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  • The BEST local PIZZAS 🍕 (as voted by Camdenist readers)

The BEST local PIZZAS 🍕 (as voted by Camdenist readers)

Who does the finest?

A few weeks back we asked readers of this regular Friday morning dispatch to tell us simply which local pizza joint they rated highest.

It’s obviously a crowded field out there, our seemingly insatiable appetite for a slice of the good stuff encouraging options to try everywhere from pub kitchens to dedicated specialists, so we’ve gone with the wisdom of the crowds.

Hopefully you’ll discover somewhere new, or perhaps you’ll want to get in touch with a place that’s been missed that we simply have to include (you can use the usual ‘get featured’ butting at the bottom of this email for that).

As ever though, don’t just order a Deliveroo box slumped on the sofa - get out there and frequent these lovely places IRL, making sure we keep the neighbourhood as bustling and supported as it should be.

MORE FOOD & DRINK

🍕 Yard Sale Pizza are opening a new branch in Tufnell Park

As if they somehow knew this week’s email would be all about the delicious P-word, and cunningly coordinated their big announcement especially, esteemed London micro-chain pizzeria Yard Sale are to open their 12th neighbourhood restaurant on Dartmouth Park Hill next month.

Known for their collaborations (the current one is with Euston’s Roti King) as well as above average toppings, they should slot neatly into Camdenist’s best pizzas guide, so do let us know what you think.

Look out for introductory offers in the opening week too…

🥪 Coal Drops Yard’s posh sandwich purveyors Sons + Daughters reopens after a bit of a refit on Monday (18th), and they promise more in the way of their innovative-but-not-wallet-busting sarnis, plus they will be doing dinner service for the first time too. Expect ‘crazy value’ cocktails (from a tempting £7) and tasty small plates.

🍺 Canalside microbrewery Three Locks are doing St Patricks Day this weekend with a special green beer plus Irish folklore tales on tonight, and a ‘Celtic Cabaret’ on Saturday from Slainte! and Camden People’s Theatre.

🍻 And a little further along the canal, The Constitution pub finally returns this weekend after nearly five years of being shuttered. Check out recent pictures from the times before and then during the total refurb, as the swish new face of the place is revealed to all.

RIP to a local legend

Sad news this week with the untimely death of serial live music entrepreneur and visionary, Vince Power.

We interviewed him back in 2020 when he’d just bought Camden’s iconic Dingwalls venue in his 70s, but hadn’t checked that famous name was part of the deal. 😯

However Power’s history with this area stretches way, way back before all that, from running a furniture shop in Kilburn to setting up the long-standing Odette's restaurant in Primrose Hill, and his times as owner of local venues including the Jazz Cafe, Astoria and Town & Country Club (now Kentish Town Forum).

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ART

🧑‍🎨 London Mural Festival is seeking artists, and walls

We were chatting to Ivan and Louise from the London Mural Festival this week about their exciting plans for the event, which aims to showcase over 200 artists from around the world painting walls across 13 London boroughs in September.

There’s a call out right now for artists, and if you’ve got a decent wall that could do with transforming then let them know.

Four years after the inaugural event, many of the murals commissioned then remain to this day, so there’s real love for the brightening up that the pieces can bring to neighbourhoods.

There’ll be an interactive map of mural locations to check out when the event kicks off later in the year.

MUSIC

All kinds of different live sounds to check out locally this week

Master Peace at the Scala

🍀 St Paddie’s Day falls formidably on a Saturday (16th) this year, so Parkway’s inimitable Irish boozer the Dublin Castle is throwing what it calls “a big feck off party with dancing and responsible drinking in mind”. With live music from Skimmington Rise and Riff Raff we’re not sure how easy it will be to not get a little bit carried away, but Godspeed to ya!

🎸 Catch neo soul, jazz and Americana from local songstress Dienne Deon at Haverstock Hill’s Sir Richard Steele on Sunday evening as the St Pats party vibes continue.

🎶 New-wave indie artist with raucous rapper-like energy Master Peace touches down at King’s Cross Scala on Tuesday (19th) hot off the back of his acclaimed debut LP dropping.

🎸 Virginia’s rock and much more troubadour John Fishell plays the first of two shows at The Camden Club on Wednesday (20th) as part of his UK-wide Unconventional, Unexpected and a little Unraveled tour.

🎤 Pyrosonic Records have done a good job of emblazoning much of Camden Town with posters for their upcoming open mic cypher on Friday 22nd at the Camden Eye. It’s free, and everyone is welcome to bring their bars and grab the mic with rap, hip hop and R&B.

CAMDEN DIARY

Making a sense of place make sense

The weekly column: reflections on living, working and playing in the borough…

Guys & Dolls at the Bridge Theatre

MONDAY: A few sorties beyond the borough this week (yes, life beyond LB Camden!), starting off with a night at the barnstorming production of Guys & Dolls down at London Bridge, hosting a press night to showcase their new cast. The show is already incredibly tight, (full disclosure: I’ve been before) with a fair few of the cast carrying over from the original production, which was also celebrating being one year old. The reason you really should put it on your ‘must see’ list though, is the chance to join the immersive section of the audience. Unlike some of the more yawnsome attempts at bringing you into the action, the ever rising and falling configuration of the stage all around and the chance to become part of the choreography of the night, proves to be a whole lot of fun, even if you are on your feet for three hours.

As the party escalates, taking in wild queer bars of Havana and the Hotbox club, where incoming star turn Timmika Ramsay totally rocks it as Miss Adelaide, those all around can’t help but get swept up in the action. By the end, the audience are breakdancing and high kicking with the cast as confetti rains down, and I overhear someone exclaiming ‘this is the maddest thing I’ve ever been to!’ The Bridge Theatre comes from the same people as the King’s Cross Lightroom, and you really feel the envelope being pushed in terms of the use of space. Outside, the transformed Thames-side estate it forms a centrepiece of might be a bit anodyne for some Londoners, but you can’t deny it too, is a showstopper. On our way home we walk through late-night filming of a new KFC ad (ready for this summer’s Euros, perhaps?) underway at Queen’s Crescent, complete with a formidable torrential rain-making device suspended high above the street. It’s good to see the area attracting this kind of thing, and London certainly feels a vibrant place to be to us fully immersed folk, on this otherwise cold and bleak Monday night.

WEDNESDAY: Over to drinks reception at Hackney Town Hall for the launch of the borough’s Responsible Business Charter, a new initiative that asks local businesses to pledge ways they intend to address the climate crisis and support a more inclusive local economy. It’s like aiming to be as ethical as a B-Corp but without the 250-hour application process, as reported by local immersive digital experiences studio Lighthouse, one of the night’s speakers. The overall message was one of hope that eventually all businesses will be hardwired to be ethical and low impact by default, but meanwhile there’s a long way to go, so simple but clever ideas likes this one rolling out across Hackney can help us get there.

THURSDAY: To the British Council in Stratford for an all-day event focused on what’s come to be known as ‘creative placemaking’, and the vital importance of culture in ensuring our cities and neighbourhoods flourish. With delegates from quite literally all over the world in attendance, it was eye-opening to hear stories of successful projects from far and wide, and also the struggles that underfunding and lack of vision can also bring. As perhaps foolhardy long-term believers in the power of locally-focused media in fostering urban creativity and community, there was lots to dive into. It was reassuring to hear Deputy Mayor Justine Simons reiterate City Hall’s unswerving dedication to culture as being key to so many of their objectives for London, and also to find out more about projects such as Someday Studios’ ambitious plans to bring Oxford Street back from the doldrums, giving creatives and start-ups rent-free prime shop locations, which sounds excellent. Look out for those coming soon.

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🎗️ REFERRAL REWARDS

Help this newsletter to grow and we’ll send you a gift for hitting your first 5 successful sign-ups 😲 Begin adding points to your running total right away. Simply share the link below with all the friends, family and colleagues you know would also love to read Camdenist every Friday morning (and keep an eye on your total as it grows!):

📊 LAST WEEK’S POLL RESULT

Which cultural sectors would you like the Camdenist Culture Campaign to focus on next - and why?

Cinemas - let's support the area's beloved silver screens
🟨🟨🟨🟨🟨⬜️ 25%

Restaurants - with rising costs and thin margins, eating out still needs helping out
🟨🟨🟨🟨⬜️⬜️ 21%

Performance Spaces - our theatres and venues are jewels in the cultural crown
🟩🟩🟩🟩🟩🟩 28%

Galleries & Museums - people need reminding what's out there to behold
🟨🟨🟨🟨🟨⬜️ 26%

Another record-breaking number of you voted, and the results are very evenly spread, so watch this space for more news and features on helping them all.

Some comments:

“All four of them! That's why I read the Camdenist”

“There are some fantastic old venues that are now no longer concert halls in the borough, particularly Kilburn (Gaumont State + The National). Be interested to know what caused there downfall and lessons to be learnt...would love to see them both back in action rather than churches one day too!”

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