This weekend sees the return of the Elephant & Nun, a quirky arts festival in Southwark involving local artists and the community. A host of different areas will be taking over Burgess Park in Camberwell, south London, including the Global Local Stage, The Village Hall Experience, The Aylesbury Live, Plug In To Perform, Kinetika Bloco parade, Rumble in the Jumble, Irvin’s Funfair and Burgess BMX.
However, one such area is a festival within a festival – Africa Live have moved to the Elephant & Nun to create one big super festival following their run in East Dulwich last year.
The one day, free event celebrates the best of African culture, including music, performances, fashion, crafts, therapies and cuisine. Africa Live will be located by the world music stage, the National Theatre’s pop-up performances and the cabaret tent.
- The Africa Live Festival takes place on Saturday 16th August from 12-8pm. The Elephant & The Nun, Burgess Park, Southwark, SE5. Nearest tube/train: Elephant & Castle or Peckham Rye. For more information, visit the Africa Live website
To anyone not down with the kids, Camberwell and Peckham is fast becoming one of the trendiest parts of London with a burgeoning nightlife featuring some great venues. As a South Londoner, I’m always on the lookout for new, local drinking dens to meet friends at so I was intrigued to hear about Communion Bar on Camberwell Church Street, which opened in May 2014.
On a recent Thursday night, a friend and I went along to sample some of the artisan cocktails and also try a bit of the tapas from its accompanying restaurant Angels & Gypsies upstairs. Entering the bar, you take some steps down to basement level and are immediately greeted by stunning stained glass style interiors. Seating is a mix of leather-clad benches and church chairs, adding to the Holy theme. Each table include a glass of red Communion wine and some wafers should you wish to give yourself Communion! However, we were in the mood for being a bit more naughty – well it is a cocktail bar – so went straight to the extensive drinks menu.
As well as the interiors, what sets Communion apart from so many of its contemporaries is the unique cocktails, with many being inspired by South London and the melting pot of cultures living in the surrounding areas. To start with, we ordered a Tannery (Vodka, Araku rum coffee liquer, Nigerian guiness foam and chilly chocolate) and Cracked Sky (Chartrouse Green, Bristol Caribbean black spiced Rum, Grenadine & Old Jamaican Ginger Beer served with house pickled ginger). My friend absolutely adored the Tannery, which was sweet and packed a punch, while I found the Cracked Sky refreshing and had a nice kick from the ginger.
Next up, my friend – a gin connoisseur – chose A Sit Down (Home made sloe gin, citrus and chestnut honey from Catabria) – a short citrus drink with a sweet twist. I decided to stick to rum and opted for the Uncle Mauby (Pineapple wine, fresh Granadilla Colombian passion fruit, white and dark rum, Mauby bark syrup and lavender sugar), which was certainly an assault on the senses with its smell and variety of flavours. I would actually say it was my favourite drink of the night – having also enjoyed sips of my pal’s drinks too.
As it was a ‘school night’, we ended after our third cocktails. I ordered a Likkel Rascal (Appleton Rum, Kraken, Jamaican Sorrel, pineapple, nutmeg syrup and orange juice), which was rich with Caribbean flavours through and through. It was pretty strong, but served on plenty of ice so you could ease into it. My friend was feeling more adventurous and chose the Dry Cherry Ilegal (Ilegal Mezcal, juice of grilled Sicilian lemons, Cherry Marnier and Bitters. Served straight up with Amarena Cherry sugar rum), which was sweet, but very boozy.
To accompany our drinks, we also opted some tapas from upstairs to nibble on, such as Spinach with chilli & garlic; Patatas pobres (sliced potatoes with sweet pepper, garlic & rosemary); Oyster mushrooms with chilli, garlic & parsley; and Gambas al ajillo (prawns with garlic). The portions were of a good size and the varying herbs and sauces made each one rich in flavour. I will have to check out Angels & Gypsies restaurant upstairs next time I’m in the area.
During our drinking session, we were also entertained by a band playing samba and pachanga. The bar has frequent live music and DJs from soul, funk, Latin and blues acts so it’s worth checking out who is performing. On Fridays and Saturdays, it’s open until 3am. As well as the unique cocktails, I also loved the wide variety of glasses or jugs the drinks were served in. The Likkel Rascal particularly was served in a tin can with its name emblazoned on a colourful label. The staff were also brilliant – very attentive and helpful and explaining all the weird and wonderful ingredients. For those looking for something a bit different from their usual cocktail bar, Communion is the place to go. The hours whizzed by as we drank our way through the cocktail menu. There’s still plenty of cocktails left for me to try so I will be back!
- Communion Bar, 29-33 Camberwell Church Street, Camberwell, SE5 8TR. Tel: 020 7703 5984. Nearest train station: Denmark Hill. For more information, visit the Communion Bar website.
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Like many people, I love a good brunch. In fact, I would say brunch is my favourite course ever… not that I get to have it as often as the standard breakfast, lunch and dinner! Having recently holidayed in Australia, I enjoyed more brunches in two weeks than I had done in months. So when I returned home to London, I made a conscious decision to go out for brunch more often.
So when searching for somewhere not too far from home, I decided to try out the No67 café, an independent establishment at the South London Gallery on the Camberwell/Peckham borders. Accompanied by some family members visiting from Scotland, we visited on a Sunday afternoon. The café lies on the right of the entrance to the South London Gallery, with seating area both in front and at the back of the Victoria townhouse. The café itself is separated into two section – the first and counter in the front part of the building, while the second section in a light, airy modern extension in the back.
Being a party of five, we were shown to a large communal seating area in the modern extension – although there are smaller tables for less diners located in the vicinity. The room was bright and white with very high ceilings. Although I personally wasn’t hungover at the time, I can imagine the location being a great place to clear your head – combined with the food of course – after a wild night out. All the tables were dotted with jugs of waters with a sprig of mint and lemon, which was a nice touch.
The extensive weekend brunch menu includes a mix of fry ups, cold options and reads quite different from many other establishment’s menus. Among the items which caught our eye were the waffles, bacon with Bourbon syrup or the Welsh rarebit. As we were celebrating a special occasion, we all opted for a Mimosa to start off proceedings at a reasonable £4.
For our brunch, we opted for two Full Spanglish (two eggs of your choice, chargrilled chorizo and morcilla, beans, roast mushroom and toast), two Veggie breakfasts (two eggs of your choice, halloumi, bubble and squeak, beans, roast mushroom and toast) and one kipper, spinach and soft-boiled egg with toast.
I have tried many veggie breakfasts in different establishments, but No67 was the most unusual and delicious I’ve tried. I love halloumi, so to have it with my breakfast was a pleasant addition. The scrambled eggs were cooked to perfection with a sprinkling of paprika for added flavour. The beans in question were ‘proper’ full-sized beans (unlike a popular brand’s smaller baked beans we’re used to) , while a Portobello mushroom was gently fried in just the right amount of oil.
The Full Spanglish is a fusion of English and Spanish food and would certainly do the trick remedying a sore head after a night on the tiles. Both of my party who ate it said it was delicious and particularly loved the chorizo. All five in our party actually ate our dishes fairly quickly, and while feeling full, all enjoyed them so much we agreed we could have eaten them again.
After sipping our mimosas with our food, we wisely opted to stop and move on to hot drinks before paying the bill. One of my party is a barista and had plenty of compliments for way the lattes and cappuccinos had been made and served, so No67 is definitely a destination for coffee aficionados. All in all, the food and drink was delicious, reasonable priced and the venue was a comfortable, relaxed place to start a lazy Sunday. I can’t wait to go back to try the dinner…
- No67 is located at 67 Peckham Road, Camberwell, SE5 8UH. Brunch is served at No67 between 10am and 3.30pm every Saturday and Sunday. Other menus apply at other times. No67 is open from Tuesday – Sunday, various times apply for check the website. Buses: 12, 36, 171, 343, 345, 436. Nearest rail station: Peckham Rye (15 minute walk). For more information, visit their website.
For contents of all Metro Girl’s bar and restaurant reviews, visit our reviews page.