Tag Archives: christmas

Festivities for £1 at the Pound

Join us for an evening of festive veggie and vegan goodness and cheer as we celebrate our one-year anniversary of being totally pay-what-you-can. On Thursday 13 December between 19:00 and 22:30, we invite you to our final community pay-what-you-can meal of the year. Eat delicious and healthy food for £1. As you’d expect from the Brixton Pound, it will be far from traditional and the menu will be dictated by the surplus food we receive. Ironically, we’re short on crockery so bring your own plate! Gather with staff, patrons and neighbours old and new, and let’s start the festive season the Brixton Pound way!

Booking is essential. Email Madeleine to secure your place: madeleine@brixtonpound.org

Learn kimchi, pickling, sauerkraut and sodas before Christmas

We’re about to embark on a series of workshops taking place at the Brixton Pound in the lead-up to Christmas. We’re obsessed with pickling and fermenting as active ways to extend the lifespan of fresh food, save money and help diversify diet, and we’re doing a bi-weekly workshop (Wednesdays 7-9pm) demonstrating different techniques.

Workshop dates

Wed Nov 7th – pickling
Wed Nov 21st – kimchi
Wed Dec 5th – sauerkraut
Wed Dec 19th – sodas

More workshop details

Pay-what-you-can (£20 suggested donation) All materials provided but bring your own jars. Book to avoid disappointment, group slots available Come learn some skills at a session or book Sean to run one at your house, studio or cafe.  Email Sean at kitchen@brixtonpound.org.

Catering with less waste and more delicious

You can now hire the Brixton Pound for catering events: snacks for talks and workshops, hot meals for community meetings, buffets at art exhibitions, one-pots for corporate events. Whatever your budget, let us feed your guests using some of the finest ingredients saved from landfill. Our inventive veggie and vegan menu is inspired by the donated ingredients we receive, and executed by our talented team.

Surplus food workshops

We can also deliver on- or off-site workshops for five to 15 people, teaching practical techniques for making dishes from surplus and preserving leftovers. Whether you’d like a pickling workshop, fermentation demonstration or cooking class, we have skills-based learning programmes to suit your organisation.

Contact Cafe Manager Sean for quotes and enquires on kitchen@brixtonpound.org or 07985 773109

Volunteers from Lambeth Council and other Brixton locals bring Christmas cheer to older people

With the help of local volunteers and donors, the Brixton Pound ran a collection and gift wrapping session at the B£ Café to give isolated older people gifts and treats to help warm their Christmas. 

A lunch was hosted at the Vida Walsh Centre in Windrush Square on Christmas day for older people who would otherwise be spending Christmas alone. When we think of Christmas we think of warmth and merriment, family and friends, but that’s not always within reach for everyone, whether because of geography, absence of family or friends, physical or mental disability, or other challenges. Older people in particular can find themselves isolated and lonely at Christmas.

Previous recipient of a Brixton Fund grant, Age UK Lambeth, asked us whether we could help them in sourcing donations of food and gifts to be distributed at the lunch, so we sent out a call to our network of Brixtonites and other loyal supporters.

The response was overwhelming. Thanks to you lovely people, and in particular thanks to staff of Lambeth Council, we received several large bags of fruit, biscuits, chocolate, and assorted gifts.

A group of cheery volunteers transported the donations, sipped teas and coffees and diligently helped to wrap presents at our café on Atlantic Road. Here’s the team:

Heartwarming stuff. Thanks guys!

As well as collecting an impressive pile of gifts for the event, with the help of the Lambeth community, Age UK Lambeth managed to raise more than £3,000, massively exceeding the target of £750. The money not spent on the Christmas lunch will be used to upgrade the services they provide for users in Lambeth.

Age UK research suggests that there are 2,550 lonely older people in Lambeth, and that 1.2 million older people in England are chronically lonely. That’s an awful lot of loneliness that can be alleviated with just small actions from the people around. If you feel you could offer an hour or so a week to befriend an older person, or make a small donation, Age UK Lambeth will match you up with someone. Apply to be a befriending volunteer and help make someone’s New Year here: http://www.ageuk.org.uk/lambeth/getinvolved/

To keep up with any Age UK Lambeth updates, events and developments, follow them on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Win B£1,000 this Christmas!

The very special Xmas Bonus is on! Buy a ticket for £1 and enter a draw to win B£1,000, or one of 22 runner up prizes – including original B£ merchandise and 12 mystery prizes donated by Brixton businesses this Christmas!

  • Raffle draw on 16th December
  • 22 runner-up prizes: new prizes donated by Brixton businesses revealed daily
  • Get up to 10 tickets to boost your chances!

Buy your tickets at the B£ Cafe or online: brixtonpound.org/bonus-play

Proceeds from the Brixton Bonus go into the Brixton Fund, our local grants scheme: so it’s a win for Brixton every time!

Turn £1 into B£1,000 and cover all your Xmas costs

With B£1,000 in your pocket, you can cover all your Christmas costs: buy gifts for family and friends, groceries, decorations, and any other festive items – all from local, independent shops. For some great ideas, check out gift guides made by B£ users in the previous years, or see what previous Bonus winners spent their prize money on

You could spend your Brixton Grand on:

And while you do your Christmas shopping, treat yourself to a lovely coffee break at Federation Coffee, or a festive cocktail at Seven or Three Eight Four bars.

For a full list of B£ businesses, visit the B£ Directory.

Buy your tickets at the B£ Cafe or online: brixtonpound.org/bonus-play

12 Days of BriXmas Advent Calendar – win one of 22 very special runner-up prizes!

photo-01-12-2016-12-38-02Aside from the Brixton Grand, you’ve got a chance to win one of 22 special runner-up prizes in the Brixton Bonus!

We’ve teamed up with Brixton businesses who donated 12 very special prizes. We will announce a new prize every day from 1st until 12th December – keep an eye on our social media, or come see the advent calendar at the B£ Cafe!

2 sessions of mosaics workshop with master mosaic artist Kes Young! Kes will work with you to design and learn to use tools and then grout your own unique piece as part of a chilled group mosaic class at the B£ cafe.

  • 2 December: jug by Omnis

    Hand made, hand painted jug from Omnis.

  • 3 Dec: Koi Ramen gyoza

    Free gyoza at Koi Ramen!

  • 4 Dec: cupcakes from Cupped

    24 Christmas cupcakes, a mix of gingerbread, mince pie, and vanilla bean Christmas tree. Boxed and delivered with a big red bow!

  • 5 Dec: design plate from Circus

    A Danish 1970s ceramic dish, designed by Bjorn Wimblad.

  • 6 December: BCA membership

    A year’s Friends of the Black Cultural Archives membership! Gives you exclusive invitations to special events at the BCA in Windrush Square, as well as other bonuses including free BCA branded tote bag, 10% discount in the BCA cafe and shop, and priority booking on events.

  • 7 December: £20 framing voucher from Studio 73

    The craftspeople at Studio 73 will expertly frame your beloved print or photo.

  • 8 December: Brixton Brewery tour and tasting
  • 9 December: Sunday lunch for two with wine at Salon
  • 10 December: Tagua Nut necklace from Diverse Gifts 
  • 11 December: Bottomless brunch at 384

Bottomless brunch for 2 people at 384 in January! A 2 hour sitting, with any bunch dish and bottomless prosecco, coffee and Bloody Marys. Whew.

  • 12 December: evening meal at cafe Van Gogh

Candelit evening meal for two at Cafe van Gogh on Brixton Road. You’ll get to sample their gourmet creative plant-based recipes.

B£ is also offering some very special prizes for this Bonus round – here are 10 more prizes you could win:

  • Free meal for 2 at the B£ Cafe
  • Free coffee/tea at the B£ Cafe for a week
  • B£ note set in presentation wallets (featuring all 2nd edition notes and the anniversary Deller note) (2 prizes)
  • The Great Brixton Book (2 prizes)
  • B£ mug + 2 t-shirts (2 prizes)
  • B£ bag + 2 t-shirts (2 prizes)

Have a look at our online shop for more details of each item, and good luck!

Buy your tickets at the B£ Cafe or online: brixtonpound.org/bonus-play

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Could you donate a small gift for an older person who will be alone over the Christmas period?

The winter months are kicking in, and it’s time for mulled wine, carols, festive headgear and parties accompanied by barely tolerable Christmas pop songs. But not everybody in our community is fortunate enough to have friends or family around to enjoy the season with. We’re teaming up with Age UK‘s No one should have no one at Christmas campaign – and you, Brixton residents, B£ users, B£ Cafe customers – to try and bring a bit more warmth to older Lambeth residents this year.

Age UK, one of the organisations which received funding from our local grant scheme the Brixton Fund, is hosting a Christmas lunch on 25th December at the Vida Walsh Centre, just off Windrush Square, for older people who would otherwise not have someone to spend Christmas with. At the B£, we’re asking our customers and supporters whether they can donate a small gift, perhaps something you no longer have a use for, something you’ve made, or something bought at a local B£ business that can be wrapped and given as a small token. Please bring your donations to the B£ Cafe at 77 Atlantic Road – thank you!

We will also gladly accept any donations of wrapping paper, and if you could offer some of your time to help us wrap the gifts too, we’d be overjoyed. We’re planning to do that at the B£ Cafe on 21st and 22nd December.

Gifts don’t need to be large. Even a small thing can make someone’s Christmas. Some suggestions are:

  • Small packets of sweets/chocolates
  • Small packets of biscuits/crackers
  • Pots of jam/marmalade/honey  
  • Fruit: tangerines and oranges  
  • Dried fruit  
  • Hot chocolate/tea/ovaltine  
  • Gloves  
  • Socks  
  • Toiletries/soaps/shower gel  
  • 2017 diaries  
  • Small notebooks  
  • Small calendars  

You can also donate B£s to the Vida Walsh Centre ran by Age UK Lambeth – if you already have a B£ account, you can simply text “pay vida [donation amount]” to the B£ pay-by-text number (07926200421). Or if you prefer donating pounds sterling, you can text AUKL16 £4 to 70070 to give £4 to help buy Christmas lunch for an older person.

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Merry BriXmas!

The B£ Shop (at 3 Atlantic Rd) is now also open on weekends – so you can stop by when you’re doing your Christmas shopping. And while you’re at it, why not get some brand new B£ merchandise? 

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We’ve got mugs, tote bags, posters, t-shirts in different cuts and colours designed by This Ain’t Rock’n’Roll, the same guys responsible for the iconic B£ notes – and they all look pretty rocking. 

envelope front

envelope back

And for the notes, we’ve got these cool presentation wallets that make them perfect gifts for just about anyone.

We’ve also got the Great Brixton Book which showcases amazing photography from Brixton:

Great Brixton coverGreat Brixton introduction page

Great Brixton page 188-189

As well as a book on punk philosophy, campaign t-shirts from an array of local actions like Save the Arches, Friends of Stockwell Skatepark, Save Cressingham Gardens, and Ritzy Living Wage, plus snacks, drinks, cakes, and other produce from local makers.

IMG_5513Untitled design (1)

We’re pretty confident you can find a gift for anyone here, and every sale contributes to the Brixton Fund, and thus supports Brixton and its community. Could you ask for more of a win/win situation?

PS. If you don’t live in Brixton, most of these goodies are available in our online shop 🙂

A #BriXmas gift guide from Chloe/Made In Brixton

This gift guide is written by Chloe who runs a blog called Made In Brixton. Chloe is a born and bred Londoner and has spent most of her childhood in Brixton, where she still lives (after brief spells in Australia and the mysterious land of North Of The River). She specialised in ceramics during her degree in Applied Arts, and now works in the tea industry. “I basically jumped from the making of the cup to the making of the drink that goes in it,” says Chloe, “With this blog I’m going to try and share some of the things I love (food, art, inspiration) and I hope that you find it all as influential and exciting as I do.” Chloe’s motto is: “Try new things, be adventurous and don’t be afraid to make mistakes.”

This post was commissioned by B£ and first appeared on Chloe’s blog, Made in Brixton.

BRIXTON-HAMPERS

The gift hamper has been around for many years, mostly given at Christmas and is traditionally a gift containing small non-perishable food items, particularly seasonal favourites such as fruitcake, nuts, jams, biscuits, honey, smoked or dried meats, and cheese.

Some hampers contain tea & coffee, and might also include a cup and saucer. More often than not these hampers were luxury and  contained high-end items such as tins of caviar or bottles of wine.

Outside the UK the Christmas hamper is more usually called a gift basket and does not necessarily contain food items. Non-food gift baskets are frequently themed, such as baskets containing luxury bath items including scented soaps and towels, or beauty baskets with skincare products. These gift baskets are also popular for occasions other than Christmas such as baby showers and more corporate gifts where you don’t necessarily know the person that you are giving it to – A Safe gift option.

If you ask anyone to name a company that sells hampers they will most likely tell you Fortnum & Mason, Harrods or Selfridges. All their hampers come ready made and although you can pick the theme, the contents are usually fixed. To me this is a bit like the selection box of chocolates, where you like the majority of the chocs but always get left with the green triangles that no one eats.

This got me thinking …. What would I put in my hamper if I could choose?

I’d choose local produce, handmade items of a crafty nature and I’d look for traceability.
As I rarely buy for people I don’t know then I’d like to choose myself and make it personal!

And so – I took myself off around Brixton to find some alternative options and to see just how local I could go, even deciding to use the Brixton Pound too! Below are a few of my suggestions for putting together you’re own unique Christmas hampers (whilst supporting local businesses!)

B£ HISTORY

The Brixton Pound was launched in September 2009 as a physical paper-based currency and was followed in September 2011 by the launch of the electronic B£ pay-by-text platform. Around 250 businesses currently accept paper B£ and over 160 have pay-by-text accounts.

The Brixton Pound is one of five local currencies that currently run in the UK, and was the first in an urban setting. The others are Totnes, Lewes, Stroud and Bristol and others are in the pipeline.

Cornercopia

65 Brixton Village Market, SW9 8PS
http://brixtoncornercopia.co.uk

Snuggled away in the heart of Brixton Village, this store already offers a wide range of ready made hampers starting from £26- £47. All the products are sourced locally either in Brixton or in the surrounding areas, and each product comes with its own story: Brixton Chutney made from the village veg, bees from South London for their honey etc.

They also sell all the items individually so you can make up your own hamper on site. They  have hessian sacks, boxes, baskets, pie tins etc. all of which can be made to your personal requirements.

I’d advise you to choose this option and go at a quiet time as it’s much more pleasurable for both you and the staff to be able to take your time with choosing and preparing. The Cornercopia crew are all very helpful and very knowledgeable – they will gladly help you to choose should you need it!

You can also choose to buy something separately from the kitchen department of Cornercopia and take it to the cafe to be wrapped with other purchases!

Their best selling hamper (unsurprisingly) is the Brixton Village Hamper and they are offering 10% off your purchase with the B£ :-)!!!

If your friends and family aren’t as foodie as mine, or you need stocking filler inspiration, then there are some other really cute options:

Knitted reindeer pack – Faux Animals. Comes with Pattern, Wool, and knitting needles £36-45 depending on the animal (fox sells best).

Woolen blankets from Wales

Hand made aprons from Peckham by Scobel Clothing  (could be for garden or ceramics too 😉 come in various one-off designs and prices.

Baubles

Ceramics, including – The Possibilities Are Endless’, featuring ornithological drawings by Edwyn Collins

Cook Book – Brixton Village cook book by Miss South. (They have a book signing for this on the 6th December where they will have hot toddies!)

And a huge range of traditional and hand-made stocking fillers from £1-10!

Their Christmas opening times are:

Home store – Tuesday-Sunday, 11am-6pm (until 9pm Thursdays and Fridays for late-night shopping)
Deli – Wednesday-Sunday, 11am-6pm (until 11pm Thursday, Friday and Saturday)

Events:

Cornercopia have a Christmas shopping event on the 11th Dec, Pop-up Kitchen on Friday and Saturday evenings in December – check their website for full details!

Cornercopia take brixton pounds by text as well as cash!

10% discount with B£ in the kitchen store and free tea or coffe with purchases over £10 in the cafe during the week * please ask in store for details

It is clear that Cornercopia are all set for fulfilling your hamper needs, whether bespoke or ready-made, but I wanted to see what I could whip up from a willing local retailer who might not be so au-fait with the idea of the Christmas Hamper tradition.

A&C Continental

3 Atlantic Rd, London SW9 8HX

A&C Continental

A fabulous deli on Atlantic road. You’ll recognise it by the huge variety of fresh herbs and exotic vegetables outside the front. They don’t sell pre-made hampers but definitely fulfil the requirements for making up your own and it was the perfect place for me to try some hamper experimenting of my own!

I took down my own hampers and the co owner José Cardoso helped me to put together some themed gift hampers for my friends and family…..

Mushroon

Coffee and cake

Sweet tooth

Cheese and chutney

All the food channels have foodie gift ideas and one that seems popular this year is jars of ingredients. Lauraine Pascal had jars of dry ingredients for making ginger bread for example. Now I’d like to say I don’t have  a terribly sweet tooth (I’m sure everyone else will disagree) and therefore i wanted something more savoury, so we put together paella pans with the spices to make the classic dish – 2 to 14 serving sizes available with prices starting form £6.60 and the smoked paprika spices or paella spices were £2.75- £4.75

If the idea of making something up your self fills you with fear then there are lots of other Christmas options that this store offers:

A vast range of Panettone in various sizes (£1.65-£25)

Lots of classic Italian biscuits and nougat – the perfect dinner party gift!

Cool secret santa gifts – Potted herbs – bay, Thyme, Rosemary all £3.50

Fresh chestnuts and Quince and all your other stockingfiller and Christmas dinner party needs.

Opening times:

Mon – Sat 8am -8pm

Sun CLOSED

Christmas:

Open for a special one-off Sunday service on Sun 21st

24th closing at 6pm

They take B£ in cash only.

Amazingly friendly, multi lingual, helpful staff who are on hand with brilliant tips and advice. There’s even a free chocolate Santa for crying children or starving bloggers 😉

Parissi

76 Atlantic Rd, London SW9 8PX

A new addition to the Brixton family – this cafe is right at the end of the string of shops on Atlantic road. They serve fresh cakes and meze style breakfast lunch and dinners all cooked on site. Not the most obvious of Hamper making venues but they have some fabulous take away and made to order options!

The owner helped me to make up a few hamper options with his delicious selection of hand make cakes and biscuits.

We chose from Biscuits filled with caramel & amaretto, sprinkled with cinnamon (£3.95), Walnut & Belgian Chocolate (£4.75), Almond flakes and apricot jam (3.95)

They have a local artist that sells his Teasets with prices starting from  £14

And Allpress Coffee £7.50-£25

If you are a little more organized they can also make treats to order! You just need to allow a day or two in advance:

Minced pies made with puff pastry from £1.50( brilliant dinner party treat)
Large Orange and Polenta Cakes from £8.50
Panatone
Chutneys and Jams

Opening times:

Mon 7-10
Tues CLOSED
Wed-Thurs 7-10
Fri 7- Midnight
Sat 8- Midnight
Sun 9-8

Christmas Eve – closing at 5pm
Boxing day 11-5

Free Spanish Guitar evening and mulled wine on 22nd Dec

NYE party details TBC but keep your ears open for details and tickets!

So! It turns out you can make your own hampers & gift boxes and support both a local currency & local businesses all at once! It’s a great way to give unique gifts, do some good doing it and have a lot of fun finding gift ideas in some sometimes unlikely places. It makes the whole event, well – a bit more of an EVENT! Happy hampering!

 

Thank you to Chloe! Merry BriXmas 🙂 

Why #shoplocal this BriXmas

Xmas satire

There’s a picture going around on the internet showing Santa Claus in full regalia, pushing his sleigh filled with presents into a landfill, and the workers looking on comment: “He’s cutting out the middle man.” A bit harsh? Christmas is without a doubt the most wasteful time of the year, in terms of time and money, but also actual physical waste. The pressure to buy is enormous, to the extent that it’s near impossible to avoid. Try suggesting to your family that instead of gifts you’d like to receive donations to a charity of your choice this year, and they will probably be somewhere between bewildered and offended.

It doesn’t have to be this way. We shape the customs we follow, and more and more people every year are opposing the mindless consumerism promoted by the media from the start of October. On the one hand, Black Friday’s shopping craze seems to affect the UK more and more each year, but on the other there are campaigns like Amazon Anonymous, asking people to not use Amazon until they pay their workers a fair wage, which already attracted so many sign ups that an estimate of the money NOT spent on Amazon this Christmas is currently £2,592,570.

There’s other ways than boycott: in Brixton, every year people are pledging to shop locally, supporting independent businesses and reducing their carbon footprint. According to research, money spent locally will circulate in the local economy up to three times longer than money spent in big chains. And if products are sourced and made locally, the environmental impact is significantly lessened. If that sounds a bit academic, there are many others reasons why Brixtonites have chosen to make their Christmases Brixton-focused. Shopping locally gives residents an opportunity to find food and gifts that are unique to their area – it’s opportunity to discover the wealth and quality of what we have on our doorstep, and what we may miss in busy everyday lives. People are consciously making the decision to think about where their money is going, and to support their local community – to take from it but also give something back. Shopping in smaller shops is also a more personal experience. Overall, it seems like a great way to do some good deeds, enrich our lives as well as those of others – in a time when that message is often obscured by corporate interests.

This post was written for and appeared in the December issue of the Brixton Bugle – get your copy if you’ve not got one yet!

Brixton Bugle

 

12 Days of #BriXmas gift guide by Kaylene

This is a guest post by Kaylene Alder, a freelance illustrator and screen printer living and working in Brixton. She is a frequent contributor to the Brixton Blog and Bugle, so you have probably already seen some of her work! She also illustrated Miss South‘s Recipes from Brixton Village, and sells prints and cards on Makerhood, in her Etsy shop, Studio 73 in Brixton Village and Diverse Gifts. Kaylene is open to any and all illustrative projects – get in touch with her if you want some drawings!

 

So I should say, before I begin, that this was a tricky tricky task.  There are SO many lovely shops and things in Brixton that narrowing it down to 5 was most challenging.

Anyway, I digress, here are the gifts for I would buy for folks I like with my shiny shiny Brixton pounds…

Bamboo Socks

Ok, I know, socks for Christmas – not generally thought of as awesome… but these are BAMBOO socks.  They are like hugs for your feet! Warm in the winter, cool in the summer… I could go on.  In aces patterns and colours, these delights by Braintree Clothing can be purchased for your Brixton Pounds at The Keep for £4.90 each or 3 pairs for £12.00.

32/33 Brixton Village, Coldharbour Lane, London, SW9 8PR

www.thekeepboutique.com

Something framed from Studio 73.  

With all manner of amazing originals and prints by local artists and an in-house framing service, giving the gift of art is made properly special by Adrian and his lovely team.  A3 frames start from £29.

73 Brixton Village, Coldharbour Lane, London, SW9 8PS

www.studio73bv.co.uk

Hammer Necklace

This beautiful silver and walnut hammer pendant necklace is made by Daniel Darby can be found at Brixi and bought for someone who is tough and delicate and deserving for £110.

Unit 7 Brixton Village, Coldharbour Lane, London, SW9 8PR

www.brixi.co.uk

Toy Train

I find it tricky to resist the nostalgia of wooden toys.  This toy train made from bobbins and other machinery parts from former weaving mills in the north of England can be found at Diverse, amongst loads of other good stuff.  It’s £45 but will be around for generations of littlees.

Diverse, 390 Coldharbour Lane, London, SW9 8LF

www.facebook.com/pages/Diverse/

Genesis Equilibrium

While I was imaginary shopping with an imaginary budget, I thought ‘Why not go all out?’ Look! She’s pretty and shiny and Christmassy green! And she’s on sale, down from £1100 to £935.  But think of the savings on petrol! And the environment! And the health of the lucky recipient! You can pick her up at Brixton Cycles where the lovely, approachable, deeply honest staff can tell you all about the technical ace-ness of this bike and not just about how shiny she is. If you don’t happen to have an imaginary budget, they do have two-wheelers which are lower in price.

Brixton Cycles, 145 Stockwell Rd, London SW9 9TN

www.brixtoncycles.co.uk

 

Thanks Kaylene for this great gift guide! For more gift guides and other festive content keep an eye on our blog – we’ll be posting every day for 12 days of #BriXmas (that’s a whole 8 left!)