The march of the South London massive continues apace! The Renaissance boys are extending their monopoly to encompass the mean streets of Kennington with the brand new Tommyfield gastropub and the Granville Arcade of Brixton Village (work with me here) is developing a new scene much akin to Shoreditch's Redchurch Street.
Renaissance Pubs, the gastro-team behind renowned Southside venues The Avalon, The Abbeville and The Stonhouse in Clapham as well as The Bolingbroke in Battersea, is adding a new stable mate to its burgeoning portfolio and The Tommyfield on Kennington Lane opens for business at the beginning of May. Named after the Oldham market which boasts the UK's first recorded chip shop – one hundred and fifty years ago – the new venture from Tom Peake, Mark Reynolds and Nick Fox is inspired by the country's rich market heritage.
Decked out in old school mahogany and iron, striking open kitchen is a decidedly modern twist. A blackboard style menu is divided into fish, meat, pie and mash according to what is available on any given day – with fish and chips taking centre stage of course. Seasonal fish sourced entirely from day boats will include lemon sole, sea bass, halibut or coley and a commitment to sustainability means that wherever possible, it will be Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified.
However, carnivores are well catered for too with a good selection of cuts of British beef including Scottish Aberdeen Angus Rib of Beef, Staffordshire Sirloin and Hereford Rib Eye. Old fashioned pies feature Three Cheese ( Ticklemore, Cashel Blue and Caerphilly) & Onion and the rather literal Cow (!) variety – a hearty combination of beef shin, tripe and ox tongue.
Lighter less visceral options are Portland Seared Scallops with Pea Shoots, bacon & Neeps Purée (a cross between turnip and swede I'm reliably informed), however, the emphasis remains on big flavour dishes including a British chopping board of Brawn Terrine, Scotch Egg, Sausage Roll, Cumbrian Ham and Homemade Piccalilli and Cornish Black Faced Lamb Rump with Butter Beans, Spring Cabbage & Rosemary Jus. And although its little face probably isn't the most salient part of its anatomy, well, the name has a pleasingly artisan ring to it.
In keeping with the rustic theme, there's also a great range of British real ales on tap plus twenty wines by the glass, including three award-winning English varieties.
But back to Brixton. Space Makers, an organization that matches underused spaces to the needs of the local community, has teamed up with Lambeth Council and given three months' free rent on disused units in Granville Arcade to an eclectic mix of artists, designers and culinary creatives.
Leftovers sells gorgeous antique French clothes and there's up-cycling too from Remade in Brixton, Sweet Tooth is an old fashioned sweet shop with a side-line in cupcakes, expect Dario's Artisan Pasta to appear soon on the dinner party circuit and new coffee co-operative, Federation Coffee is a welcome celebration of independence from the inexorable march of Starbucks. And on Saturdays you can bet on a multi-sensory feast of pop-?up performances, shorts screenings, cabaret, food tastings, craft workshops and gallery openings.
So much more fun than negotiating the Bugaboos in Clapham!
The Tommyfield, 185 Kennington Lane, London SE11, 020 7735 1061, www.thetommyfield.co.uk