The day before the Kennington Bookshop was reborn as Vanilla Black Coffee and Books, another bookshop also opened just up the road. Finishing Touch, which flung wide its doors to the public on 1st November with a Day of the Dead celebration, is a bookshop, gallery and project space based in an old barbershop on Kennington Lane.
the opening event at Finishing Touch
It will remain until February 2016, at which point, presumably, the person who bought the property will start converting it into something less exciting. The barbershop which preceded it operated at the extreme end of ‘by appointment only’ (we never saw a single client in there for well over five years), but this new incarnation is playing host to the very welcoming Open Barbers, hairdressing for all genders and sexualities.
Finishing Touch will programme a series of events, screenings, exhibitions and performances, inviting artists to work with them in the spirit of the ‘salon’.
Run by the team behind Luminous Books, it supplies a well-curated selection of art and theory books and is perfect for a highbrow gift or two.
They even sell tasteful marbled paper to wrap it all in. Oh, and tote bags of course.
As a pop-up opening hours may change from week to week. You are advised to check their Facebook page for up to date opening times.
Address: 147 Kennington Lane, London SE11 4HQ
firstname.lastname@example.org (Greygory – 07712090553 Felix – 07920832320)
A good rule of thumb for pop-up dining experiences – the longer a pop-up runs, the more likely it is to be a professional outfit. We will never forget a visit to a very short-lived pop-up in Bethnal Green that involved drinking Aldi own-brand lemonade from water cooler cups while waiting for our undercooked stew to arrive. Po’ Boys, a journey through New Orleans cuisine set in a hidden steelyard in West Kennington, is running until September, and it shows. The venue – The Yard on Durham Street – has hosted a handful of food events since it opened last year, and while it’s no Creole townhouse, it felt a long way from the fringes of the West Kennington gyratory on a balmy Friday night.
Draped with Mardi Gras beads on entrance through a small speak-easy style door, guests are offered a potent New Orleans Hurricane cocktail in the cobbled hackers yard. Dining is at communal tables – Sathnam Sanghera was sat on ours; perhaps you’ll find Will Self trying another local dining option after his saddening time at Dirty Burger?
When the food came, it was tasty without exception – Jalapeño Poppers pegged up on a steel washing line (above), sticky sweet Dr Pepper-doused ribs, tiny mason jars filled with pickled crawfish, an authentic-tasting gumbo (below), and a very heady Mississippi Mud Pie (further below). All to a soundtrack that stretched from the Kygo remix of Sexual Healing through to Bayou anthem Proud Mary.
Tickets for a few of the dates are already sold out, but there are still plenty left with good availability.
Dates: Friday nights, Saturday nights & Sunday lunches on selected dates to 27th September. Cost: £35 for five courses plus cocktail.
Address: The Yard, 4 Durham Street, SE11 5JA.