Not quite a pub

These days, Brockley seems to have more places to hang pictures than it does to order a pint, so for those waiting for The Talbot's gastromorphosis, this may come as scant consolation.

Here's a note from Jamie from The Talbot, which we received a couple of days ago:

"No real developments in terms of the refurbishment. However this Thursday Rob Osbourne (the old manager) is turning The Talbot into a gallery for a couple of days - the show is called Nicotine Memories."

The show includes site-specific installations, prints, illustration and painting.

The show started yesterday [which explains why some people thought it had reopened] and continues today until 4pm and tomorrow from midday until 4pm.

69 comments:

Hugh said...

First again.

Brockley Jon said...

Great name. God, you could have just opened the doors to that place and called it an art installation.

Let's hope the old neon cocktails sign features. Jamie, make sure you don't get rid of that!

tyrwhitt michael said...

Suprise suprise I was in there last night and was reasonably impressed and sometimes amused by what I saw although the exhibition was smaller than I had anticipated.

And you will be pleased to hear the neon sign was at its brightest.

Hugh said...

Nick, we need the thread on Broxites' coping strategies in the face of global catastrophe (e.g. growing one's own tomatoes). Please arrange. We're obliged.

Brockley Nick said...

Have you been growing your own tomatoes Hugh? Are you very proud of yourself?

Hugh said...

No I haven't. Too busy and important. My role here is oracle and irritant.

Monkeyboy said...

Oracle and irritant? one out of two isn't bad I s'pose.

I've had to rein back on the 'Taste The Difference' selection at Sainsbury's, this really is unacceptable.

I'm practising my knots so I can hang a capitalist.

Hugh said...

Are Crunchies selling well?

Headhunter said...

I seem to be receiving a lot of special offer deals from restaurants like Pizza Express and Yo Sushi at the mo slashing their prices trying to get people in at lunch times but haven't resorted to growing my own produce yet...

Monkeyboy said...

I waiting to see Hugh popping furtively into one of the chicken emporiums to buy some scraps for tea now that city folk can't afford his fees.

HH, are you feeling the pinch? I read that some city recruiters are leaping out of their expensive windows?

Headhunter said...

Yes, things certainly ain't as bouyant as they were, but we're still working on some pretty good business, however next year is probably gonna be a shocker. I may yet be joining Hugh and the chavs at the fried chicken joint when I get made redundant next year. I'll try to resist messing up the pavement outside my office in the mean time

Tamsin said...

I thought with most modern office you couldn't open the windows...

Don't bother to grow your own food, just pick the blackberries in Nunhead Cemetery (although it's too late this year, the Devi's stamped on 'em) or Spanish Chestnuts in Greenwich (before they are pruned for the Olympics). (Interesting signs telling you that if you are seen touching the trees your nuts will be confiscated - in both English and Japanese...)

The Cat Man said...

Or why not try that old english favourite, nettle soup? I heard its delicious and very cheap to make....

Without trying to rub salt into peoples wounds, Ive just been promoted and have taken on another client to add to my portfolio so business is going strong. Both the new Broca greengrocessors and Dandelion Blue and breathe a sigh of relief... :)

The Cat Man said...

and = can

God, where is my organic latte when I need it.

Kung Fu Hustle said...

Those signs are in Mandarin; I think the Japanese are too modest to go shaking down the trees in the royal park. Must say, coming from China, I wasn't too suprised to see them.

Headhunter said...

You can open the windows in our office, although you do need a special tool for the job.

We've got some quite prolific brambles in our back garden which I picked quite a few blackberries from earlier in the year. As you say, a bit late in the season now though.

So Greenwich council has decided that the Chinese are as much a threat to our Chestnut trees as Eastern Europeans are to the Queen's swans?

The signs certainly wouldn't be Japanese signs, in my experience most Japanese people don't eat anything unless it's beatifully wrapped and packaged, perfectly formed and delivered by a bowing, grovelling shop assistant, I can't imagine them foraging in the dirt for nuts

Tamsin said...

Sorry - should have at least recognised the difference between Chinese and Japanese - it's just that there are still many more Japanese tourists around than Chinese and without looking particularly carefully I made the assumption. (Particularly as we had just seen a large Japanese wedding party taking spectactular photos of the bride and groom by the pond in the autumn sunshine.)

Nettle soup is nasty - unless you think of it as a herbal tea, chuck-full of iron when you can then con yourself into drinking it. Fun showing off to your children by picking them bare-handed, though.

The Cat Man said...
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Headhunter said...

God Andy! You're just asking for it with that comment.....

drakefell debaser said...

It's far too early in the morning to rant about foreigners Andy, go and play marbles on Tooley St or something.

The Cat Man said...

ok, I will dispose of it - really annoys me though.

Headhunter, where have you been? You have missed the grand annoucement of a new greengrocesors near the station

Headhunter said...

On the subject of nettles, I drink quite a lot of nettle tea and also green tea.

If you stick a green or nettle tea bag in a bottle of water and leave it for about 24 hours it "cold brews", preserving all the health benefits. If you use boiling water to make teas, a lot of the antioxidants and polyphenols which help prevent cancer, reduce risk of heart disease and increase fat oxidation helping reduce obesity are destroyed.

Equally nettle tea which is high in iron so helps kidney and liver function, prevents mucous build up in colds and also helps with sinus problems as well as having supposed benefits in preventing hayfever, is very susceptible to damage from boiling water.

The taste of both after cold brewing is a bit more subtle and delicate than if you boil them. I quite like both, but can understand that they are not for some!

Oh, and always go organic....

Headhunter said...

I've been in Melbourne, Australia. Got back on Sun. Still jet lagged...

The Cat Man said...

Do you then boil the cold brewed leaves?

I'm still cycling btw, the weather is actually quite nice although abit dark at 6am.

Headhunter said...

No I just chuck the bag as normal after it has cold brewed. I stick 1 teabag in a 1.5 litre bottle of water and leave it for 24 hours and it turns into tea. You could use 2 or 3 bags if you wanted it stronger, just as if you were using boiling water.

Yeah I cycle home in the dark now, and when they change the clocks it'll be quite dark in the mornings too

Tamsin said...

No, lighter in the mornings again for a bit. "Fall back" - what is now seven o'clock daylight values will become six o'clock at both ends of the day.

I will try your cold-brewing. Sounds good for some things. Of course, you can't get a decent cup of normal tea on the top of Everest, the water is simply not hot enough when it boils.

Headhunter said...

That's true, it does get lighter in the morning for a bit, but soon gets dark again, even after we have "fallen back". I remember having to put lights on the bike at both ends of the day last year.

Cold brewing tea is relatively common in Japan I think. Drinking cold tea is normal, and people fill plastic jugs with water, stick a tea bag in and leave it to brew. Once it's done they take out the bag and stick it in the fridge to drink cold as you would a glass of Coke or other fizzy drink. In Japan you could get MacDonalds meal sets with oolong tea rather than Coke or Fanta or whatever, and oolong tea, as well as green teas, help break down fats to stop you putting on weight.

I think heating food destroys many vitamins and minerals, so cold salads and "undercooked"/raw veggies are beneficial. However this is not always the case, I read somewhere that cooking or juicing carrots for example actually releases a higher vitamin content that if you eat them raw. Apparently carrots and some other veggies have very tough cell walls which our digestive systems cannot break down without some help from cooking or juicing.

The Cat Man said...

It sounds all very complicated.

I'm happy to say that I am eating a mountain and a half of organic veg and fruit each week now thanks to my milkman.

Does anyone know how to cook ruhburb in a nice yummy fashion?

Headhunter said...

Cold brewing tea is less complicated that making a normal cuppa. You don't even need to boil the kettle!

Anonymous said...

I actually prefer Andy being on here, at least we can keep an eye on him. It's the paranoid xenophobe who locks himself in his shed working on his 'project', they're the ones you want to worry about.

I can see the News Shopper story now... '..he was such a quiet man, I never dreamt he would do anything like that....'

The Cat Man said...

I own a shed if you want to borrow it. :o)

Bea said...

... liked experimenting with rhubarb and cold infusions of nettle to feed his cats ;-)

Bea said...

Here you go - yummy with lashings of custard, of course.

Ingredients
10 sticks of rhubarb
4 tbsp water
8 tbsp caster sugar
1 tsp powdered ginger
110g/4oz butter, softened
110g/4oz demerara sugar
180-200g/6-7oz flour

To serve:
ice cream or double cream



Method
1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.
2. Cut the rhubarb into 7½cm/3in long sticks and place on an oven tray, sprinkle with the water and caster sugar and roast in the oven for 10 minutes.
3. Once cooked, remove from the oven, sprinkle over the ginger and mix well.
4. Fill an ovenproof dish about 4cm/1½in deep with the rhubarb.
5. Rub the butter into the flour and sugar to make the crumble toppping. Sprinkle over the rhubarb and bake in the oven.
6. Remove and allow to cool slightly before serving with ice cream or double cream.

drakefell debaser said...

Yes but sheds can have internet access as well.

I can see a slightly different News Shopper story involving a man, cats on a leash and a 4x4 mounting a pavement driven by local resident, Adje Mhlangwa.

Headhunter said...

My god, it's the Delia Smith of Brockley!

Tamsin said...

Indeed yes, come St. Lucy's day its dark all the time except when you are at work. But it is an aspect of life at this latitude that I do love. The shops windows lit up before Christmas and in February when it just begins to get light again as you are leaving the office... My sister lives in the tropics and it always gets dark around seven in the evening, SO boring!

Tamsin said...

Thanks, Bea. I knew there was a magic ingredient that make rhubarb wonderful and you've reminded me that it's ginger (which is also good in friut salad, along with angostura bitters).
The trouble is that rhubarb is very hard to get established, although once you've got a good patch growing it will supply the whole neighbourhood.
Word of serious warning, though - the leaves are highly toxic. My grandmother said that people actually died in the war from eating them - so don't even give them to your cats or rabbits.

Tamsin said...

Or chickens.
Anyone taken an Eggloo project further if we are talking self-sufficiency here rather than the Talbot.

The Cat Man said...

Ow thanks Bea,

Sounds great - ill try it this weekend :o)

I might be dead by Monday.

@HH, I don't mind the dark too much but its the cold and wetness. Do you still cycle if its piss*ing it down?

I'm trying to work out when I shouldn't cycle :o)

Bea said...

Better not feed it to your cats Andy!

Yes, I’d heard that about the leaves too (apparently it's also the same for potatoes by the way - so if you have a green one make sure you peel all the green stuff away).

I love rhubarb - used to eat it raw as a kid but it has a habit of ripping off the lining of your tongue! Should add I only eat it cooked rhubarb now-a-days.

Wasn’t Brockley for famous for it’s rhubarb at one stage. I think I read something along those lines about the history of Myatt Gardens. I believe Mr Myatt was a famous rhubarb grower who used the “night soil” of London to make his rhubarb nice and lush!

Headhunter said...

Andy - Yes I ride when it rains, it's only a 20 minute ride and I'm fine at the other end after a shower. The only thing that stops me cycling is snow and ice. Whatever the weather I find cycling far more convenient than anoth kind of public or private transport.

That bit about growing rhubarb fertilised by night soil is on the Wikipedia entry for Brockley I think

Daniel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
fabhat said...

I love the phrase night soil - it's so beautifully subtle...
Other yummy things to do with rhubarb include roasting approx a kilo with 300g of sugar, half a litre of water and the juice and zest of a large orange and bake for an hour at 190c. Makes a lovely syrup for making jelly with, and the delicious rhubarb mush to turn into a fool or ice-cream, or crumble. I love it with ginger too Bea...

Bea said...

Here's the history about Mr Myatt and rhubarb - although no mention of night soil!

http://www.myattgarden.lewisham.sch.uk/

Headhunter said...

That link just seems to go to Myatt Garden Primary School's page and asks for a password

fabhat said...

just ignore the password bit, and click on the about section - the history is in there.

jpm said...

The Talbot lease is up for sale.

Hugh said...

And so the crunch turns on its axis.

jpm said...

This is how the advert reads:
Talbot
2-4 Tyrwhitt Road
Brockley SE4 1QG
Investment Amount: £96,650
Pub Type: Traditional Community Pub
Agreement: 10 Year Secure Lease

There is currently a small public bar and a mid size split level lounge bar.To the side and front of the pub is a substantial external area that can be used as additional trading space. There is a funcction room on the first floor currently unused that has further potential.

Punch Taverns are planning a refurbishment of this property alternatively there may be the option of a jointly funded scheme with a new retailer. Required financing is based on 100%Punch Development.

Post Investment rent wil be £ 50 k and Fixtures & Fittings investment value is £60k

Monkeyboy said...

Oh bugger....

Anonymous said...

affordable housing?

Vikki said...

Such a shame :-(

Obviously going to require a bit of money to get everything sorted out but am so sure there is a successful local pub there.

Richard said...

The problem with Punch Taverns is that you are tied to them - even once all that money is poured in you are obliged to buy your drink supplies from Punch, at their inflated prices. This obviously works for plenty of pubs, but it makes pubs like The Talbot so much less attractive for those looking to buy.

I know once I have scraped enough cash together to get my own pub I will keep well away from tied pubs.

I hope Punch only have the pub advertised as a precaution while they wait for The Honor Oak to raise the cash to open up (I noticed the ad on the Punch site a few weeks ago). It would be a great shame if it is back on the market, as we know what the guys at THO are capable of - who knows who would get their hands on the place if it wasn't them?

Anonymous said...

Isn't the main reason why beer in pubs is so expensive, is because of the stranglehold placed on the licensee by the pubco's? From what I've read, these operations make big profits at the drinkers' expense, unlike the breweries and the pubs themselves. I don't understand why anyone would want to take a tied pub, when you can sell a wider variety of cheaper beer from a free-house without funding some (parasitic?) middle-man's lifestyle.

Anonymous said...

I hope it survives but it's a bit of a crap location unfortunately.

neanderthal d said...

To both the anonymimice,

Buying a Free house pub is a whole different level of investment from acquiring a lease from a pubco.

Having said that, pubco's rip the piss in their pricing of alcohol under the beer tie.


The Talbot has been available for ages on the punchpubco website. Until a lease is signed, the pub is up for grabs by anybody that wishes to invest.

Here's hoping The Talbot doesn't turn into another residential conversion/development.

The Talbot is in an excellent location - it just needs a bit of love and some money invested in it.

Headhunter said...

It's certainly not a bad location. Sure it's never going to become a destination in its own right, with people flooding from all over London, but it would make a brilliant local pub, there's nothing else in the area. The only pubs (ex-pubs) I can think of in the area (other than the Wickham) are the 2 on/just off Friendly St and one has already been converted into flats and the other is just about to be.

Judging by comments here, people are crying out for a half decent place to go for a couple of drinks.

Of course it would be ideal for the place to be a free house, but I suppose the attraction of a tied pub is that you get some initial help from the pubco. Anyway, in the current property market I doubt we'll see it turned into flats for a while, I should thnk that spectre is on hold for the moment.

nobbly brick said...

Why not try the Ladywell Tavern? It could easily turn into an excellent watering hole, and is just a delightful stagger across Hilly Fields so time for a spot of dogging on the way back as well!

Headhunter said...

Yeah the Ladywell pubs look good when I've been over that way, but like Jam Circus, they're a good 20-25 mins walk from me on Manor Ave. I don't mind the walk, especially in the summer, but when it's cold and wet and you just want a 5 min walk to a local watering hole, there's only the Wickham Arms. In fact New Cross pubs like the Amersham Arms and Prince Albert are closer than JC or Ladywell I think...

patrick1971 said...

"I know once I have scraped enough cash together to get my own pub I will keep well away from tied pubs."

I thought that one of Mrs Thatcher's actions had been to ban tied pubs? Are they allowed again now? I suppose they are.

The Ladywell Tavern is indeed a nice place to drink; I can't comment on the dogging...

Tressillian James said...

It's a shame about the Talbot if it does slip away from the Honor Oak people. I think the Talbot is in the idela location and, if mondeled after the Oak or Jam Circus would do very well.

I agree with the others who say that this end of Brockley doesn't have a decent place to go for a drink - and I could see decent custom if it were renovated a long the lines of the Honor Oak.

Tyrwhitt Michael said...

Please let's have news not history. The same advert for the Talbot has been on the Punch website for nearly four years and is simply keeping their options open.

All I know is that at least two of the Honor Oak staff plus some other lodgers are still living in the Talbot so THO clearly still have a holding lease on it.

Let us see what the new year brings.

If you keep your eye on the financial pages you will see Punch and other pub cos are struggling in the current financial market and are under pressure to reduce rents. This is probably why THO are in no hurry to sign up permanently.

Mrs Thatcher did get rid of ties to breweries - above a certain size - which is why the pub cos grew up.

nobbly brick said...

One mans news is another mans history

Tyrwhitt Michael said...

I do have some News today regarding the Talbot and it is that yesterday, Punch Taverns put up a "To Let" sign on the front of the Pub.

Read what you want into that...

Lady said...

What would it take for Punch to sell the freehold?

Tyrwhitt Michael said...

Why not make a bid and find out?

I think I would rather invest in Dandelion Blue, knowing the amount of work required at the Talbot.

A businessman friend of mine offered to buy the freehold about three years ago, but they didn't want to know then.

They have been disposing of some "unprofitable" parts of their estate more recently such as the Duke of Edinburgh in Malpas Road!

Lady said...

Hmm if your businessman friend wants another shot (new climate, perhaps Punch's profits are down, etc) then put us in touch - my bid would probably buy me the garden debris though i would love to have a shot at managing - and one day soon I might have saved up some more pennies

Really hope THO make a go of it, though. How bad can it be? Surely a good scrub and a lick of paint will get the ball rolling at least?

And I never get why things round here like the exhibition weren't publicised better, I live round the corner, walk past it every day, but learn about it after the event on Brockley Central?? Crap marketing that is. (Same complaint for Brockley max this year)

Tyrwhitt Michael said...

He emigrated I'm afraid now resides down under...

Tyrwhitt Michael said...

Back to your question about a scrub and lick of paint? not enough I'm afraid.

Try instead:
- Total rewiring new lights and power sockets
- New plumbing and heating
- New toilets including disabled
- New cellar equipment and pipes
- Associated refrigeration

That's about £50K without furntiure and finishes and I've not even started on a commercial standard kitchen with dumb waiter.

So inside not much change from £100K. Punch would then need to spend about the same on the outside.

So with the dreaded professional fees you need to spend about a quarter of a million.

If you bought the freehold you'd be liable for all of that on top of the cost of the property.

Needs deep pockets I'm afraid.

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