Monday, 31 August 2015

Konchesky's cafe is mash of the day in Brentwood

Opening of Konch's Kaff        Picture: Brentwood Gazette
You can take the boy out of Dagenham… Former West Ham defender Paul Konchesky, now playing for QPR, has proved true to his Essex roots by opening Konch's Kafe, a pie and mash shop in Brentwood. The Brentwood Gazette pictures Towie's Chloe Lewis at the opening and described it as "mash of the day". The cafe was formerly Angie's Pie and Mash. Konchesky has bought it and installed his mum Carol, who lives at Kelvedon Hatch, in charge. Should be ideal for his old West Ham mates to refuel in before a night at Sugar Hut…

Monday, 17 August 2015

The Battis gets a makeover

Readers of my book The Joy of Essex might recall my mention of Romford's dodgy alleyway by the railway, The Battis. My friend Katie Dawson, a former Green Party councillor and Romford resident turned Islingtonian, revealed that the Battis was the stuff of childhood nightmares, a sort of Lord of the Rings netherworld that was terrorised by Romford Orcs.

She told me: “My mum and dad were quite relaxed and easy going but when I was a teenager the one thing they said to me was ‘we don’t care where you go, but whatever you do, don’t go up the Battis!’” Well now it seems the Battis has had a makeover. On a recent visit to Romford I discovered it had gone technicolour, in some strange attempt by the London borough of Havering to make it more touchy-feely and less like something from A Clockwork Orange. Is there no end to gentrification?