Wednesday, 28 February 2007

Yune Chinese restaurant in Forest Hill

As part of my goal of walking around Forest Hill, I also come across all the restaurants and bars in the area. Unfortunately I cannot try them all as I wander but I have tried one or two.

One which does not seem to have its own site to sell itself, is Yune [since I wrote this they launched one at]. This Chinese or 'oriental' restaurant opened fairly recently and they did a nice job of modernising the interior. As far as I am concerned it is one of the best value places to eat anywhere, particularly for lunch.

If you are walking around Forest Hill, pop in for lunch and you will find most of their one-dish meals for £3.95, or a two-course plus side dishes in a Bento box (lacquered box with segements for each dish) for only £5.96. Bargain! And the food is great.

The house wine is fairly decent, which is just as well as it is the only one sold by the glass, but the wine list by the bottle is pretty comprehensive too.

So, just a little recommendation if you happen to be in the area looking for something different and good value.

As far as I know they have no website, so maybe this can be helpful:
Yune Oriental Cuisine,
25 Dartmouth Road,
Forest Hill,
SE23 3HN,
tel: 020 8699 0887

[UPDATED 01/06/2007 - thanks to Anonymous comments below.] New site at

Tuesday, 27 February 2007

Sydenham and Forest Hill History

... and one more thing.

If you are interested in discussing the history of the area you are more than welcome to contact me through this site (leave me a comment), but the REAL experts hang out in the Sydenham Society's Town Forum on the "Town Museum & Gallery" page.

Join in the discussion there. I have already registered.

First, an update on points of interest in the area

I would like to get on and post about my walk on Feb 2nd (another lovely, clear, fresh sunny winter's day) but maybe I should take a moment to answer some of thew questions I have raised in the past, and Steve Grindlay answered so eloquently.

1. The house I spotted opposite the junction of Honor Oak Road and London Road (across from the Horniman Museum) was the property of "A & G Taylor" and I believe was called Forest Lodge. "A&G" (to their mates) were probably the leading Victorian photographers of "Cartes de Visite", a sort of postcard plus means of correspondence of the age. A little like today's MMS text messages, just for quick notes. More on them in future I hope.

2. The avenue of trees I found leading off Honor Oak Road after Hamilton Hall do not lead to a disused railway, but a reservoir. I suspect it is derelict now, but as it is totally enclosed, and residents have succesfully fought off the developers, it is another "secret garden". I MUST get in here for a look. Can anyone help?

Steve also told an interesting story of how this reservoir (built at the end of the 19th century) influenced a then young boy who became a great poet. Unfortunately my knowledge of this art form, beyond the Owl and the Pussycat, is extremely limited so I didn't catch the name. Another one for the future.

3. The bottom of Manor Mount, where the ambulance station is, has a strange building backing on to it. I always thought it looked vaguely nautical (round windows, made of wood, with a big balcony, etc.). It turns out that the whole area was the basin for the canal that ran through here, so I need to find out whether that building is contemporaneous. (Nice word, hard to spell.)

4. Much of the area behind the Horniman Museum was owned by a single family (I promise to find out the name I have already forgotten) who might even have considered offering it as another extension to the Horniman Gardens (now THAT would have been impressive). This area is known as Tewkesbury Lodge. However, they didn't and it has since been developed. The only remnant of their massive Lodge is the folly that had been built in the garden to take advantage of the beautiful views. This still remains, and it remains a place I need to try and get to visit. Unfortunately it is in someone's private garden now.

5. And finally, although Christ Church on South Road is being redeveloped (slowly) as flats, a few of the remaining monuments from the graveyard remain. These are important historical references to the Tetley (tea) family, the (Lea &) Perrins family, a wealthy merchant called Chaplin (no relation to ol' Charlie) and one or two more. All these people lived, died and came to rest in Forest Hill. If you happen to buy one of those flats, think about that when you next boil the kettle!

More updates and clarifications soon.

Monday, 26 February 2007

Walking around Forest Hill in company

70 people! Wow! Steve Grindlay rules! Thank you Forest Hill Society.

I knew that this walk was going to be popular when I first heard about it, but with rain and cold weather predicted for a two hour walk around Forest Hill on a Sunday, then one could be forgiven for thinking only die-hards would turn up.

But not the residents of Forest Hill, SE23.

I counted around 70 people at one stage and that did not include the kids in the strollers. What fun!

Interestingly enough, Steve took us on a tour of some of the key features of Forest Hill and his path almost exactly mirrored the last walk I described on January 15th. Of course, I have a lot more detail now so I will fill in many of the gaps at some stage.

Is there something unique to Forest Hill to make it interesting? I doubt it. I am sure that if you were to dig deep into any borough or area of London you will uncover a rich history. It just so happens that we have great views as well, and that we were graced by some rich and influential residents in the past.

Thank you to everyone who made the afternoon so enjoyable, particularly Steve and the Forest Hill Society. Maybe I'll be seeing a lot more of you out there with cameras, pedometers and notebooks on my next walk?

See you out there.

Friday, 23 February 2007

Historic Tours

I've been incredibly unwell recently with no incentive to get out, or even think about having been out, so no further catch up posts recently. I still have a walk or two to post about which will come soon.

However, my next walk is on Sunday. Local historian and all round expert, Steve Grindlay, will be gallantly leading the troops on a tour of some of the local landmarks on Sunday 25/02/2007 from 14:00 on behalf of the Forest Hill Society. All are welcome, so come on down! We are meeting at Christ Church, South Road, SE23.

Once I have done this many of my questions will be answered and I will try to posts some of the most interesting stuff (with due thanks to Steve) here.

See you then

Tuesday, 6 February 2007

January Sunshine

January 15th

The sun was shining on a beautiful day, so it was a day to head UP! Up the hill with the camera in the hope that the view would be good. The great thing about winter sun is that we get less of the humid haze of the warm days, so you can see better and further.

This walk started along Devonshire Road, parallel to the railway. The first thing that strikes me on this road is always the appearance, in the middle of otherwise unremarkable Victorian terraced houses, an old post office - red brick, large windows, fancy scrolls and set back from the road. Of course, it is closed now (when did this happen?) and it is now the offices of a local building firm who must be doing quite good business. At least we have preserved some of the heritage of the area.

Walking along Devonshire Road you come across a whole mixture of styles and sizes of houses, from 4 story terraced to 50's semis, older semi detached houses with elegant small gardens and trees growing up the front, then a series of council flat buildings. That's Forest Hill! That's London!

Left at Ewelme Road, up the steep hill, meeting Honor Oak Road (again, so I need a new route today) and along here. The views are already spectacular. London and Kent spread out on a vast plain to the East and South East from here. We seem to be the last vantage point.

Walking along this road I come across Hamilton House, another lovely Victorian (or is this one Edwardian?) construction that must, at one time, have been a great house. Like so many others, this has been converted to a rest home. It is good that they are kept intact rather than partitioned for flats, but I am never sure that the interior arrangements of such buildings are suitable for 21st century London living. I wonder what that is like?

I head on and come across a gate between houses with what appears to be an avenue of trees either side of a path. It is obviously not used any more, so it intrigues me, but there is no access, so I bide my time till I can check it out on Google Maps (these are GREAT!).

I take a left up Canonbie Road, and am rewarded with a great view North to the City. Unfortunately I need more of a zoom lense, but the photos are OK. There has been a lot of climbing to this point, and the plan was to cross along the top of the hill to the Horniman, but I need to go down first. On the way down I find a link to Wood Vale from Westwood Park I wasn't aware of. I take a quick detour down there to see the shops I have heard about but not visited. Outside of the butchers (apparently very good by the way) is a strange site of an old fashioned New York cab. Weird! Fascinating!

Now back along Westwood park to the side/back entrance to Horniman Gardens. This actually then links to a path that runs outside the gardens and is a beautiful secluded walk on a sunny day, but again not to be recommended on an evening.

At the end of this, almost on the South Circular, is access to the Horniman Railway Nature Trail ( a topic for a future walk) where I get a nice shot of the sky over Sydenham Hill. Back along the South Circular, and home.

It was a longer walk than planned, but I made a few discoveries on the way and it was good for the heart.

This is one worth doing again!