Tag Archives: Oval

Cable Bakery & Roastery

Cable Bakery & Roastery is a very exciting new arrival from the couple behind the Cable Bar & Cafe and Waterloo’s Scootercaffe. It’s situated at 82 Bolton Crescent, a street that runs along the side of Kennington Park and was previously most notable for an adventure playground and a bondage shop (Fetish Freak – “your fetish is our business”, but not if, like us, your fetish is for four coloured pens, although to be fair, we haven’t enquired so we can’t be sure).

Cable Bakery & Roastery exterior - kenningtonrunoff.com

The decor is every bit as stylish as their other two establishments, with vintage coffee machines scattered around the place.

Cable Bakery & Roastery shelving - kenningtonrunoff.com

As well as these stools, there are a couple of small tables. The establishment is already proving popular so you may not get a seat at busy times, but you can always head around the corner to Cable Bar instead.

Cable Bakery & Roastery seating area - kenningtonrunoff.com

They bake sourdough bread and roast coffee on site, all organic:

Cable Bakery & Roastery bread - kenningtonrunoff.com

As well as the expected hot drinks, they serve smoothies, sandwiches, chicken and beef broth and other lunch options with plans to add more. They also have a good selection of cakes – we had an excellent slice of apple pie.

Cable Bakery & Roastery cakes - kenningtonrunoff.com

They’re open Monday to Friday 9.30am to 7pm and Saturdays from 10am to 3pm, although hours may increase in the future. Let’s hope so – this place is great.

Address: 82 Bolton Crescent, SE5 0SE.


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)

Bar 48 wine bar and Eritrean restaurant

A wine bar seems quite a weird concept in 2015, let alone a wine bar that’s also an art gallery and music venue, serving Eritrean “tapas”, next door to what is probably London’s best Eritrean restaurant, Adulis.

Bar 48 exterior - kenningtonrunoff.com

We thought Bar 48 must be a new opening from Adulis but it turns out it’s neither linked to Adulis nor new – it has been going for years and has been in its present incarnation for around two years – we just hadn’t noticed it till recently. It’s also rather dark so excuse the photography.

Bar 48 interior - kenningtonrunoff.com

Someone on TripAdvisor says “You know how people say that Londoners are unfriendly bastards who never make conversation? Well not here! I don’t know how they do it, but its the kind of place where strangers were striking up conversations with one another all night.” Indeed this was our experience – both the barman and the table next door struck up conversation with us.

And there’s a lot to talk about. They have the kind of events programme that is bound to see Jeremy Corbyn visit sooner or later (unless he heads to i’klectik instead). Plus a grand piano:

Bar 48 grand piano - kenningtonrunoff.com

The owner Fiyori Belay has Eritrean roots and runs the kitchen, while the (bar)man behind the art gallery concept is Joshua Vaughan, who also teaches at City & Guilds. When we visited the art had rather a Dystopian, William Gibson-ish feel.

sculpture at Bar 48 - kenningtonrunoff.com

should have chained the wheels to the bike

art at Bar 48 - kenningtonrunoff.com

If you’re only interested in the food, you should probably go to Adulis instead, which offers pretty much the same dishes (meat and vegetable platters served on injera), at least as well prepared, and many others besides. Bar 48’s wine list is also quite short for a wine bar, but reasonably priced. They do serve an Ethiopian lager, St George Beer (he’s the patron saint of Ethiopia as well as England), which seems more exotic than the Kenyan one they have next door, as well as Brixton beers (should have gone for Kernel, or failing that, Kennington’s own Orbit).

St George Beer at Bar 48 - kenningtonrunoff.com

But really, you should go for the welcoming atmosphere, and because you will never have been anywhere quite like it. Tonight could be the night – they’re open and have a duo playing covers and originals, then, as far as we can ascertain from their reservations tool, they’re not open again till February 1st.

Address: 48 Brixton Road, London SW9 6BT

Gasworks gallery

2015 was a big year for Gasworks gallery – they reopened to the public in September after purchasing the freehold on their Vauxhall Street site (next door to the actual gasworks, hence the name), and getting it redeveloped by architects HAT Projects.

Gasworks gallery exterior - kenningtonrunoff.com

The new look gallery is lovely and now fully accessible, and we loved 50% of the current exhibition by Guatemalan artist Naufus Ramírez-Figueroa.

The first room is called Babylonian Fantasy and features four sculptures like this:

Babylonian Fantasy by Naufus Ramirez-Figueroa at Gasworks - kenningtonrunoff.com

We liked these pieces less once we read that they were inspired by David Icke, but we loved the second and final room, an instillation called God’s Reptilian Finger. Here’s a photo of said finger and other objects, although you really need to be in the room to experience it properly:

God's Reptilian Finger by Naufus Ramirez-Figueroa at Gasworks - kenningtonrunoff.com

Like Newport Street Gallery, Gasworks purports to be in Vauxhall but they are yards from the Oval Cricket Ground and we’d say they’re in South Kennington (AKA Oval). They have been around since 1994 running the gallery and offering studio space to artists, amongst other non-profit making activities.

They reopen on Wednesday after a Christmas break, and they’re open Wednesdays to Sundays midday to 6pm whenever there’s an exhibition on. Yes, this means they’re open Saturdays and Sundays, unlike some of Kennington’s galleries, so there’s no excuse not to get along before this exhibition closes on February 7th.

Address: 155 Vauxhall Street, London SE11 5RH.

Kennington Park and its new Flower Garden

It’s all change in Kennington Park at the moment, and this weekend was a big one thanks to the reopening of the flower garden after a £500k makeover. We bring you photos, with apologies to the woman who we inadvertently followed around:

Kennington Park Flower Garden vista - kenningtonrunoff.com

The flower garden originally opened in 1931 and its layout has remained much the same since, including this water feature:

Kennington Park Flower Garden water feature - kenningtonrunoff.com

This new sundial was made from Welsh slate by Sam Flintham, a student of historic stone carving at Kennington’s own City & Guilds:

Kennington Park Flower Garden sundial - kenningtonrunoff.com

Get down there quick while the roses are still in season:

Kennington Park Flower Garden roses - kenningtonrunoff.com

Kennington Park Flower Garden flowers - kenningtonrunoff.com

Elsewhere in the park, the Kennington Park Centre on Bob Marley’s old hang out, St Agnes Place, is newish and features an arts and community centre, a stay and play club, and an adventure playground. Also newish is the exercise equipment just north of the cafe, which is proving very popular.

Finally, one of the big concerns about Northern Line extension works in the park was that Bee Urban, those harvesters of the world’s tastiest honey, would have to be relocated. Well, they have been, and their new site next to the cafe looks mightily impressive:

Bee Urban new site in Kennington Park - kenningtonrunoff.com

Join the Friends of Kennington Park here – they made all this happen.

The Top Ten Best Restaurants in Kennington – no. 6 – Adulis

Positives: Eritrean food is delicious, unique and great fun for parties. We’ve been to a lot of Ertitrean and Ethiopian restaurants and Adulis might be the best of the lot.

Negatives: Occasionally sketchy, but friendly, service. The coffee ceremony basically involves burning the beans – that’s the Eritrean way – and will keep you awake for a week or so. And the food, although delicious, ain’t photogenic:

Adulis platter - kenningtonrunoff.com

Hygiene rating: 4 out of 5

Address: 44-46 Brixton Road, London SW9 6BT.

Adulis Eritrean Restaurant - kenningtonrunoff.com

Come back next Sunday to find out the number 5.

Mazí Mas at the Ovalhouse Theatre

Over Easter Weekend we went to Mazí Mas, a roaming restaurant that’s currently resident at Ovalhouse Theatre, and we were blown away.

We’d never plucked up the courage to go to Ovalhouse before and, arriving after the performance had finished, we were pleasantly surprised by how vibey the bar is on a Saturday night (it got even busier later). And they serve Effra Ale which is no Kernel but it’s pretty good.

Ovalhouse Theatre bar - kenningtonrunoff.com

The restaurant’s adjacent to the bar and was also full – they say there’s no need to book but we had to share a table with another couple.

Mazí Mas is a social enterprise whose chefs are female migrants and refugees from Brazil, Iran, Ethiopia, Turkey, Senegal and Peru, cooking recipes from their home countries. When we went, Roberta from Brazil was cooking and the food was delicious.

These are Roberta’s pao de quiejo (Brazilian cheese bread) and they taste as good as they look, plus they only cost £4 for five:

Roberta's pao de quiejo (Brazilian cheese bread) at Mazi Mas - kenningtonrunoff.com

They use local, seasonal, sustainable ingredients and sure enough, everything tastes fresh and home-cooked. This is a main of pumpkin moqueca in coconut milk with lime (£7); they were also doing the same dish with white fish (£8) – both were great:

Pumpkin moquecca in coconut milk with lime at Mazi Mas - kenningtonrunoff.com

This is a dessert of passion fruit mousse for £4 (possibly not sourced locally but still):

Roberta's passion fruit mousse at Mazi Mas - kenningtonrunoff.com

The menu changes daily depending on who’s in the kitchen, although the cheese bread and passion fruit mousse seem to be permanent fixtures. Check their Twitter to find out what they’re cooking each day.

Their crowdfunding campaign is about to close and one of the offers is a meal for two for £25 which would work at as good value.

They will be at Ovalhouse every Tuesday to Saturday from 6pm to 10pm until May 30th. After that, we’d love to see them find a permanent site in Kennington.

Ovalhouse Theatre is at 52-54 Kennington Oval, SE11 5SW.

Ovalhouse Theatre - kenningtonrunoff.com

The top ten best restaurants in Kennington – numbers 7 to 5

7. Dirty Burger
pros: top quality, posh, juicy burgers
cons: the Vauxhall gyratory goes right past the outdoor tables, and the veggie burger features mushrooms, which everyone knows are banned throughout Kennington on grounds of taste, texture, appearance, smell, and name
hygiene rating: 5 (Reassuringly Clean Burger)

6. Doost
pros: delicious Persian specialities, a charcoal grill, and loads of vodkas
cons: it’s a little pricey
hygiene rating: 5

5. Adulis
pros: Eritrean food is such good fun
cons: the service can be a little sketchy
hygiene rating: 4

Doost Persian Grill & Vodka Bar

Doost Persian Grill & Vodka Bar

Adulis Eritrean Restaurant and Bar

There are a surprising number of Eritrean restaurants in London. Adulis is one of the longest established, having been in South Kennington since 1996, and probably the best (also check out Kifto House, just outside the borders of West Kennington on South Lambeth Road).

Adulis Eritrean Restaurant - kenningtonrunoff.com

Eritean food is really tasty and fun. It’s all about the injera – leavened pancakes made with sourdough of teff flour, which is a grain grown in Ethiopia and Eritrea that’s gluten free and nutritious. Your food will come served on a giant injera, and you’ll get a separate bowl of rolled up injera which you’ll use instead of cutlery to scoop up the food. Order the vegetable or meat platter, or a mix of the two, and you’ll get a variety of delicious stews, including goat and boiled egg. It makes for an unusual and enjoyable communal eating experience that’s great for parties – the atmosphere in Adulis is always good. The only snag is it’s arguably the world’s least photogenic cuisine: 

Adulis platter - kenningtonrunoff.com

Eritrea does have one brand of beer – it’s called Gold Star – but in South Kennington you will have to settle for Tusker Lager which is from Kenya and annoyingly owned by Diageo:

Adulis Tusker Lager and flowers - kenningtonrunoff.com

After dinner comes the coffee ceremony, which begins with heavily roasted coffee beans being waved in front of you so you can absorb the aroma. These will then be ground, placed in a traditional clay vessel, boiled several times, and served with popcorn, accompanied by the smell of burning frankincense.

After the coffee ceremony comes hour after hour of caffeine-induced mania (that must be what the early morning clubbers of West Kennington have been drinking).

what part of Kennington should you live in?

What could you eat forever?

  • A) coconut and tamarind fish curry
  • B) double Ginger Pig-bred cheeseburger in a brioche bun
  • C) ceviche
  • D) lemongrass sesame pork rice vermicelli
  • E) quinoa and camargue red rice salad
  • F) spicy hot beef and okra stew on injera
  • G) McDonald’s happy meal

What is your jam?

  • A) Heaven Is A Place On Earth by Belinda Carlisle
  • B) Slave To The Rhythm by Grace Jones
  • C) Windowlicker by Aphex Twin
  • D) Pass Out by Tinie Tempah
  • E) Vindaloo by Fat Les
  • F) You Got The Love by Florence & The Machine
  • G) Timber by Pitbull feat. Ke$ha

Which is your favourite Kevin Spacey?

  • A) House of Cards Kevin Spacey
  • B) LA Confidential Kevin Spacey
  • C) The Usual Suspects Kevin Spacey
  • D) Seven Kevin Spacey
  • E) Late night dog walking Kevin Spacey
  • F) American Beauty Kevin Spacey
  • G) K-PAX Kevin Spacey

What’s on the top of your Kennington bucket list?

  • A) watching Florence from Florence & The Machine do an impromptu drunken covers set at a tiki bar
  • B) dancing till the sun comes up then comes down again
  • C) going to Radiohead’s Boiler Room takeover at Corsica Studios
  • D) exploring urban forests and soaking up ruin porn before it’s too late
  • E) attending a private view at Damien Hirst’s new gallery
  • F) going to a test match
  • G) watching Millwall play at home

How did you score?

Mostly A’s – you should live in Central Kennington
Mostly B’s – you should live in West Kennington (formerly known as Vauxhall)
Mostly C’s – you should live in North Kennington (formerly known as Elephant & Castle)
Mostly D’s – you should live in East Kennington (formerly known as Walworth)
Mostly E’s – you should live in North West Kennington (formerly known as Lambeth)
Mostly F’s – you should live in South Kennington (formerly known as Oval)
Mostly G’s – you should not live in Kennington; would suggest Fallujah, or Clapham

Kennington vs local postcards, Lassco Maltby Street - kenningtonrunoff.com