“Things haven’t been the same” A Review of post-lockdown walks in SE London

It’s fair to say, things haven’t been the same lately. Summers are usually a feast of street food; “oh, we’ll diet tomorrow (assuming there’s enough money in the bank for baked beans) restaurant trips“ and ”I haven’t seen that flavour gin before, that counts as a special occasion… slurp” moments.

And, as you’ve almost certainly observed, I’ve been diligently reviewing local takeouts for you. Not that we’re averse to eating out. We’ve had some unfortunate experiences in pubs better not named, but we’re spontaneous eater-outers, not, let’s plan and book before all the socially-distanced seating has gone people

I’ll put my hands up and admit that I have slightly leveraged this opportunity to lose a little weight, only to discover your average meal out has a frightening amount of calories.

But it’s a moment to consider, what is Blackheath Coffee Shop Food Blogger for? What does it mean anymore if I’m not always finding an excuse for cake, coffee and just a tiny little bit of tasting menu here and there. Just what do we do all day, when we’re not WFH?

Discover the pretty parts of south London for walking of course.

Hall Place has proved a particular favourite. It’s combination of wide fields, and cultivated gardens are much less uptight than Greenwich Park… and much less crowded too. Top tip, you can do the Green Chain Walk from here. One day, I might.

Ducks in Hall Place, Bexleyheath
Ducks in Hall Place, Bexleyheath (not to be fed)

And alongside the Thames has some particularly romantically bleak scenes, beautiful in moody Whistler mists as it is in storming sunlight.

Thameside, coming up to Erith. I need to paint this scene sometime
Thameside, coming up to Erith. I need to paint this scene sometime
The remains of the Woolwich Acquatic Centre. Complete with Heron
The remains of the Woolwich Acquatic Centre. Complete with Heron. I wish they’d reopen it for swimmers.

Have we missed anywhere? We’re considering Beckenham Palace Park but can’t tell if it’s only a swimming pool or not. (Not that I am remotely averse to outdoor swimming).

Have you pre-ordered my novel “Helen and the Grandbees” yet? It’s also set in south east London

https://www.amazon.co.uk/s?k=Alex+morall&ref=nb_sb_noss

Book Cover for Helen and the Grandbees

 Don’t wait for publication date… there might be a run on books by then!

“Stocked with all sorts of things that a home-cook might want to buy.” Charlton and Blackheath’s Expo International Supermarket

So you might have noticed, Expo International Supermarket as you drove along Charlton Road recently, partially because of its load up of kitchen roll in its otherwise empty windows not all that long after a kitchen roll shortage

Or you might have noticed the piled up crates outside the front.

or on a good day, you might only have noticed the huge wedges of watermelon inviting you to cool down during the recent heatwave.

I am truly divided on my view of the supermarket, because what it is, is very well stocked with all sorts of things that a home-cook might want to buy. ALL the spices, ALL the pulses, and without the sort of, aren’t-I-a-posh-out-there-cook prices to match. The meat counter at the back is magnificent, although somewhat scaled back since opening as I think we all failed to take the hint. (Eg. I should buy that sometime, mmm,… how much are those eggs…?)

And any place that sells halva and balklava is all good with me.

The interior is very clean. But those crates outside just look grotty, and those staff who don’t know what social distancing is, despite it being clearly labelled on the floor. And who really wants to see kitchen roll in the windows of the main road when there isn’t a run on toilet roll. 

Intrigued to know other people’s thoughts. I know its got its fans….

Have you pre-ordered my novel “Helen and the Grandbees” yet? https://www.amazon.co.uk/s?k=Alex+morall&ref=nb_sb_noss

 Don’t wait for publication date… there might be a run on books by then!

Book Cover for Helen and the Grandbees

Tapas by Takeaway, A Review of The Hill SE10

My recent cooking efforts are hitting a wall, everything’s made from scratch down to the pitta and the baked beans, and just recently I’m thinking, surely eat out food once a week can’t be that bad…And hence, this week I sampled for you, tapas by post (well, okay Deliveroo)

As the past few months have probably taught you, a takeaway can be an unrewarding experience for its lack of ceremony and tapas may actually be one of the best examples of this, as dishes that you forgot you ordered turn up randomly throughout the event, bringing with them a strange refreshed new menu effect. Tapas at home, however, pretty much lands on one plate, all at once, especially when still endeavouring to remember that we’re still advised to treat all deliveries as if they’re contaminated.

Yes, that is a tentacle of octopus hidden there… and it’s all mine

On the other hand, you don’t have the moment when you eye the bill suspiciously thinking, I’m not sure the waiter ever bought that dish, or maybe they did, or maybe it was the yellow one with chewy bits. (Usually it turned out to be the green one that you thought was sauted cabbage, but was in fact dyed corn.) Or that moment when your friend definitely takes more chorizo than you.

The Hill delivered a wonderfully oily fiesta of favours, in the form of cerviche with stinging vinegar, red onion and sweet corn. It look so inauspicious and yet we ended up carefully draining the dressing in the bottom of the takeaway box to use throughout the week. Despite tasting amazing, when eaten with the sweet potato chips, this had more than an echo of fish and chips to it.

As with all tapas, however it comes down to one thing. The octopus was tender, and looked great on the plate, the cerviche was dancing, the padron were perfectly grilled and seasoned… but the chorizo was hands down the top of the list. I’m going to have to stop ordering it with tapas so that I can start appreciating the rest of the meal.

Anyways… looking for some Deptford based eating recommendations to chime in with the pending release of my Deptford based novel ‘Helen and the Grandbees.” Anywhere you’d recommend…?

Don’t wait for publication date… there might be a run on books by then!

https://www.amazon.co.uk/s?k=Alex+morall&ref=nb_sb_noss

Book Cover for Helen and the Grandbees