Belinda Evans from the Forest Hill Society interviewed owner Royston Holmes about his new venture, The Perryvale Bistro & Bar, which is located on the east side of Forest Hill station at 31a Perry Vale.
Why did you choose Forest Hill for your new venture? Opening our business in Forest Hill has been a real pleasure, and everyone has been incredibly kind and complimentary. We were looking for a site in South East London in order to link with my partners’ (Hector, Jen & Matt) other site, The Crooked Well in Camberwell. A lot of The Crooked Well’s regular customers are from Forest Hill and it kept coming up in our search; so, when The Perry Vale site became available we had a really good feeling.
Tell us a bit about some of your dishes and their provenance? Our menu aims to provide a modern British feel drawing on some classic European influences.
What’s your most popular dish so far? It’s difficult to say which dish has been most popular however our baked squid flies out on a daily basis along with our mustard rabbit leg in its summery broth. We always have great specials on, too!!
How do you choose your wines since you have a really extensive and lovely wine list? Our wine list is personally selected by Hector who has some fantastic contacts in the industry, including some of the best vineyards in South Africa and world-class Master Sommeliers.
Do you use local suppliers? We use local, independent suppliers where we can, including William Rose Butchers in East Dulwich.
What’s your favourite thing about Forest Hill? I’m overwhelmed by the feeling of community in Forest Hill. Ninety-five percent of our customers at the moment live ‘just down the road’ so it’s great to be able to build strong links with the area.
Where do you like to eat out in Forest Hill (or the wider area)? I must confess, I haven’t had a huge amount of time to sample the culinary delights in the area, but I’ve had two really good meals at The Dartmouth Arms.
What do you think Forest Hill needs next? I doubt very much that I am qualified enough to discuss what Forest Hill needs next. However, it would be great to see the Perry Vale side of the tracks given a bit of a lift!
What are your plans for The Perryvale in the next few months or years? Having been open for just a month the focus is very much on gaining confidence in our product, but we’re already looking at developing a weekend brunch and pushing a wallet-friendly lunch menu.
For more info, visit www.theperryvale.com.