Monthly Archives: December 2017

Albany cafe blog: Salad a history

Salad. For some this word conjures up images no more tantalizing than that of  leaves in a bowl. While we can’t vouch for all salads, we can vouch for the Albany’s! Check out this blog to find out more about this humble food and get some inspiration from our own recipes.

A potted history (it’s this sort of trivia that will help you win mastermind)


The word ‘salad’ comes from the Latin word ‘salata’. Romans were quite enthusiastic eaters of salads, and the Latin translates to ‘salted things/herbs’ (depending on who you ask) because originally the raw vegetables that made it up had a dressing of oil, vinegar or salt.



Salad then just stuck around in the culinary annals with minor changes through the years. Apparently in the US around the end of the 19th century,  tossed salads were considered too messy and for a time molded gelatin salads became popular!

Here are some of the Albany’s salads:
Autumnal Lentil Salad:

Ingredients: butternut squash, fine beans, lentils
Ingredients for the hot and sweet dressing: jalapenos, honey, lemon, provence herbs, olive oils

1.)  Roast the butternut squash and boil the lentils and fine beans
2.) Mix all the dressing ingredients together, hold fire on the jalapenos if you don’t like spicy things!

Moroccan Salad:

Ingredients: carrot, almonds, beetroot, cumin, coriander, orange

1.) Grate and peel the beetroot and carrot
2.) Chop oranges into small chunks
3.) Toast almond flakes in the oven until golden
4.) Mix the above together and add cumin powder, salt, pepper, almond flakes and chopped coriander


5 interesting facts about salad*

1.) Lettuce is a member of the sunflower family.
2.) The ancient Greeks and Romans thought that eating lettuce helped you have a good night’s sleep.
3.) China is the largest spinach producer in the world as it is responsible for 90% of global production.
4.) Iceberg lettuces got their name from the way they were transported in old carriages with ice piled on top to help keep them fresh.
5.) Cucumbers have the highest water content of any vegetable.

*great for awkward silences over Christmas

Thanks for reading this blog, hopefully you come away from it with ideas for your own cooking and a greater general wisdom about all things salad! See you next week…







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Work Experience at the Albany by Kerlis Norbal (age 14)

For the past week I have been at the Albany for my work experience it has been amazing so far, I have been with the marketing team, Meet Me at The Albany, Development + Hires and Office Admin. The job that I have enjoyed the most so far is working with the marketing team because there has been so much to do from working out costs for different shows coming in, to making sure advertising is up to date from online to leaflets in cafes. Plus it’s just a different experience to just sitting at a desk all day.

 On the first day of my work experience I was with the marketing team all day. First we had a meeting about the different shows that where going to be available during the Christmas period. On the next day I was with the members of Meet Me at The Albany, this was a very different experience for me because I have never worked with older people, so it was kind of a new thing for me to take in, but they were really friendly and their singing skills were amazing. On Wednesday I was back with the marketing team in the morning, some of the staff had been out in the market area selling tickets for £1 for  the next season shows… it was very cold outside but I was able to get my hands on a hot chocolate which really warmed me up. After having my hot chocolate I was on balloon duty. I had to make sure that we did not run out of balloons to give out to the toddlers and babies. With every person we spoke to and every balloon we handed out I had to write it down for data.

 After my lunch break I was with the developing and booking/Hires team, it was very quiet working with them and I had quite a lot of typing to do with little time so not all of it got completed but I did my best. It was a very nice way to end my work day. On Thursday I started work at 12.30 because I finished later. When I got in, I began to work on my Arts Award which is very interesting and I cannot wait to finish it. I have so many different tasks to do which I really enjoy, so I can’t wait to see my end product. After my lunch break I continued doing my Arts Awards and also began watching dance videos for inspiration. When it was around 5:15 I left the Albany to go to TNG in Sydenham to help with an after school drama class, I did not get involved much as I did not know what to do. On the Friday I started at 1pm, so when I came I got straight to work with Senay who works as the head of admin, when I arrived they told me about what they do, and how what they do plays a big part of the marketing and development and hire team. After that I got given a bunch of papers that were already in order and I filed them away during my office admin time.

 SUNDAY THE BIG COMPETITION DAY, this day was one of the best. I went to a dance competition which I was asked to go to. My journey there was a bit difficult but once I got there everything was good. When I got there my friends had asked me to be in the solo dance competition so I agreed. I got into the final which really was a shocker for me…then they called out the numbers that where 5th, 4th, 3rd, 2nd and then they called the last number for 1st place, and to my surprise I won the under 16 solo street dance competition. Which really was amazing, I was lost for words. Our dance teacher also came 1st in the teachers competition, one of the parents from Love2Dance also came first which was a surprise for her, so we were kind of in a winning streak. The Love2Dance crew came 2nd place in the under 16 group competition, and for our first ever competition I feel that we done very good and I cannot wait until next year.





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Albany cafe blog: Soup, both of the dancing and non-dancing variety

Today’s blog is all about soup the perfect, simple meal guaranteed to warm you up during these cold (sometimes even snowy) months…

Disco Soup

Sunday 10th December, 11.30am – 3.30pm. FREE 

What is Disco Soup? It’s when lots of people gather together and chop up surplus food and make it into a giant soup, generally while listening to music, and eat the product of their combined hard work.

Why do people do this (apart from a way of getting free soup)?  Here at the Albany we are committed to reducing food waste and, showing that with a bit of imagination you can turn leftovers into great meals rather than chucking them. We are also going to be raising money to support the Albany Gardening Club and Good Food Lewisham.

So pop in and join the fun, everyone is welcome and there should be enough soup for everyone!

Some winter warmers…

We’ve been busy making lots of soups over the past two weeks, here are some recipes for two of our favourites Pumpkin and Blue Cheese Soup and the classic Leek and Potato Soup.


*Both soups have the same base ingredients*

Sliced onion x 3
Sliced carrot x 5
Sliced celery x 1 bunch
Salt & Pepper

Then you need a pumpkin and some blue cheese OR some potato and leek. We cook to feed loads of people so scale down our amounts depending on your needs.

Method: Pumpkin and Blue Cheese Soup

1. Prep all the base vegetables
2. Roast the pumpkin until soft, then scoop out the insides
3. Fry off the base vegetables in olive oil and cook until soft
4. Blitz these soft vegetables into a liquid
5. Fill a pot full of water and add the pumpkin, season with salt and pepper and then cook until it reaches the required thickness.
6. Mix with the liquid vegetables, reduce it, then stir through some blue cheese.


Method: Leek and Potato Soup

1. Prep all the base vegetables
2. Fry off the base vegetables in olive oil and cook until soft
3. Blitz these soft vegetables into a liquid
4.  Fill a pot full of water and add the leek and potato, season with salt and pepper and then cook until soft
5. Mix with the liquid vegetables, reduce it, then stir through some blue cheese.
6. Enjoy with a nice chunk of bread and butter!


We hope we have managed to show you quite how simple making your own soup is, and how it is a meal that easily lends itself to using up all those pesky leftovers in the fridge! 

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