Brockley: A Sun Worshipper's Guide

For the first time this year, the BBC weather forecast is predicting five consecutive days of sunshine, unbroken by rain.

So, we're taking this narrow window of opportunity to ask for the best places in Brockley to enjoy the weather. Hilly Fields, Telegraph Hill and Blythe Hill are all automatic choices. We're short of decent beer gardens or cafe terraces, but there are a few bright spots:

Toads Mouth Too: Forget perching on a plastic chair out-front (flanked by the bookie and the sorting office) and make your way out-back for Brockley's mellowest sun-trap. A relaxed atmosphere, occasional BBQs and plenty of shade.

Jam Circus: Throws its doors open on sunny days, so front row seats to the road catch plenty of rays, while the road is quiet enough that you don't have to fight with the traffic to talk to your friends.

Skehans: Great spot for an afternoon drink, on the bend of Telegrah Hill.

The Wickham Arms: As long as they've swept-up the fag-ends that occasionally carpet the decking, head for the front garden of the Wickham and look down on the tranquil beauty of Upper Brockley Road.

The Brockley and Ladywell Cemetery: Dappled sunlight plays through the elderly trees, casting gorgeous shadows. Not a great place to have a drink, unless you like Carlsberg Special Brew, but a nice place to escape the midday sun.

52 comments:

Headhunter said...

Hallelujah for a bit of sun! It was starting to get depressing - I had been cycling to an from work in the p*ssings of rain that my cycling shoes were permanently wet for a good week or so which didn't make them pleasant to put on in the morning! Went for a bike ride through Kent on Mon and actually got slightly sun burned!

Went for a walk yesterday evening up to the Upper Telegraph Hill Park which was lovely, hadn't really been there properly before. The views are spectacular with the sun dipping through the clouds out west. Although not sure it qualifies as a sun spot in Brockley proper.

Anonymous said...

The Wickham's back garden is, imho, more pleasant than the decking out front..

Headhunter said...

Really? I prefer the decking out front - you can watch the world go by and it's a real sun trap. The garden's a bit featureless and walled in. They should try doing more with it. Perhaps demolish the timbledown gazebo thing and mow the grass would be a start

mljay said...

Mr Lawrence wine bar has a courtyard area at the back that is quite nice

brockley mutha said...

curious about the reference to brockley cemetery and special brew. Is it a hang out for local drinkers. I've never seen any in there - or even the sign of any.

Anonymous said...

@bm, pretty sure that was a joke about the fact that the sort of people looking for a drink in a cemetery might not have a very healthy attitude towards drink!

andy pandy pudding & pie said...

I spent the day in my garden, digging and planting. I'm hoping the new plants will surive, unlike my previous attempts.

brockley mutha said...

ah ok - the subtlety was lost on me.

jon s said...

Having been brought up in Oz might I remind everyone that between 11 and 3 stay under a tree :)

Still looking forward to messing around with a frizbee and football on Hilly Fields and / or telegraph Hill though.

Good to know about outdoor places to go for an evening meal/drink though.

Anonymous said...

Only thing is, in crowded city like London, everyone has the same idea... be thankful if you have a private garden.

Monkeyboy said...

I lived in Oz for a year. Bizarley I actually prefer London in the Summer, everyone goes slightly loopy and heads down the pub.

It's not Brockley but I've had many a wasted (in both senses of the word) Saturday sitting on the grass outside The Princess of Wales in Blackheath.

Headhunter said...

I like the way everyone heads to parks in London to see and be seen when it gets hot. Great fun.

Doesn't happen so much in Brockley coz everyone's got a garden so they don't need to. That's the beauty of Brockley, so much personal green space. It's also nice to sit in your own garden

Brockley Nick said...

Yes, but there's also something nice about sitting in the sun with other people. Totally agree with MB that sunny days in London are really special - because we can't take them for granted.

Outside of Brockley, I'd also like to recommend the Trafalgar Tavern in Greenwich, particularly early evening, when you can trap the last of the sun's rays as they fade over the river.

Headhunter said...

Yes I agree. Although it's nice to have your own garden, it's good to get out into the parks etc.

I can just see you now Nick, outside the Trafalgar Tav with one of those reflective collars on to reflect the sun onto your face desperately trying to grab the "last of sun's rays as they fade over the river"...!!

I like the Traf Tav too. If we're throwing the net that wide then there's also Bar Du Musee or whatever it's called, with it's conservatory and gardeny bit out back (in Greenwich), the Hare and Billet on Blackheath.

I used to love to go to the achingly trendy "Flask" in Highgate when I lived north of the river. Nothing like getting hammered with a bunch of hooray henrys and queuing to pay an exorbitant amount for a pint. The Canonbury Tavern in Islington was also fantastic before they decided to turn it into flats/conference centre as yet another delightful London pub bit the dust...

Brockley Nick said...

Oh yes, Bar du Musee's very good. "The Union" in Greenwich also has a nice little garden.

Headhunter said...

I've heard about The Union but never been there or tracked it down. i'll have to find it

Tom said...

I was on Blackheath over the weekend, outside the Princess of Wales pub. Nice.

There's another one on the river front - the Cutty Sark Tavern - it's a bit further along.

Brockley Kate said...

Oi, I used to drink at the Flask and I'm definitely not a hooray ... !

Brockley sun spots - my garden mostly, which isn't the most interesting answer, sorry.

Bea said...

Sadly not everyone in Brockley has a garden (yes, even those living in the Conservation area) but instead I like to sit on my front door step, drink in hand and look at the communal front garden and watch the world go by.

For larger spaces there's always Hilly Fields, Blackheath and of course Greenwich Park which is especially fun when there's a brass band playing on a sunny summer's day.

Anonymous said...

I know it\'s of subject but I\'ve heard a rumour that the lady from Broca was going to open a wholefood shop on mantle rd. Does anyone know anything about this? Is it true?

Anonymous said...

Well I know that there is supposed to be a wholefoods/coffee shop opening on mantle road - if it's the lady from the Broca who's behind it then its very good news indeed. I love the Broca and would welcome a Mark 2 on the westside of the station.

Graeme said...

This begs the question - is there enough outside space at the Talbot to contain the throng of BC boozers on Thursday evening?

James said...

Does brockley need another food shop? A good cafe that side would be good but opening it so close to your own cafe sounds strange.

On coulgate St there are 2 cafes and 2 delis and a whole food shop round the corner. Is there enough business for another?

Maybe the broca is moving house. . . . .

brockley mutha said...

just to digress for a moment - isn't the tea factory looking good.

Anonymous said...

it would make sense if the broca moved in one way. It's too small. I often get put off going in because it's full. Add a pram to the mix and it's a nightmare. A larger premises for yummy mummy to hang out would be ideal. Here's hoping.

Richard Elliot said...

@ Greame - The Talbot Beer garden on Thursday sounds good, but I think most people will be interested to see inside too!

@ Headhunter - I used to love the Flask, but counting back it became so "achingly" trendy / crowded in 2004 that I stopped going. I feel quite old now....

Tamsin said...

Doorstep is good. There is a really nice ice-cream van man who comes around Telegraph Hill mid-to-late afternoon and again in the early evening on weekdays. When the children were younger their first forays into independent retail purchases were from him and afterwards we would sit on the front step (in the interests of my furniture and carpets) eating our ice-creams and playing "I Spy". Happy days...

My son didn't quite grasp the rules of the game. He would choose a letter at random, make me and his older sister guess until we had run out of ideas - push us for just one more suggstion and, yes, that would be what he was thinking of!

Headhunter said...

The Union looks very interesting - will definitely have to go. It's owned by Meridian Breweries who are based in Charlton and make all those chocolate, raspberry and other fruit ales that I sometimes buy from Mr Lawrence. Do they have these beers on tap there?

Brockley Kate said...

I was just about to ask whether the Talbot has any outside space!

Brockley Nick said...

@HH - yes they do - all the beer is their own brew, I think.

It's also right next door to a more traditional pub, so you're spoiled for choice.

Amanda said...

Where is the best place to get ice-cream in the area? Is that Marine Ices brand that Dandelion Blue sell any good?

Brockley Nick said...

@Amanda - opinions differ at BC. Marine Ices are excellent, but I am a strawberry man, whereas Kate is a champion of vanilla.

Anonymous said...

HH - the Union's own-brand beer is also sold at Sainsbury's as 'Sainsbury's Finest' (or whatever -- the luxury end of their own brand. 'Taste the difference'?).

I discovered this once when I ordered a draught pint at the bar, but spotted the staff pouring my beer out of a bottle. Apparently they'd (very uncharacteristically) run out of their own supply.. and rushed out to sainsbury's to buy up the bottled variety.

Amanda said...

I must say I do prefer strawberry flavoured ice creams, H & D's strawberry cheesecake being a particular favourite, but texture is important too, so on Nick's recommendation I shall try Marine Ices. I shall do a review...

Headhunter said...

So Meridian sells through Sainsbury's? It's "Taste the Difference" isn't it? So they've sold out to the big corporate supermarket? Well I'll keep buying mine from Mr Lawrence anyway...

Pete said...

They sell it through Waitrose too but with their own labels on the bottles.

andy pandy pudding & pie said...

Marks & Spencers sandwiches are from the same supplier as Boots. They once made a mistake, and labelled up Boots Sandwiches with M&S packaging (and these were still sold at Boots).

Brockley Kate said...

Amanda - Marine Ices are food of the gods. I used to live just round the corner from their restaurant in Chalk Farm, it's great. I wish they'd take over La Lanterna and turn it into something half-decent.
Being able to obtain Marine Ices from Dandelion Blue is one of the reasons for my overdraft ...
By the way, I also like rum n'raisin.

And Meridian Brewery beers are great. They serve them at Brew Wharf which is on the river near London Bridge, if anyone's interested. One of my favourite post-work haunts.

Brockley Kate said...

BTW, don't we all mean Meantime Breweries, rather than Meridien?

Headhunter said...

Oh yes, that's what I meant, Kate!

Tamsin said...

Mark you - home-made ice-cream is the bestest. You can be relatively healthy with fruit puree and skimmed milk to make the egg custard with, or there are some recipes like peanut butter ice-cream with full fat cream that just reading them sets you on tge road for a heart-attack.

Haven't made any though for years - really must do so this summer...

Tressillian james said...

All this talk of icecream - and sitting out - has set Bea and I off to have a picnic on Hilly Fiedls this weekend. I have a garden - and Bea has her doorstep - but its nice to have a picnic with a view.

BTW - could a summer picnic - with frisbee throwing etc - be the next Brockley Central event? Those with kids could also join in....

andy pandy pudding & pie said...

Bah, kids.

Bea said...

Bah, cats - right back! (I take it you still walk them round Hilly Fields despite the threat of dogs?)

Why don't you bring them along and we can get to meet them too.

andy pandy pudding & pie said...

I havn't walked them at hillyfields for a whle now, as they seem quite happy patrolling the neighbouring streets where I live!

There is also 2 of them, and my partner is away and I cannot control both at the same time (the little terrors..!)

Amanda said...

A quick verdict on Marine Ices,
its zer gut! Nice smooth texture, for some reason I bought the chocolate flavour.

Really chocolately, a bit of an overload. But the ingredients list is reasurringly wholesmome, with ingredients you'd source from a farm, rather than a factory.

At 3.25 for 500ml it's around 70p cheaper than your typical premium ice-cream brands. Though the shape of the carton, seemed smaller despite the measurement.

Thanks for the heads up Brockley Kate and Nick

Brockley Nick said...

Phew!

Tressillian James said...

Bea - APP&P would have to leave the cats at home - Kung Fu Hustle will be joining us and you know what he's like with cats.......

andy pandy pudding & pie said...

Who is Kung Foo Hustle? A Dog?

Bea said...

APP&P: No a China man.

TJ: Great look forward to seeing him again.

andy pandy pudding & pie said...

Ah ok.

I'll leave the cats at home then, but i'll bring a tub of strawberry ice cream to compensate.

Not quite the same I know :o)

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