You’re invited to a party.

We're super excited to announce that we are hosting our very first magazine launch next week in collaboration with The Bower. Art Licks is a much-read, much-loved magazine that provides a platform and voice for the lesser-known and under-represented activities that form the grassroots of visual culture in London. Art Licks exists as a website, tours, printed magazine, learning programme, commissioning programme and annual London-wide festival: the Art Licks Weekend, all supporting the work of artists at a critical early stage in their careers, providing the situation to create new networks and audiences. In their own words, “This has become vital given the financial pressures on UK-based artists with increased costs of living, lack of studio provision and competitive funding streams.”

On Tuesday 19th September from 7 - 10pm, local heroes and successful crowdfunding project The Bower (read more about that here) will celebrate the launch of Art Licks #21. Following a residency in Colombia undertaken by Holly Willats (Director, Art Licks) and independent curator Lily Hall earlier this year, the new issue of Art Licks features work and writing from artists in Bogotá and Medellín, Colombia.


At next week’s launch event The Bower will be talking about what they do and we will be donating 20% of the bar proceeds to their cause. There will also be artisan jellies locally produced by Quiver Jelly, so join us for an evening of Colombian music, spectacular jellies and botanical cocktails inspired by The Bower’s new home Brunswick Park.

Check out the event page on Facebook for all the details and to let us know you’re coming on Twitter and Instagram



On Saturday 26 August - a gloriously balmy Bank Holiday evening - we opened Coal Rooms. With the help of Kennedy Woods Architecture (who created both the interior design and branding of this latest addition to the thriving Peckham food scene) our vision for the Grade ll listed Victorian train station building has come to life and our soft launch has been a welcome celebration of fine dining and the best of South East London.

We've had a full house every night of since launch, and we know there are lots of you who haven't been able to make it yet, so (for your drooling pleasure) here are a couple of highlights from our menu. Every item on our menu is hand-picked by our Head Chef Sam and sourced (wherever possible) from local and ethical suppliers.

Photography: Charlie McKay

Photography: Charlie McKay


If you could only eat one bacon sandwich for the rest of your life, this is it. Head Chef Sam has taken our Old Spike roasting roots and created Coal Rooms' signature coffee-cured bacon, which sits elegantly between a sliced "English brioche". A hint of custard brings a yellow tinge and soft sweetness to the roll which flawlessly offsets the saltiness of the meat. 

Photography: Charlie McKay

Photography: Charlie McKay


Our bespoke grill has been designed to cook Sam's carefully selected meat options (think Cabrito goat, Mangalitsa pork and smoked shoulder of lamb) to perfection, but it's also the ideal way to cook some incredible fish dishes. We debuted the roasted cod head on Twitter and Instagram last week, and it seems to have really turned some (human) heads - perfect with our kedgeree and a chilled white from our wine menu.

Photography: Charlie McKay

Photography: Charlie McKay


Although we try to limit the number of miles out produce travels before it arrives on your plate, the richly flavoured Mangalitsa pork chop is one of a kind and well worth the long-distance relationship. Order alongside one of Sam's signature homemade sauces and enjoy with a heady red. 

Photography: Charlie McKay

Photography: Charlie McKay


Whatever your heart desires... (almost)

From our classic Old Spike Martini (first made famous at sister venue Spike + Earl), to the depth and flavour of our considerately curated wine list, there's a cocktail, beer, red, white or sparkling for every dish and any occasion. Take your time perusing the menus or ask one of our team for their recommendations.

Follow Coal Rooms on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook for updates and news and head to for reservations from 31 August onwards. 





As summer rain continues to drench our beloved South East London we're finding moments of (dry) solace in a handful of good reads and numerous cups of coffee (Spike + Earl is currently serving Old Spike's Peruvian Benedict Blend). We've handpicked a vibrant selection of quarterly, monthly and weekly print publications which you'll find at both Spike + Earl and Old Spike, but for those who prefer their information on the go, here are some of our top online reads for August:

- Wallpaper* writer Emilee Tombs recently visited our latest opening Aside London, located in the heart of Peckham. Read her musings on the design of the venue here.

- If you've ever wondered how that all important morning coffee can turn you from hulk to hero in a matter of minutes this Caffeine Mag article is the one for you. Pick up issue 28 (a tea-focused special) at Spike + Earl and ask our team for an introduction to our own new tea selection!

- The New Yorker never fails to deliver sharp, witty and insightful cultural commentary. Last month contributor Cynthia Zarin saw five of London's latest theatre productions in as many days. Read all about her week in London here.  

- In the wake of the poignant loss of architect Zaha Hadid, Peckham-based blogging duo Mark Stanley Russell and David White ask the question: what's next for design? Read their thoughts on Forward Features.

- Hospitality interior design is a huge part of any bar, restaurant or hotel (and something we've been thinking about a lot recently with the upcoming launch of Coal Rooms). See what happened when Monocle met three hospitality players who are shaping the future of the hotel industry. Read online here.

- For #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek (back in May) Shortlist writer and editor Sam Diss revealed how his love of trainers dug him out of his depression. The piece spread far and wide and continues to hit home with new readers. Take a look here.

- We've all been caught peering through a window to get a better look at someone's home interiors. One of our highlights of the latest issue of the South East London journal is documentary maker Smita Patel's stunning double-fronted late Victorian house in Peckham. See it here.

- We're big fans of the team over at arts and culture hub It's Nice That and Jenny Brewer's behind the scenes look at the weird and wonderful world of Rick + Morty is well worth checking out.

- In case you missed it, last week we asked a handful of freelancers to share their top tips for working in your favourite cafes, bars and restaurants. See what they had to say here.

- Last but not least, Spike + Earl's very own David Rochford recommends keeping up with the music gurus at Crack Magazine for the best new releases. Check out this week's here.

Share your favourites on Twitter and maybe they'll make next month's list!





Freelance life is pretty sweet, if done right — you get to choose your own hours, work in your favourite cafes, and are rarely required to take part in the sort of ‘organised fun’ that goes hand in hand with office life. But, as with any emerging lifestyle trend or change to ‘the norm’, there can be hurdles to scale when it comes to learning the etiquette and life-hacks that make it work for you.

One of the best parts of running a cafe or restaurant is getting to know the many laptop-wielding entrepreneurs who frequent your establishment, so we thought we’d ask a handful of our professionally liberated friends to share the advice and experiences that help them to work successfully on the go.

Becky Morrison is a freelance fashion + social media writer and creator of the #TittyTee:

Twitter - @becky_bees Instagram -  @becky_bees

“Sustenance! Working on your own in a bar or cafe can be a lonely old slog, and a selection of sweet treats never fails to lift the mood (and acts as a nifty reward when you've just smashed that tricky bit of copy). Get a little cake, get a little tea, go wild and get a little sandwich — I promise you, your day will be instantly improved. Plus point — you won't piss off the people who own the place that wish you'd stop cradling the flat white you bought three hours ago and just get the F out of there.” 

She adds…

“Limit distractions. As someone whose literal job is to constantly check my phone, it can be hard to concentrate on the task at hand. A constant stream of notifications from various accounts can leave you feel f*****g crazy so stick that little bugger on airplane mode for bursts so you can reclaim your brain and, more importantly, #getshitdone.”

Charlotte Morgan is a freelance content marketer and blogger:

Twitter - @CharFoxSocks Instagram -  @charfoxsocks

“If there's no table service, position yourself so you can easily see (or ideally reach) all of your belongings when you go up to order. Saves the trouble of having to pack up and pick up everything you own when you want to order a refill. In a similar vein, try to strike up a friendly relationship with the people working there. That way they'll be happy to keep an eye on your stuff (assuming it's not too busy) should you need to use the bathroom.”

Charlotte Duckworth is a novelist and blogger:

Twitter - @charduck Instagram -  @gtyrkids

“Aside from the obvious stuff like don't sit at a sofa (back ache), make sure you've got a firm table to rest your computer on, and a corner spot always best so people can't spy on your screen. Remember to take your charger and make an effort to get to know the staff. They’re often very kind and have even been know to gift the occasional drink.”

Russell James Alford and Patrick Hanlon (aka GastroGays) are a blogging duo:

Twitter - @GastroGays Instagram -  @gastrogays

“Forge relationships with your favourite local space to spend a few hours. Get to know the staff or owners, build a rapport, ask them how their days are going, chat about the quietest times to get some work done. Buying more than one thing if you're staying all afternoon is a healthy practice, but why not lend your skills to the manager too? Bartering is such a basic business tool and works for both parties — are you a social media freelancer? A virtual assistant/PA? A PR consultant? A remote designer or an expert copywriter? Why not see if you can give back to your local space with some free tips, consulting or a bit of a light work and they'll love you forever – you might be just the thing they need!

Got a favourite space but it's got a dodgy WiFi? You can't really ask or expect them to switch up their box or provider on account of the work you need to do! As a self-employed freelancer you have operational costs as a small business or sole trader that you can offset against your profits. It's a smart business move. Offset the cost of a dongle or mini WiFi router you can use on the go – therefore you're guaranteed fast, reliable internet whilst not draining a cafe's limited line and you can also support and work from your favourite little local space. A little bit of win-win, no?”

And finally…

“Pay it forward, be nice and bow to karma. Buy a coffee for the next person in line, clean up your table and drop your plates/cups back to the servers when you're done, heck even grab one of the mops and help the team if you've stayed 'til closing time. It seriously does pay to be kind (and always rewarding the patience and understanding of the staff of your cafe). Become a friend, not a nuisance!”

Got a a piece of advice everyone should know? Tell us on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.






If you thought we'd be satisfied with opening just two restaurants in 2017, you'd be wrong! Coal Rooms is the latest addition to the South East London dining scene from the team behind Old Spike Roastery, Spike + Earl, Aside and Change Please and will open mid-August.



Coal Rooms will occupy the beautifully restored former Grade II listed ticket office, originally part of Peckham Rye’s train station in the 1930s. The site will open in August 2017 and will feature a 24-seater café which transforms into a bar in the evenings; 13 counter seats around a large, sunken, open-plan kitchen; a main restaurant space for 30 covers and a private dining room for up to 14 guests. The menu will make use of the restaurant’s on-site butchery, focusing on a variety of meats and unusual cuts, whilst also drawing influence from the diverse community in Peckham.
Head Chef Sam Bryant has worked in the kitchens of Smokehouse, Princess of Shoreditch and Norfolk’s Dabbling Duck. Bryant’s menu extensively uses a robata grill and coal ovens and there’s a real focus on working creatively to reduce waste in the kitchen. For example, the restaurant’s tiramisu will be made using excess milk from the on-site café.


Mornings at Coal Rooms will start with dishes such as the Coffee-cured bacon sandwich with a choice of three cuts of bacon (cured on site) and Scrambled eggs with sriracha mayonnaise, cheese, chives and hot dog onions.

The lunch menu focuses on flatbreads from the coal oven with internationally inspired toppings such as Pig’s cheek, xo sauce and crackling and Crab rarebit, egg yolk and samphire.

By night, the drama of cooking over charcoal really shines with a robust menu of meats and fish. Think Dry-aged duck breasts, Mangalitsa cowboy steaks, Roasted cod heads, and 40 day-aged Dexter sirloin and rib. An imaginative list of house sauces accompanies such as Red eye gravy (using coffee to deglaze the pan), Crab apple jelly, Jerk caramel, and Greengage and mead ketchup. This is all supported by a line-up of intriguing sides and small plates with dishes like Smoked eel and pig’s head sausage with gooseberry sauce; Creamed and burned corn, Roasted bone marrow curry; and Broad bean ragout, green olive, feta and preserved lemons. Beef and pork comes from Charles Ashbridge in Yorkshire, Goat from Cabrito and Welsh lamb from Daphne’s and are all prepared in the on-site butchery and priced per 100g or served to share.
Coal Rooms will be fronted by General Manager James Galton, also from Smokehouse and most recently the ‘Chicken of the Woods’ supper club and as consultant to sister site Spike + Earl.

"As locals to the area, both as existing business owners and residents, we wanted to create a space that respected the heritage of the landmark site whilst providing a new drinking and dining experience for the people of Peckham. We felt it important that a local group who knew and understood the uniqueness of Peckham took it on and delivered something that worked for the area." - Richard Robinson, co-owner of Coal Rooms, Aside, Spike + Earl and Old Spike Roastery.

Design comes from Peckham Architects Kennedy Woods, who also designed the much-instagrammed interiors of Spike + Earl.

"We wanted to draw on the heritage of the station, and throughout the process it was a fine balance to create a space that feels smart and glamorous, yet true to the space. The design includes subtle changes in atmosphere as you move through the sequence of spaces, from a high-footfall café to more refined dining spaces beyond. We’re most excited about the private dining room: its a vaulted space with a Victorian mosaic floor that will function as butchery and bakery in the day before transforming into a candlelit dining space at night." Chris Kennedy, Kennedy Woods Architecture.

For general enquiries please contact and you can direct press requests to Jenny Gray or Frances Cottrell-Duffield at Tonic Communications on [firstname] or 020 7436 1408.

For more updates subscribe to the Coal Rooms newsletter at and follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.





Having sweated our way through some of the hottest weather since the 70s in the last couple of weeks, you’ll find no argument from us that your daily caffeine fix is best served chilled at this time of year — but how do you make the perfect iced coffee at home? Old Spike Roastery Manager and coffee guru Jonny Gagel has all the answers, and it’s all down to some simple maths.


Below are three of Jonny's favourite methods for making the perfect iced coffee. Whether you’re using a cafetiere, V60 or Clever Dripper, keep in mind that ratios are key. 60 grams of coffee to one litre of water is the gold standard brew ratio. It’s been around since the 1950s and was created by the SCAA. This is what we use for all of our filter methods at Old Spike and Spike + Earl and is what the quantities in these instructions are derived from — the only difference here is that our water measurements are split into frozen and liquid parts.

You can buy retail packs of Old Spike Roast coffee at a number of locations including Old Spike in Peckham and Spike + Earl in Camberwell. For this tutorial Jonny chose Old Spike's San Ignacio blend, from Peru.



  • We recommend always using filtered water. Roughly 98% of your coffee is water, if your water tastes bad your coffee will taste bad. You can buy it bottled or simply use a home filtration system.
  • If you are grinding your coffee at home, do at as close to the time you will be brewing it as possible for maximum freshness.
  • If you don’t have a grinder at home, just tell whoever is serving you when you buy your coffee and they will grind it for you based on your preferred brew method. 


  • 26g Old Spike coffee
  • 300g boiling water
  • 130g ice for the brewing process
  • Glass of ice for serving over
  1. Wet the paper filter.
  2. Pour away any excess water
  3. Add the coffee to the paper filter and pour the full 300g of hot water over it.
  4. Leave to brew for 2 - 2.5 minutes
  5. Fill your serving vessel (Jonny uses a carafe) with 130g of ice and place the Clever Dripper directly on top to release the catch.
  6. Stir until all of the ice has melted
  7. To serve, pour the cooled coffee over more ice in your chosen drinking glass.


  • 60g Old Spike coffee
  • 700g boiling water
  • 300g ice for the brewing process
  • Glass of ice for serving over
  1. Pour the 700g of water into the cafetiere.
  2. Leave the lid off and brew for three minutes
  3. Scrape off anything that has risen to the top with a spoon and throw it away. This is the bitter part of the coffee and you don’t want a bitter taste.
  4. Plunge. There should be no resistance as you do.
  5. Put 300g ice into your preferred serving vessel and add the brewed coffee.
  6. Stir gently until all of the ice has melted.
  7. Fill your chosen drinking glass with more ice and pour your already cooled coffee over it.


  • 15g Old Spike coffee
  • 175g boiling water
  • 75g ice for the brewing process
  • Glass of ice for serving over
  • (This is for a single serving. If you’re using an 02 V60 just double the quantities)
  1. Add 75g ice to the vessel into which the coffee will filter.
  2. Wet the paper filter.
  3. Pour away any excess water.
  4. Add the full 15g of coffee.
  5. Pour 25g of the hot water over the coffee and stir quickly to make sure all the grounds are wet.
  6. Pour a further 75g of hot water over the wet ground in concentric circles.
  7. Wait 30 seconds for the water to draw down then add the remaining 75g of hot water.
  8. Make sure all of the ice has melted by stirring the coffee gently.
  9. Have a drinking glass ready with more ice in and simply pour the cooled coffee over.

Liked this tutorial? Follow Spike + Earl on Twitter and Instagram @spikeandearl and tell us what you'd like to see next!

To see more from Jonny follow him on Instagram @jonnygagel