Thursday, May 3, 2012

The Deptford Project

London truly is the city of plurality. Never have I experienced a city so vast yet condensed, complicated & utterly contrary. It gives with one hand, and it takes with the other. It's a place of extremes, where the difference between the haves and the have-nots, is almost unbearable to think of. It has a wildly fascinating history, & it's sheer scale & ability to reinvent itself is enough to keep a mind busy for years. 

I had the fortune and misfortune of living and dying in London for two years, and one of the things that became obvious to me all to late, was that the real London is now in the South East. This is where the level headed people, the young, inspired, hardworking creative people with bright ideas are really making things happen. Away from the self-aggrandizing, "doing little / talking a lot" crowds of Dalston/Shoreditch, is a testimony to this 
generation of doers/thinkers, in the form of Deptford's Carriage Cafe. When I was brought here for lunch by some friends living in Brockley, I realised this was the first time in ages I had been somewhere that had an air of authenticity about it. The staff were friendly, and probably because the success of their cafe is due to its actual merit, and not just because it had been turned into a bandwagon for trenders to jump on.

The Carriage Cafe is a superbly designed space (and this place makes great use of it), a gutted & refurbished train carriage with an outdoor elevated deck attached, seems like a great concept for a cafe, and it is. It offers great protection from the elements, but is also  flooded by sunshine when it's know....kind of like a train would.

The menu offers up hearty portions of vegetarian pies, frittatas, quiche, baked sweet potatoes all with a variety green salads on the side, and all for a good price. Every time I look back at these photos, I have a little sigh & wish I was eating there again.

I went for the baked sweet potato with mozzarella, basil & cherry tomatoes & a side of fresh peas, blanched courgettes & feta salad. I don't know how they managed to make the skin crisp & lift right away from the flesh with that sweet potato, but it was damned good.
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