Crofton Park

CROFTON COLUMN #55

BROCKLEY MAX 2017 - SPONSORS AND ADVERTISERS

So, the wonderful Brockley Max festival is now just over a month away (running from 2nd June to 10th 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 at the end of the half term break so we hope that families/children will be able to enjoy the many activities in the programme, We have over 90 events in the programme this year (a record I believe!) covering art/music/comedy/theatre/cabaret/poetry/craft/film/walks/talks and much 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 for the first time last year I did not realise that there would be quite so many separate businesses and this year we have 35 supporting us. 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/bar that you have not been to before.

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. They have now set up a new office in Hither Green so we wish them luck in SE13. This will be their 4th 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.  They guaranteed to bring us 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/beer batter on Mondays using Brockley brewery and have won ‘best chippy chips’ award for the past few 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 at our family day on the 10th June. Pop by and and say hello. 

                                   

GOLD SPONSORS

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 4 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 and beer grace most shelves/bar counters of the shops/delicatessens/bars/restaurants in the area and beyond. They have now established a bar at the brewery and are open on a Friday and Saturday 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 again with Brockley Max and they are hosting a couple of events during the festival whilst providing a beer tent at Art in the Park.

PUCCINI KITCHENS This business finally opened its doors in Crofton Park at the beginning of May 2016 so coming up to a year ago! It is next to our wonderful Rivoli ballroom and completed all of the units along that key parade being occupied. The company had been operating from premises in Beckenham for 5 years but this is their first showroom displaying a range of their kitchen units/worktops/and appliances. They can provide the traditional kitchen to the latest contemporary design from Italy and offer a supply only/full design and installation service. Whatever your kitchen needs Andrew, the managing director, and Michael, the showroom manager will be able to meet them! Pop in and say hello – they are both very friendly and great community supporters, hence one of the first new businesses to sign up to gold sponsorship this year.    

                

HONOR OAK PUB Both the Honor Oak and Ladywell Tavern have been taken over/refurbished and run by Laines London (who also run the nearby 'Old Nun's Head' in Nunhead and 'Watsons General Telegraph on Forest Hill Rd) The Honor Oak has had a chequered history over the last few years so let's hope that this recent reincarnation is a success, as this area of SE23 so deserves to have a decent local. After a number of key changes it reopened at the end of February this year and is proving very popular. My experience is only positive- I love the larger upstairs function room and find the living back wall an interesting addition and can't wait to see it grow. Perhaps my major enthusiasm is how they have totally embraced Brockley Max! Roxy, the business Development manager has been fantastic and taken out gold sponsorships for both pubs with a programme of events during the festival for each venue - please come down and support!

LADYWELL TAVERN In Ladywell, the only pub in the village, has also experienced a lack of investment in the last few years and so when it re-opened its doors at the beginning of December 2016, after being closed for over 4 months with major works taking place, there was much excitment. The opening night of the Ladywell Tavern was eagerly welcomed by the locals and the place was heaving, all of us desperate to see what had been done to the place. I think most of us were not disappointed as the kitchen has been relocated to the downstairs gallery, the outside area really smartened up with a great addition of a table tennis table, the staff all friendly and the prices of the food and drink reasonable. I was there a few weeks ago and the pub was buzzing so it all bodes well for the future with many events planned and certainly lots happening during the 9 days of Brockley Max. A big thank you to Laines for their support and backing to the festival.

                                                   

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 three years this delicatessen has become a firm favourite for many locals who share their love of quality food and alcohol. Wine and other tasting events are held regularly in the shop and have always been a sell-out. They advertised with us in their first year and then decided to take out silver sponsorship with us last year and have repeated that again. Thank you for your continuing support

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.

BROCKLEY DELI This is another business in Brockley Cross that has taken out silver sponsorship with Brockley Max for 2 years and very happily signed up again to make it 3 years now. Business partners Zoltan and Martin opened the delicatessen in June 2014 and are firmly established after nearly three 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 9pm (except Sunday) 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 again this year and there are exciting music evenings so check them out.

                 

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 20 and nearly 27 years old). It quickly established a great reputation when it first opened nearly 5 years ago and won Brockley Central’s best newcomer of the year award in 2012. I went in there 4 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 fifth pair in classic black. Helen the owner is always very supportive of the festival and so we were delighted that they took out silver sponsorship once again.

JONES OF BROCKLEY Michael opened this grocer’s shop on the main road, opposite Crofton Park station in August 2015 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. This summer expect a bumper selection of seasonal fruit and salad produce. 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 has quickly established a growing customer base. He did not hesitate to take out an advert with Brockley Max last year and upgraded this year to silver sponsorship as is always very keen to involve himself into the community he serves

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 and was keen to be a silver sponsor this year.

LE DELICE Karine and Nabil opened the popular French cafe in the heart of Ladywell four 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 really friendly. They have a great variety of amazing patisseries/cakes/sandwiches/crepes, most baked on the premises, in the downstairs kitchen. This year they upgraded to silver sponsorship after first advertising with us last year. They are hosting a jazz afternoon on the Monday of the festival so pop in and buy tickets - I am sure you will not be disappointed!

       

ADVERTISERS

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 4 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 in the past have created our own patchwork for people to help fund the festival. Thank you for another full page advert

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 have been going here a number of years to have my eyes tested 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 advert this year with Brockley Max so a big thank you.

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 5 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. They are great supporters of the festival and don't hesitate to take out an advert with us each year.

SOUTH LONDON CARD Last year, what was then, Lewisham Card joined forces with Brockley Max to help create a children's treasure trail round lots of our local businesses and this year they have taken out a half page advert. It is a great scheme to promote LOCAL shopping and the team have expanded its area of operation to include Lambeth, Greenwich, Southwark plus more boroughs are planned, hence it is now the 'South London' card. Basically many of our independent businesses in the area have joined the scheme and offer discounts/reductions if you show your card. There is a small annual charge to buy the card but I have saved loads of money over the last 20 months and easily covered the price of the card. For further details check out www.southlondonclub.co.uk

          

BROCKLEY JACK PUB We are delighted to welcome another advert from the Brockley Jack pub, part of 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 in the Off West End theatre awards for the past few years. 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 as part of 'Croftfest @ The 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 now 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. They have just launched their own chutneys and are running cooking classes. Check them out.

HONOR OAK WELLNESS ROOMS Since opening in February 2015 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

LONDON BEER DISPENSARY  Southey Brewing company, an independent local brewery based in Penge own this thriving ‘Beer Dispensary’ that opened 3 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 upgrading your advert and also launching a special 'Brockley Max' beer at the start of the festival with a competition to design the pump clip for it. 

              

THE WORKSHOP  Lucy and Donna have just celebrated their second 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 again this year, supporting Brockley Max  with another advert.

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 recently built another storey to the existing building, to accommodate a veterinary hospital. It is great to have them advertise with Brockley Max again this year.

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 apprentice Helen 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, spirits 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  an advert with Brockley Max again.

MASALA WALA CAFE This wonderful cafe opened it’s doors just over 2 years ago and it 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 over the winter much needed extra seating space was created with a beautiful new shop front and outside tables. Customers will now be able to enjoy a pavement/cafe society. 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 last 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”

LONGHORN’S This American/Italian diner opened at the end of August 2015 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. Tanya and other members of the family are often serving and 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. Only last week they carried out some internal improvements which has made it look even more like a diner. They are great community supporters and have taken another advert with Brockley Max.               

HATTUSH RESTAURANT This Turkish Mediterranean restaurant opened in May 2016 so nearly a year ago, occupying the premises of the former Stone Bar on the main Honor Oak Parade. The owner, Sezar, is a professional singer/song writer and producer and has released 5 albums whilst living in Istanbul. He came here seven years ago and decided to set up his own restaurant in the area, only living just round the corner. I have been a few times and think it has been beautifully refurbished. It is a big restaurant, occupying 2 business units with a large open barbecue grill at the back. They are open every day for lunch/dinner and on Sundays do a big buffet/brunch. Sezar sings and there is a belly dancer every Saturday evening with Friday night also a live music evening. These are proving very popular, often fully booked. Altogether it is a fantastic addition to the area and SE23 really is a great food and drink destination with a cafe society now very evident on that parade

                                  

TWO SPOONS Hopscotch cafe in Honor Oak has had a number of owners over the last few years and in the late summer of 2016 the very friendly Rosemary and Luca were the latest to take on the mantle of this relaxed cafe, with it finally being renamed 2 Spoons in February this year, signifying cafe by day and bar by night. They have a great selection of gins and offer some exciting cocktails, all at very reasonable prices. They have hosted a number of very successful pop ups over the last 6 months, namely Fowls Mouth and Eastern Bloc food, and now launching 'Lion city Kitchen' modern Singaporean street food until July. Live music is also offered on Saturday nights. Altogether there is lots happening here and they are holding a music night for Brockley Max so a great opportunity to check them out!

 WATERINTOBEER This craft beer shop opened in late August last year on the West side of Brockley in Mantle road (next to Noak Bakehouse) It opens everyday selling bottles, cans and homebrew equipment and is proving very popular with beer and cider lovers. Tim, the owner, is so friendly and they are quickly becoming an established part of the community. He happily took out an advert with Brockley Max and is also hosting an improvised and free jazz event on the first Saturday of the festival. Pop down and support. 

HECKSTALL & SMITH Callum had been on the look out for a suitable shop unit for a quality butchers in Ladywell for a while as his market research had shown this is what people wanted. The old launderette became available and he seized his opportunity, opening in August 2015 to great reviews. The range of meat has quickly expanded and he attracts customers on their way home from work by staying open until 7pm Wednesday to Friday. He is really supporting Brockley Max this year with an advert and an event 'Art meets Meat' with Martin Rowsen, Guardian cartoonist adorning their wall with a mural on the Monday evening whilst also doing a live butchery demonstration and selling hotdogs-sounds well worth checking out!

                               

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 had 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 in October 2014. It has quickly become a great local venue and proving very popular. Pop-ups with street food traders are a regular addition with Vietnamese 'Saigon Street' currently taking residence on Friday and Saturday nights over the 2 cafes.

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 29 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. They did not hesitate to take out another advert with us.

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 2017 will be out in just over a week. 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