. They have had a stall at the popular Brockley market for many years and established a loyal growing client base, whilst also supplying many shops and caterers with their quality produce. An opportunity came up in the summer last year to do a pop up at No 57 Loampit Hill and so we were treated to an amazing month of delicious tapas during August. It was full every night and so they soon realised there was the demand so it became a permanent space just before Xmas. You can pop in there and buy quality ingredients and wine during the day and from Wednesdays it turns into a restaurant. If you haven’t been check it out – you won’t be disappointed! Great that they have supported Brockley Max as a silver sponsor.

BROOKBANK DRY CLEANERS Friendly owner Ibby has been running this popular local dry cleaners for 16 years. It provides a same day professional dry cleaning service, free re-texturing on all items, repairs and alterations, key cutting and there is free parking outside. He also does shoe repairs and curtain cleaning. Quote from local resident Catherine "It's always a pleasure to take my dry cleaning to Ibby's, around the corner from Hilly fields, who always offers a friendly service, at reasonable rates". This is the 2nd year they have taken out silver sponsorship with Brockley Max and it is great to have them back with us. 

GENTLY ELEPHANT I love this shop on Brockley road/corner of Cranfield Rd but sadly it opened way after my children needed it for shoes/ clothes/toys/gifts etc (they are 19 and 25 years old). It quickly established a great reputation when it first opened nearly 4 years ago and won Brockley Central’s best newcomer of the year award in 2012. I went in there 3 years ago to gain information for a blog post and had no idea that they sold adult sandals! I duly got introduced to Salt Water sandals and have been there every summer since and have just purchased my fourth pair in a funky patent turquoise. Helen the owner is always very supportive of the festival and so we were delighted that they took out silver sponsorship.

                              

LEWISHAM CARD This initiative was set up last summer by 2 local entrepreneurs and has been highly successful with over 150 independent businesses joining the scheme so far. Basically you purchase the Lewisham card and then can use it at lots of outlets in the borough – from bike shops to cafes to local roofers. Most offer a % discount when you visit and this can vary from business to business. It is a great way to shop/use/eat/drink LOCAL, make savings and also discover new places. All the businesses currently in the scheme are clearly outlined, by area, on the excellent website www.lewishamcard.co.uk Lewisham card have joined with Brockley Max to sponsor a children’s treasure trail taking place during the festival, involving 15 local businesses who participate in the card scheme. Welcome Lewisham Card – a great collaboration!

ADVERTISERS

CROFTON PARK  OPTICIANS This local opticians in Crofton Park is run by Pritesh who is very friendly and approachable and runs a highly professional service. I now go and have my eyes tested here and it is a very thorough examination with the latest technology. I always assumed prices would be much higher for glasses than the high street chains but I have been very pleasantly surprised by the range of styles and costs to suit all pockets. They also supply and fit a large range of contact lenses and love seeing children and meeting their eye care/wear needs. I would certainly recommend a visit if you haven’t already done so. Pritesh took out another full page advert with Brockley Max so a big thank you.

PATCHWORK  The idea for this innovative, creative business came about when Olivia got married. After 10 years being together and with 2 children they did not want lots of ‘stuff’ as wedding presents but really wanted an amazing honeymoon in Cuba. They created a beautiful patchwork of ideas/images of what they needed funding to make this a holiday of a lifetime with costs attached so that family and friends could contribute according to their budget. This idea was developed in early 2013 and 3 plus years later Patchwork is now a ‘global, mobile platform that allows people to invite friends to contribute cash, time and/or skills to make something amazing happen –piece by piece. Check out their new website patchworkit.com for more information. Whilst it is all online they have a physical presence at their offices on Harefield Rd, SE4 and love people popping in to say hello. They have always been very supportive of Brockley Max and for the past 2 years have created our own patchwork for people to help fund the festival.

THE GANTRY You can’t miss this wonderful French influenced bar/restaurant on the corner of Brockley Road which has been opened now for nearly 4 years having been refurbished from the popular, yet very different, Toads Mouth Too. However I still believe lots of people haven’t been inside and sampled all of its delights. Beyond the attractive bar on the ground floor you go down to the basement and discover 2 lovely dining rooms, a beautiful conservatory that leads out to the amazing hidden garden area! If you haven’t been you really should check it out and you can have delicious breakfast/brunch/lunch and dinner or just sit out for a coffee or glass of wine.

         

BROCKLEY JACK PUB We are delighted to welcome an advert from the Brockley Jack pub, part of the the Greene King chain. This imposing building, the site steeped in history, was refurbished a number of years ago and has become a firm family favourite local pub where you are very likely to bump into your neighbour. The food and drink are very reasonable priced and so a family meal does not break the bank. Also the Brockley Jack theatre goers use the pub before/during the interval and after the show and it has won the well-deserved ‘Best theatre bar award 2015 in the Off West End theatre awards. Ruth, the current manager of the pub, is delightful and was very keen to be part of Brockley Max – they are holding a craft fair during the opening festival weekend.

JONES OF BROCKLEY Michael opened this grocer’s shop on the main road, opposite Crofton Park station last August and it has been a fantastic addition to the area. He sells quality food items, fresh fruit and vegetables, whilst offering a wide range of fine wines/spirits and craft beers. I personally go in for his superb cheeses! He has an ever changing selection, largely sourced from Neal’s Yard and Herve Mons and is very knowledgeable if you want advice to create a varied cheeseboard. His passion for everything he sells immediately comes across and he is quickly establishing a growing customer base. He did not hesitate to take out an advert with Brockley Max this year and is very keen to involve himself into the community he serves

MUCK N BRASS BOUTIQUE Lady Zoe opened this wonderful shop on Brockley Rise just over a year ago and it has certainly brightened up that parade of shops! Zoe has a love of design and colour and upcycles furniture with amazing results. Check out her new website mucknbrass.com or pop into the shop and say hello. Her furniture changes regularly as it flies out the door. She also takes commissions and will upcycle customers own pieces. I personally had some great advice/support from Zoe before Xmas and have transformed a drab coffee table into a beautiful piece of art! She is also keen to support the area and very happily advertised with Brockley Max.

BABUR RESTAURANT This award winning restaurant did not hesitate to take out an advert when asked which I love as they do not necessarily need the extra custom but they are always willing to support any community events with adverts/raffle prizes/vouchers etc. They opened in 1985 on Brockley Rise and have been delighting us with their delicious Indian food for over 30 years. People come from far and wide to enjoy their exciting menu so we are extremely lucky to have such a popular restaurant on our doorstep. I personally love their Sunday buffet which is a bargain for such quality food and well worth checking out.

         

THE WORKSHOP  Lucy and Donna have just celebrated their first year in business together at the Workshop which is at the bottom of my road, on the corner of Ewhurst Rd, SE4. They are both such friendly women that it is a pleasure going into the shop. Between them they design and make patterns/samples/garments for the fashion industry. They also make bespoke/made to measure clothes and do alterations and repairs for the general public. They can also make from scratch or alter bridal-wear and this is always a popular line. Basically they can do anything with a sewing machine! Pop in and say hello as they would love to see you. We are delighted to have them on-board this year, supporting Brockley Max.

GEDDES HAIRDRESSERS This is an independent family owned hair and beauty salon that has been established for over 20 years with branches in Wandsworth, Ladywell and more recently Forest Hill. Ladywell is the popular salon that we know and love locally and opened in 2008. It has certainly become a major business in the heart of the village. Besides providing the usual hair services, beauty therapy services are provided for male and female clientele and these have gained an excellent reputation in the area. Olivia is always very supportive of the community and the Brockley Max festival.

JOHN HANKINSON VETINARY SURGEON This popular veterinary clinic in Shardeloes Rd has been caring for pets in the south east area for over 20 years. They are a friendly team of fully trained and dedicated staff and use the best, modern and safe veterinary equipment. They also provide emergency treatment and an out of hours service, linked to a practice in Beckenham. They are currently building another storey to the existing building, to accommodate a veterinary hospital. It is great to have them advertise with Brockley Max this year.

MASALA WALA CAFE This wonderful cafe opened it’s doors just over a year ago and soon established itself in the area for exceptional quality, home-made Pakistani food, lovingly cooked by Saima and her mother. It has helped transform Brockley Cross, along with it’s neighbours Brockley Deli as a must go-to destination. It has proved so popular that expansion plans are in place to add much needed extra seating space. Every month the simple menu of 2 meat and 2 vegetarian/vegan dishes changes but these are always consistently delicious and so it was no surprise that it won ‘Best Business Newcomer Award for 2015’ by Brockley Central early this year.

     

BROOKBANK FOOD AND WINE The friendly Rosan and his family have been running this corner shop on the Brookbank parade for 10 years now and they sell over 2000 different lines from dairy products, newspapers, alcohol, chilled foods to household goods. Quote from local resident Catherine Chin “ It is great to have Rosan & his team's friendly service at their local convenience shop that helps to keep our pantry fully stocked for daily needs, parties & picnics on Hilly Fields”

LE DELICE Karine and Nabil opened the popular French cafe in the heart of Ladywell three years ago. It is always busy when I pop in and is very well situated for the station. You are invariably greeted with a ‘Bonjour’ and everyone is very friendly. They have a great variety of amazing patisseries/cakes/sandwiches/crepes, most baked on the premises, in the downstairs kitchen. Beside advertising with the festival they are part of the children’s trail and also hosting an event in the week ‘Piaf:Love Conquers All’ -sounds like one not to miss.

HONEYBOURNE’S Hannah took over this popular card and gift shop, in the heart of Ladywell village, from Jason at Slater & King last year as he and Colin decided to move out of London. It was closed for a few weeks whilst Hannah put her own stamp on the business and painted it throughout with a very stylish baby pink exterior frontage. The interior of the shop has been changed with the back wall displaying cards and different shelving throughout. She has kept in stock some of the popular items that Jason used to sell but again has created her own favourites. However the quality of the cards, prints, toys and gifts has remained high and Hannah has soon established a regular customer base.  

ZENUBIAN This is one of my favourite shops in the area and Michelle, the owner, has just celebrated 2 years on the block. I still think many people haven’t yet been inside or worse still don’t know where it is as unfortunately it is not on the main high street. It is certainly a Ladywell shop but tucked away so I bet many of you have walked past it, without knowing! Anyway it is small but stocked with lots of wonderful ethical and fair trade gifts and goodies. I have bought so many presents for family and friends whilst also treating myself to a few things. Why not pop in and say hello-Michelle will be very welcoming.

             

 TOM PEARMAN  As part of Lewisham Council’s regeneration scheme, the ‘Mayor’s Air Quality Fund’ is funding a series of art interventions to highlight the environment and promote ‘green’ modes of transport. Tom has been commissioned to design a series of enamel signs / art features to be located along the site. He is working with 3 local schools, in discussions with Crofton Park library and hopefully siting an artwork in the Brockley Cross/station area. I am not too sure of the timescales here but hopefully we will see something of his work in the area by the end of the year. For updates check out his website tompearman.co.uk 

LONDON BEER DISPENSARY  Late Knights, an independent local brewery based in Penge own this thriving ‘Beer Dispensary’ that opened a couple of years ago in Crofton Park in what was originally Mr Lawrence’s wine bar (this is now next door) Perhaps the most significant thing is that it is a bar without a bar! Yes it stripped back the traditional counter that divides the staff and the customers and instead use a barrel bar where there are 6 keg lines on the T-bar. Most people were sceptical at first but I think it instantly breaks down barriers and the staff are always SO friendly. The beer, both keg and real ale casks available changes regularly and every day they serve delicious burgers, chips, chicken wings etc. It certainly has been a great addition to the area. Big thanks for taking out a repeat advert

LONGHORN’S This American/Italian diner opened at the end of August last year and is a very welcome addition to Crofton Park. Chef Rudi has joined forces with Otello and together they have many years in the hospitality industry. Aldo is also the very friendly face of the business and between them they can’t do enough for you. The menu is extremely varied and burgers feature heavily with ribs/steaks and some Italian dishes. It sounds very meat orientated but surprisingly vegetarians are well catered for with four choices of burger! Kids love this place and I personally think it makes for a great family destination, at affordable prices. They have flung themselves into the festival with advertising but also running a free children’s craft event on Saturday 28th May.

               

ARLO AND MOE Jamie and Julie opened this Crofton Park cafe in September 2012 and have been busy ever since. There is a lovely, relaxed atmosphere with a 1950’s inspired interior and the food is delicious with homemade soups/frittata/tortilla/salads/sandwiches/cakes freshly made every day. ‘Sexy toast’ is one of their signature dishes with the avocado and feta being a firm local favourite. Quality coffee is important to the cafe and they use local suppliers Dark Fluid. They have been looking for another location to expand the brand for the past few years and finally came across the perfect location in Hither Green and so Arlo & Moe 2 opened its doors last October. It has quickly become a great local venue and proving very popular. Regular pop ups with Olly and his Turkish food are generally sold out.

FIRST GLANCE This is a very community minded business on the main high street in Crofton Park always throwing itself into the Croftfest festival with a highly popular DJ outside the shop. It was founded 28 years ago, in 1988 by Roan and Joy Bradshaw, a brother and sister partnership. They specialise in European, mixed, Asian and Afro hair, operating an appointment system, although walk in clients are more than welcome. They cut male and female hair plus they are very welcoming to children so why not pop in and check them out.

PARAPHERNALIA In September Mandi will have been running this unique Crofton Park boutique selling designer, vintage clothes and accessories for 19 years and so they will be celebrating the Brockley Max festival week a generous 19% discount-just mention ‘MAX’. They accept new and preloved clothes and sell on an agency basis so pop in for an appointment. They support local designers so again pop in and introduce yourself. They also have a popular ‘Freestyle’ range that is one size and fits plus sizes. Follow Paraphernalia on all forms of social media where they post regular updates on current items in the shop.

FELIX SCHOOL OF ROCK Local boy Felix Glenn set up this musical charity 12 years ago to give children aged 9-16 years an opportunity to play rock tracks, write rock music and perform in a real rock gig, typically over a 4 day period in the school holidays. Out of this amazing experience bands have formed and many continue to play together. The adult rock choir was formed in 2007 and is an active local community choir where anyone can turn up and join without having to audition. Felix and Baz have been an integral part of the music element to the Brockley Max festival and have been putting together the programme for the main stage at our family Art in the Park over the past years. We are very grateful for their experience,time and energy.

        

Phew I have finally covered all of the wonderful businesses that have supported us this year but I had no idea that it would turn into a dissertation! Congratulations if you have got to the end of this and I hope if you are still here you have found it an interesting read and perhaps discovered some new information about our local shops/cafes/bars/restaurants that might make you pop in and visit.

The programme for Brockley Max 2016 is now out! You can pick up a copy from lots of local businesses and plan your 9 days of festive activities. I certainly intend going to lots of different events/venues during the week and so hope to see you there –please say hello if you spot me!

Finally another HUGE THANKS to our LOCAL BUSINESSES – without you this festival would not happen and we would not live in such a vibrant, wonderful community. 

Remember SHOP/USE/DRINK/EAT LOCALLY – if we don’t support them we could lose them and that would be tragic!

Bye for now

Jane x

Follow me on twitter for local info @JaneCanDoSE4