And so this is Christmas and what have you done? Another year over, and a new one just begun. Etc. etc. Yes, festive fever has reached Radical Towers and in celebration of our first year of ‘blogging we bring you the Best of Blackheath Awards – our sherry-fuelled account of the village winners and losers of 2014. Enjoy!
Le Bouchon Wine Bar
Winner: Le Bouchon. It’s fair to say we’re big fans. The only regret is not being able to spend even more time in LB. Despite some (inevitable) mis-givings it already feels like an established part of the village. Read our first review here.
Winner: Parés. Parés is just a great Blackheath Village institution. The service in there is second to none and this combined with having it on the door-step means the chore of buying shoes is rather less tedious than it might. And, of course, this is the erstwhile host of the annual Christmas light switch-on.
Councillor Kevin Bonavia
Chap who bought the Bookshop
The pond men
Big Issue chap
Winner: the pond men. Some debate about this one but in the end we’ve gone with the volunteers who maintain the Hare and Billet pond and who so persuasively put their case at the OnBlackheath public meeting. Special mention to the chap who bought the Bookstore – well done you.
Big Issue chap
Winner: Southeastern. Much easier one to call, though the presence of the Big Issue Chap in both hero/villain categories is a sign of the mixed opinions on him amongst your Radicals and of several heated discussions about his charm, or otherwise.
Event of the year
Blackheath Village Day
Blackheath Halls Christmas Fair
Winner: OnBlackheath. Controversial but in the end a real success, and – it’s back in 2015!
Pub of the year
Princes of Wales
Hare and Billet
The British Oak
Winner: The Crown. Frankly each of the village pubs is pretty decent, and any one would be a deserving winner – and we should know, having spent a good part of 2014 in each. Special mention to the British Oak which has re-opened recently with a great selection of pies and decent local music. But, for location, village spirit (witness the central it played in the fireworks and Village Day) and decent bar staff The Crown takes it.
Radio’s Nick Ferrari
Winner: Lenny Henry wins after being sighted by the Radicals supporting local restaurant Bianco43 and has also been seen patronising the Hare and Billet.
Best Music Festival featuring Grace Jones
Winner: Grace Jones. Blackheath. A definite winner!
Best Christmas Mulled wine
Winner: Hamptons wins for the most generous serving! And we should know, having done several laps round the block on Village Day.
Worst Customer Service
Southeastern Trains (for regular disruption to services)
Southeastern Trains (for customer service during Lewisham emergency engineering works)
Southeastern Trains (for being Southeastern Trains)
Winner: yes, Southeastern – but things are looking up for 2015 with trains till midnight from Victoria.
Best Pop Up
Street Feast Model Market
Gallery in India Jane/Gail’s
Pop Up Cinema, Manor House Gardens
Winner: Street Feast wins – a great addition and some would say brave move to open up in Lewisham. But what a great success.
Special Category: Longest Walk to a Loo in a Pub/Restaurant
Winner: Zero Degrees – you have to go via Narnia to get there.