Tag Archives: Kennington

The Top Ten Best Restaurants in Kennington – no. 2 – The Duchy Arms

Positives: Some of the best pub food around, cooked by Prince Charles’s former chef. Great, hand cut chips. Get in quick before the hordes discover it.

Negatives: If you’re looking for a light bite, you’ve come to the wrong place. This is their fish pie for two:

Duchy Arms fish pie for two, with handcut chips and spinach - kenningtonrunoff.com

Hygiene rating: TBC

Address: 63 Sancroft Street, London SE11 5UG

Duchy Arms - kenningtonrunoff.com

Come back next Sunday to find out the number 1.

The Boule-In

We’re starting to think we can make things happen in Kennington just by writing down our wishes and posting them on the internet. When works started at the site of the former ASM Music shop at the junction of Windmill Row and Kennington Road, we asked on Twitter what it was to become and Kennington’s leading celebrity tailor Earl of Bedlam replied “an architect”. We responded “Not a lifestyle boutique then?”. Pure wishful thinking – but here’s how it came true.

Cathy and Peter Bullen are the couple behind Kennington’s most exciting new shop, The Boule-In. Having lived in Provence for a spell, Cathy started selling French antiques and vintage goods from her barn and garden in Bildeston, Suffolk in 2011.

So how did they end up opening their second shop in Kennington? Their artist son Jack studied at Kennington’s own City & Guilds. Cathy and Peter have a flat in South Kennington and were having a coffee in Sally White (where else?) while pondering how to secure permanent premises for Brocket, Jack and his partner Lizzie’s contemporary art gallery which had been temporarily located above The Three Stags. They looked straight in front of them and saw the former music shop being converted, so crossed the road and met the owner who happened to be there supervising the works.

The Boule-In - kenningtonrunoff.com

Our friends at Earl of Bedlam were right – it was supposed to be an architect’s office, but that wasn’t permitted under planning regulations, so Peter and Cathy snapped up the ground floor for The Boule-In, and they’re currently converting the basement for Brocket’s gallery (watch this space for more on that once it has opened).

Back to The Boule-In. Cathy and Peter travel to France regularly and source all their stock over there – mostly vintage collectables, homewares and textiles from France, but some from Italy and beyond.

The Boule-In - more bric-a-brac - kenningtonrunoff.com

The prices are a fraction of what you’d pay at LASSCO, and the Kennington shop has already been so successful that they’ve had to head back to France and restock.

The Boule-In bric-a-brac - kenningtonrunoff.com

They’re open Tuesday to Saturday from 10am till 6pm. If you go on a Saturday you’ll probably find Peter and Cathy themselves there and keen to chat – they are very friendly.

The Boule-In glassware and crockery - kenningtonrunoff.com

As our Central Kennington predictions for 2015 stated, we’re anticipating “The Boule-In Effect” taking hold in Windmill Row and its surrounds, with a number of ever-so-tasteful boutiques opening up in the coming months, diluting the high concentration of estate agents that dominate Kennington Cross. We can’t wait.

The Boule-In St Raphael sign - kenningtonrunoff.com

Job advert - kenningtonrunoff.com

our central Kennington predictions for 2015

The Boule-In, the new French vintage homewares boutique at the junction of Kennington Road and Windmill Row, will be a great success. Watch this space for more on this.

“The Boule-In Effect” will see further exciting boutiques opening up in central Kennington, joining Sally White, Kennington Bookshop and Windmill Flowers. Windmill Row will become the new Redchurch Street.

Lambeth Council will finally get their way and kill the Tree of Heaven behind Durning Library, which will help the Green Party in their surge across Lambeth (OK, not everyone agrees about the tree’s heavenly properties, but it’s called the Tree of Heaven – let it be, for heaven’s sake).

Property prices across Kennington will continue to outperform other parts of London. Despite this, no new estate agents will open in Kennington. Yet another estate agent will open on Kennington Road – Lauristons is coming soon – grrr.

2015 will see the return of Kennington’s own Florence Welch. She will be sampled by Rihanna and spotted in Sally White. Will she release a new album? Never mind that – the question on everyone’s lips is when will she start her guest column for Kennington Runoff?

Florence Welch at South London Pacific

Florence Welch at South London Pacific

Check back tomorrow evening for our predictions for North and East Kennington (formerly known as Elephant & Castle and Walworth).

Invader in Kennington

Is this a genuine Invader piece above an estate agent at Kennington Cross?

Invader graffiti, Kennington Cross - kenningtonrunoff.com

How long has it been there?

Some kind of trailer for the Damien Hirst Gallery perhaps?

And how about this huge one above the Windmill Pub in North West Kennington, just behind Albert Embankment?

Invader on The Windmill Pub, Lambeth - kenningtonrunoff.com

Alford House Youth Club

This is Alford House Youth Club where We Are The Lambeth Boys was filmed:

Alford House Youth Club - kenningtonrunoff.com

It has been in Kennington since 1884, originally on Lambeth Walk:


We Are The Lambeth Boys, as sampled by Morrissey, can be viewed here.

We didn’t know Alford House existed until we read more about We Are The Lambeth Boys recently. It’s on Aveline Street which is yards from Tesco but is one of those streets you’d never walk up unless you were looking for it.

This is their programme of activities. Not bad for 25p:

Alford House Youth Club programme - kenningtonrunoff.com


The best breakfast in Kennington?

As regular readers of this blog will be well aware, Kennington has establishments that cater for most needs, but its one relative weak spot has been places to have breakfast or brunch.

Vergies is the nicest of a number of local cafes that offer fry ups in the greasy spoon mould (although it’s anything but greasy in there).

Toulouse Lautrec serve freshly baked French pastries, freshly squeezed orange juice, freshly pressed orange juice and the creamiest of scrambled eggs on weekends and Bank Holidays, but the service can be a little frustrating (some of the staff have limited English and speaking French to them doesn’t seem to work either).

Brunswick House do a good but short brunch menu.

Tea House Theatre’s breakfast is reviewed here.

Sally White do some breakfast options but add star anise to their granola – why why why?

So it’s with some excitement that we annouce that we now have a new candidate for the title of best breakfast in Kennington – The Tommyfield, who serve breakfast between 8.30am and 11.30am on weekends.

One of us had a homemade granola served with Greek yoghurt and a summer berry pot:

Homemade granola, Greek yoghurt, summer berry pot at the Tommfield - Kenningtonrunoff.com

And the other had a serving of buttermilk pancakes which came with blueberry compote and mascarpone cream:

Buttermilk pancake, blueberry compote, mascarpone cream at the Tommyfield - kenningtonrunoff.om

Both were excellent, but the lingering smell of drains which has percolated through the Tommyfield for a while now was more bothersome at breakfast time despite a sash window wide open next to the table.

Even if you’re not staying overnight at the Tommyfield Hotel, you can still enjoy their fragrant breakfast of a weekend, menu here.

Rooms at The Tommyfield – Kennington’s newest and nicest hotel

Another of our Kennington Predictions for 2014 has come true – Ace Hotels have opened their latest outpost in Kennington.

Errrrr……OK, that’s not 100% true (yet), but Kennington does now have its own super-bijou boutique hotel in the form of six hotel rooms above The Tommyfield pub on Kennington Cross, and they’ve been decorated in a rather refined shade of industrial chic that isn’t a million miles from the Ace Hotel aesthetic.  Our room was all white-washed brick walls, a chair that we’ve definitely seen in the Conran Shop, and a typographic ‘We not me’ print on the wall from the Changethethought collective.

We Not Me print at Tommyfield Hotel - kenningtonrunoff.com

Lovely bathroom too, with marble topped double sink and huge walk-in rain shower:

The Tommfield Hotel rooms shower - kenningtonrunoff.com

They launched without any fanfare at all in mid-May, and we were the first guests to stay in Room 3, although we have it on good authority that Russell Kane will shortly be lounging on the very same Super King Hypnos bed shortly.

A launch price of £119 per night per room (including breakfast) is reasonable for rooms that can more than compete with the very best that Airbnb can offer locally, minutes from the geographic centre of London.

If you stay on a week day it’s a DIY breakfast in your room from a pick of porridges, muesli, fresh fruit and juices, and our favourite Teapigs teas, plus a Nespresso machine.

Tommyfield Hotel DIY breakfast - kenningtonrunoff.com

At the weekend, guests breakfast downstairs in the pub from a more extensive menu, available until a very civilized 11.30am. But more of that later.

North Lambeth L&R Club

We’d always assumed this place, in between houses on Kennington Road, was derelict. Then a BT Sport banner appeared outside:

The North Lambeth L&R Club, Affiliated to CIU, established 1888

Soon followed by an advert for an event:

event at the Lambeth L&R Club - kenningtonrunoff.com

Now we have so many questions.

What’s it like inside?

When does it open? It never looks open.

Can anyone go, or do you have to be a member?

What does L&R stand for?

Is it on brand for Kennington Runoff? (Do they serve Kernel beer?) We fear not, but as you may have guessed, we’re running out of places to write about that are.