DRINK: a new weekend bar at Truffles

Chuffed: Ann and Lee. Photo: Joanna Briscoe

Chuffed: Ann and Lee. Photo: Joanna Briscoe

With the closure of the Dartmouth Arms – temporary or longterm, who knows? – thank goodness its lovely neighbours have had the sense to fill the boozy hole bang in the middle of (ahem) D-Park.

So what’s the skinny? Simple: popular deli Truffles morphs into a lively post-work wine bar on Friday and Saturday nights, and all day Sunday (alcohol is, of course also available daily, all week, till 630pm).

But, before we get carried away, this is imbibing at its most civilised – more Bilbao tapas bar or backstreet bacaro than a riotous Friday night at the Assembly House.

We swung by last weekend as owners Lee and his mum Ann celebrated the new booze license with more locals squished in their petite temple of fine foods than you could ever have imagined possible.

And because it was so busy, it was super-friendly too. In fact, we even made a few new mates (in between hoovering up the moreish anchovy and sage fritters).

Vibrant: the longstanding Dartmouth Park cafe is now a busy bar at weekends. Photo: RL

Truffles: now a friendly watering hole at weekends. Photo: Russell Loughlan

On the drinks menu? A light prosecco, a very decent rioja and crisp, zesty verdejo (all from £4.90 a glass upwards); and cans of hip Beavertown beer, from the brewery in Tottenham Hale, at £3.60. From next week Lee is also offering a range of Venetian aperitifs, such as Aperol and Campari spritz – perfect if that much-anticipated balmy weather actually materializes.

To soak up the units there are boards of sliced meats, cheeses and olives from about £5.50, depending on the size. So hit Truffles Deli & Bar, daily till 630pm, Fri-Sat till 10pm and Sun 10-5pm. 33 York Rise, London NW5 1SP

POP-UP: Madia & Matilda

Madia & Matilda: check it out for one week only. Photo: Tumblr

Madia & Matilda: check it out for one week only. Photo: Tumblr

Is a luxury sustainable label an oxymoron? We’re not sure, but you can find out for yourself at this seven-day pop-up on Brecknock, in K-Town’s eastern fringes.

Founded in 2013 by Shalize Nicholas, a graduate of Manchester Metropolitan University, Madia & Matilda gives new life to “cast-off garments and rescues unwanted textiles”.

Thus each piece in her collection is designed in-house, using recycled, eco-friendly and remnant fabrics. The building also houses the Buna-Oromia Cafe, run by a bunch of friends from the local Ethiopian community, so you can snaffle a potent caffeine hit too. Open till next Thurs 12 March, Mon to Fri 10am till 7pm, Sat 10am till 6pm, Sun 10am till 5pm. Private shopping evening tonight at 7pm – 9pm. 21 Brecknock Road N7

PERFORMANCE: Tongues of Flame

He'll wake up in time for next Wed. Photo: Patrick Dodd

He’ll wake up in time for next Wed. Photo: Patrick Dodd

Still never been to secret literary hangout the Torriano Meeting House? Well, now’s your chance. Next Wed (11 March) Giles Abbott, one of the UK’s brightest storytellers, brings his tale of Victorian traveller Richard F Burton to Kentish Town’s very own Story Night. Blending together biography, history and anthropology, it’s sure to be memorable; we hear his voice is “like chocolate”, too.

“Burton remains an outcast amongst popular explorers such as Scott, Livingstone and Stanley,” he says. “He continually broke away from prevailing norms, turning exploration into a practice of human freedom. So it’s really a tale of an irreverent, sensual, driven and daring character.” Racy. And a few doors down is ace local boozer the Rose & Crown, for a dissective pint afterwards. Intrigued? Doors 7.30pm, £6 on door. 99 Torriano Ave NW5

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Thanks to Joanna Briscoe for the main Truffles shots.

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