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London Antique Dealer finds kindred spirits.
3 April 2015

It is often said by people who really understand finance that the antique business is one that makes no commercial sense at all. But I know as an London Antique Dealer, it is often the ventures that are driven by obsession, underwritten by authenticity and integrity, that invariably lead to success.

A perfect example of this is The Hill Bakery & Deli in Camberwell. Friends of mine Julian and Caroline took a derelict, dishevelled corner in Camberwell and over the course of three years and alongside Elizabeth Owens at Matt Architects and Adam Newey have created a little gem.

The Exterior of the Hill Bakery & Deli.

Restoring an existing structure is in many ways the easy route. There is nothing harder than being given a blank canvas and in this case an extremely awkward space. They have resolved it by creating the illusion of three separate buildings from one actual structure that slims down on one side so that it resembles a wedge of cheese. To create something from scratch and keep a vision through infinite possibilities and infinite styles is really quite daunting. They have done something that I adore.

He has developed the building to give the impression it has evolved over time instead of creating one homogenised facia, (however internally it holds just one apartment and the shop). This can be very difficult to get right, as it is so easy to slip into pastiche. But by using London stocks juxtaposed with rendered surfaces, quality iron work and correctly proportioned windows, he has created something valid and plausible. Suddenly that dumping ground on the corner of Grove Lane overlooked for thirty years, is now totally appealing and blends beautifully with its surrounding environment.

Julian always wanted a deli at the bottom of the premises and it was serendipitous when a survey dropped through his door from Adam Newey, a journalist turned baker from New Cross, asking recipients if they would welcome an artisan bakery in Camberwell. His answer was very much yes and here is the exact location for you. The Hill Bakery & Deli was born.

Fresh Daily Baked Bread.

The deli specialises in its own bread baked on site and small scale producers, 90% of which is UK based with some very local. The Smoked Salmon is smoked in Camberwell and Cheese is sourced from Bermondsey.

Reclaimed Interiors inside the Deli.

Perhaps more importantly Julian and Adam have created something simply through the pleasure of doing it, and refreshingly not just driven by numbers. For the record, the bread is heaven sent!