In 2012, Canvas & Cream opened, from the outset, this was a community venture. Mother and daughter Joanna and Emily Gore had identified a building on the high street which had been derelict for a number of years. With no electricity, walls or plumbing, it was in need of a little TLC and they saw an opportunity to involve the local people in every stage of its development. Carpenter and joiner Paul Rushworth was an integral part of the build, they taught people how to tile, how to build walls, decorate, even wire up lights and lay parquet flooring. Learning many skills themselves from books, the internet and from past DIY endeavours, it was a fantastic experience for all, a vast public art project. Local people were also enlisted to help find the items needed for the restaurant and the Forest Hill community responded with fridges, cookers, tiles, wood, plumbing bits, sinks, paint, doors, you name it, it was donated and the whole Canvas and Cream complex was built from this, sometimes a lack of funds is a godsend and pushes you to think a little more creatively about your resources!
Forest Hill has struggled as an area for many years, however the recent migration of artists to South London has created rapid change and desirability. Welcoming all (even dogs!) the Canvas and Cream philosophy is to be inclusive and encourage creativity and expression, through art, food and living well.
- Provide a South East London creative hub, a social dining experience embedded within a creative environment.
- Host local weddings, parties and community events that endeavour to bring people together as a community.
- Provide a healing environment that nourishes the creative soul and builds lasting connections between people.