Wednesday 28 November 2007

Clean up the Creek!

Volunteers are being invited to help with a Christmas clean-up of Deptford Creek, this Sunday 2nd December from 1pm to 4pm. There will be mince pies and mulled wine on offer when you've washed the mud off your waders, as well as the satisfying glow of having done something worthwhile!

I'm gutted I'm going to miss it as I'll be away on Sunday, but recommend it to anyone who's got a few hours to spare. The staff at the Creekside Centre will supply you with waders and presumably some gloves too, and you can spend a happy couple of hours larking about in the mud. Seriously, it's really interesting to see Deptford from a different viewpoint, and it's also fascinating to learn more about this tidal creek. It really is much more than just a muddy drain.

While you're down Creekside, it's also Cockpit Arts' christmas open studios weekend. There will be plenty of top quality presents on offer, so it's a great place to look for inspiration. Friday, Saturday and Sunday - see the website for info.

Friday 16 November 2007

Bill's pies

If you like meat pies, you can't go far wrong with Bill's pies from Wellbeloved Butchers at the bottom of Tanner's Hill. When The Geezer and I first started looking for a new home in Deptford, I remember one of the local estate agents raving about these legendary pies as a good reason for taking a place on Tanner's Hill.When we eventually moved in, it took us a while to get round to trying them since we ended up right down the other end of the high street.

Wellbeloved's is the best butcher in Deptford by far. Rather than heaps of chicken portions advertised at ten for a fiver, or whatever, Bill serves good quality meat at realistic prices. And he has pies. Great ones. Chicken & mushroom, chicken & ham, lamb & vegetables, steak & kidney, steak & mushroom... and if you go in at the right time, they are still warm from being freshly baked. Sometimes it can be difficult to resist eating them right away, even when you've just had a full English!

The pastry is flakey and crisp, the fillings are chunks of tender meat rather than minced, indistiguishable muck, and at £1.50 each they make a great Saturday night dinner with minimal outlay, either in time or money!

There is nearly always a queue at Bill's (painfully so on Christmas Eve, as we discovered last year!) and for all the right reasons. The service is helpful and friendly without being obsequious, he has the best black pudding I've found so far in London, and his hygiene is second to none. Order fresh and cooked meat, and you'll see him meticulously washing his hands between handling both, something I can't say I've noticed elsewhere.

Excuse me, all this talk of food is making me peckish....