WE ARE OPEN EVERYWHERE — including after some doubt London Fields Lido. It’s a pity though that the seating outside our park cafes in Queens Park Highgate Wood and Parliament Hill Fields Lido will be removed or made inaccessible from today 5 November, the first day of the lock down. It may not make much epidemiological sense but them’s the rules.
It now looks as if we will be trading as a takeaway at five sites from Thursday: Dorée Chatsworth Road, HIghgate Woods Café, Queens Park Pavilion, Nags Head Market and Parliament Hill Fields Lido. It doesn’t seem worth opening the two Central London lunchtime street markets (Goodge Place and Whitecross Street) after Wednesday and we are waiting to hear if we can open the kiosk at London Fields Lido given that the Lido itself will close. We are still working to get this site ready for orders for home deliveries from Thursday. Wholesale orders will be accepted as normal.
In the spring Hoxton Beach sold takeaway falafel, hot dishes, food, bread, hot drinks and groceries from our cafe in Chatsworth Road E5. This time we hope our main landlord for the parks cafés the City of London Corporation will let us operate the cafés in Queens Park, Hampstead Heath and Highgate Wood in the same way, given that most advice is that Covid 19 is transmitted largely indoors and that access to parks is important to peoples’ wellbeing. We will also look to restart and expand our home delivery service, this time operating locally from all our cafés and not, like last time, just from Parliament Hill Lido. We have changed our website to make local ordering possible and get this running by Wednesday.
On Sunday we are delighted to welcome Helena Kay (Tenor Sax) to Queens Park with Nick Costley-White (Guitar) and also on Sunday at Highgate trumpeter Dylan Jones and Dani Diodato on guitar. Constantly changing weather forecasts have made it hard to pin down which if either weekend day will be dry, but we have gazebos at least for the artists. As always if you enjoy the music we will be grateful for any contributions to the fund set up by the Musicians’ Benevolent Fund to support musicians who can’t get work because of Covid-19.
During the spring lockdown hundreds of customers ordered home deliveries from us, starting with things that then were hard to get, like eggs, fresh bread and home baking supplies. Then we delivered by van from a single café, Parliament Hill Fields Lido, and used the web-commerce site Shopify. But that didn’t allow us to organise around individual locations and deliver locally what they have in stock. So now we are working on an ordering system that will be like a physical visit in which you can see what is on offer near where you live — whether bread, a dish of the day, oils, coffee, wine, salads — and have them delivered at short notice.