Brockley's Wings of Desire

A necessarily anonymous friend writes...

For the past few months, a guardian angel has been watching over our streets, making Brockley a safer, better place for us all. We can't tell you what he's been up to, but be reassured that he has been there for us all, in our darkest hours.

Like Wim Wenders' angels, he eventually grew tired of always observing, never experiencing and decided to sample the best that Brockley and New Cross had to offer. Here are his idiosyncratic highlights from his tireless plodding of Lewisham's mean streets:

Hi Nick

I've been doing a lot of work in the area recently and it really surprised me - I'd never thought much of New Cross before, but there are some great streets and some nice local businesses. I was stunned by the houses in Brockley too. Anyway, here are some places your readers might like to know about.

New Cross

  • 257 New Cross Road - its a little shop just on the left before the enty to Sainsbury's, next door to thesecond hand furniture store. It's a Lithianian shop selling all thing Russian, some really unusual alcohol and food, great for christmas presents with a difference, its also a barbers!
  • 175 New Cross Road a hairdresser and gift shop owned by an Italian woman called Laura
  • 193 New Cross Road - "Curl up and Dry" ladies hairdressers - has been in business for 25 years!
  • 316 New Cross Road - The Goldsmiths Tavern, new chef just started!
  • 306 New Cross Road - Cafe Crema organic type cafe, live entertainment, bohemian feel.
  • 272 New Cross Road - The Hobgoblin, friendly Aussie manager and discounts for students.
  • 258 New Cross Road - La Boulangeries nice ambience ,run by Jemal French Algerian lightsnacks. Opposite New Cross Gate Station.
  • 301 New Cross Road - S & A Video Mr Hoquethe owner says that they cater for customers that wantsomething different.

  • 259 Malpas Road - Tony's Plaice, nice fish and chips
  • 257 Malpas Road - Paul's Hairdresser, been in business 45 yrs, has photos of Paul Merson, KevinCampbell and Ian Wright he has cut them all.
  • 181 Brockley Road - City Noodle, run by Sally, nice Vietnamese Food
  • Tanners Hill - The Royal George, good old fashioned boozer
  • 5 Harefield Road - Chez Ecosium, French/Algerian, manager has a good knowledge of football, on leaving overheard two customers say "that was delicious"
  • 317 Brockley Road - The Gourmet Inn, Chinese takeaway owner Mr Choy. In the shop on the right wall is a photo of Mr Choy receiving an award from Lord Lichfield in1994.
  • 8/9 Coulgate Street - NU Spice, nice lady running it, nice looking food.
  • 258 Brockley Road - Brockley Kitchen, shop is dominated by a huge white fridge does a nice line in take away vegetarian food.

That's all for now, I enjoy reading the blog and if I ever won the lottery I'd re-open all the empty shops in Upper Brockley road.

Thanks to our mysterious protector for highlighting so many places which this site has relatively little coverage to. Jon - some more for the map?


Monkeyboy said...

I'm going to visit Mr Hoquethe to see what line of DVD's he has for customers who want something a 'little bit different'

Monkeyboy said...

....and Paul cuts my hair. Try asking him about his assistant who he caught giving himself a bonus. Wait and till he's finished with the razor. He gets a bit animated.

andy pandy pudding & pie said...

how animated does paul get? I'm intrigued!

Anonymous said...

He caught him 'giving himself a bonus' - is this a euphemism?

Brockley Jon said...

Thanks anonymous friend - a bevy of local gems there, old and new, and perhaps some future reviews to be posted!

I can vouch for Tony's Plaice, btw.

For the record, I think the policy with the map should be that things don't go on there until:

(a) Nick, Jon or both have visited the place to check it out (the editors!) and this inevitably takes a little time, or

(b) a substantial number of comments in current or previous posts have supported it. NU Spice, Cafe Blanca and EXP will be making appearances soon.

andy pandy pudding & pie said...

Ive mentioned my house a few times, cant that go on it?

Anonymous said...

I love the comment about opening the shops in Upper Brockley Road - it could be so lovely.

Bea said...

I'm sure there's been more than one recommendation for City Noodles (by me several times at least!) and I recall Kate mentioning it and the anon "angel" too. Surely it deserves a place now.

Bobblekin said...

Good to see the Royal Geoge get a mention. Not sure its Brockley but it is worth a short walk for a good 'ol drink there. Its a samual Smiths pub as well so the beer and the prices are excellent. It really is quality boozer. I wish the Talbot was like that at times (without appearing to be a "snob") - but keep the sky sports tho!

Nick/Jon - as this is your site I would suggest that you do some quality control on the recommendations for the "brockley map".

Having sampled all 3 of the establishments that have been commented on recently I have to say that one is so awful and so inferior to the other 2 that I don't think the system of trusting the judgement of a couple of comments (- ie could be owners of the establishment) sufficient integrity.

I won't say which establishment is so poor as just my opinion and not my place to run a business down - this site should be about positives... but trust me any reasoned person would surely find the "odd one" out of those three and the map should be a guide to quality in the area.. not just every business in the area.

spincat said...

Nick & Jon - you'll probably get very fat doing this, as i think the only way to do it is to try them yourself, otherwise we'll all argue.

I must admit I was intrigued by the last post - and which one of the three (presume meant NU Spice, Cafe Blanca and EXP) is so inferior that the owners could be behind its recommendation. Not being in the catering trade and having praised all three (NU Spice I mentioned in the context of other Caribbean takeaways nearer to me, so don't know it that well) I was curious.

Brockley Jon said...

Indeed Spincat, I was a little bit perplexed by Bobblekin, but agree - the best way is to try them all!

Can't say I'd feel entirely comfortable recommending NU Spice's Caribbean food until I've tried the Honeypot on The Parade of Lewisham Way. But then not being from the Caribbean, I'm no expert!

Monkeyboy said...

RE: Paul, the Malpas Road barber...

Suffice to say that he told me that his ex assistance will never cut hair in brockley again. Not sure if he's had his cutting fingers removed or whether he's sleeping with the fishes (do the greeks do that too?)

Part of the story that he told me at length (while shearing my head - a number 3 all over) was that he sneakily opened the shop while Paul was on holiday without permission and pocketed the money. There we're other transgressions but I'll let Paul fill you in.

Another vote for the chippy, a good solid little place (or should that be plaice?)

Hugh said...

Does anyone rate Stevie G? We need a footie thread for such myths to be exposed.

You'd thought I'd gone, hadn't you?

Bobblekin said...

NU Spice is a smashing place - good selection of recipes, authentic ingrediants and really good spicing.

In fact I have to say that I've never found a poor Caribbean in all the places of London that I've been and that includes the 2 in Brockley that I've visited.

Tyrwhitt Michael said...


I would have thought you were more a Rectory Field man than a New Den man...

For those interested Club aka Blackheath (currently 3rd in National League Two) are playing Otley (currently 2nd) this weekend. Should be a cracking game if you can stand being a bit cold on the terraces......

Anonymous said...

I rate Stevie G. The most devastating and complete midfielder in the Premiership......

spincat said...

Yes, all the caribbean takeaways I've tried in SE4 have been great.

Am still mystified as to which is the mysterious inferior place... I have found both Cafe Blanca (best coffee in area) and EXP (I've seen a lot of Chinese people getting takeaway in there, not just me, which I take to be a good sign) to be really good, but I guess it takes just one bad experience...

Anonymous said...

The one time I had some fish and chips at Tony'd Plaice, the fish was overcooked, so its good to hear its improved. There's always the one on Harefield Road which is excellent. However, I do miss the shop on New Cross Road opposite The Royal Albery which blew up. They used Spunters variety (the best for chipping) and cooked in fat rather than oil. If anyone knows of a shop using fat, please post

Anonymous said...

What's wrong with both NU Spice and Honeypot appearing?

Enough people have recommended Nu Spice for it to be a given that it's good. If The Honeypot is too, all the better.

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