After a trial run for a friend's birthday, La Petite Bouchée – the Citroen van restaurant – launched in Sydenham Wells Park on 9th August 2014. It was Caroline who came up with the name.
Despite me being completely oblivious to its presence hardly a mile away from where I live, La Petite Bouchée was a huge success attracting diners from all over London.
Unfortunately May 2015 saw the first attack on La Petite Bouchée when someone broke the windows with a air rifle. It is thought to have been school kids. The windows were quickly replaced and the restaurant's success continued.
On Monday 14th November 2016 Anita and Caroline collected a Time Out Award for the best restaurant in the Sydenham area. Unfortunately their delighted very rapidly turned very sour. During the Thursday night (17th) the Citroen van was attacked with the windows being smashed in. The windows were rapidly repaired and Anita posted a defiant message on Facebook, which with hindsight proved ill advised as the following night (Friday 18th) who was responsible returned with a vengeance and comprehensively trashed the Citroen. This included smashing wine glasses, pictures etc. and pouring oil and balsamic vinegar over everything making it impossible for La Petite Bouchée to continue either in its current form or location.
Naturally Anita and Caroline were completely devastated by this vicious and mindless vandalism. The police have yet to catch the perpetrators but are convinced that it was pre-mediated and that this time it wasn't school kids as on both nights the weather was foul – pouring rain and and very windy.
Anita remains completely mystified by the attacks. "All we wanted to do was to make people happy!"
The Citroen was moved out of the park on the Sunday and is now in the process of renovation
(to be continued)