East Dulwich Banners

East Dulwich Banners

If you live in East Dulwich you might have noticed the banners that have been up and spreading joy in the streets for a few weeks now.

Designed to encourage a sense of community, celebrate the independent spirt of East Dulwich and hopefully in turn help drive the local economy, the banner project has been a fantastic collaborative effort involving a wide cross section of the local community. The banners, which follow on from the mural outside East Dulwich station are the latest part of the High Street Challenge project, the final outstanding elements being community minded additions to the North Cross Road Market which are now with Southwark’s Street Trading and Market Team to deliver.

The image below shows all of the winning artworks (selected from 100’s of entries). The banners have been really well received with lots of people stopping to admire and take photos.

It's not all about the fizz!

It's not all about the fizz!

Drinks are so important, ask any of my clients and they will tell you how passionate I am about this element of every event. Whether they be alcoholic or softs, drinks are just as important as food at your event!

Champagne or prosecco will, of course, always be a favorite, but you don’t always have to go for the norm, these days anything goes, and it is becoming increasingly fashionable to offer a cocktail or two at your event.

During summer, our most popular drinks are;

1)Pimm’s Cups

50ml Pimms No.1
150ml of Lemonade
Mint, orange, strawberries
Cucumber to garnish and ice


50ml Bacardi Carta Blanca Rum
4 to 6 lime wedges
8 to 10 fresh mint leaves
2 tsp caster sugar
25 ml soda water / club soda
Sprig of fresh mint

3)Rhubarb and Pomegranate Punch 

25ml Gin (Optional)
50ml Fresh Rhubarb Juice
4 or 5 Pomegranate Seeds per glass
25ml Pomegranate Juice
Half a Teaspoon Maple Syrup
A dash Rose Water
Garnish with Rose Petals

4)Elderflower fizz

25ml Gin (Optional)
2 parts Sparkling water
15ml Eldferflower cordial

5)Lavander Lemonade

25ml Monin Lavender syrup
2 parts Lemonade or Bitter Lemonade or Sparkling Water
Garnish with Lavander

Art@57 presents ‘Preview’

Art@57presents ‘Preview’

Art@57 presents ‘Preview’– A Group Exhibition in the Window of fifty seven showcasing the work of six very local Artists. All the Artists are taking part in the Artists Open House as part of the Dulwich Festival.

The exhibition gives you a taste of what you can see when you visit their studios which are within walking distance of North Cross Road. Start at the heart of the creativity, fifty seven and follow the map to find all the Artists. A great idea for a weekend stroll!

Here are the Artists and their venue numbers on the map and in the Artists Open House booklet, which is available free in cafes and libraries all over the local area.

Julia Burnett(Venue 72), Julia is showing lyrical land and seascapes in oils which are inspired by the British coastline and countryside.

Ellen Hanceri  (Venue 43) you can see Ellen’s pattern-inspired relief prints, cards and ceramic objects.

Louise Ward ( Venue 66)Louise will be showing her Still Life photographic prints and her black and white photographs of branches made using copper, paper, wood and thread.

Suzsi Corio (Venue 52) Suzsi will be showing experimental mixed media paintings which she has exhibited with the Royal Watercolour Society and Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolour. Landscapes, cityscapes, dress portraits, collages and photography.

Charlotte Clowes (Venue 60) Charlotte will show colourful textile pieces. She exhibits at The Hampton Court Flower Show, The Landmark Art Centre, The Country Living Fair etc. Pictures, giclée prints and cards.

David Hopkins(Venue 58) Central St Martin’s graduate David is showing realistic, figurative paintings. They range from striking portraits and figure paintings to fruit, vegetables and mobile phones. Juicy colour, bold composition and subtle observation are his hallmarks.

Visit this link on our website to see a slide show of more of their work.

The Artists studios are open both weekends of the Festival –

11th – 12th and 18th – 19th May from 11am-6pm.

The Exhibition will be in the window of fifty seven for the whole of May.

The Artists will also be taking part in the Art Market at fifty seven on

Sunday 28th April, 11am -5pm.

For all the latest Art@57 news follow us on;

Instagram – @artat57

Facebook – fiftysevennorthcrossroad

or email Louise at infoartat57@gmail.com

Linkage Southwark - Upcoming Events

Linkage Southwark - Upcoming Events

Linkage Southwark is a vibrant local charity that provides friendly volunteer support to over 600 isolated, older people in Southwark. In 2018 they celebrated 25 years of working in Southwark, reducing loneliness and isolation and helping older people maintain active lives within the community.

There are a number of brilliant fundraising events coming up that we’d like to tell you about:

Annual Sunset Soirée
Sunday 30th June, 6.30pm

North House, 93 Dulwich Village, SE21 7BJ

Enjoy a welcome drink, canapés and live music from
The Charles Cary-Elwes Trio.
Book tickets

Village Voices – A Night of Folk, Blues & Pop
Saturday 4th May, 8-10pm
The Crown & Greyhound, Dulwich Village, SE21 7BJ

A wonderful evening of live music by Deptford Wives, The Trylls & special guests.

Tickets £5 available on the door, cash only.

Open Gardens 2019
Returning again for 2019 on the following dates. A great opportunity to enjoy the summer sunshine in a beautiful Dulwich garden.

Sunday 12th May, 2-5pm
15A Sydenham Hill, SE26 6SH
£4 entry on the door. Cash only. Children enter free.

Serving tea and lovely homemade cakes. Limited wheelchair access due to slope and steps. Sorry, no dogs allowed.

Friday 31st May, 6.30-8.30pm
115 Dulwich Village, SE21 7BJ
£5 entry on the door. Cash only. Includes a glass of wine on arrival.

Enjoy this beautiful garden on a Friday evening with a glass of wine. Street parking available. No wheelchair access – apologies for the inconvenience.
Dogs permitted on leads.

Garden Safari
Sunday 9th June, 2-5pm
Maps & tickets available at 14 Frank Dixon Way
£5 entry on the door. Cash only. Children under 12 free.

Our garden safari offers a rare opportunity to visit a selection of gardens in Frank Dixon Way and Frank Dixon Close. Each house and garden is completely unique with some interesting plants and features – including buses and a train! Tea and homemade cakes available.

Sunday 8th September, 2-5pm
125 Court Lane, SE21 7EE
£4 entry on the door. Cash only. 

Join us for the final open garden event of the season in this unique garden with winding paths and hosts renowned for their teas and cakes. Free street parking. Small dogs and children welcome. No wheelchair access – apologies for the inconvenience.

There's only 1 way to celebrate your 50th - with Masterchef Finalist Steven Lickley!

There's only 1 way to celebrate your 50th - with Masterchef Finalist Steven Lickley!

Did I mention it was my birthday on Sunday?  Only about 50 times (once for every year of my life) so if you missed it you must have been asleep!

So, finally, I reached the great milestone that is 50! Plus I have been a chef for approximately 30 years and in business, for approximately 20 years which means in total, I should really have been celebrating 100 years (sadly I didn’t get my card from Her Majesty)!

Such a special occasion definitely demands more than one celebration! Part one was a very special dinner with my chef friends, hosted at fifty seven and cooked by 2018 MasterChef The Professionals Finalist, Steven Lickley and it really was superb.

I met Steven earlier in the year when I dined at a charity supper club to raise money for The Brathay Trust, the charity MasterChef semi-finalist Matt Campbell was supporting when he sadly died during the 2018 London Marathon at 22.5 miles.  Matt had hoped to raise £2,500 however since his death over £380,000 has been raised in his honour.

At the charity, plant based dinner, I bid in the auction for Steven to cook dinner for 4 and won.   After a little negotiation Steven agreed to double the number of guests he would cook for if I doubled the bid.  I did and he did and that’s how we got to Friday night!

As I said at the start, I have been a chef for approx. 30 years and it was incredibly hard to choose 7 people who work daily on the cook line that a) had a Friday night off and b) could drink enough to keep up with my celebrations!  Somehow I managed to find a motley crew and we had such a lovely evening.

The menu was totally left to Steven with the only requests being that he use seasonal and sustainable ingredients.  To Vegan or not to Vegan was up to him and he did us all proud and apart from me, no one knew what was being served until the night – a bit like a pop-up supper club – we just sat down and enjoyed amazing food and fine wine.

The menu opened with Variations of Artichoke which were truly loved by all.  The textures and flavours were incredible as well as the presentation of course.

The main course for others was a Cod Loin with Baba Ghanoush and Cauliflower.  Honestly, I didn’t have the Cod but the Vegan option was, I can assure everyone absolutely delicious.

Dessert was totally Vegan but you’d never have guessed it! A Dark Chocolate Mousse made with silken Tofu, with burnt oranges, pistachio, coffee and so much more.  At this point, I was unsure if I could actually eat any more but I struggled on, took one for the team and managed to clean my plate!

Steven’s partner Emma looked after us all so well and at the end of the evening, both Steven and Emma joined us for more wine and great conversation.

I had an incredible evening and can’t thank Steven and Emma enough for their hard work, and my chef friends who all managed to get a well earned night off work and were able to be spoilt for once!

Watch this space for a collaboration seeing both Steven and Emma returning to Dulwich to host some pretty special events at fifty seven!


p.s. If you are interested in coming to fifty seven for dinner with MasterChef finalist Steven Lickley then please do email us.  There will be a priority list for those that get in touch.

Undercover & Overworked

Undercover & Overworked

This fascinating article in the New York Times is well worth a read. It is about two authors who went undercover as caterers in New York. They found themselves falling into a rabbit hole that would consume them for the next four years.

For us the quote of the article was “It’s a revelatory, detail-rich and often breathless examination of a cutthroat world where the demanding clients include billionaires and celebrity brides but the cooking conditions resemble a mobile Army hospital”

Until you have worked behind the scenes at an event, especially in a Grade II Listed venue you really wouldn’t believe it.  The temporary kitchens built from a few tables, hired in ovens, a water boiler and some gallon water containers are quite unbelievable!

Read the full article here.

Window Dressing at 57

Window Dressing at 57

Art@57 present ‘Window Dressing’ an Exhibition of multi-media portraits of unique and enigmatic party dresses by local Artist Suzsi Corio.

Suzsi lives and works in East Dulwich. She has exhibited with the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolour and The Royal Watercolour Society, selling to collectors in UK, USA, Europe and Australia.

After studying constructed textile design at the Royal College of Art she founded an international textile design studio. Painting has always played a large part in her textile design work, which in recent years has developed into exploring new experimental painting techniques on paper and canvas as well as fabric.

The Artworks on display are portraits of garments which utilise a wide range of processes combining gesso, watercolours, inks, acrylics and oil paints. Others incorporate her digital textile designs, image transfer techniques, collage and recycled plastic bags to give each dress a unique and enigmatic identity.

Come and meet Suzsi here at our next Art Market inside no. 57 on Sunday 28th April, 11am – 5pm.

Enquiries please contact infoartat57@gmail.com

Follow us on Instagram  @artat57



It’s not often that I hear birdsong – I’m the first to admit I’m not very good in the mornings but when I was invited by our fruit and veg supplier to join them on a little trip to a herb farm I really couldn’t resist.

The alarm was set and I was up at 5.30am (I usually see this from the other side as I am often on my way home late from events) and on time to be met at 7.00am at the required central London destination point. Others in the group included many chefs from 5-star hotels and Michelin starred restaurants so was great to hear all about their side of the food world!

The journey on the coach offered a chance to have a coffee and breakfast and before I fell asleep, we had arrived at our destination – Westlands!  It has been 80 years since the company’s beginning in the Vale of Evesham (their namesake originates from a region in western Netherlands).  They are the largest British speciality grower of Microgreens, Inspired Leaves & Edible Flowers, ‘Taste of the Sea’ coastal vegetables, and Speciality Tomatoes.

Everything is grown in huge glasshouses carefully monitored for heat and light all year round using clean hydroponic growing methods which are soil and peat free, with a focus on product quality and technical assurance.

I discovered varieties I didn’t even know existed, the industry is developing so quickly and products are now being specially developed for colour, size and taste! A cucumber flower with the tiniest cucumber ever seen, popcorn shoots with such a sweet intense taste of corn, it really was mind-boggling. I even tried the electric daisy or buzz buttons but wish I hadn’t for 20 minutes afterwards – woah – not sure how I am going to work those into a menu any time soon!!!

Many thanks to Smith & Brock for their hospitality and to Christophe, our account manager for inviting me, it really was a fantastic day.

How Many Steps to a Wedding?

How Many Steps to a Wedding?

It’s a good question if you’ve ever watched the staff running around at a typical wedding. According to my phone, the answer is over 19,000, and with 2 months to go until my holiday in Ibiza, frankly, I’m thrilled.

It’s ten past three in the morning and like many other event planners & managers across the UK, I am just getting into bed feeling slightly delirious, with aching feet but a happy heart.

I am grinning from ear to ear because, after my successful first wedding of the year I know I have helped my couple’s wedding day dreams become a reality.

Yet again I have been reminded of what a great pleasure it is to work alongside a team of senior management and waiting staff with so many years of experience. After many months of planning, when it finally comes to the day itself it is wonderful to know that my Bride, Groom and guests are in good hands and that everything that has been planned will be executed.

Whilst we have an enviable little black book of suppliers, the weather is not something that we can control. But our lovely couple could not have been luckier to have perfect blue skies on the sunniest day of the year so far.

When you have the privilege to take care of someone’s wedding day it really does mean a huge amount – it is possible we worry more about some of the tiny details than the bride and groom themselves do! But I can honestly say that I felt like I was walking on air for most of the day, it really was only in the final moments of closing and de-rigging when my poor feet started to nag a little and once the final guests had departed out cams my faithful trainers and all was good again.

There are many elements that make for a great wedding, so many people and services pull together to make it happen and for last night I must  thank our brilliant chefs, front of house staff, drivers, hire company, Dj for Me for the brilliant dance music, Glo for the ambient lighting and fairy lights, Bloomologie for the stunning flowers and all of the event staff at the garden museum who always, on the night are the most trusted, helpful and hospitable team we work with.

#teamwork makes the dream work



A dream day at the Conservatory!

A dream day at the Conservatory!

My name is Amanda and I am the Senior Wedding & Event Planner for the Horniman Museum & Gardens, here at Suzanne James.  This has been my role for over 10 years now, in fact, I have just celebrated my 12th anniversary here, gosh time does fly by! In a typical year, I arrange about 50 events at the venue, mostly weddings and I can honestly say no two are ever the same.

Saturday, 23rd March 2019 may not have been my own wedding day, but it almost felt like it as I set the Conservatory up for our Wedding Showcase. Having chosen my favourite linen colours, layout and styling for the day I wanted everything to be perfect, and as I awaited our first guests I was as nervous as any bride!

Whilst our showcase couldn’t possibly capture every couples’ dream day it did offer a great opportunity to see the Conservatory set up for both a ceremony & reception (we set half the room up for each option).  Once the furniture was in place, approved local florist Fran from The Fresh Flower Company swept in with a range of stunning flower arrangments to adorn the porch entrance, tables and aisle; the finishing touch to ensure the venue looked breathtakingly beautiful.

As guests arrived for each of the four, 1-hour sessions they were welcomed by harp music courtesy of Iona Duncan. After a short introduction when I explained a little bit about the history of the venue, and our role as Event Managers & Caterers I introduced the team, and encouraged guests to circulate to ask questions freely.  Background music was provided by John Hinds of DJ for Me as guests enjoyed a selection of drinks including Campo Viejo Cava, Mimosas, Brockley Brewery Beer, Myatt’s Fields Cocktails and Luscombes Organic Juices, served alongside 9 different canapes, and samples of Marnie Searchwells fantastic, gluten-free wedding cake.

Our in house team of myself, Senior Event Managers James and Claire, Suzanne James and fellow Horniman planner Sharon were joined by some of the venues approved suppliers;

John Hinds from DJ for Me

Iona Duncan Harpist

Graham Le Gall Public Speaking Coach

Clemency & Sirus from Myatt’s Fields Cocktails

Marnie Searchwell Cakes

Jamie Clark Photographer

Our full list of canapes served;

  • Crostini with Vegan Cream Cheese, Fava Beans, Mint & Lemon (Cold)
  • Satay Tofu with Peanut Sauce & Coriander & Lemongrass Sambal (Hot)
  • Pecorino Sables with Creamed Goats Cheese, Slow Roasted Cherry Tomato & Basil Pesto (Cold)
  • Brockley Soft Cheese, grilled Baby Leeks, Samphire & Chilli on toasted Brick House Sour Dough (Cold)
  • Spoons of Ceviche Shrimp with Jalapeno, Plum tomatoes & Avocado (Cold)
  • Coriander, Chilli & Lime Buckwheat Blinis with Creme Fraiche, London Cured Smoked Scottish Salmon (Cold)
  • Potato Nests with Ginger Crab (Cold)
  • Steak with Bernaise Sauce (Hot)
  • Pork Belly with Vietnamese Spices (Hot)

In my opinion, no wedding is complete without a sweetie stall, and as this was my dream day I was able to indulge this pleasure too!  An entrance table was adorned with jars of sweets, clear bags and pretty Suzanne James ribbons to tie them up – it was a definite hit for our guests and so nice to be able to send them away with a little gift to remember the day by.

It was wonderful to have the opportunity to meet so many couples in one day, and to talk about one of my favourite subjects, the magical Horniman Conservatory – I always feel as if I have been magically transported to the inside of an iced wedding cake when I stand and look up at the beautiful structure above me.

Sadly you can’t get married every week, but helping other couples to plan their dream day is definitely the next best thing.  I hope you enjoy the photos.