Little Nan's Bar set to celebrate first birthday
With its traditional Mulled Apple Juice concoction, decades-old cheese straw recipes and quirky cocktails, Little Nan's has both shaken up and caused a stir in Deptford's bar scene during the past 12 months.
A combination of all things quirky, homely and vintage - decked out in tapestries, teacups and tablecloths - Tristan Scutt's one-of-a-kind hangout is preparing to mark its first birthday.
Originally intended as a pop-up in Deptford Broadway, public demand prompted the local businessman to make sure the legacy of his much-loved nan remained a permanent presence in south east London.
We pulled up a chair and sipped from delicate china crockery as we discussed the one-year milestone event this Saturday, February 8, the bar's best bits and plans for 2014.
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• What's the plan for Little Nan's Birthday Bash?
The party's on February 8 and starts with a pop-up market from noon hosted by Maya, a local baker from Brockley.
She was here before Christmas to launch her brand - a Lebanese-English bakery - and it was really good.
There'll be five other traders selling prints, scarfs, crafts and jewellery and the bar will be open for cocktails until 11pm.
At 10pm it's Deptford Does Disco, the after-party at Bunker Club, until 3am.
• How has the past year been for you as owner?
It's been really good. Because I have run places around here before, it feels so nice to be back doing stuff in the community and especially in Deptford Broadway, and with people I have known for a while.
• What's the best thing about Little Nans Bar?
The diversity of the people who come here - people have travelled from all over to come.
People in Deptford love it and also people visiting and we have had some hen parties from Brighton and Hertfordshire.
It's the different generations we get and the different sorts of people, and everyone mixes.
People make friends when they come in here as it's quite an intimate space.
• There's a whole host of fantastically-named drinks on the menu - what's the most popular cocktail creation to date?
The Lady Bet Lynch with gin, elderflower, prosecco and lime juice. I'm really surprised at how popular the prosecco cocktails have been. When I started doing them four months ago, people just loved them.
• The snack people munch on the most while relaxing in one of Nan's armchairs?
Cheese straws - we can't make enough of them. We open on Thursday and they are usually sold out by Saturday and at the moment, I am trying to find a bakery who can do the recipe. People are cheese straw mad.
• Why expand your offering to a monthly Little Nan's Afternoon Tea?
I started it to get my mum, Little Mum, involved in something. We thought afternoon tea would be good - and she loves it. It dies bring a different type of customer and we get our regulars as well.
A lot of people are sometimes unsure what it's going to be like in the evening, as there's no windows and you can't see what it's like, so for the afternoon tea we do get people coming in who have wanted to come for ages.
• What's the plan for Little Nan this year?
Last week, we released the Little Nan's Theme Tune on iTunes. It's written and recorded by local musician Rhiannon the Nightmare and we filmed the music video just before Christmas. It's just a bit of a joke and I thought it would be fun if we had a theme tune.
We've also got a monthly pop up at Deptford Market, in Griffin Square, which started on February 1. It's Little Nan's meets New York, so we're selling New York apple pie and our mulled apple juice, and in the summer homemade American-style lemonade with grenadine.
• Any thoughts about expanding?
At the moment, what we are doing here is really working. Here, there isn't an opportunity to expand and if it was a big space, it wouldn't be Little Nan's Bar.
It wouldn't retain the vibe.