On Our Radar



     
 
Thursday, September 04, 2014
The Holy Trinity
Business/Location: O'Neill's
Address: 87 Muswell Hill Broadway
City: London
State: England
Zip Code: N10 3HA
Phone: 020 8883 7382
Website: www.oneills.co.uk

Posted by:  Claire Storrow
Photo:  Claire Storrow
   O'Neill's
Why would I be recommending an O'Neill's pub if you are, "not a tourist," in Muswell Hill? Or indeed if you are a tourist in Muswell Hill? Well because this one is a ruddy great converted church, that's why. Dating back to somewhere between 1899 and 1903 this flint and terracotta Presbyterian Church is quite a sight to behold. The only worship going on here though is at the altars of Sports, Music, and Booze. On a Saturday, there's big screen premiership action, plus there's a program of regular live music from Blues to Irish to Rock to Swing. Oh and they have a table tennis table--extra points for that. Not a bad stop-off for a plate of nachos and a cider (they serve South African favourite Savannah--extra points again) after doing your grocery shopping in Planet Organic, getting kitted out at Sweaty Betty, or whatever it is people do in Muswell Hill.


Thursday, September 04, 2014
A Justifiable Brouhaha
Business/Location: Brouhaha
Address: 501 Green Lanes
City: London
State: England
Zip Code: N4 1AL
Phone: 020 8348 8563

Posted by:  Claire Storrow
Photo:  Claire Storrow
   Brouhaha
Brouhaha used to be The Garden Ladder, one of only a couple of stolid listings for the Harringay neighbourhood in the NFT London book since the first edition back in 2009. The locals were quite worried when it closed down but it seems that Paresh and Dipesh (who have taken over) have done well with the new incarnation. I'm not a great ale or beer drinker but the guest draft beverages were a major draw of the Garden Ladder and Brouhaha sold out of their Redemption beers on tap at the opening night according to CAMRA's (Campaign for Real Ale) Facebook page. They have draft Aspall's so this cider-drinker is happy. My partner in crime and I also thought it was a clever idea to have a Black Bull shot (Kahlua and tequila) between each pint of cider we sunk. It was good, you should try it. The place is neither a pub nor a cocktail bar but has a really friendly, laid back atmosphere as well as a varied clientele. It's also open in the daytime and I would happily come in for a brewski and a read of the papers. More food options to follow once the kitchen is refurbed apparently; till then, bar snacks are available to soak up that tequila.


Wednesday, September 03, 2014
The Not So Big Screen
Business/Location: ArtHouse
Address: 159 Tottenham Ln
City: London
State: England
Zip Code: N8 9BT
Phone: 020 8245 3099
Website: www.arthousecrouchend.co.uk

Posted by:  Claire Storrow
Photo:  Claire Storrow
   ArtHouse
I like cinemas, but people in cinemas? Not so much. I don't want to sound like a killjoy but why do people talk through the trailers? Why do people take their shoes off? Why do people bring their stinky, yet no doubt, healthy houmous and celery sticks into the cinema? It's the cinema people! Eat the popcorn! I know I've seen the trailer for 20,000 Days On Earth three times in the last fortnight but I don't care about your friend who's just published a scientific paper on fruit flies! (I'm not making this up). It's the silver screen folks, have some respect! People are a bit more aware when it comes to mobile phones in arthouse cinemas but it seems they then think that it gives them a free pass to do all of the above. So I don't know why I'd recommend ArtHouse above any other cinema but I do like it there. It's tiny and it feels like a bit of a time warp, the bar/café is welcoming, and I like their Tuesday night quiz. In conclusion, it felt right to watch Boyhood here but maybe stick to the Vue or Cineworld for Guardians of The Galaxy and its ilk.


Tuesday, August 19, 2014
Brooklyn in London
Business/Location: Brooklyn Coffee
Address: 139 Commercial St
City: London
State: England
Zip Code: E1 6BJ
Phone: 07525 861 964
Website: www.brooklyncoffee.co.uk

Posted by:  Claire Storrow
Photo:  Claire Storrow
   Brooklyn Coffee
I generally resent paying for a cup of coffee--I'm a coffee fiend but I'd much rather make a brew at home with whatever bean I'm currently favouring (coffee of the moment is El Carmen from Pact if you're interested). I find it amusing that people baulk at the cost of a pack of freshly roasted coffee (around £6.90 for 250g) yet will happily pay approximately £2.50 a day for a potentially sub-standard coffee mainly so they can walk around with a drink-thru cup in their hand whilst on their iPhone being all, y'know, busy. I only stopped at Brooklyn Coffee because it's right by the 67 bus stop plus I had been craving oat cookies which I was eyeballing through the window whilst weighing up the chances of my bus arriving. Then I remembered that Caffeine magazine had said nice things about Brooklyn so I was like, "Hell, I'll give them a go." They use Caravan's Market Blend which gets them points straight off the bat. My flat white was perfect: creamy and smooth and the right temperature, kind of mellow but halfway through the cup, those familiar Market Blend flavour notes came through strong. I almost got so distracted that I missed my bus. The cookie also hit the spot and more excitingly--they stock Mast Brothers chocolate.


Monday, August 18, 2014
Salted Caramel Saves the Day. Again.
Business/Location: Black Vanilla
Address: 5 College Approach
City: London
State: England
Zip Code: SE10 9HY
Phone: 020 8858 3283
Website: black-vanilla.com

Posted by:  Claire Storrow
Photo:  Claire Storrow
   Black Vanilla
Continuing on my gelato riff I decided to head south of the river to Black Vanilla. I'd heard good things about it and was anxious to taste "the finest gelato outside of Italy." Let's get something straight: I judge a gelateria by its pistachio ice-cream. The pistachio ice-cream here is green. Sure, it tasted good but the colour was distracting especially when I was told the pistachio bronte was 50p extra because it was a "premium" flavour. The best pistachio ice-cream I've ever tasted was a distinctly nut-brown hue studded with lovely emerald pieces of pistachio. The stem ginger and acacia honey flavour was interesting. Once in Venice, at a gelateria owned by one Signor Pistacchi (I kid you not), I ordered the ginger flavour and he looked me in the eye and said, "Ma, signorina, la zenzero è un po'...zingara" to which I replied, "Si, me piace zingara." Directly translated, zingara means female gipsy but he was warning me that it was a bit spicy. So that set the benchmark for ginger ice-cream. Granted, this one is made with stem ginger so naturally, will be sweet, but I couldn't help compare. Lastly, the salted caramel knocked my socks off. It had an almost smoky intensity which I can still taste. Not a wasted trip then.


Monday, August 18, 2014
Hungry for Hungarian
Business/Location: The Langos Company
Address: 5 Greenwich Market
City: London
State: England
Zip Code: SE10 9HZ
Phone: 07525 861 964
Website: www.thelangoscompany.com

Posted by:  Claire Storrow
Photo:  Claire Storrow
   The Langos Company
Street food is now ubiquitous in London which is great as you can eat treats from all corners of the world without leaving our fair city. As much as I love burritos and banh mi, burgers and bao, it's always exciting to stumble across something I haven't seen or tasted before. On a Friday trip to Greenwich I noticed a pizza-looking item and knew immediately that that's what I wanted despite the array of deliciousness before me. A sample taster of the traditional Langos--topped with sour cream and grated cheese--sealed the deal. Langos is a deep fried flatbread that has a beautifully light inside and a crispy golden outside. The warm, garlicky, buttery taste is superb as it is but the Langos Company offers toppings like pulled pork and beef ragu. The latter is topped with shavings of one of my favourite cheeses--Yarg! Yes, Yarg. If you haven't heard of it you now have knowledge of a new Cornish cheese and a fantastic word to say at whim. Yarg! Anyhoo, it's this combination of fresh flavours sourced in the UK which brings the humble Langos into its own. I chose the barbeque chicken which was liberally garnished with fresh herbs, peppers, onion and salad. Yum. Definitely need to #EatMoreLangos (follow their Twitter to find out more).


Monday, August 04, 2014
Blimey O'Riley
Business/Location: Riley Ice Cream Cafe
Address: 32 The Broadway
City: London
State: England
Zip Code: N8 9SU

Posted by:  Claire Storrow
Photo:  Claire Storrow
   Riley Ice Cream Cafe
Is it nearly the weekend again? What's that? Another week has past? Sorry dear Reader, it's just that in the UK we're experiencing a, how do you say? Summer. So, as the saying goes, one should make hay whilst the sun is shining--or eat ice-cream. Yes, I just can't stay away from the frozen stuff and my nearest gelateria is Riley's in Crouch End. From the regular queues here, I'm not sure they need much promotion but I have to say the ice-cream is particularly creamy and good. Stand out flavour is, without a doubt, the hazelnut swirled with Nutella. Even the sorbets have a lovely creamy texture--melon, lemon, banana and chocolate (yes, chocolate sorbet) are exceptional. I've got my eye on the coconut and honeycomb flavours so if you'll excuse me, I have to get back to work.


Friday, July 18, 2014
You Scream, I Scream
Business/Location: Ruby Violet
Address: 118 Fortress Rd
City: London
State: England
Zip Code: NW5 2HL
Phone: 020 7609 0444
Website: www.rubyviolet.co.uk

Posted by:  Claire Storrow
Photo:  Claire Storrow
   Ruby Violet
It's been too hot to write this week. I've mainly been eating ice cream. And having heard talk of Ruby Violet, it was the perfect excuse for a jaunt to Tufnell Park. I looked at the website beforehand, and was eager to try the peach and rosewater flavour; alas, this being a homemade ice-cream parlour, one has to choose from what is available on the day. No bother, as the apricot and sour cream combo sounded equally delectable. A scoop of that plus a scoop of lime sorbet was just the ticket. The fresh flavours were sublime--the lime was sharp, just how I like it, and the tartness of the apricot complemented the sour cream. The parlour is really cute with Billy the Van sitting outside if he's not servicing a street food market or an event. I like the fact that it's open til 10pm every night except Monday. As I'm not drinking at the moment, I may have to make a late night visit--hey, we all have our vices. It might be difficult not to indulge in one of Ruby's Rich Rarities though, such as Elderflower and Chandon or Bloody Mary granita. Although the place was full of kids when I visited, this is definitely ice-cream for grown-ups.


Wednesday, July 09, 2014
A Shady Lane
Business/Location: Railway Fields Nature Reserve
Address: 381 Green Lanes
City: London
State: England
Zip Code: N4 1ES
Phone: 020 8348 6005
Website: www.tcv.org.uk

Posted by:  Claire Storrow
Photo:  Claire Storrow
   Railway Fields Nature Reserve
"Green Lanes? What's so green about them?" I hear you say. Well, I have found a spot which may go a small way in justifying the name. Behind the magical gates opposite Green Lanes train station is a little oasis of calm. It used to be a railway goods depot before it was reclaimed and although not a huge space, when you walk to the end you feel positively miles away from the city--it's so quiet. When I was there, there was a woman walking her dog and someone meditating on a bench. Unfortunately it's only open 9am to 5pm in the week and one Saturday each month which somewhat defeats the object of a retreat but the site's primary mission is conservation and education for primary schools. The space is well set out with a nature trail that has stops such as the pond or the stag beetle loggeries. You don't need to be an actual kid to enjoy it though and this big kid thoroughly enjoyed jumping on the swings in the playground when no-one was looking. Further indulging my childlike fascination was the Stench Pipe--a huge chimney which was built in 1892 to carry fumes away from the sewage system, high above people's noses. All in all, a nice little escape.


Monday, July 07, 2014
Stuck in the Myddle With You
Business/Location: The Step
Address: 101 Myddleton Rd
City: London
State: England
Zip Code: N22 8NE
Phone: 020 3302 2412
Website: www.thestep.co.uk

Posted by:  Claire Storrow
Photo:  Claire Storrow
   The Step
I've got a feeling about Edwardian shopping street, Myddleton Road. Previously most famous for the oldest underpants on display in London, I've got a feeling it's going to be rejuvenated in the not too distant future. They already have a quarterly street market and they also have The Step. The Step is your regular unassuming neighbourhood bar/café/restaurant but it has a real community feel. When I was there last week, there was a photography group meeting on a Tuesday and sharing their latest work, and on Saturday there was a good-spirited bunch having a jar or two and shooting the breeze. They also have Freelance Friday where freelancers can have a drink, network or just enjoy being amongst people rather than tied to their laptops--I think this is a great idea. There's also an emphasis on live music with jazz on the first Sunday of every month and other various acts playing plus occasional comedy, theatre and talks. In fact, there's an emphasis on fun and if you wanted to host your own group or exhibit your work (the space doubles as a gallery), this is the place to do it. Food is locally sourced as much as possible and very reasonably priced. To The Step!