Whether you're craving flawlessly-formed bao buns or a 100% vegan-friendly menu, Tiger Bites' Taiwanese-fusion street food has you covered from 7pm Saturday 18 November at Spike + Earl.
Whether you're craving flawlessly-formed bao buns or a 100% vegan-friendly menu, Tiger Bites' Taiwanese-fusion street food has you covered from 7pm Saturday 18 November at Spike + Earl.
We're thrilled to announce that Owen Pritchard, Editor of leading arts and culture platform It's Nice That, will host the very first Spike + Earl Sunday Session at 7pm on Sunday 19th November 2017. Owen will be talking about It’s Nice That, its creative mission and will share his best bits of advice for emerging creatives and students who want to see their work published and celebrated by the creative community.
Tickets are free but spaces are limited. Book your spot through our Eventbrite page, and don't forget to cancel if you can't make it, so that someone else can attend.
Why are we doing this?
Spike + Earl Sunday Sessions are a new and ongoing series of free talks for the South East London community. The team behind Spike + Earl believes that supporting the local community is important and we are curating these free-to-attend talks to provide valuable insight into the worlds of sustainable business, creative careers and the coffee industry our socially conscious enterprises are built on.
Who is Owen Pritchard?
After training as an architect Owen started working in journalism in 2009. Having previously held editorial roles at Blueprint, Icon and the Architects’ Journal, Owen joined It’s Nice That as Editor in November of 2015 leading and overseeing all editorial content. It’s Nice That believes passionately that creative inspiration is for everyone and by championing the most exciting and engaging work online, in print and through its events programme, it aims to open up this world to the widest possible audience.
Saturday 14 October is #SocialSaturday. We know, we know! There are roughly 197 hashtag holidays for every day of the year, but this one is well worth your time. Social Saturday is an annual campaign from the amazing people at Social Enterprise UK which aims to, “Raise awareness of the difference that social enterprises are making in communities on your doorstep and around the world, and to encourage you to support these businesses when making your purchasing decisions.”
See, told you it was a good one.
Social enterprises are a key part of building sustainable societies. They allow us to spend our money at and purchase our day-to-day items from businesses that give back. We can exist in a world where spending supports a fair and caring economy. In fact, if you’re reading this in London right now, you already live in a city where your morning latte can help a homeless person create a new life for themselves without hand-outs.
As you might already know, some of the team behind Spike + Earl and Coal Rooms also run Old Spike and Change Please — two of the UK’s most talked about social enterprises. Both focus on providing people with the skills they need to build a better life. Both take people whose lives revolve around homelessness and instability and provide them with healthcare, training, skills, jobs, confidence and platforms to grow and move on. We’re big on doing better. Better business, better lives, better places to buy your coffee…
We’re taking this year’s #SocialSaturday as an opportunity to not only promote our own causes, but to celebrate some of the other life-changing social enterprises that exist to give us the power to #ShopSocial. Here are some of our favourites, but we’d love to hear your suggestions so we can add them to the list, so please do tweet us your favourites or tag us on Instagram!
We’ll get the self promotion out the way early. Old Spike was set up in 2015 by our own co-founders Richard Robinson and Cemal Ezel. The concept is simple. Good coffee, good cause. Combining coffee experts with business brains meant creating a social enterprise that produces some of the best coffee in London and helps the homeless get back on their feet by training them to be baristas while paying them a fair wage. To get your hands on Old Spike’s delicious beans you can visit Old Spike at 54 Peckham Rye or you can sign-up to the handy subscription service and get fresh coffee delivered straight to your home or office.
Within a few months of launching Old Spike Cemal had the bug. By the end of 2015 he had teamed up with Big Issue and launched Change Please. It takes the same principles behind Old Spike and applies them to a wider area. Rather than having a cafe in one location — like Old Spike’s hub in Peckham — Change Please lets you grab that essential running-late-into-work-americano from 15 pop-up public and commercial locations around London, including a fleet of mobile coffee carts, all staffed by formerly homeless baristas. Almost two years since launching, Change Please last month launched retail bags of three blends of coffee in 375 Sainsbury’s stores around the UK, so people can experience the great taste of poverty-busting specialist coffee at home.
(Cemal is currently nominated for Social Entrepreneur of the Year 2017, please vote here!)
Paper & Cup
Yes, we’re still talking about coffee, but this isn’t just about coffee, it’s about people. Paper & Cup is a charming café that lies between buzzing Shoreditch High Street and the nostalgic calm of famed social housing development Arnold Circus. It’s the sweetest of spots for a quiet tea, coffee or pastry among the streets of East London and another brilliant social enterprise. Paper & Cup is part of Spitalfields Crypt Trust — a charity that has been serving the homeless of East London for five decades. Even Prince William popped in last month.
(Follow Paper & Cup on Instagram.)
Take a left out of Paper & Cup, walk for about 20 seconds, then swing a right — you’ll find yourself outside Restoration Station, another brilliant social enterprise from Spitalfields Crypt Trust. Most of the time Restoration Station is a fully operational wood workshop headed up by workshop manager Bernard. Those recovering from homelessness and addiction learn to restore furniture and create unique pieces that will brighten your home. Three days a week the workshop throws its doors open and the place becomes one of East London’s best furniture shops and the money from the sale of the restored pieces goes back into the business. The perfect stop off on your way home from Columbia Road flower market.
(Check our Restoration Station’s recent #LDF17 collaboration with artist Yinka Ilori.)
Aerende means ‘care’ in Olde English, and it’s the perfect name for travel editor Emily Mathieson’s carefully curated online homewares shop. Not only is her impressive offering of contemporary home products thoughtful, elegant and overflowing with fairly priced craft from around the British Isles, but all the pieces have been created by makers who are unable to access or maintain conventional employment. So next time you’re looking for a gift or something special for your home don’t forget Emily’s “life-improving homewares”.
(Have a browse here.)
It’s not just individuals who should shop local, businesses can too. There are plenty of wholesale social enterprises and many of them are right under your nose — we’re pretty sure you’ve been served Belu water at a restaurant. If you’ve ever bought a bottle of water at Spike + Earl or Coal Rooms then you definitely have. The industry dominating purveyor of bottled water is an ethical business and a pioneering social enterprise. They use 100% of their profits to fund clean water projects internationally and they measure their success by, “The reduction of our overall environmental impact, successful and sustainable trading, and the number of lives transformed in poor countries through access to safe water.”
(Check our Belu’s recent filter initiative here.)
44% of bread is wasted in the UK. That, is a disaster. Luckily, the clever people at social enterprise Toast Ale realised they can brew great beer with bread, malted barley, hops, yeast and water. The team take unsold bread from bakeries and unused crusts from sandwich makers and turn it into the delicious beers you see behind our bars (and many others). According to their website, at the time of this being written they had saved 8400 kilograms of bread and turned it into 94136 litres of beer. Not only that, but 100% of their profits go to Feedback, an environmental organisation that campaigns to end food waste. Amazing.
(Check out Toast’s handy home-brew recipe here.)
Aside from serving fresh South Indian and Sri Lankan food, family run social enterprise Papi’s Pickles also works with unemployed women from these communities who live in the UK. The women the business supports are provided essential opportunities and a reliable income while helping to promote and preserve the rich history of these incredible cuisines and cultures.
(See more on Instagram.)
Describing itself a social enterprise and community interest company, Zaytoun was founded in 2004 and aims to create and develop a UK market for artisanal Palestinian produce. Initially funded by hundreds of customers who put up payment in advance of receiving their produce, Zaytoun quickly established itself as a prominent UK social enterprise. With funding from Triodos Bank the company developed to offer a wide range of Palestinian artisan foods. Canaan Fair Trade in Palestine and Zaytoun in the UK worked together and supported Palestinian farmers to pioneer the world’s first Fairtrade certified olive oil in 2009.
(Follow Zaytoun on Instagram.)
Africa is home to 25% of the world's botanical species, many of which date back to ancient times. Despite their impressive health and beauty benefits, however, the majority of Africa's natural ingredients remain unknown to the rest of the world. Aduna is changing this. Their mission is to bring us the natural vitality of Africa's ancient ingredients, while creating sustainable livelihoods for small-scale producers.
(Check Aduna out on Instagram.)
Divine Chocolate is as good as it tastes. The social enterprise is the only chocolate brand in the world that is both 100% Fairtrade and owned by the cocoa farmers themselves. The Fairtrade element makes sure the farmers producing the cocoa get a fair deal, while company ownership provides them with a share of the profits and a stronger voice in their industry.
(Why not drool over Divine’s online library of mouthwatering recipes.)
Got a sweet tooth? Good, because we’ve got another chocolate-focused social enterprise for you. 700,000 people in the UK are living with autism and 85% of them are unemployed. The chocolatiers at Harry Specters are combating this by providing employment and free training to young people with autism. They learn how to produce award-winning chocolates and build their skills and confidence.
(Read more about Harry Specters’ important work here.)
Brewers around the world are finding ways to support social causes and we are here for it. With the help of BrewDog — who produce Brewgooder craft beer at a zero margin — this awesome social enterprise is on a mission to provide clean water for 1,000,000 people. They donate 100% of their profits to clean water charities and have supported 60 projects helping more than 33,000 people in Malawi since 2016. Cheers to that.
(Read more here.)
Two Fingers Brewing
Last but not least, the cleverly named Two Fingers Brewing Co. was created in 2012 by a team of seven men with a passion for craft beer and doing better. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men and 1 in 8 in the UK will need treatment for it at some point in their lives. Two Fingers is raising awareness of the disease and donates all of its profits to Prostate Cancer UK, with a guaranteed minimum of 10p per bottle going to the charity.
(Find out more here.)
If you’re a Peckham local we’re guessing you already know what Peckham Levels is, but if not, here’s a quick introduction. In their own words, “Creative people need a place work, and locally in Peckham it’s getting harder to find those places.” For the next six years, Peckham Levels will occupy the underused space inside the town centre carpark (the same carpark you’ll find Frank’s on top of), building a new creative workshop and cultural destination that supports and celebrates its members and connects those members with the community around them.
Part of any community is food. That’s where we come in. Peckham Levels isn’t set to launch until later this year, so we’ve teamed up with some of their incredible food vendors to bring a taste of what’s to come in the form of a #PeckhamLevelsXSpikeandEarl kitchen takeover. For each of the next six weekends, Drums & Flats, Hao Hao Chi, Canard, Nandine, West and Pickywops will be serving their own unique menus on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, all at Spike + Earl.
We’ll be announcing each weekend’s menu a few days beforehand, so keep your eyes glued to our Instagram, Twitter and Facebook feeds (@spikeandearl) for updates, and be sure to give Peckham Levels (@peckhamlevels) a follow while you're there!
As always, bookings are available by sending your request to firstname.lastname@example.org (or here). Check out the full line-up and start making some mouthwatering plans here. The takeover kicks off this Thursday 28 September with London's favourite chicken wings courtesy of Drums & Flats, see you there!
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.
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.
COFFEE-CURED BACON SANDWICH
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.
ROASTED COD HEAD
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.
MANGALITSA PORK CHOP
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.
AND TO DRINK?
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.
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.
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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:
“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?”
“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!”
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 email@example.com and you can direct press requests to Jenny Gray or Frances Cottrell-Duffield at Tonic Communications on [firstname]@toniccomms.co.uk or 020 7436 1408.
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.