Villa Toscana, 179 Brockley Road

Having previously noted the relative lack of old-school restaurants in the area, it's time BC celebrated one under our noses - a turnaround story led by a team of genuinely passionate foodies - Villa Toscana.

Under its previous owners the restaurant had fallen on hard times but just over a year ago a new team took over, led by Leo, formerly a General Manager for Marco Pierre White and someone with six years of running Conran restaurants under his belt.
Hidden behind a front window which gives little away, Villa Toscana has been steadily building a local fan-base, thanks to its focus on simple, high-quality Italian cooking by chef duo Daniella and Francesco.

In addition to their pastas and pizzas, Leo's most proud of their scaloppine, steaks, veal, sea bass and fresh, hand-made breads. The wine list is all-Italian and they are generous with the limoncello.

Now, with their reputation established, they are doing more to attract new audiences. From this weekend, a pianist will be performing on Friday and Saturday evenings, while that un-alluring frontage will eventually get a makeover.

Like Meze Mangal, this is a restaurant that trades on its food first, but Leo stresses that they pride themselves on their service too.

Please post your reviews here.

The way we live now

This is why BC loves Brockley, in one Tweet:

Marathon 2015 - Greater Brockley declared the winner

Greater Brockley is to the Marathon as Yorkshire was to the 2012 Olympics. Friend o'BC Richard writes:

Kent AC (based at the Ladywell Arena) have had a fantastic day at the London Marathon. There was a record 45 club members who toed the starting line this morning.

There was lots of personal bests and great stories across the day, however, two stand out achievements were John Gilbert coming second in the men's Club, Charity and Ballot race (a time that would have put him 19th if he was in the Elite Men's race).

Amy Clements was tenth in the women's race, breaking the significant 2hr 45min barrier for the first time and was a mere seven minutes behind Paula Radcliffe.

Several people who volunteer at Hilly Fields Park Run every Saturday were also volunteering for the marathon helping out with the baggage trucks. And we had one club member was running as a 3hr pacer too.

Bella Napoli, 173 Brockley Road

Bella Napoli (020 8692 3301) is the new takeaway pizza place that is seeking to succeed at a spot where a succession of other places have failed. They've gone for the safe option: a takeaway and delivery service in an area still relatively short of good pizza.

The pizzas are cooked in a wood-fired oven and eschew the oily dough that most local places use. The menu is more interesting than the lowest-common denominator choices we plumped for in the photo above and the prices are good (£8 a pop at the moment), but the ham and mushrooms they used were both disappointing. The team were very friendly.

Some day, someone will open a more ambitious pizza place in Brockley. Until then, this is a welcome addition, that should do well.

Election Hustings, April 26th

6-8.30pm St Catherine’s Church, Pepys Road, New Cross Gate, SE14 5SG.

Candidates attending:

  • Bim Afolami (Conservatives) 
  • Michael Bukola (Liberal Democrats) 
  • John Coughlin (Green Party) 
  • Massimo Dimambro (UKIP) 
  • Chris Flood (TUSC) 
  • Vicky Foxcroft (Labour) 
  • Malcolm Martin (Christian People’s Alliance) 
  • Helen Mercer (People before Profit)

Ladywell butcher seeks investment

Prospective Ladywell butchers Heckstall & Smith are seeking to raise a hefty £130,000 from crowdfunding site Seedrs, offering shares in the business from loans starting at £10. They say:

"Before the campaign is available to the general public, Seedr give us a small window to get investment from people we’re already in touch with. This shows investors unfamiliar with the project that others are already sold on it from day one. To make Heckstall & Smith happen, this is where we need your help.

"We have one week to get momentum behind the campaign. To get that momentum we need you to spread the word about the project to those lucky enough to have money available to invest in businesses, or if you can, invest yourself."

Click here to invest.

Sainsbury's robbed

Tim has confirmed that this was the Mantle Road branch, at approximately midday.

Brockley Central Label Cloud