Gentrification: not everyone’s cup of lapsang souchong

And lo, from among the mass of takeaways and mini-markets selling slightly off milk, six bottles of Stella for a fiver and pineapple canned by the man from Del Monte, there arose a most wondrous sight in the streets of Hither Green. A deli, stocked with sumptuous oils and vinegars, pastas and preserves, ciabatta on the counter, pressés in the fridge and comfy sofas on which to enjoy a cup of vanilla infused tea…

Oh yeah baby. Last Saturday, after a number of false starts, we finally got a deli. It’s not exactly Blackheath but it’s a nice addition to the flower shop-cum-cafe (the perfect combination, if you ask me) and the lovely cafe in the park. Brockley‘s already got three of the things, it was about bloody time something made the leap over Lewisham and found itself here.

Not everyone’s happy though. As I trotted down in the chill sunshine of last Saturday, two lads about 19 years old were walking the opposite way. They saw the deli and stopped outside. They looked confused. They looked at the deli, and looked at each other. Then one shouted into the open doorway "Hither Green’s not posh!" and carried on.

I couldn’t help smiling and they saw me. "I’m sorry," I shrugged. "But it’s getting posher." They looked at each other again, bepuzzled. "Hither Green’s not posh!" they repeated. I chuckled. "It’s an inevitable drift," I said, and walked into the deli. They walked into the fried chicken place next door.

I suppose you can’t please all of the people all of the time, can you?


5 responses to “Gentrification: not everyone’s cup of lapsang souchong

  1. David February 19, 2008 at 10:04 am

    We went in there at the weekend as well. Its great. They’d even sold out of most things by the time we got there.
    It’s not posh – a deli certainly won’t make HG Chelsea!

  2. Rachel February 19, 2008 at 12:23 pm

    Personally, I think they could do with cutting back on the flavoured oils and maybe getting in some canned organic ‘everyday’ stuff, like tomatoes and beans, and maybe some decent chilled processed foods like Cauldron (if you’ve visited Brockley and been to Dandelion Blue or The Shop on the Hill you’ll know what I mean!) But for an opening weekend… wow. And yes, it’s definitely going to be a case of ‘get there early’!

  3. Will February 19, 2008 at 6:37 pm

    I’d gloat and tell you how many there are in Muswell Hill but I lose count 😉

  4. Rachel February 20, 2008 at 9:12 pm

    Yes, yes, but where’s the excitement? The anticipation?

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