Last week I took my maiden voyage in what I thought was called The Ginger Line. Everyone since then disagrees with me but I’m sallying on regardless. Track-wise, ginger works for me – and I love the way it lifted me from Whitechapel hardness to an altogether more relaxed Brockley.
We were there on the invitation of the Homeslice Pizza boys – linked up with us most deftly by our own erstwhile pizza boy, Charlie Nelson, of Robin’s Artisan Pizza. Chaz may have chucked in the trowel, dough-wise, but it hasn’t stopped him from having his ear to the ground on the pizza scene.He had discovered them in Hackers a few weeks back and was taken by their home-made oven, producing really special pizzas.
After getting lost and finding ourselves surrounded by blocks of condo-style buildings – all strangely US-seeming – and with the surprisingly warm evening, I really started feeling like I was indeed a very long way from Whitechapel.
At last we entered the Homeslice zone – an industrial park reached through a great moaning metal gate – and there to greet us, along with our hosts, was this:
Courtesy, along with these great pics, of Louis Fernando/Tuck & Vine. Now I knew that the holiday had really started. Always up for some proper tequila, I got stuck in immediately. MMmmm – the sweet, sweet taste of a reposado slinking over all the London-ness and enveiling it in softness.
David, George and Rowan were all ready to hit us with some Homeslice action. There was Rowan, rolling out the dough backstage, David immediately furnishing us with Cannonball beer and George looking debonnair by the oven, all Phileas Fogg moustache and formidable stance.
Ahh, the oven.
It is a hand-moulded mound of tactile beauty. I stood over it, rubbing that warm, clay Buddha belly with anticipation. Inside, a fire roared…
Outside the excitement grew. More beers, more tequilas, a group of twelve or so pizza fans awaiting for the marathon that was about to start…the table stood by, ready:
And soon enough, out of that oven came a succession of some of the best pizzas I’ve had in London.
We ate and ate and ate. Waves of hot, be-jewelled discs of delight hitting the table. Hands reaching in, decimating each arrival…
Margarita; pizza fresca; pizza with chorizo; pizza with lamb, pine nuts and sultanas; with creamed leeks and prosciutto; zucchini, mushroom & lemon – and more, many more. I gave up after about round seven, knocked out.
Maybe it was the warm evening, the newness of Brockley, the allure of the encased flames or the great people. Or it could have been the tequila. But that pizza, made so well and with such thought by those Kiwi lads, was out of the ordinary and I can’t wait to have them join our gang. Watch this space!
All photos by Louis Fernando of Tuck & Vine