Monday, 16 December 2019

SE19 Lates

Times are tough on the high street as we are all too aware, and here on the Triangle we are not immune from harsh economic reality. This year we said goodbye to Blue Door Bicycles, and a couple of restaurants, The Exhibition Rooms, and the French House restaurant opposite, the latter having been replaced with a Caribbean one called The Escape. Fortunately there have been other openings too; Tattoo Society, Urban Cellar, and most recently the Indigo Tree, but at the same time there seem to be more vacant premises than ever. So SE19 Lates , now in its second year, comes as a hugely welcome initiative by local traders led by Liz at SBW, and marketing expert, Kate McGhee to create a festive buzz around shopping locally. Alongside their efforts, last week saw Santa switching on the lights on the Triangle's first Christmas Tree, on the triangular space between The Alma and Brown & Green. Organised by Noreen of Crystal Palace Festival, with the help of local champion, Francis Bernstein, the tree was kindly donated by The Secret Garden, with additional funding from local ward councillors.

The main focus of the initiative, is around 2 late night shopping evenings, the first of which was held last Thursday. The omens were not great, it clashed with the General Election, but worse, monsoon conditions prevailed for much of the day. However, in the end, neither managed to dampen spirits, again, thanks to Noreen and Francis, shops and street corners were filled with the sound of carol singers and other performers, and the mulled wine on offer in many of the shops provided a warm glow on the inside! While this was mostly a retail event, some of the bars on the Triangle also joined in, and tastings were held at Urban Cellar. Meanwhile local artist, David Vallade was on hand with pens and paper at Martin & Co on Church Road, to entertain the children with his 'Climb the Transmitter' game. And it will all be happening again next Thursday, when one of the highlights will be the Panash Steel Band.

Lene & Tine & a simmering pot of mulled wine at A L'Etage 2

Coconut Trading


Mrs Robinson

À L'Étage 2

Organiser, Kate mcGhee

Organiser, Liz Clamp at Smash Bang Wallop
Once again the local community have shown what an amazing place Crystal Palace is, coming together to make great things happen. Well done and huge thanks to all those involved. And it's not just the nights! Plenty of shopping days between now and Christmas, not forgetting the fabulous food market on Haynes Lane every Saturday.

Sunday, 10 November 2019

Simon Carter - rebooted

Simon Carter's first appearance on this blog was back in 2013. Six years later the store has had a bit of a refit, and it's great to see plenty of local history incorporated into the new design scheme. An image of the palace serves as a backdrop at one end, while the iguanodon presides over the shirt wall at the pointy end of the shop. And it's not just the decor, some of the merchandise is also locally themed. Pocket squares featuring a very dapper T Rex, and a selection of dino cufflinks among them. No doubt lots of them will be shortly making their way into Christmas stockings locally.
They seem to have fitted in lots more merchandise into what is a tiny shop, without making it look overstuffed, including a new display wall of boots and shoes at the back. A couple of fab vintage light fittings add a retro glow, while my favourite feature is the black floor inset with classic mother of pearl buttons. A simple but charming idea! It's also good to see that some of the old familiar characters that have always populated the shop, remain. From Crystal, the porcelain cat, to the dashing naval officer.
Still, the best thing about this brand, is the shirts, from floral, and paisley, to dogs, bicycles and butterflies. Just don't ask for a plain one!

John Wetherill, store manager

71 Westow Street