Category Archives: shops

Rough service at Selectric

Did you know, Selectric still sell beautiful, warm, dim, inefficient light bulbs?

Apparently the lightbulb industry have got around the ban on incandescent bulbs by describing them as “rough service” bulbs, which are designed for use in the building industry. The glass is slightly thicker than normal, but apart from that they’re just as good as the old ones.

Article about the workaround here in The Telegraph.

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The best pen

As selected in The Wirecutter, and sold in Blackheath Rymans for £2.99 (the Uniball Jetstream). Seems pretty good, even for a left handed scrawler.

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Bookshop on the Heath selling up

Massively sad to hear that yet another independent shop in the village is selling up. The Bookshop on the Heath is a fantastic place. I really hope they find a buyer to continue the shop as a going concern.

Their press release is below. If anyone has any good examples of how local communities have managed to stem the exit of local businesses from their high streets, please place them in the comments.

Richard and Jasmine Platt, founding owners of the Bookshop on the Heath Ltd in Blackheath, South East London, have announced that they are selling the business in order to pursue other interests in the leisure industry.
During the past ten years, the business has won awards for excellent customer service and it has been independently rated as one of the country’s finest bookshops. From day one, it has posted excellent year-on-year profits.
There has been a bookshop in this location since 1949, making it one of the longest continually running bookshops in South London. The bookshop has become a real fixture in Blackheath Village and it has generated a tremendous local goodwill. More recently it was the setting for part of an episode of the BBC1 drama “Spooks”.
Richard says, “After a very happy and successful ten years here, we feel that the time has come for us to step back and pass on the legacy and reputation of the business to someone else. We hope that they can now also realise their dream like I did ten years ago by taking over and further developing a super little shop in a marvellous trading position. It would be lovely to think that the long tradition of bookselling could be continued by someone who shares our passion for offering fine books, maps & posters with friendly, personal service. Trade has been exceptionally good and there is also the opportunity for the new owner to develop web sales and sales of new books (children’s in particular) – areas which we have barely touched upon.”
The bookshop continues to open every Friday, Saturday, Sunday and by appointment at all other times. If you are searching for a quantity of specific quality stock or you are interested in buying the whole of this successful and profitable turn-key business, please contact Richard Platt for more details on 01526 352267 or email


Filed under books, planning, politics, shops

Brake Bikes

I’m no expert on bikes, but have to say that the eye-catching Brake Bikes make a nice addition to Blackheath’s high street. The business model is interesting – a kind of “pop-up shop” appearing outside various shops on the street – I’ve seen them at the hairdressers next to Strada, and Raffles the clothes shop. Wondering if a bike shop could be the next addition to the high street? Never ridden a “fixie” myself, unless you count a BMX (many years ago).
UPDATE: They’re not fixies. See the comments. Told you I don’t know about bikes :)


Filed under blackheath, shops

Makers and takers

Received this from Handmade Food yesterday:

We recently received a London Borough of Lewisham Business award for most sustainable business practice . We are grateful to Sir Steve Bullock and panel for recognising Hand Made Food’s efforts. Fourteen of us, chefs, shop staff, baristas, events staff, washers up raised a glass of Sussex’s best sparkling Breaky Bottom in a toast to our patrons and supporters. We recently lost a great Blackheath independent Sisters and Daughters to a stinging rent increase and ever increasing costs. We got Cook ( national chain of 60) a shop full of factory produced ready meals , a cashier and a freezer filler – at least they put gingham round the freezers.

Congratulations to them. I’m sure it’s not easy trying to run an independent business on the high street at the moment, and I have to agree about Cook, which I shall continue to refer to as Posh Iceland. The wicker baskets and picnic cloths aren’t fooling me… Handmade Food on the other hand is a lovely place, which I’ve spent a lot of time in, but for some reason never mentioned much on here. It serves Monmouth Coffee, which is delicious, and Neal’s Yard Cheese, not to mention all the food which is solid and tasty. It’s not cheap, but if you’ve looked at the rents on that high street, it’s not hard to see why (£100k a year for Venice Restaurant?)


Filed under blackheath, coffee, shops

Shepherd’s food of the week

Chocolate sardines in Shepherd Foods

Five chocolate sardines on sale in Shepherd’s Food. For the bargain price of £9.95.


Filed under blackheath, food, shops


Coquillage photo, fish shop, Blackheath, fishmongers
The vegetarian bugle was sent to Coquillage, the local fish shop last weekend. I’m told the fish was great, so if you’re looking for something to set fire to on the barbecue this weekend, here’s what we did. They also sell Samphire (green stuff at the rear left of the photo), which is really nice with a little lemon juice, as a green salad next to your fish. Very few places sell samphire, so this is quite a find!

Jade Boulangerie and Coquillage occasionally give out 10%-off vouchers, which can come in handy. Anyway, without going all Jamie Oliver on you, here’s what we did:

Whole sea bass, cleaned and de-scaled (they cleaned it reasonably well at the shop, but there was a little more to do).
2-3 cloves of garlic (peeled and cut in half)
Slices of lemon
Bay leaves
Olive Oil

Wash and de-scale the sea bass. It should be sliced open from the underbelly (do fish have bellies?)
Cut some lines diagonally across the fish
Stuff the garlic, lemon, and bay leaves into the cuts
Stick it on the BBQ turning occasionally until it’s brown. – one of these helps (Sainsbury’s sell them too).
Serve with samphire drizzled with olive oil and lemon juice.

Anyway, it’s good to see them doing well, especially in a location that saw other businesses fail before.


Filed under blackheath, blackheath village, shops