When we first heard that a so-called “boutique hotel” was opening in Camberwell around three years ago, we weren’t really sure what to make of it. Camberwell has plenty going for it, in an edgy kind of a way, but surely it’s more the preserve of hardened Londoners than fleeting hotel guests, not least because you need to properly know your bus routes in order to get there.
Open it did, though, and with a flurry of flamenco and a few shots of tequila, it wasn’t long before Camberwell Church Street’s eponymous hotel had won over all and sundry with its unique Latin American theme bringing a bit of South America to SE5. Their Continental gone Cuban breakfasts are held in high regard by all who’ve tried them, so we were naturally excited to hear that they’d finally got round to opening a restaurant so that we could sample such delights without spending a night.
Interestingly named, Angels & Gypsies continues the Mexican Cuban theme and takes it in a distinctly Spanish, tapas led direction though solemnly refuses to commit to any firm location (like a gypsy?). Alongside tortilla (£3.50) as good as any other we’ve tried around London; addictively smoky charred baby octopus with paprika (£7.00); and some serious slices of jamon (£8.50) are a host of more inspired offerings. Roast pork belly with rum plum jam (£5.50) is good enough to have us reconsider the traditional apple sauce combo, whilst the freshness of fish in our Mackerel with chermoula and saffron potatoes (£5.00) is only surpassed by the incredible zing of the homemade chermoula. Order, eat and then order some more, there doesn’t seem to be a thing you can go wrong with and the generous portions aren’t going to break the bank, either. If you want a recommendation, Londonist’s top spot goes to the chorizo in cider (£5.50). It’s soft, melting texture is, in our opinion, worthy of the trip to Camberwell in itself.
Leaving full and content, we’re still not sure who’d stay, but we know we’ll be visiting 29-33 Camberwell Church Street, SE5 8TR again soon. There’s a map, directions and bus routes on their website.