27 March 2013

26 March 2013

Weave some magic

Stella Harding will be running a two day basket making course at the Devonshire Road Nature Reserve on Saturday 6 and Sunday 7 April. The cost is £90, which includes materials, tuition and lunch on both days. Places are limited, so book early to avoid disappointment. Please contact jake.twyf@gmail.com for further details or to reserve your place.

22 March 2013

The Edible High Road

This summer Perry Vale, London Road and Dartmouth Road will be transformed into an Urban Orchard and community garden and we’re inviting all traders to take part!

More and more people in Forest Hill are enjoying growing their own fruit, herbs and vegetables.  This area has allotments and community orchards and gardens; it’s a true food growing hub. In honour of all this fruitiness, the Forest Hill Society, in partnership with Shannon's Garden Centre and Lewisham Gardens, will be hosting The Edible High Road.

This event will be part of the Chelsea Fringe, a massive, London-wide flower and gardening festival which takes place from Saturday 18 May to Sunday 9 June 2013. One of last year's most successful events was the Chiswick Edible High Road, organised by Abundance London. This year, several more high streets have taken up the challenge and over twenty Forest Hill shops and businesses along Perry Vale, London Road and Dartmouth Road have already decided to join in and host a blossoming fruit tree or two.

Each business will receive a fruit tree in an attractive container to display outside their premises for the three-weeks of The Edible High Road. The pot will also be planted with sweet-scented herbs like parsley, coriander and basil. Each tree will be fixed with a tag with its variety and basic care instructions. After the Festival the fruit trees can be donated to local schools and the Albion Millennium Green community orchard, or shops are welcome to keep their beautiful fruit tree.

We are also planning a series of events for the three weeks, so if you're keen to get involved, then drop an email to volunteers@foresthillsociety.com.

20 March 2013

New Shops coming to Perry Vale

Since City Walk, the Berkeley Homes development by Forest Hill station, was completed a few years ago the shops beneath have remained stubbornly empty despite their prime location.

A licensing application has now appeared on one of the units for the sale of alcohol as part of, what we understand will be, a general grocery shop (not a mini-version of one of the big four supermarkets). Discussions are also well advanced on the other unit which is likely to become a restaurant.

These shops are in a key location in the town centre and we welcome new businesses opening up in this location.

Devonshire Road Nature Reserve AGM

If you would you like to know more about the Devonshire Road Nature Reserve go along to the Friends' Annual General Meeting on the 31st March at 1:30pm at Devonshire Road Nature Reserve, 170 Devonshire Rd, SE23 3SZ.
During the meeting they’ll be electing their Executive Committee for the coming year.
If you have any questions or would like to know more please drop an e-mail to infodevonshireroad@gmail.com or visit their website at www.devonshireroadnaturereserve.org

18 March 2013

Planning Applications: 2 London Road & 49 Church Rise

The Forest Hill Society has recently objected to two planning applications in the local area. 

2-4 London Road, Launderette
The Forest Hill Society has opposed the loss of the launderette and replacement with an estate agent.
Details of Planning Application for 2-4 London Road.
You can read the full letter of objection here

49 Church Rise
The Forest Hill Society has opposed the replacement of a single garage with a bungalow in the garden of this property.
Details of Planning Application for 49 Church Rise.
You can read the full letter of objection here

14 March 2013

Forest Hill Society Spring Walk

Sunday April 21st meet 11.00a.m. at London Road entrance of Horniman Gardens. 

Walk will follow Green Chain Link to Brockley via Camberwell Old Cemetery, Brenchley Gardens old train track and One Tree Hill to (optional) lunch at the Brockley Jack. Possible option to continue to Devonshire Road Nature Reserve for coffee after lunch.  Fairly flat walking all the way apart from initial walk through Horniman Gardens.  Approximately one and a half hours duration.

New Butcher for Forest Hill

Address: 49, London Road, Forest Hill SE23 3TY

Ruth and Nathan from The Butchery live in Forest Hill and were attracted to the Forest Hill Food Fair to sell their quality meats. We encouraged them to set up a temporary shop in the run up to Christmas as part of the SEE3 pop-up shops. As well as selling meat they worked with Franklins of East Dulwich (another of our regular food fair stalls) to provide fruit and vegetables.

During December The Butchery did excellent business with 2,000 customers in the first weekend, queues regularly coming out the shop, incredible reviews of their meat on SE23.com, and they realised there was enough demand to turn this into a permanent shop on the High Street.

The Butchery have signed the lease to take on the shop permanently. The shop is currently closed for refurbishment, and is due to open in late February.

Nathan and Ruth will stock a small but special range of meat from native bred animals raised naturally on small English farms. The seasonal Christmas range included: free-range turkeys, ducks, cockerels and geese, as well as beef, pork and lamb roasts. They make their own tasty stuffings, stock and pigs in blankets, and goose fat for the best-tasting roast potatoes, as well as gammon, ham, chutneys and pork pies.

The Butchery Ltd source the best meat they can find, dry age it themselves in Bermondsey and cut from whole carcasses so there is always different cuts for different budgets.

Nathan and Ruth say: “We love the meat we stock, we love to cook, and we love to talk! If people want something special, or something cheap to cook quickly in the week, we have heaps of ideas to get the best out of different cuts. It’s cool to be able to show people something new – and really cool when we get great cooking tips from our customers, too.”

More details at: http://www.thebutcheryltd.com/

Roaring Hot!

Just a hop away from Forest Hill on the train - or a short but lovely walk via the spectacular outlook from One Tree Hill - Honor Oak Park's high street offers another clutch of independent shops, coffee shops and restaurants to explore.

We moved to Forest Hill just over a year ago.  Busy repainting what felt like every wall in the house,  we hadn’t  ventured 'over the hill' very many times. But with a New Year's resolution to put down the paint brush and get out more, a dark Saturday evening in January seemed the perfect moment to try out Babur - especially with the news that it had recently been awarded Zagat 2013 London 'Best Indian Restaurant'.

On arriving, the first surprise was finding a tiger on the roof of a restaurant in Brockley Rise. (Babur is derived from the Urdu word 'babr' meaning 'tiger', Wikipedia tells me, so a week after our visit, this brilliantly over-the-top ornament makes sense!) The surprises continue inside - this is much more than your ordinary Indian restaurant. Bare brick walls, polished walnut tables,  intriguing art - a relaxed, stylish and welcoming place.

We're offered an inventive list of cocktails to kick off our evening. And the menu is pleasingly brief - no compendium of 1001 curries - instead, an intriguing range of dishes which all have something a little different or unusual about them, from South Indian style mussels in a coconut milk, mustard seed and curry leaf broth or tamarind-glazed quail breast as starters, to steamed spice crusted shoulder of lamb (allegedly marinated for 100 hours!) or pan seared bream with black mangosteen, coconut and Malabari masala.

There’s a great choice of vegetarian dishes too. And with main courses, there's a suggestion of the wine that will best accompany your food. It's all incredibly well thought through - the only disappointment of our meal is the clove-smoked buffalo curry, one of the mains, which seems rather heavy handed on the cloves to the exclusion of everything else. We will know for next time – and there definitely will be a next time - Babur isn't the cheapest evening out, but it feels really special, the food is excellent, and the service is friendly and attentive.

Sitting at our table, I found myself already plotting who I could bring back, and when. But before that I need to decide what's next on my list - Le Querce, apparently another of the star restaurants in Honor Oak, The Sylvan Post , Dartmouth Arms or Canvas & Cream in Forest Hill, That’s Amore in Kirkdale, or Trattoria Raffaele in Sydenham—so much choice!

If our evening at Babur is anything to go by, some great nights out at local restaurants and pubs lie ahead.
Review by Catherine Wood

New planters installed at entrance to Forest Hill station

At the last Ward Assembly of 2012 the Forest Hill Society successfully bid for funds to replace the two collapsing barrel tubs which have stood outside the entrance to Forest Hill Station for many years.  Local workman Tony O’Toole of Renovations Unlimited was commissioned to build replacements and on Sunday 2nd December, with the help of some fourteen volunteers, two large square planters of seasoned cedar wood were installed. 

These new planters cover most of the top of the brick plinth on which they stand – one of the ideas being that this would reduce space for litter to accumulate - so far with a degree of success. The old barrel tubs were donated to a local community gardening group for rebuilding and reuse by them. 

A selection of plants which need little attention were chosen, along the lines of a spiky thing in the middle of each, ivy around the edges, spring bulbs, and bright coloured somethings for summer. With this in mind we chose a colour scheme of pinks to purples and various shades of green: mixed Heucheras, Alliums and trailing Ivy were planted with a pink edged Phormium standing tall in the centre.   Mixed daffodils and narcissi will enliven the arrangement come the Spring.

If you would like to join in our community gardening activities (no experience necessary) - please contact volunteers@foresthillsociety.com