Shopping - nominate the best of Brockley

This is probably a more ambitious challenge than finding the best places to eat in the area.

The high street is still Brockley's achilles heel and the local options are primarily confined to corner shops, places that never appear to be open and others that seem to exist on 'secondary' sources of income.

However, our recent discovery of The Cycle Team - a great bike repair shop in Brockley Cross Business Centre - convinced us that there must be others worth mentioning.

Here's two to start with:

Magi (Gifts) - Coulgate Street

Would deserve a nomination if only for the number of times that it has bailed out a forgetful Brockley Central when we need a card or present for some baby or other at the last minute.

The Cycle Team (Bikes) - Brockley Cross Business Centre

Hidden away behind security gates, once you get inside, the guys who run this place are incredibly helpful (one rode out on a mini-BMX to buzz me out) and knowledgable. Their main source of business is maintaining fleets of bikes for gyms and the police, but, with a day or two's notice, they can fix any bike problem. Please note, they don't actually sell bikes - only bike bits.

There must be others, so please feel free to suggest other recommendations...

31 comments:

bob said...

The perennial debate on where Brockley stops, but I want to nominate a couple of places in the South of SE4:

Peter James the butcher on Ewhurst Rd - this is exactly what a local shop for local people should be, a dying breed

White's Trade Paints on the main road - the blokes who work there are so incredibly knowledgeable and helpful and take pride in their work. They can make you paint in literally any colour you imagine. Never go to Wickes or B&Q again: support your local paint retailer!

Anthony's deli in Honor Oak Park (can't remember the right name - Mediterranean village or something? - and might be stretching "Brockley" a bit far I know). Almost fills the gap left by the departure of the deli opposite Moonbows. A little expensive, but getting there.

Back up to Brockley proper, a nomination for Sounds Around , surely one of the oddest shops in the world.

Nick said...

Good call on Sounds Around. A surprisingly up-to-date DVD collection for a shop which doesn't appear to have been dusted down since 1960. I'm sure you can probably still buy humbugs and flying saucers at tuppence a quarter.

Sue Luxton said...

Costcutter, for an above average of vegetarian and vegan food, a growing range of organic goods and a good range of magazines that doesn't assume women are only interested in shopping and fashion!

Luke said...

Peter James - Totally agree with Bob, I cycle over to him every Saturday to stock up on meat and fish. Incredibly friendly, chatty and have you ever heard of a butchers that does cashback?

Mediterranean - Again, agree with Bob. Great selection of veg, olives, cheeses and other meze bits. Tis Honor Oak, though.

Paraphernalia Dress Agency - My girlfriend went in there at the weekend to escape the rain and came back with a handful of end-of-the-line designer bits for about £25.

Handyman shop on Brockley Road - Only takes cash but has a wide range of emergency bits.

Sids Plumbing - Very handy to have this at the end of the road for us D.I.Y-ers

bob said...

An added endorsement for Sids plumbing supply shop. These kind of neighbourhood trade/DIY supply places, where the staff actually know what they're talking about, and don't make you feel like an idiot if you don't, are gold dust.

King's building supplies opposite the Brockley Jack (which also sported the most wonderful hand-painted billboard advertising not just King's but multiracial harmony and working class culture) was another example, but I think they've closed down.

Me said...

Where's the dress agency? There's so many little hidden gems in Brockley that I don't know about. Apparently there's a hat shop too.

Brockley Nick said...

The Dress Agency is on Malpas Road, just next to the "Healing House of God", which says it fixes photocopiers, as well your soul.

It has a great collection of hats in the window.

Anonymous said...

Paraphernalia is on Brockley Road (opposite The Jam Circus), not Malpas Road (which is run by one of the rudest shopkeepers I've ever met).
Paraphernalia also stocks Jill's amazing hand made hats for sale or hire.

veggiegirl said...

Turner's Hardware on Brockley Road, near Moonbow Jake's - probably what a previous poster referenced as the handyman shop? - massive range of stuff and well-priced too. Fantastic source for garden & DIY things if you don't have a car - or even if you do!

and I can't resist plugging the Co-op's range of household cleaners (washing up liquid, washing powder etc), which is not tested on animals, unlike almost every other brand you can think of.

spincat said...

I am so glad that Peter James has had two mentions - I logged on myself to recommend him. He has always been willing to experiment with the range of food he supplies, yet remains a traditional family bucher. You can also buy local Brockley honey , curry sauces from a range sold to Indian Restaurants, a good small range of vegtables and freshly frozen fish.

Not Brockley, but just a mention for some of the Turkish supermarkets around Lewisham, if you haven't discovered them already - fantastic bakery for bread, borek and and pastries. There is one in Lewisham High St (near the library), one down Bromley road and a little one by Catford Bridge.

Luke said...

Yes, Spincat, there is a brilliant supermarket (Turkish?) on Molesworth Street. Full of fantastic produce, fresh bread and pastries, a great selection of veg and some things you'd NEVER find in a 'traditional' supermarket.

Good shout

Anonymous said...

Turners Hardware - definitly a brilliant treasure trove - it had things i needed when B&Q in Greenwich had run out...

Moira said...

There also the Thai supermarket on the Crofton Park stretch of Brockley Road. Owned by Da who runs Just Thai Thai, it has everything you need for Se Asian cooking.

Anonymous said...

Anyone know where there's a garden centre in Crofton Park? Or elsewhere, if you know of somewhere special. I've heard there's an independent one in crofton park, and I'm eager to stop using the B&Q on the old kent road, which is such a dreary experience..

All recommendations gratefully recieved!

Luke said...

I went to the Alleyn Park Garden Centre in Dulwich last weekend. Not massive but a wide selection of bits...

Jump on the P4 and get off at the Dulwich Common/College Road junction. It's about a 5-10 min walk from there...

spincat said...

I haven't seen that garden centre in Dulwich so look forward to trying it: thanks !
There used to be a lovely old fashioned one in Crofton Park that closed down. However, Shannon's Garden Centre, (99-105 Stanstead Road, on way to Forest Hill) is pretty good and not part of a big chain. My favourite in London is the Secret Garden in Crystal Palace(70 Westow st)- I regard Crystal Palace as an extension of Brockley cos the 122 bus goes there! There is the world's best independent bookshop just round from it too. Now if only someone would open a bookshop in Brockley - that would be my dream..

Anonymous said...

starbucks upholsterers on brockley road. helpful, fast, excellent - they gave my old ercol furniture a new lease of life at a very reasonable price.

Anonymous said...

White's trade paints and Sids - helpful and staff who know their stuff.

Seb said...

There's not a bad garden centre at the Forest Hill end of Stanstead Road (just past the Railway Telegraph pub) - Shannon's garden centre they call themselves (http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?f=q&hl=en&q=SE23+1HH&ie=UTF8&ll=51.444298,-0.047164&spn=0.011288,0.025964&z=15&iwloc=addr&om=1). Been there a couple of times - staff seemed most friendly, and certainly more knowledgeable than at B&Q.

deekrs said...

calling all yummy mummies and city types: can anyone recommend a brockley dry cleaner? Any experience of the one at brockley cross (geoffrey road)?

Brockley Nick said...

Deekrs, I'm neither, but I have used it and it got my clothes clean. They were ready on time. Is that good enough?

Monkeyboy said...

Just went to Peter James to buy a shoulder of lamb, asked him to bone and roll it. Hmmmm.... really untidy job, not all nice and neat like Wellbeloved in Deptford.

Richard said...

Peter James the butcher - for those interested I have posted an interview with Peter on our blog. No big shock revelations on the butchering trade, but a little info on a local business nonetheless.

Monkeyboy, it's really not good if lamb is not being boned & rolled properly. We had the same problem with a Forest Hill butcher some time ago, but thankfully Peter has always done a good job - a bad day perhaps? We were caught short on Monday and picked up some sirloin from Wellbeloved (Royal Albert swear by them) - fanstastic meat.

Monkeyboy said...

I could make a childish crack about being boned but I'll resist.

I shall try them again, Peter James did seem to have a greater range of produce I must say.

Richard said...

Wellbeloved - 'best at boning', I don't see anything childish in that(!)

Both equally tiny shops, but Peter does seem to go out of his way to get hold of less widely available meats (order the evening before and he'll pick it up from Smithfield the next morning).

Saying that I wouldn't doubt Wellbeloved could do the same thing if asked - the previous manager of the Royal Albert was Brazilian and had Bill prepare a whole rack of beef ribs for his BBQ!

Monkeyboy said...

Ah...talking about meat. So much more fun than the collapse of capitalism.

Wellbeloved is tucked away, I expect most of his trade are locals who just want the basics but yes I'm sure he could sort out all manner of dead things. The Amersham Arms uses him too apparently, have you tried his pies? they're good too.

Monkeyboy said...

....and T-Bone steak....

patrick1971 said...

When I lived in Deptford, Wellbeloved happily ordered rabbits and pork belly, amongst other things, for me. I've not tried out Peter James yet, even though I live 2 mins walk away, as the kitchen is being renovated. I'm becoming more familiar with the takeaways of Crofton Park than I would have liked.

Anonymous said...

I tried out Cinnamons for the first time last night. Gorgeous... best Take Away curry in London. (All the other ones seem to be done very much on the cheap/quick)

madamegeneva said...

I am lucky enough to live 1mins walk from Peter James and he's a great butcher. At the moment he has woodpigeon and partridges in (bought from Smithfield) but soon he will be stocking both pigeons and rabbit he catches himself.

Anonymous said...

Put me down for a Brockley Fox.

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