Saturday, 21 March 2009

The Florence, Herne Hill

The unseasonably good weather and a tough week at the office meant that Friday night drinks was always going to happen. After flirting with the idea of Muswell Hill, Shoreditch and Smithfields (why is sorting out a location always a chore), the Northerner and I retreated to the local, which is the Florence in Herne Hill.
Hip Herne Hill is an alliteration that I never thought I'd write, and if truth be known, it's probably an exaggeration. However sleepy Herne Hill, once the preserve of now 'retired' sixties drug-taking hippies, and people not wealthy enough to live in Dulwich, is now the home of Class A 90's throwbacks and pretty young things not wealthy enough to live in East Dulwich. And it is all the better for both of those things.
Their drinking home in the Hill is the Florence, which should anyone actually be reading this, will recall was my first blog on this site, when I waxed lyrical about their Sunday lunches.
Friday night drinks is a different but equally good beast altogether.
The crowd is a mix of pretty young things out with their friends, thirty-somethings enjoying a post work tipple and catch-up, and local retailers - i.e. our butchers drink here - sampling the splendid micro-brewed beers. Also, as its located just a block down from Herne Hills 'little Jamaica' - which comes complete with a West Indian food shop, the best 'pimp my ride' car stereo shop in South London, and the delightfully named Muffy's Cocktail bar - the Florence has a strong representation from the local Afro-Carribean community. More unusual then it should be in multi-cultural London.
The music was a mix of noughties indie, and cool 80's / 90's retro, with a bit of dance thrown in, and people were shoveling beers, wines and an array of shots and spirits down there throats in the magic way that is unique to the British.
The Northerner and I did our best to keep up before retiring for the evening, leaving the young crowd to kick on into the Friday night lights.
When I first moved to the Hill 10 years ago there wasn't anyway to go for a decent drink. We're now spoilt for choice, with the Florence comfortably out in the lead.

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