The Knackerd Chef Talks to Slique Spa

Well blimey what a few days it’s been, I can now add activist to my ever increasing CV, if you were one of the many who marched from the Station Square to protest about the snowballing issues that surround Herne Hill and it’s passionate community, give yourself a big pat on the back, there was even a couple of famous local residents in the crowd, how lovely, even though they don’t have to they turn up, It really shows just how much Herne Hill means to everyone.

I have a new job and something that I’m passionate about I’ll tell you more about it another time needless to say it’s been a pretty hectic couple of weeks, my teaching has been a real success so far with my other interests I’m hoping that the rest of the year will be just as fruitful as January.

All this frivolity and madness really does tire an old man like me, luckily I dropped into Slique Spa 81 Norwood road, to have a chat with Ayshia Gardener

She tells me how she has overcome some of life’s greatest struggles to be where she is, you can see that it matters to her not like some she speaks freely and from the heart, telling me of some very sad events in her life and obviously some of the happy times, there is a lot of emotion in her words, she’s grown stronger and become the person she is because this is who she is and it reflects in everything that she does, all her family were schooled locally at Rosendale and so was her son, she balances a work and family life pretty well however she does say that at the start she remembers eighty to 90 hours a week working hard to establish her name.

Ayshia is  a local and an avid supporter of business in Herne Hill, she tells me how great Herne Hill could be if we all pulled together, I have to calm her down  sometimes because she’s very bouncy and almost cartoon like you can feel her passion a real enthusiasm for what she does  her eyes sparkle, it’s unusual to find such a rare quality in someone who’s been doing the job nearly 20 years and to be honest you’d have thought it was her first day on the job, full of bubbles and excitement.

I’m treated to a full body massage and boy it does the trick. I’d say if you are thinking of treating a loved one for valentine’s day this is better than a meal or a bunch of flowers, it’s relaxing and more than anything for an hour you’re transported to another universe, the mood is set with some lovely relaxing chill out music, a candle burns with incense, the aroma in the room is something else, you’re sleepy and relaxed, she can tailor a package to suit your needs

Deep tissue massage, Waxing treatments, although why anyone would like to put their self through that type of pain is beyond me, I’d be happy to do the same with gaffer tape if anyone wants to pay me. I had my arm waxed for a laugh once (too much red wine) I can’t repeat the language, suffice to say I swore more than Gordon Ramsey in a McDonalds explaining that the burger is not to his taste.

Facials, Gel manicures, there’s even an Infra-Red Sauna, everything is spotless, some food establishments could learn a thing or two. The facilities are just right and what they offer is worth the price. Ayshia knows what she wants and her business with any luck should be a resounding success in Herne Hill I would suggest that instead of splashing out on overpriced roses or chocolates treat you loved one to something a bit special.

Slique Spa 81 Norwood rd.  Herne Hill SE24 9AA.  0203 256 0065

I thought seeing as its pancake day soon I’d give you an easy recipe this week

100g plain flour

2 large free range eggs

300 ml milk (I prefer creamy full fat)

1tbs oil

 Put the flour and a pinch of salt into a large mixing bowl and make a hole in the middle of the flour. Adding the eggs into the hole, pour in about 50ml milk and 1 tbsp oil. Start whisking from the centre, gradually drawing the flour into the eggs, milk and oil. Once all the flour is incorporated, beat until you have a smooth, thick paste. Add a little more milk if it is too stiff to beat.

Add a good amount of milk and whisk to loosen the thick batter. While still whisking, add the remaining milk in a steadily. Continue pouring and whisking until you have a batter that looks like thick single cream. For the purists, now leave the batter for 30 mins, to allow the starch in the flour to swell, I wouldn’t bother to be honest.

 Heat the pan over a moderate heat, wipe it with oiled kitchen paper. pour some batter into the pan, move the pan side to side up and down to move the mixture around for a thin and even layer. Quickly pour any excess batter into a jug, return the pan to the heat, then leave to cook, undisturbed, for about 30 secs. If the pan is the right temperature, the pancake should turn golden underneath after about 30 secs and will be ready to turn.

 Hold the pan handle, use a fish slice under the pancake, then quickly lift and flip it over, then cook for another 30 secs before turning out onto a warm plate.

 Did you know:  You can freeze pancakes for 1 month, wrapped in cling film or make them up to a day ahead.

Enjoy with a glass of wine!!