Canova Hall

address: 250 Ferndale Road SW9 2BQ

telephone: 020 7733 8356

email: bookings@canovahall.com

https://www.canovahall.com/

This is our second visit to this restaurant and we hoped for a better experience than on our first occasion that you can read about here. Luckily it was nothing like the earlier disaster, but service was still a bit slow and they still have a few raw edges to smooth off. We also need to report that we did get an apology following our previous visit and an offer of hospitality in compensation (which we didn’t take up as we are still anonymous).

Canova Hall is based in an iconic building which used to be an annex of the Bon Marche department store and was later the Brixton Post Office. We describe the interior in our  earlier review but, in brief, it’s like a proper brasserie where eating and drinking both have their place. It is a squeeze fitting in six people at a table on the side but we are all reasonably slim, despite all the eating. Continue reading

A short bus ride away – Peckham Refreshment Rooms

address: 12–16 Blenheim Grove, London, SE15 4QL

Telephone: 020 8022 2852

http://peckhamrefreshment.com/

Booking via OpenTable

We had been thinking of going to this restaurant for some time, as it has been highly rated by friends. They are open all day for breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner, so we dragged ourselves out of our comfort zone and visited with friends on a Saturday evening. They only do a couple of sittings, so we agreed on a 9.00 pm booking. We were on time but the table wasn’t clear, so we had free, and creative cocktails from the bar. Mine was a sort of Kir Royale but with Cherry liqueur but the others were also colourful and refreshing, even the non-alcoholic salted grapefruit.I have been a bit tardy about writing this up and we have lost the bill, so I’m sorry to say that some details are sketchy. There is a short menu and you cannot always depend on what it says, as they run out and substitute ingredients too. With no photos to jog my memory I can’t remember what we had as first courses. But I do recall that we were delighted and all plates were empty.

For the main course we had sea bass, with samphire and clams, which was made even more delicious with roasted lemon (I am a great fan). We also ordered aubergine parmigiana, which was not a great success, as it was more like ratatouille – perfectly tasty but not what was expected.
Finally, there was a bavette steak with hassleback potatoes. The steak was pink but the potatoes weren’t finely cut enough and so were not as crisp as we hoped for. We ordered a side of broccoli with garlic and chilli oil  (substitute for the Kale, which I would never have ordered).

Finally we ordered one, and only one, orange marmalade posset which was smooth and just the right balance of sweet and bitterness of Seville oranges.

We washed it all down with wine – a lot of it and all white.

The bill was large but not as large when you remove the wine. The mains are under £20, starters £6 or 7 and desserts about a fiver. The staff were very helpful and we encourage you to turn up early and have a cocktail.

Christmas in Brixton: Food Banks

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Christmas for many is about sitting and watching the new Dr Who, after stuffing themselves with a roast and wondering whether it’s time to tackle the Chocolate Orange. But some are not so lucky, so we want to offer the chance for everyone to give, as well as receive.

We should, of course, be thinking about our neighbours all year. But at what is a time of gluttony as well as a family celebration (at least it is in our house), we ought to give some thought to whether any of our neighbours have problems feeding themselves and their family.

The report out this week by the Joseph Rowntree Trust (link here) makes it clear that there has been an increase in the number of people who are in poverty. In other words, they don’t have enough money to achieve what is generally considered to be a minimum acceptable standard of living. We can campaign about the unfairness of Universal Credit for the whole year, but we are not going to do much about the economy in the next few weeks. However, we can do our bit to make it a bit better for those at the receiving end of Government policies and one of those ways is to support a local food bank.

We advise giving to our local Food Banks, which offer cheap or free food for families in need. At Christmas, with the longer school holidays, Food Banks need even more than during the rest of the year.

Continue reading