Community family history Food Shops

Lunch at Dom’s

Every so often a post or a comment prompts someone else to write beautifully about their memories of Palmers Green. This one is from David Todd:

My memory goes back to 1956, I would have been 8 years old and my Dad used to take myself & my younger brother to Dom’s most Saturday’s during the summer holidays for a midday lunch ‘treat’, He would put us on one of the 5 bar stools which were positioned at the rear of the cafe on the right hand side, we would pick up the menu because it looked grown up! ….and ALWAYS ordered egg, sausage & chips. Our Dad would pay the 2/6d, and pick us up 45 minutes later as he worked nearby. After the last chip was scoffed the owner would place in front of us a huge strawberry milkshake made with the soft ice cream they were known for, this shake was always served in a heavy fancy thick glass with a straw to slurp up the last visible clinging bubbles.

The ice cream was served from a sliding glass hatch facing the street, so you didn’t have to go inside if an ice cream was all you wanted, in the summer the servery was always open otherwise a light tap on the glass and brother or sister would serve you with beautiful soft ice cream in a cone and a smile all for threepence.

The owners were brother and sister Dominic & Anna both born in Italy who arrived in England after the second world war,they were very hard working & organised, so much so they only lived 200 yards opposite in Tottenhall Rd. They ran the cafe on their own with no other help.

Dom drove a maroon Renaualt Dauphine, which I remember being the first foreign car I saw in Palmers Green.

Dom’s is still there, though perhaps not quite the same…

Art and Culture Community Food History Palmers Green Shops Uncategorized

Something to lift the spirits

And so Christmas is nearly here and the accolade of Palmers Green story of the year has been stolen at the last moment by Ian Puddick with his Old Bakery Gin, created in a rediscovered illegal still just south of the North Circular. Ian made it to ITV news this week.


We’ll be back in the New Year with more stories about where we  live. In the meantime, wishing you a Merry Christmas, and all best for 2017.

Art and Culture Community Food Green Palmers Green Shops Uncategorized

 Palmers Green market revived as MarketN13

One of the most positive things about Palmers Green is the number of people who are prepared to put time into the community and making it better for all.

One such person is Annita Correia, who runs Palmers Green’s popular station café. Designer and former teacher Annita has in the past run the popular Waiting Room Café, which did lovely food and hosted many local events, including blues nights and craft events.

10968561_1601676490068615_5159871572880934341_nAnnita now runs the recently refurbished station kiosk, whose cornbread muffins with cheese and chilli have brightened many of my mornings, and whose wonderful range of art cards have saved me from not a few last minute birthday panics. You can buy great coffee, tasty snacks and tickets for Talkies in the kiosk, and it’s a great place to meet people and find out what is going on in the area.  Annita’s latest project is to revive Palmers Green’s Sunday market – and this one is a real act of love.

The old market had been ailing for some time, and ground to a halt just before Christmas. So why revive it now?

“When I moved to Palmers Green, the market was the source of my livelihood – I designed fabric and clothing. People had put a lot of work into it, and it was a positive thing for the area. To have seen it go down hill was really upsetting.”

Annita is convinced that Palmers Green should be able to sustain a market of this kind, but that it has to have local support.

“A local market is a great opportunity for people in Palmers Green to have access to products not on the high street, a chance for entrepreneurs to get a first stab at setting up new businesses, hopefully also a way of drawing more people into Palmers Green on a Sunday – we have kept the prices low – pitches will be £20 (£10 for arts and crafts)”.

The roster for the first market includes South London’s Norbiton Cheeses, Essex artisan bakers Brownbread, Brockman’s Farm Produce, Brian and Natasha’s Fresh Fish. Gringostiv’s Cut Flowers and Plants, and Karl Wager of St. Albans with his handmade Furniture from reclaimed and drift wood.

Annita’s ambitions are simple:

“To get the market up and running again, hopefully bigger and better than before, and attract new traders. I am keen for the market to have a buzz, and to develop a reputation for supplying products which are well made and affordable.”

Neighbours, if that is something you would like to see in Palmers Green, you know what you have to do.

  • Market N13 will take place every Sunday from 15 March 10am – 3pm in Palmers Green Station Car Park.  




Art and Culture Community Enfield Food Tottenham

In praise of a pink delight from the gentle Quakers

Melton Mowbray has its pork pies,
Eccles has its cake,
Devizes has its ciders,
But what does PG make?

At first glance, we do seem to be a little lacking in our culinary specialities, though I know that some will right now be thinking of the dolmade, the kleftiko, and the gently, deliciously oozing, nutty, honey filled baklavas of Aroma.

But perhaps the truly authentic Palmers Green originating speciality doesn’t really exist – or exist yet. Palmers Green Pudding? What would be in that, I wonder….? Please send in your recipes!

2014-12-30 15.46.41But there is one overlooked localish speciality that perhaps we should be tucking into. It doesn’t belong to Palmers Green, but it does come from a place not much more than two miles from here, though in a sense, like all our delicacies, it simply belongs to us all. I am talking, of course, of the pink, square, delight, Tottenham.

As I get older, as in the adage, my taste in music gets sweeter, and my taste in food gets more savoury (have you tried to eat a Kola Kube recently?). But perhaps my liking for Tottenham is hereditary.

My mother tells of how as a child just after the war, she’d get up in the darkness for a trip with my granddad, Charlie Freeston, to Spitalfields Market to buy fruit and veg for his shop in Ongar high street. First would be a visit to the market itself (and with luck, a sixpence from Mrs Kent, who kept a keen eye on the money sitting on high on her perch), then a trip to the wholesalers in Leytonstone, and then, best part of all, a warm-up with tea and Tottenham at a stall outside Bearmans department store on Leytonstone High Street.

2014-12-30 15.47.31A bite through the soft icing and into the springy madeira-like sponge with a gulp or two of hot sugary tea must have made a fine restorative. As equally it might today.
Note by the way, that in my family at least, it is ‘Tottenham’, not Tottenham Cake. The ‘cake’ is superfluous. We always know what you mean.

The origins of Tottenham like many of these things are not entirely clear, but Tottenham is certainly well over one hundred years old. It was baked by the North London’s Quakers, with the pink icing traditionally made from the mulberries from the Tottenham Friends’ burial ground (the Quakers built their first Meeting House in Tottenham in 1714).

Many websites will tell you that the cake was popularised by Thomas Chalkley, who sold it for a penny (or half a penny for misshapen offcuts), and that it was given away to the children when Spurs won the FA Cup in 1901. Local historian Peter Brown and his wife Doreen describe it as a children’s cake, a crowd pleaser, reflecting values of simplicity, sharing and equality, a view echoed by a cook book from 1931, quoted on Haringey Council’s website:

It sometimes happens that a large number of pieces of cheap cake are required at very short notice for such functions as children’s treats or tea meetings, and in such circumstances it may be almost impossible to prepare some thousands of buns or small cakes. Resort is then had to cheap sheet cake, which is easily made and looks large at the price at which it is sold. The cheapest cake of this sort that may still give entire satisfaction is Tottenham cake.

Give entire satisfaction it does. You can buy it from Greggs’ or Percy Ingle, as sadly we no longer seem to have a proper baker in Palmers Green (other than the aforementioned, excellent but Tottenham-free Aroma patisserie), but why not make your own? The Browns have continued the tradition of baking the cake for the Friends, using their old recipe, tried and trusted for over 50 years – in 2013 Doreen appeared on the Great British Bake off.

This is the way they make it:
Quantities as for a 7″ round tin (38 square inches)
• Cooking margarine – 6 oz
• Caster sugar – 6 oz
• Eggs – 3
• Self-raising Flour – 8 oz
• Vanilla essence – a teaspoonful
• Grated nutmeg (if desired) – a little
• Milk

Mix margarine and sugar (as for Madeira cake) beat eggs and mix in. Fold the mix into the flour. Add vanilla, nutmeg and mix well. Add milk as required to form a ‘dropping’ consistency. Pre-heat oven and bake at 150°C for 50 minutes. o achieve a flat-top cake, cover with foil.

Icing: This is either lurid pink or shocking pink: Icing sugar. Mulberry juice – from the Friend’s Mulberry Tree, (or Blackcurrant, or Cherry). Add Lemon juice if desired. Coat the cake with a weak mix of icing sugar and warm water, and allow to soak in. Coat the cake with the lurid (or shocking) icing.

This article first appeared in Palmers Green and Southgate Life

Art and Culture Comedy Community Food

Still time to come dine

3dbc0493-f021-4fdd-9159-366139b53397If  you are still thinking you might like to take part, its not too late to apply for a place on ITV’s new series of  the legendary Come Dine With Me.

If you arent familiar with the show, four hosts take it in turns to hold a dinner party for the three other contestents. The person who hosts the evening voted the best wins £1000. More than 800 shows have been made, spanning 24 series and counting.

Are you willing to let viewers into your home, hearth and recipe book? Filming starts in November. Contact

You know you want to…

Art and Culture Comedy Community Enfield Food Green Palmers Green Palmers Green

Tomorrow is our day

As if you need reminding, the Palmers Green Festival is tomorrow. Last year’s was brilliant and this year’s looks set to be even better – food, music, community stalls and all your neighbours in festive mood.

For the full festival programme, visit the festivals immensely impressive looking website

See you there!

pg festival postcard front