Category Archives: shops

Millars General Store

Exciting new opening on Black Prince Road in the former premises of Kleen Dry Cleaners – Millars General Store is a gourmet grocery store that’s so new they didn’t have a sign yet when we were there (they may have by now).

Millars General Store exterior without a sign - kenningtonrunoff.com

It’s run by Kennington residents Andrew and Nina. They source a lot of their products locally, including bread from the Kennington Baker, cheese from Neal’s Yard, and these delicious Single Variety Co chili sauces (they are the first shop to stock them). They will offer you most fresh foods to taste if you ask.

Millars General Store tasting - kenningtonrunoff.com

They have an exotic range of fruit and veg from Spa Terminus in Bermondsey and Chegworth Valley:

Millars General Store fruit, veg and bread - kenningtonrunoff.com

They also have a steadily growing range of food in packets and tins, often organic, gluten free and unavailable in Tesco:

Millars General Store teas - kenningtonrunoff.com

Millars General Store shelving - kenningtonrunoff.com

Millars General Store fridge - kenningtonrunoff.com

There were no other customers when we entered but by the time we left it was positively crowded. Please continue to support this excellent shop!

Address: 53 Black Prince Rd, London SE11 6AB

Mercato Metropolitano

Mercato Metropolitano entrance - kenningtonrunoff.com

Move over Giorgio Locatelli – we went to Mercarto Metropolitano in the former Paperworks and Hotel Elephant sites on Newington Causeway and had the best pasta we’ve had outside Italy- this tortelloni stuffed with pumpkin in butter and sage sauce (not sure why we needed a ciabatta with it but still):

Mercato Metropolitano pasta - kenningtonrunoff.com

Mercarto Metropolitano is huge, 45,000 square feet, with two halls full of food stalls, mostly variants on pizza, pasta and sweet stuff, but recently completed stalls include French and British food. The gelato stall is also excellent, with an array of sophisticated flavours, including a black sesame of which we have heard tell from our North Kennington stringer but which always seems to be in production whenever we visit.

Mercato Metropolitano bar - kenningtonrunoff.comMercarto Metropolitano second food hall - kenningtonrunoff.com

Move over Borough Market – there’s also an Italian food market featuring rows and rows of produce that would not otherwise be available in London.

Mercato Metropolitano jars - kenningtonrunoff.com Mercato Metropolitano cheese - kenningtonrunoff.comMercato Metropolitano meats - kenningtonrunoff.comMercato Metropolitano wines - kenningtonrunoff.com

Many of the prices in the market are as eyewatering as the products are mouthwatering. £5 for a 330ml bottle of Italian craft beer for example, or these organic pastas:

Mercato Metropolitano pasta - kenningtonrunoff.com

There are also bars and street food in the outdoor gravelly area where Paperworks used to be:

Mercato Metropolitano bars - kenningtonrunoff.com

There’s a coffee van and juice bar in front of the market (finally somewhere to get a proper vegetable juice). Above the market there is, apparently, a barbershop, boxing gym and shared working space. There’s also an “urban garden” (i.e. flowers planted in crates):

Mercato Metropolitano outside seating - kenningtonrunoff.com

Mercarto Metropolitano originated in Turin. The Evening Standard report that the owner Andrea Rasca has invested £1.2 million in this London venture which is believable based on its scale, but the initial lease is only for a year so get down there and support – we want this to stay!

They’re open Tuesday to Sunday from 11am to 11pm.

Mercato Metropolitano,  42 Newington Causeway, London SE1 6DR.

The Feminist Library Summer Benefit

We first visited the Feminist Library earlier this year on what could have been its final weekend in its current building, until they got a last minute reprieve from their landlords Southwark Council. The council are still planning on hiking the rent up by 150%, but have given the Feminist Library a little longer to find new premises, thankfully. With this in mind,  they are organising a Summer Benefit tomorrow – Saturday 2 July – to help raise funds for new premises.

The Feminist Library - shelving - kenningtonrunoff.com

The library is worth a trip, full of boxes of ’80s feminist zines, and quiet corners and beanbags on which to peruse them. Its Summer Benefit promises a choral installation, one-to-one performances in a lift, the launch of the Feminist Library Survival Song and award winning novelist Ali Smith In Conversation, plus stalls, zines, signed copies of books, food, drink, dancing and a photobooth performance. The finale will come from post-punk icons The Raincoats.

The Feminist Library - pamphlets - kenningtonrunoff.com

The party runs from 2pm until 10pm, and although advance tickets have already sold out, there will be a limited number of tickets on the door tomorrow.

The Feminist Library - noticeboard and merch - kenningtonrunoff.com

FEMINIST LIBRARY, 5 Westminster Bridge Rd, London SE1 7XW, 020 7261 0879.

Jeff Koons Now at Newport Street Gallery

One of the writers of this blog is a philistine who can’t abide modern artists explaining their art but enjoys shiny, colourful, huge, spectacular objects with a novel and amusing concept behind them. Jeff Koons fan? Yep, absolutely, so we were thrilled to hear the second show at Damien Hirst’s Newport Street Gallery would be Jeff Koons Now.

The huge, light Newport Street Gallery space provides the perfect setting for Balloon Monkey (Blue):

Balloon Monkey (Blue) from above - Jeff Koons at Newport Street Gallery - kenningtonrunoff@gmail.com

Balloon Monkey (Blue) - Jeff Koons at Newport Street Gallery - kenningtonrunoff@gmail.com

Likewise this giant Play-Doh has Newport Street Gallery written all over it. This is made of aluminium, while Balloon Monkey (Blue) is made of stainless steel:

Play-Doh - Jeff Koons Now at Newport Street Gallery - kenningtonrunoff@gmail.com

The only x-rated pieces are in the final room downstairs, but they’re so x-rated we believe they would be illegal if they were on a popular local blog rather than in an art gallery, so here’s a silver train instead:

Jim Beam JB Turner engine - Jeff Koons - kenningtonrunoff.com

Entry is free and the gallery was buzzing but not excessively full during our weekend visit.

Naturally the gallery shop stocks some Koons expensive tat art:

Jeff Koons inflatable dogs in the Newport Street Gallery shop - kenningtonrunoff.com Jeff Koons plates in the Newport Street Gallery shop - kenningtonrunoff@gmail.com

Welcome to Kennington Jeff –  we haven’t been this excited since the two Kevins, Pietersen and Spacey, came to town.

Orbit Beers brewery

Kennington is well known for its gin distillery but did you know we also have a small but increasingly popular brewery? Orbit Beers was founded in 2014 under a railway arch in East Kennington with the slogan of Hi-Fidelity Brewing (and we can now answer Nick Hornby’s question about what the main character of his book High Fidelity would be doing following the closure of his record shop – he’d have started a craft brewery).

Orbit open their doors to the public on the third Saturday of each month in winter, so that means this coming Saturday. We went along last month to have a look.

Orbit Brewery beer sign - kenningtonrunoff.com

If you went to the beer hall at Kernel Brewery when they used to serve beer on  tap on a Saturday then, well, this is a little smaller scale, with just one table.

Orbit Brewery exterior - kenningtonrunoff.com

Orbit have outgrown the space, hence all the boxes below, and they’re hoping to expand into the arch next door.

Orbit Brewery interior - kenningtonrunoff.com

When we visited, they weren’t serving anything on tap, but were offering their full range of bottled beers at £2.50 each or less if you buy bulk.

Orbit Brewery counter - kenningtonrunoff.com

We took two bottles home to taste. The Orbit Peel session blonde ale looks like this and has a bit more of a real ale edge to it than a Hoegaarden or Blue Moon:

Orbit Beers Peel session blonde ale - kenningtonrunoff.com

Orbit’s most unusual beer is probably their Altbier, a style popular in Düsseldorf that tastes somewhere between and an ale and a lager:

Orbit Beers Neu Altbier - kenningtonrunoff.com

If you head down to the brewery on Saturday and the table is taken, you can always head around the corner to The Beehive for a pint of Doom Bar.

Alternatively, several Orbit Beers are available from Oddbins on Kennington Road, and if you want to try it on tap, one of their beers is a permanent fixture at the Old Red Lion.

Address: Railway Arches 225 & 228, Fielding Street, London, SE17 3HD.

Oli Food Centre and Turkish Corek bread

We are huge fans of the Kennington Baker and occasionally buy a loaf from The Old Post Office Bakery who have a stall on Saturdays at Oval Farmers Market. But neither of those fine establishments will sell you much for less than £2. What about if you’ve only got 50p to spend?

Well, you need to get yourself along to Oli Food Centre, a Turkish shop at 332-334 Walworth Road, London SE17 2NA.

Oli Food Centre - kenningtonrunoff.com

Head to the back of the store and next to the entrance to the kitchens you will find the corek bread for, yes, just 50p a loaf. That’s it on the middle shelf:

Oli Food Centre - Corek bread shelving - kenningtonrunoff.com

It’s a white loaf covered in sesame seeds and something fearsomely addictive – possibly black caraway seeds, or crack cocaine. It really is extraordinarily tasty and extraordinarily good value for money.

Corek bread - kenningtonrunoff.com

Oli Food Centre sells all kinds of weird and wonderful products you won’t see elsewhere, including about 57 varieties of halloumi. We once bought a six pack of glasses emblazoned with the logo of BJK, then panicked in case this turned out to be an objectionable political party. Panic over – it’s a football team.

Oli Food Centre is open 24 hours – where else can you buy amazing bread at 4am, for 50p?

QueArts – NEW SHOP ALERT!

QueArts, Kennington’s first stationers and art supplies shop, opened its doors on Thursday, at 220 Kennington Park Road, London SE11 4DA, where Coversure Insurance used to be.

QueArts shopfront - kenningtonrunoff.com

As you can see from their window, they offer all kinds of art and craft materials, stationery and framing.

QueArts inks and paints - kenningtonrunoff.com

It’s a big shop with lots of beautifully stacked fresh racks of materials for stationery fetishists like us.

QueArts paper - kenningtonrunoff.com

They also sell greetings cards – how could we resist this Kennington-related one?

The Oval card - kenningtonrunoff.com

The very friendly proprietor lived in Kennington for many years, and still plays football in Kennington Park which is how he came to spot the To Let sign.

QueArts boxes - kenningtonrunoff.com

The same row of shops also plays host to Park View, AKA Dino’s Hairdressers, which has one of London’s finest shop signs, renovated relatively recently:

Dino's hairdresser Park view - kenningtonrunoff.com

There are two other shops to let in the same parade, including this former shoe repair shop. May we have an organic grocer and a branch of Rough Trade Records please?

vacant shoe shop - kenningtonrunoff.com (2)

Finally, while we’re writing about this parade, has anyone ever seen Naga Shack open? Or, better still, sampled its cuisine, whether Lebanese or Indian?

Naga Shack - kenningtonrunoff.com (2)

Kennington Christmas shopping guide

Having never understood the excitement of buying Christmas presents in July, we launch our Christmas gift guide today, with the luxury of at least four shopping days left to purchase thoughtful local items for your nearest and dearest.

Edible gifts

Sally White Christmas baskets - kenningtonrunoff.com

Sally White is bursting at the seams with packages of Christmas foodstuffs,  trussed up with ribbon and sprigs of tasteful non-sparkly tinsel. From a whole box filled with their Kennington-famous brownies (a gift to oneself if ever we did see one), to bags of excellent cinnamon stars (which we can confirm are much tastier than the Konditor & Cook version, having tasted both). They are also doing a range of seasonal hand-made chocolates in a squirrel theme, praline Santas, stollen, mince pies, Christmas pudding and Christmas cake, and the ever-wonderful three nut crackers. We ate the seasonal pralines before gifting them when they first appeared, so are perhaps consider buying two lots. They also have healthily sized hampers with much of the above contained within.

Italo Deli would make another good one-stop shop for a hamper – Kernel ales, Rococo chocolates, and lots of fine jams, chutneys, meats and cheeses, plus good chat while you peruse.

Our most frequently visited Kennington shop,  the Super Store at 161 Kennington Lane, have really gone to town with the Christmas window display this year (below). In addition to the biggest box of Guylian we have ever seen they also stock a wide variety of Lindt.

Prime Super Store Christmas window display - kenningtonrunoff.com

What better gift than the gift of food to someone who actually needs it? Donations can be made at the Vauxhall Foodbank, 105 Tyers Street, Vauxhall, SE11 5HS any time during office hours, Mon-Fri 9.30-5pm (Wickham Street Entrance). If you are bringing a larger donation (more than a couple of shopping bags), or if you need help unloading a donation, call them on 07586 258991 or email so that they can ensure they have someone who can help you. If you would prefer to donate money you can do that online here. Waterloo Foodbank is at 1 Kennington Road, London SE1 7QP and on 020 7921 4205.

Oddbins are open until 7pm Christmas Eve, stock a good selection of craft ales, and occasionally local brewer Orbit, and Havana cigars.

Oval Farmers’ Market are going all out for Christmas. They have the usual market on Saturday 19th from 10 to 3, and a panto in St. Mark’s Church alongside the market on the 19th as well. Tickets include a Christmas party after the panto with Christmas elves, story telling, games, balloon modelling and much, much more. Book your places as soon as possible at panto@weareccfm.com. Children £4 each, parents go free. Then a special Christmas market from 2pm – 7pm on the 22nd. Expect your favourite Oval Farmers’ Market stallholders plus live music from The Peas and Dai & The Ramblers, mulled wine & cider, handmade crafts for the perfect gift, and festive treats.

Local biscuit couturiers the Biscuiteers, who have their workshop on Stannary Street marked with a fetching illustration of their dog mascot, are offering free delivery if you order from them by midnight tonight (enter code CHRISTMASJUMPER). We are holding out for a hand-iced Kennington Runoff logo.

The gift of relaxation

Yogabelle, who offers yoga and massage in the uplifting surroundings of the Siobhan Davies Studios, will provide gift vouchers so that you can give someone the gift of wellbeing. Her massages and classes both come highly recommended.

Homewares, flowers, art and other stuff

The Boule-In are open until the 23rd, as are Brocket Gallery.

Shalimar will be open this Saturday as a one-off, to cater for all the people flooding there following our recent blog post.

The Damien Hirst shop Other Criteria, adjacent to the Newport Street Gallery, for Harland Miller beach towels, butterfly plates, and a box of Pharmacy branded matchbooks for £75.

Brunswick House for a pair of 19th century French cast iron urns, or a substantial Scottish pond yacht. Open until 2pm Christmas Eve.

Vanilla Black is open until this Sunday, with new and used books for sale.

Imperial War Museum has at least three different shops under its newly redeveloped Foster & Partners roof. If you’ve never been, the shops offer surprisingly high end products, including some nice jewellery outside the Lee Miller exhibition.

Jamjar Flowers, Tomorrow’s People or Windmill Flowers for bunches of flowers that will please everyone. Windmill Flowers also have Charbonnel et Walker chocolates, alpaca scarves, succulents in coconut shells, and are open until 2pm Christmas Eve.

 

great things we have eaten or drunk in Kennington recently

Bao pao with sea bream from Marcel & Sons:

Bao Pao at Marcel & Sons - kenningtonrunoff.com

Poitiers bread with sunflower seeds from the Kennington Bakery:

Poitiers_1094_729_w

Apple and cinnamon stuffed French toast with candied walnuts at Counter (although the service still leaves something to be desired).

Counter entrance - kenningtonrunoff.com

The 70% Ecuador and 82% Madagascar hot chocolate from Vanilla Black Coffee & Books are both great.

Oh, and we aren’t big meat eaters but we were going to order a Christmas turkey from PJ Frankland & Sons butchers (6 Jonathan Street), and were midway through writing a blog specifically about this 31 year old shop when we stumbled across this piece.

PJ Frankland shop front - kenningtonrunoff.com

G Baldwin & Co. (AKA Baldwin’s)

G Baldwin & Co. – better known as Baldwin’s – is London’s oldest herbalist store and one of the city’s most interesting and welcoming shops.

G Baldwin & Co shopfront - kenningtonrunoff.com

The Baldwin’s website says “We have come a long way since George Baldwin first opened his doors on 77 Walworth Road, South East London in 1844”, but that’s not true in the geographical sense – they’ve just moved a few yards down the road to 171-173 Walworth Road, as well as building a successful mail order business and website. The current owners are the Dagnell family, who took over in the early 1900s!

The old Baldwin's

The old Baldwin’s

To step into the right side of the store – the apothecary and herbalist – is to step back in time.

G Baldwin & Co Tonic & Nerve Mixture sign - kenningtonrunoff.com G Baldwin & Co apothecary glass shelves - kenningtonrunoff.comG Baldwin & Co apothecary jars - kenningtonrunoff.com

It’s always busy, with all kinds of people coming into to discuss their ailments.

G Baldwin & Co apothecary counter - kenningtonrunoff.com

The left side of the store is a standard health food shop, albeit well stocked and with very well informed staff:

G Baldwin & Co health foods shelving - kenningtonrunoff.com

They also offer all kinds of demonstrations and work shops, from occasional free hand massages to soap making, and they always have a recipe up on their blackboard. But even if you’re not into any of that, it’s still fun to visit Baldwin’s.