Mobile cafe in Hilly Fields for next six weeks [UPDATED]


Plans are being developed for a permanent cafe in Hilly Fields, but for the next six weeks, a mobile cafe, will be open daily on top of the hill, near the open gym.


Serving a mix of hot and cold food and drinks, it's closer to the kind of place you'd find at the summer fair than the Pistachios model.

Called Cafe M in honour of its owner Marina, she explains:
We have a menu of breakfast cumberland sausages, two kinds of German sausages, bacon rolls, and 100% beef burgers. We only use organic free range eggs. We also do veggie options.We have sandwiches (on white or brown) and panini's which are all made to order with a selection of fillings.
We have pastries, muffins and cupcakes (which the latter is made by Fiona Cairns, who also supplies them to Waitrose). we have the delicious Byron Cookies, in a selection of flavours. We do stock crisps, but them are top quality Pipers crisps and Pom-bears, which are baked and free from additives.
We are also going to be doing Winstone's soft scoop, hand-made ice cream, which you will find on offer, in Pistachios In The Park and The Stainton Tearooms (Mountsfield Park).
We have a bean to cup coffee machine and we use exactly the same fairtrade coffee bean as Pistachios, both getting our supplies of John Street Beverages. We also have filter coffee. We also have a range of Twinings herbal teas, and fairtrade hot chocolate, which comes with the option of cream and marshmellows.

If you've had the chance to try it, please let us know what you think.

84 comments:

Oaksys said...

It's a great idea, except they have decided to drive their lorry and large trailer along the foot paths and a substantial length of the grass land to reach their parking spot.
Why can't they get themselves organised and get a key to the gate on the access road near Prendergasts School?
We are being told that Hilly Fields need many thousands of £'s to restore the paths, yet Glendale/Lewisham let trucks contribute to further damage.

Anonymous said...

Well done to the Telegraph Hill cafe yesterday - The Hill Station - it looks fantastic and is such a great location. That park now rivals any other park in South London.

Anonymous said...

Except hillyfields ;-)

Anonymous said...

oh god here we go.

Reg said...

The coffee was quite bitter. And I too had concerns about such a large vehicle gaining daily access to the park. I have even stronger worries that this is an attempt to halt a permanent cafe, more in keeping with the park.

Anonymous said...

It looks a bit low rent from the picture. Probably not what people had in mind as a solution, but if it's a temporary measure then it's got to be better than nothing.

Anonymous said...

Where do the strong worries come from? Any half decent cafe selling tea coffee and ice creames has to be a winner. Let's face it, lewisham is unlikely to find the money to subsidise a permanent cafe build. Better than owt.

Anonymous said...

Does it sell food, or just snacks/ice cream? Don't suppose the lovely ice cream man is too chuffed. And is it Gold Blend or proper coffee? I agree that it's better than nothing - however, there was a lovely guy a couple of years ago who tried to do the same thing with a mobile cafe and it really didn't take off and we haven't seen hide nor hair of him since. No doubt the Friends of Hilly Fields weren't consulted either, as usual. The only way this cafe lark will work is if it's a decent-quality offering. Having said all that, while the Real Deal gets off the ground, a more temporary measure is not unwelcome as long as it's not there purely to sell crisps to schoolchildren.

lb said...

Oh no! It's a slightly low-rent looking portakabin! It sells Bad Coffee! What next, concern that the caffeine may stimulate antisocial behaviour?

lb said...

I should probably add, I tried the cafe. It was fine.

Paddyom said...

I think its great! About time we got a cafe here. Any update on the tea factory tea room Nick?

Brockley Nick said...

@Paddyom - I suspect that is dead as a dodo.

Anonymous said...

Looks fine to me. Not surprised to see the Mung Police having a go for it not being twee enough.

M said...

Good name.

Mb said...

Some are being a little hyper critical, kids are users as much as guardianistas. A 14 year old would much rather have a can if pop and a 99 with a flake than a £1.50 fairy cake. So long as it's not selling crack to toddlers and is well run it's a good thing, no?

Anonymous said...

suspect Nick or know?

Brockley Nick said...

Only suspect and would be delighted to be wrong. Not heard anything since last September and not seen any signs of life there.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, doesn't look good then.

Mb said...

I bet the Tea Factory residents are thrilled with the pointless galvanised ducting now bolted to the side of the building.

lb said...

I would have thought that a cafe in the Tea Factory would be competing in a slightly oversaturated market - there are only so many hot beverages the residents of SE4 can drink.

Anonymous said...

Funny how Lewisham Council can find £200,000 for a Temporary garden in Lewisham.

mintness said...

Anon @ 10:04 "Does it sell food?" Click on the pic in the original post and you will be rewarded. Just don't expect hummus. ;)

Brockley Nick said...

Does anyone know whether cafe plans would require any public subsidy or are you just speculating?

Brockley Nick said...

@Mintness, or they could read the second line of the article to solve the mystery! ;)

Sara said...

i hope this doesnt become the permanent cafe in Hilly Fields. The fug of old cooking oil and the preponderance of mystery meat products on its menu are just so far short of how lovely the park is. Its like the sort of van you get at a fair. I'd prefer either a) something swisher like the ex monmouth guy from Lewisham Market, with a few croissants thrown in or b) something much lower rent, like a tea shack at the beach, purveying builders' tea from an urn, cheese rolls and kitkats. This half way house is just dispiriting.

Anonymous said...

Another mung complaint there.

Anonymous said...

To endear itself to the local naysayers, Cafe M should become Cafe Mung.

Anonymous said...

...part of The Mung Society!

Sara said...

I've no objection to meat, nor do i think that all cafes should be about organic hummus and lattes. There's just something industrial and shed-like about this one that seems out of kilter with the heavenly spot. Compare to the cafe in Ladywell Fields. A lovely independent, laid back, something-for-everyone vibe: bacon sarnies, chips and lollypops if thats your thing, lovely coffee and herbal tea if not. Run by very friendly Glenn, and, importantly, selling AMAZING cakes made fresh every day by Mrs Glenn.
And, throw mung mud if you like, but yes, I am troubled by 2 vans majoring on lard pulled up right next to a playground.

Anonymous said...

Kids could eat all that fatty food ,then run round the park to burn it off.

marina said...

Hello,
My name is Marina Botton, I, along side with my husband Jimmy, own the mobile unit that is going to be in Hillyfields for the next 6 weeks.
If you came closer to our unit, you will quite clearly read that the say Cafe' M, named after myself.
We have a menu of breakfast cumberland sausages, two kinds of German sausages, bacon rolls, and 100% beef burgers. We only use organic free range eggs. We also do vegi options.
We have sandwiches (on white or brown) and panini's which are all made to order with a selection of fillings.
We have pastries, muffins and cupcakes (which the latter is made by Fiona Cairns, who also supplies them to Waitrose). we have the delicious Byron Cookies, in a selection of flavours. We do stock crisps, but them are top quality Pipers crisps and Pom-bears, which are baked and free from addictives.
We are also going to be doing Winstone's soft scoop, hand-made ice cream, which you will find on offer, in Pistachios In The Park and The Stainton Tearooms (Mountsfield Park).
We have a bean to cup coffee machine and we use exactly the same fairtrade coffee bean as Pistachios, both getting our supplies of John Street Beverages. We also have filter coffee. We also have a range of Twinings herbal teas, and fairtrade hot chocolate, which comes with the option of cream and marshmellows.
The unit itself, is less than two years old, and made its first appearance at the Bluewater Shopping Centre's Winter Wonderland. It is fitted out with stainless steel, with hot and cold running water.
If anyones take a closer look, you will see this is no
low rent unit!!!
We intend on creating a service to the park users, who have been very supportive of us being there.
We are NOT some shady, run of the mill, burger van, set up!! We also run the cafe' called The Stainton Tearooms at Mountsfield Park with a following of happy customers.
There are mobile units in the Royal parks I.E Greenwich Park and Regents Parks, who all have vehicles to tow their units, back and fourth to these
prestigious parks.

I would suggest people to come over, say hello, and sample what we have on offer.
How can someone take judgement, when they have not even tried something??
Wouldn't life be a closed book and untravelled if this was so???

Anonymous said...

I had a very nice burger there on Saturday. A bit windy, but not the van's fault!

Monkeyboy said...

Hilly fields is crying out for a cafe, don't attach too much importance to the comments here. I'm sure it'll be a successful few weeks, best of luck.

Brockley Nick said...

Good post Marina, thanks. And good luck!

marina said...

Thank you

Mondee said...

Thanks Marina, you have done a good job at selling it to me. It sounds much better than some of the initial impressions given on this thread!

Anonymous said...

Thanks Marina, that's very helpful. Nick, could the main article be updated to incorporate Marina's description?

lb said...

The post at 13:44 reminds me of the Peep Show line "Ooh, I'm having a mare, this builder's tea came out pants".

Thanks for posting Marina - the cafe (which is very nice, everyone) will do very well, I'm sure.

bullybeef said...

Thanks Marina,I think its the picture that does not do you justice as it does look like a burger van.

Brockley Nick said...

@bullybeef - that's a representative picture - it's straight on, how it appears to anyone standing in front of it.

@anon - good idea.

Anonymous Pete said...

Hi Marina - being unappealing to snobs is a very good business approach when all is said and done, particularly with the kind of venture where your customers sit around within earshot of each other.

It actually looks great and the food and drink sound lovely - obviously a lot of effort has been put into the sourcing of it all. Wish you'd been around when I was doing a ton of childcare a few weeks ago but I shall wander over on Thursday I hope.

Very best of luck.

TM said...

Opening hours anyone?

Val said...

As long as you don;t scupper plans for amore permanent cafe, Marina, good luck to you.

Rick said...

But a van that sells burgers IS a burger van!

If it walks like a duck...

Anonymous said...

Is a shop that sells mung beans a mung bean shop?

Rick said...

Err, though I'm having difficulty understanding how your neurons interconnect, the answer to that is YES.

Danja said...

Commendably optimistic use of the plural there.

Paddyom said...

Here here Marina - I think its awesome, the coffee nice and served with a smile ;)

Pip said...

Rick, by your logic Tesco is a mung bean shop.

If a van sells burgers AND lots of other things, then why pick on that one thing to define it?

Maybe you need to take a look at the connectivity of your own neurons...

Monkeyboy said...

Not sure when burgers became the devil in meat form? I like the occasional burger AND olives. Not at the same sitting though.

Go cafe, go.

TM said...

The Burger Van on Douglas Way is just that; as apart from Hot Dogs all it sells is burgers.

I see this as a mobile cafe like the Deptford project but without the rails.

But I still don't know when it's open (Hours) to try it.

Brockley Nick said...

It's not really like the Deptford Project either.

TM said...

Yes I know....

I just wanted to see who bit

Green and pleasant? said...

Well I come to the park for the lovely green space, not one with a lorry parked on it. Fine to have a temporary cafe, but so big and on one of my favourite spots. I agree with Sara.

do me a favour said...

Oh yes, Sara, the one that made unfounded allegations about old cooking oil, mysterious meats and large quantities of lard for sale.

Some of you would make a daily mail believer blush.

Best of luck Marina!

Monkeyboy said...

....and other people use the park for football, tennis, the playground, kite flying, a large festival, dog walking, running, picnics, dogging, farmers market, for a quiet read, for a noisy game frisky tossing - and so it goes on. A cafe selling a range of food/drink is not an unreasonable thing to want, especially in the summer. It's an urban park, not the lake district

Mondee said...

@MB: frisky tossing? Isn't that the same as dogging?

Monkeyboy said...

Ahhh.... The iPhone spell check knows me better than I know myself.

Green and pleasant? said...

Monkey Boy, what do you think the land was saved from development for?

Just because we are in an urban area doesn't mean our relatively limited areas of grass need to have lorries parked on them. I don't want to listen to a generator or sit in view of traffic in the park, whether having a noisy game of football or sitting and reading my book.

Where would we be with your attitude?

Monkeyboy said...

Where would we be? Sitting in the park drinking a cup of tea with a slice of cake.

daily mail believer said...

Sigh, now our parks are broken too. All that will remain is a jungle of concrete, filled with the homeless and hip gangster wannabe’s.

As for cake, cake is a drug. I saw it on the telly.

Monkeyboy said...

Gorgeous day. May go for a cup of tea in the EVIL TEMPORARY CAFE and watch the world go by.

Monkeyboy said...

Cafe today. No van or"lorry" and no noisy generator. The loudest things in the park are kids playing.

Brockley Nick said...

For god's sake, don't mention the children, you'll set them off in a whole new direction.

The Cat Man said...

I really like children, I eat them for breakfast, lunch and dinner

Tressilliana said...

Haven't tried the cafe but did notice today that all round the perimeter of Hilly Fields there are marks in the grass that look like they're the last traces of the sites of the prefabs that were put there during/just after the war when there was a huge shortage of housing. Don't know when they were removed but in this very dry summer you can see the traces very clearly. I heard/read recently that dry summers are a great boon to archaeologists for just this reason.

Also saw a kestrel using the lamp posts by the side of the meadow area as a base for hunting insects.

Brockley Kiwi said...

Sorry to hijack the thread ... BUT ...

I've always thought everyone that complained about the yummy mummies and kids at the Brockley Mess were, well, a bunch of whingers ... Until today. My wife and I (childless) had secured an advantageous seat in the window but I had to nip out for a 10 minute errand. Whilst I was away a couple with a couple of young kids came in and took a liking to our table (there was plenty of other places to sit) so asked the waiter to ask my wife if she minded moving.

First, no issue with people asking us to move. We would have said no anyway but no offence taken. Second, grow a pair yourself and ask youself rather than hide behind a waiter. The whole episode smacked of an expectation that because they had kids the were entitled to the best seat and not have have to ask for it themselves. You chose to have kids, not me, so don't expect me to inconvenience myself to make your life easier.

Apart from the implicated couple, sorry for the rant.

Westsider said...

If that's you not taking offence, I'd hate to see you when you took offence!

Anonymous said...

When the Brockley Mess fills with the high pitched shreaks, braying matrons and the pitter patter of tiny vandals; when your sense of personal space is invaded and the place seems the preserve of loud families, then it is truly time to go.

Personally I think they should have some sort of monitoring system where you can see in advance on a website the number of under fives, buggies and decibel level.

Mondee said...

I think some people are predisposed to thinking the worst of people with young children. Actually they have just as much right to go to a cafe as the next people. I agre that they should have just asked your wife themselves, but it's not necessarily because they have children and are hence selfish, self-obsessed people who think they have a right to steal people's seats. There were 4 of them and, as it seemed at the time, only 1 of your wife. It doesn't seem that unreasonable to me that a party of 4 might just check whether a lone person might be prepared to move from a booth that is clearly designed for larger parties, rather than having to start moving tables together etc. The same situation might have arisen with a group of 4 adults.

Monkeyboy said...

Doh!

The Cat Man said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
The Cat Man said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Moira said...

I was told that Hilly Fields was full of Nissan Huts during the war and surrounded by barbed wire, so it is probably these which are visible. I've seen a circle on aerial photos, not too far from the tennis Courts, which is the old bandstand. Now that would be lovely to have rebuilt.

Tressilliana said...

I've not heard about the barbed wire before but I know a couple of people who've lived in the area all their lives and lived in prefabs after the war as young children. Were the Nissan Huts military, then?

Danja said...

There must have been an anti-aircraft battery on it.

Monkeyboy said...

Some on here wish it was a toddlers internment camp.

Hugh said...

Have we had the benefit of the Brockley Foxes' view?

lb said...

I had a much-needed cup of tea from the temporary cafe and will not hear a word said against it.

I think the Brockley Foxes have been culled.

Brockley foxes said...

Tea, good. Coffee, averagely ethical. Biscuits, good.

Moira said...

A quick check of www.hilly.org.uk/history/ and:
'Further north, beyond the tennis courts, various buildings and Nissen huts were erected by the Army during WWII. Prefab bungalows were also built along the Adelaide Avenue and Montague boundaries of the park; they were still there in 1960s. The park did suffer some bomb damage during the war.'

cabinguy said...

If someone is willing to spend all day selling refreshments at their own financial risk, as long as there is no pollution, then this can only be a good thing for the park - and local council tax payers who aren’t having to subsidise a failing council operated cafe.

Anonymous said...

food in the cafe is expensive for kids drinks are small for the price dont they know we are in a reccession tacky van also

Monkeyboy said...

It's a van, what were you expecting? Mock Tudor? As for prices, no more than you would expect on the high street. Hope it's there next year.

Eating and drinking in a park seems like a very civilised pursuit. Especially after some vigerous dogging.

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