Three of us visited this Friday evening for dinner, each having starter, main and dessert. We all liked the ambience and most of the food but the service was poor - we concluded that the staff were stoned! - Yes, whether or not true, that's how it felt. We felt neglected and, when something wrong with the food was pointed out, the waiter just shrugged. At least, however, he corrected in his own handwriting the machine's over-charge on one of the two bottles of wine we consumed, once this had been pointed out by us. With more alert, friendly staff, this could be a great restaurant. As it is, something is lacking. Will anyone bother to put it right?
Canvas & Cream
© Michael Franke
Time Out rating:
Time Out says
Posted: Fri May 25 2012
Food and art are a natural match. It’s all a question of taste, isn’t it? At Canvas & Cream, the owners have embraced all things creative: in addition to a gallery and dining room, there’s a studio space for artists, a therapy room for alternative practitioners and a rolling programme of craftsy workshops. The kitchen, likewise, may play it straight by day with a relaxed selection of breakfasts, lunches and teas, but come the evening it unveils an inventive and ambitious menu.
Our meal began exceptionally well. A starter of deep-fried calamari fritters saw delicate minced squid fashioned into eggy, chive-spiked strips, balanced on an Asian-style warm salad of dressed chinese cabbage and red peppers. A terrine of ham hock, its robust meatiness beautifully offset by mandolined slices of lightly pickled veg, was equally accomplished.
Main courses, however, saw a massive drop in standards. Huge portions did little to compensate for a muddle of ingredients and flavours: our wood pigeon and quinoa (unhappy bedfellows at the best of times) were respectively too dry and too oily. Three giant gorgonzola-filled arancini balls were golden and crunchy, but lacked seasoning. Last up, a ‘sichuan’ chocolate tart, rich though it may have been, failed to deliver any noticeable spice.
It’s a pity the food wasn’t more consistent, because this is a nice place. Vintage lighting, farmhouse tables and a open shelves of crockery give the place a homely, been-here-forever feel, while friendly staff welcome locals popping in for a quick drink. Factor in funky art, a pretty display of cakes on the counter, and house wine at £4 a glass, and you’ll still find plenty of reasons to visit.
Canvas & Cream 18 London Rd
- Venue phone:
020 8699 9589
- Venue website:
- Opening hours:
Open 9am-6pm Tue; 9am-10pm Wed-Sat; 10am-6pm Sun
Tube: Forest Hill rail
Meal for two with drinks and service: around £50
Canvas & Cream
- 18 London Rd
- 020 8699 9589
- 18 London Rd
- Canvas & Cream
Average User Rating
4.3 / 5
- 5 star:7
- 4 star:1
- 3 star:1
- 2 star:0
- 1 star:1
What is not to LOVE :) I am so grateful that Canvas and Cream exists :) It is beautiful, funky , friendly with YUMMY food and drinks . A hub of creative activity, a place to meet friends old and new , a place to feel part of the buzzing South London Community !!! A place to see wonderful art and also to come and have a tratment too in it's gorgeous therapy rooms :), I just feel so LUCKY to live 15 mins walk away from such a wonderful place :) I would get on a train and travel to get here as a special treat but it our community place .. WOW !!!! The first time my partner and I walked in , we stumbled across it by accident on it's opening week end and we leapt in the air with Joy. The co owners Joanna and Emily, mother and daughter team are so committed and passionate , forever moving forward, developing.. Inspiration is the key here and it is contagious :) !! Anyway, I just happened to see that I could write a review and I wanted to say a few words, Hope to see you there soon , Cheers, Ereni :)
We ordered two fulll English Breakfasts and cups of tea. The tea came straight away and then we waited and waited for our meal. When it came it looked like it had been sitting waiting for a while. The mushrooms and eggs were over cooked and the whole meal was cold. Very disappointing. I would not reccommend this cafe.
It was fine. Nice enough atmosphere, but we were moved off a big table onto a small one (the large table remained empty for the duration of our visit), egg shell in the bubble and squeak and an unidentified hard thing in the granola. Good bacon sandwich though.
i have now visited Canvas & Cream on a few occasions... every time i enter the building i find something different and interesting that takes my interest, whether that be the art in the gallery out back or just the intriguing furniture and wall décor in the restaurant itself. I have sampled the food, cake and drinks and would highly recommend them, High quality produce for a reasonable price tag, defiantly one of my favorite places to go
I love Canvas and Cream - I've never had a duff meal there yet, and I've eaten there a LOT. I've also never been anywhere that I feel so relaxed in.
I visited Canvas & Cream for brunch and was not disappointed! I went for the American pancakes with fruit and creme fraiche, which were truly delicious. The staff were extremely helpful and friendly. The venue itself is worth a visit with a lovely art gallery out back and beautiful antique furniture. I thoroughly recommend it!
I love the atmosphere, staff and culinary offerings at Canvas ans Cream - both both in the sweet ans savory sides if the fence. They also serve up a pretty mean cocktail. Am very lucky to have this gem of a place around the corner from my home and hope they do well as they deserve it.
I was pleasantly suprised to find this gem on my doorste. Upon walking into the establishment. I was struck by the enchanting decor and the furniture, a lot of thought has obviously gone into this place! I was evenmore suprised to find that the exibition they had on in the gallery had been bought by none other than charles saatchi. Myself and my wife stayed for coffee and cake which was exceptionally good and have since been back for the evening and found the food to be of a high standard and good price, I had the. Pidgeon served on a bed of quinoa. And my wife had the flat iron steak chips and greens we ere both very happy with our meal and the warm friendly staff, altogether I think we shall become regulars!
I totally agree with the Time Out review that the quirky, find-something-new-to-look-at-every-time decor and staff give the place a homely, been-there-forever feel. With regards to the mains though, I have to disagree. Granted, I have not tried the wood pigeon, but when my mother-in-law did she absolutely loved it. The pork belly I had was rich in flavour and cooked to perfection, and the steak I tried on another occasion caused me to emit slightly inappropriate noises of satisfaction (think 'When Harry Met Sally'). As for the desserts, I have yet to try them all, but the cakes are to-die-for gorgeous. I have only tried one of the starters (it's too good, I can't help it!) - the mushroom feuillette with a deep fried egg. I'd never had a deep fried egg before the first time I ordered it, but I would describe it as a freshly cooked, lightly bread-crumbed, scotch egg....hot and still a little bit runny in the centre. Delicious! I would highly recommend a visit to this new gem in SE23.