Jane Higginbottom’s weavings grace the Café during May

Our fabulous series of Art Showcases at the Bonnington Café continues, with this UK premiere during May 2024 of Jane Higginbottom’s superb Colours of Finland and Beyond, a set of naturally-dyed weavings and drawings from her 2022 Finnish residency at Kulttuurikauppila, augmented with more recent larger weavings using her hand-dyed Finnish yarn.

Jane’s work is she says a direct response to the land itself, exploring the emotional texture of distance from family- the living and the ancestors. It is imbued with a warmth of feeling, expressed in delicate yarn, and with natural colours drawn from the landscape.

Jane Higginbottom has an MA (Camberwell/Chelsea) and is a member of the Royal Society of Sculptors. In 2023 she spent a week in Sweden with the Swedish artist, Susannah Gunnarson, as part of the Bridge project (Artcan), showing their work at the OSKG Tjornedala gallery space in November 2023. Swedish artists are visiting London in 2024 for a return exhibition.

Jane also works at Roots and Shoots, “a sanctuary for nature” in central London, offering vocational training for the local community with its biodiverse wildlife gardens. The organisation will also be cooking in the Bonnington Café over the summer, starting 14th May from 11am to 1pm (Tuesdays only) for 6-8 weeks initially, offering meals on a ‘pay-what-you-can basis’ to support Roots and Shoots and its students.

To see Jane’s work during May, you can visit the Bonnington Café to dine during the evening on Tuesdays to Saturdays, and on Sunday and Tuesday lunchtimes. Jane will also be hosting a Private View on Monday 13th May between 6pm and 9pm All are welcome. And she’ll also be hosting a Weaving Workshop  on Tuesday 14th May from 11am to 1pm. The workshop price is £20 for 2 hours (materials included), or you pay what you can afford on a sliding scale of £5 to £20. For enquiries, please contact Jane at jane@janehigginbottom.co.uk

UpMarket Market Christmas Fair 2023 – Dec 9th & 10th

In the splendidly revamped Bonnington Café, 15 local creatives and friends of Bonnington Square are returning for a second Christmas Market.

It’s very much a community event and in the spirit of ‘buy local’ – and is pulled together by local resident Lulu Boden, a jewellery maker in her spare time. Taking place on Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th December from 11am to 4pm each day, do look out for our new crafters and highlights this year.

The ever-popular Tarot card readings are on Saturday in the Middle Room with David Spofforth. Also, on Saturday in the Centre, Chiara Pedrazzi is offering mini sessions of craniosacral therapy, pranic healing and Reiki – all by by donation. The day will end serenely at 5pm sharp with a Gong Bath led by Jo Culf in the Top Room (£10). Bring a rug to stay toasty, although the heating will be on!

On Sunday the Café will again buzz from 11am to 4pm with 15 assorted stalls featuring the Chocolate Detective; Elniovoe’s elegant African fabric bags; Jodie Boyd’s natural products from Neals Yards Remedies; fine silver jewellery from Tales of the Earth; and even knitwear made in the Square by Sandra Roe and her sister. Plus new stall holder Lucy Bond will be selling candles, melts and stocking fillers.

Rita Keegan (pictured at last year’s market) also returns with her pearly jewellery – and her long-time friend Mary Jeremiah is selling her zesty hot stuff sauces. This event also showcases great artists: Beth Higgins’ vibrant Xmas cards, and Gianinna Delphino’s individually handmade sketchbooks. And Jo Gibbs is currently displaying her ‘Tunnocked’ scallops, jewellery and eco art in the Café. You’ll also find Tess Stone showcasing prints and cards; and the famous ‘Good Vibes’ silk screen print by Chris Coleman is on sale. Plus there will be vintage and more!

The Bonnington Café Returns! Saturday 18th November 6.30pm-10.30pm

After months of hard work and preparation, trustees are delighted to announce that the famous Bonnington Café finally returns this month, with fabulous vegan and vegetarian evening meals once again on the menu.

A roster of cooks, both new and old, will be delighting our palates.  Our first commercial night – for which we’re prioritising supporters and the local community – is on Saturday November 18th from 6.30pm to 10.30pm. We’ve also put affordability at the heart of our nights. Main courses will be £12, and starters and puddings £5 each. The Café will also still be BYOB for alcohol – with a £1 corkage fee for each bottle.

Welcoming diners for the first night will be local cook Hind Danoun. Hind is from Syria, and came to the UK six years ago. She studied philosophy in Syria and wanted to find a new home. Hind tells us it was hard for her to feel like she belonged in a different country. She thought about how to create a place that felt like home. Hind decided to use cooking to show her culture. She started making her mum’s recipes and really liked cooking. She added her own ideas and then started her own business called Utopia.

You can call Hind or Natalia to book: Hind is at 07597 446957; and Natalia at 07999 953512.

“We are so pleased and excited to be reopening the Café at last,” says Megan Doolittle, chair of the BCCA trustees. “We’ve had such amazing support from our friends and neighbours, and want to thank everyone who has been pitching in to make it happen. We can’t wait to welcome everyone.”

The Café will then be back on Saturday November 25th; then for three nights each week on Thursdays to Saturdays, starting November 30th. Our aim is to have the Café fully reopened for evening service by the Spring. Check out our revamped website with its new Eating at the Bonnington Café tab – where you can see who’s cooking on which night, and find their mobile number to call and book a table. You’ll also be able to walk in on the night – though we can’t always guarantee a table.

We look forward to seeing you back at the famous Bonnington Café soon!

Jo Gibbs’ new art exhibition ‘Scalloped’ at the Café: Nov 24th-Dec 21st 2023

We’re excited to announce that the latest local artist to exhibit at the BCCA is Jo Gibbs, whose new show Scalloped will be on display in the Café from November 24th to December 21st 2023.

Jo describes her eco-friendly art works as “Junk made beautiful”. Come and explore her shells, avocado skins and slates –  remade with coverings, paintings or etching – as well as Jo’s signature mirror works. And 25% of the proceeds from the sale of shells will benefit OneHumanRace, a grassroots group set up in 2015 by Rando Wagner, to support refugees stranded in Athens, Greece.

According to Kevin McCloud of Grand Designs fame, “Jo Gibbs breathes new life into humdrum objects with a gentle delicacy that gives them new meaning. The success of this kind of work depends on a great eye and a sensitive approach.”

You’ll be able to  view Scalloped whenever the Café space is open, including our new cooks’ nights. Keep an eye out for announcements of workshops by Jo. And be sure to look out for special views on November 24th and December 3rd.