Toads Mouth Too for sale


When we were first thinking about moving to Brockley, back in about 2005, researching the area online was tricky. No one with access to the internet seemed to have anything to say about it.
One of the few things Google had to teach us was that there were two local cafes that people liked: Moonbow Jakes and Toads Mouth Too.
Both places were born at a time when the most common complaint from local businesses was that too few customers were interested in eating out (today, the more common complaint is from customers, that there are too few options available to them). They shared druidic names, loungy layouts and veggie-friendly menus. They were well-loved and well-worn. If Bagpuss was a café, he would have been one of these two.
Moonbow’s closed a couple of years ago, replaced by the slightly slicker Brockley Mess. Now, after months of speculation, Toads Mouth is on the market.
Toads Mouth isn’t perfect. The menu is a little limited, the service a little erratic and the tendency for the same people preparing the food to handle the money has been a consistent grumble from BC readers over the years. However, the Toad’s labyrinthine layout is nice and intimate, the portions are tasty and generous and the garden is one of the best places to be on a sunny day. The waiters have always been friendly, in our experience.
Perhaps new owners could iron out some its flaws, but they will have a tough act to follow and we hope that it doesn’t lose its charm.

106 comments:

Brockley Jon said...

I have tackled many a hangover sat in the garden eating a full English with chorizo. I hope any new owner keeps the name, and the key on the side. The place is a Brockley institution.

Gordon said...

That breakfast is possibly one of the worse things I have ever paid money for, why on earth they have a complete inability to make substitutions like everywhere else is beyond me, overpriced and over cooked, and the name is awful too...

Brockley Jon said...

Glad we're on the same wavelength.

Gustav said...

Great article! Exactly right. The idea of walking through the kitchen to access the seating was both brilliant and somehow wrong. Toads Mouth Too is as strange and delightful as the underside of a lilly pad.

Timmy2wheels said...

I want to like the Toad's Mouth, really I do; but there's enough wrong with it to stop me being a regular customer. The layout is great - little rooms, snug corners and soft furnishings stop it being the echo chamber that the Brockley Mess is, and the steps stop it from becoming Buggy Hell. The food is...okay - no more than that. A sausage is NOT an optional extra on a full English! And by the time you've added one you're paying about £9 for it. Toast is never toasted enough, bacon is never crispy enough, the lunch options rarely change (or maybe they have just rotated 360 degrees in time for my bi-annual visit)... It's just all a bit ramshackle, which is fine when you have no competition as people will go anywhere, but with great places springing up around it the owners should have upped their game a while ago. I sincerely hope they're going for reasons other than being forced out by declining business, but new owners take note!

drakefell debaser said...

I hope the new owners will keep the lentil stew with roast vegetables going. If I was a vegetarian, I'd eat it daily.

Brockley Nick said...

@Timmy - weren't you at one time interested in starting a cafe in the area? Interested in taking on this challenge?

Anonymous said...

Never go there because of the way they treat their staff.

Brockley Nick said...

@BrockleyJon - LOL

BrockleyBiker said...

Seconded. I have seen a manager very publicly and aggressively abuse one his waitresses. Never eaten there since.

TM said...

Anyone rung the number yet and asked how much they want and what do you get in the deal?

I don't suppose the property is freehold but if it is the asking price will reflect it

Timmy2wheels said...

@Brockley Nick - I was, but thank Gods I saw the error of my ways. In my head I was Sam from Cheers; a stint at the Brockley Mess was the slap I needed. I still think it's something I could do well - and maybe one day I will - but now is not the time, and I'm not sure Brockley's the place (for me).

Anonymous said...

I too love the space but the food is average and over-priced :-(

Sarah said...

They are brill but yah nutty staff. Also need to take cards! Take note new owners!

EmilyS said...

I love the Toads Mouth and have had so many wonderful evenings there with my friends and family. My child's first outing was there at 3 days old (don't panic - no buggy and she slept constantly). So full of wonderful memories. I think it's fab value and choice in evenings. Will miss it.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Brockley Jon said...

Yeah I heard good things about the evening menu, but never managed to try it (was always closed when we tried)

Anonymous said...

Noooo!!!

Don't go!!!
The Toad is the tops...

Anonymous said...

I like all the staff. They've always been friendly to me.

Mb said...

Always liked the little nooks and crannies but found the food only a little better than any mid range cafe.... and the full English was too pricey. They need a proper kitchen.

Having said all that, I liked it but it had room for improvement.

Anonymous said...

I went in there once and was given a plate of dishonest fare. Never eaten there since.

Anonymous said...

new broom sweeps clean hopefully. The chairs can go back to the skip they came from and hopefully will be replaced by comfortable tables and chairs - (that goes for the uncomfortable chairs at The Orchard too.

Have eaten there a few times but there did seem to be a lot of cheese on the menu in various forms.

oh and a new name -

Anonymous said...

The Toad is Brockley at its eccentric best.

On a bad day the staff are sleepy, hung over Arts students chivvied by the emotional energy of the proprietors. For many it is their first job. They either stay for years or are soon shown the door. Being given the boot from the Toad is no great shame and something of a rite of passage. An easy in, easy out waiting job. Having said that, some staff stay for years.

During their busy times, they kitchen requires perfect co-ordination to get the orders out in time. Waiters with the memory of a goldfish make the experience a whole lot worse. The kitchen dramas had a touch of the Gordon Ramseys at times. But I think it made the place real. The waiting staff were often given to a lot of 'theatrical free expression' as well. It is an Art Cafe after all, not some corporate machine.

Regulars know what to expect on Saturday and Sunday mornings when half the young families in Brockley seems to want to sit in a cafe with their bundles of joy. All the cafes are rammed at that time and the service and kitchens are stretched everywhere. The Toad, with its pretty garden, is very popular and the kitchen capacity struggled at times.

The cafe food is overpriced for what it is. You pay for the garden, the charming rooms and the ambiance.

The food in the evening was often quite special. The owners are foodies. The chef is very good and some of their dishes were the standard of an expensive restaurant uptown.

Sadly the place never turned itself into a high service restaurant in the evenings despite the great food.

I always hoped it would transform into more of a restaurant, move the kitchen downstairs - a lot could be done. But that requires investment and a cunning plan.

The Toad has all the ingredients to be a success for any new owner.

I wish the current owners well, I have fond memories of many fine evenings in the Toad. I admire anyone who puts so much into a business like that. The rather nutty waiting staff were also lovely. Those that glided perfectly between tables and kitchen with elegance and charm. And those, for whom the world of waiting tables was a dazzling kaleidoscope of half remembered orders.

I am sure there are many people in Brockley who passed by for years not knowing that it had lots of rooms, a conservatory and a lovely garden. It was always a bit of a secret unknown to a lot of Brockleys more dormitory residents.

I do hope any new owners try to retain some of the good points.

Foxicus said...

I think the food is well below par and far overpriced and I'd rather get breakfast in Wetherspoons where at least they use free range eggs (as they told me themselves, the Toads do not - or at least they didn't used to). I'm glad it exists as somewhere to meet over coffee in the daytime, especially with such limited local options, but everything about it could be improved. That said, I've always found the staff to be very friendly.

johnbasil30-spam said...

The toads mouth building would make a great Cafe Rouge. What a perfect location. And before anyone here whines on about "local" this, and "corporate" that, the chains are still expanding, and have regular clients, good service, prices etc, whilst most "independents" are closing. This just shows what people really want. Moonbow Jakes was nothing special. Shabby Chic,without the Chic. La Laterna closed well over a year ago, and shows no signs of re opening.

The Chains offer a professional service, are often excellent employers, and provide a product most people want. Having a Cafe Rouge in Brockley, would certainly HELP regenerate the area. And attract those of us put off by some of the local caf's

Anonymous said...

troll

Matt-Z said...

@ Foxicus

The Barge cooks the majority of the ingredients for breakfast the night before, decants them into plastic tubs and refrigerates / freezes them overnight before microwaving or refrying in the mornings. The egg is the only fresh bit, and I'm sure if they could find a way to freeze a fired egg they would. This info came from a trusted source who worked there.

Anonymous said...

i do like the lay out but £9 for a full english??? far too expensive , i pay £4.50 in a fantastic cafe in london bridge!

Transpontine said...

Have had some very pleasant summer's afternoon in the lovely garden, as with any other place open for a long time it hasn't always been perfect but overall it has been a very good thing for the area. The owners aren't being driven out by lack of business - it has been a success - they are I believe planning on moving out of London having done their bit. It's certainly physically the most interesting venue of all the local cafes, lots of potential albeit with some of the challenges of having lots of different rooms and a kitchen arguably in the wrong place.

Transpontine said...

Anyway if you remember Brockley before Toads Mouth and Moonbow Jakes (now Brockley Mess) you can only be glad for their efforts - actually I can't remember Brockley before them, because despite living just round the corner I never went there, why would I?

Crofton Park Gooner said...

I used to love Moonbrows! Always popped in on the way back from uni for a coffe and a a munchie. Gutted when it closed.

Anonymous said...

will they be opening a business out of London?

Anonymous said...

Me and my mum have always enjoyed eating there. I hope the new owners keep up the high standard.

Great breakfasts (The Full Toad - yum!) and the veggie lasagne is excellent too.

Anonymous said...

@Gordon Nonsense. It's without doubt the best cooked breakfast in London.

Anonymous said...

The best Brockley brekkie was and still is Top Chef Cafe near Gogi's. Good, honest fare sold to the honest man for a straightforward price with absolutely no munging about.

Brockley Nick said...

I'm always amazed by how much people fetishise the full English breakfast. I mean, they're OK from time to time, but it's not difficult to do a "good" one. Beans, toast, fried egg, sausage, etc. These things cook themselves. Use reasonable ingredients and you can't go wrong.

jerry l said...

Since the Brockley Mess opened I've not been back to TM2. It always struck me as a bit grubby and overpriced, though some of the food was very good (I couldn't believe it when they got rid of the vegetable tagine, which was the nicest thing on the menu). Nice building and great garden - if someone could refurb it it would have great potential as a restaurant.

Anonymous said...

Brockley Mess is way too clinical and lacks character.

TM2 has lots of character and a wonderful garden to eat or drink in the sun.

TM2 beats the Brockley Mess hands down.

Anonymous said...

@johnbasil30 - the whole reason Brockley has charm is because it doesn't have loads of chains. TM2, The Brockley Mess, Sounds Around, Browns etc are all unique to the area. That's a big reason why many of us like it here.

ian said...

I always liked the eccentricity of the place, but the food was too ordinary and way too over-priced and, frankly, the service was so ramshackle that it was easier to just sit down and wait for someone else's meal to turn up by accident on your table.

Mondee said...

Anon 0036, I understand why you prefer the more 'homely' ambience of TMT but really, in terms of quality of food the brockley mess is vastly superior. I have stopped going to TMT as well since BM opened - I don't want to pay £9 for a second rate breakfast when I can have something really quite delicious - and several pounds cheaper - at BM.

Brockley Ben said...

@Nick. Wash your mouth out!

You're right that it's not hard but that just makes it unforgivable that so many places do the full English so badly. Crap sausages, soggy bacon, pointless grilled tomato (for the love of God, why?), dried up black pudding, beans that don't come from a Heinz tin (an honorable exception to those who make their own, especially if they put meat in them)...

Those who do manage to get it right should be justifiably feted. Alas Toads Mouth Too does not qualify.

Tressilliana said...

Caledonian MacBrayne understand the fried breakfast. I once sat on the Arran ferry watching awestruck from afar as Robbie Coltrane demolished a vast plateful of fried eggs, bacon, sliced sausage, beans, fried bread, the works.

For obvious reasons, they don't call it the full English.

Monkeyboy said...

I had a post hogmanny 'full scottish' after an attempted suicide by alcohol in Killwinning. It had a small piece of fried fruitcake (or possibly christmas pudding) on the plate. Worked surprisngly well.

Headhunter said...

You could say that sushi is "just a ball of rice with some fish slapped on the top" but the Japanese are enormously opinionated about what makes good sushi. Sometimes I wonder why, I mean there ain't a lot of cooking or preparation involved, but top sushi chefs spend years learning precisely how to slice fish!

Japanese friends of mine even tell me that the sashimi is good at X or Y restaurant. That seems even more absurd, I mean sashimi is literally just a small slice of raw fish!

It's very easy to make a full English, I just think that when you're cooking 30 of them on a Sunday morning for a stream of hungover customers, it's easy to get bored and take your eye off the ball...

Brockley Nick said...

@Ben - That's all true. But I guess the reason why there are many bad full Englishes is because there are many bad nasty cafes that specialise in serving up cheap ingredients for low prices. Not many decent places struggle to serve a decent breakfast. You get what you pay for, mostly.

A cafe that serves up bad breakfast at great expense is a travesty, a cafe that serves up a great breakfast at very low prices is magic.

Anonymous said...

Wonder if the arrival of The Orchard has affected TM2's business at all? Now there is good food, service and surroundings. I'd rather go to The Orchard any day.

D said...

I'd love to see a decent chain there (Cafe Rouge wouldn't be the worst thing in the world) purely for the stability if would give the area.

I think part of the problem with attracting good businesses to the area is that so many of the existing ones close down after 2 minutes which must lead any would-be investor to question whether the area is still on the up, or whether it's peaked already. A chain or 2 would be fantastic PR and would show people that the area is the real deal.

Christine said...

Really surprised by all the negative comments about the Toads Mouth. I think it is brilliant, yes a bit pricey but worth it for my money, the vegetarian toad is brilliant, the evening menu is great, the vibe is lovely and everyone's always really friendly. Always take friends and visitors there for weekend brunch and go with my husband for the occasional Friday night dinner out. Bit concerned about the comments on treatment of staff though - I'd never seen this myself.

Anyway, I'm gutted that it's being sold and only hope it stays as similar as possible to the current set-up...

THNick said...

Nick - you could say "it's just about decent ingredients" about a lot of food though. For example a good steak is "just about the meat" but you don't expect the barge to do something as good as the Hawksmoor.

ALso, I dont think it's just about the ingredients. I've had a full english in a 2 starred restaurant - the ingredients were immaculate but overall, it just wasn't the best I've had.
(BTW best in "brockley" is goldsmiths cafe.
@Tressilliana and others - there are definite differences between a full english, full scottish, full irish and ulster fry. The full scottish should have white pudding, skwer sossage and tattie scones.

Insider said...

@D, be careful what you wish for, you might wake up one day to find a Starbucks there...

In my opinion it's all about value not overall price.
Goldsmiths cafe is excellent for a quick friendly cheap plate, if I have more time (and money) it has to be the London Paticular. Home made beans and fried haloumi, mmmmm

TMT space has a lovely feel to it but that does not cover up the fact that the food is not good value.

Oli said...

Why all the hate? Seems a bit unnecessary.

All those people who 'feel so strongly' about it's failings, did you ever let the proprietors know? Or are just giving in to easy rants on a website?

D said...

@Insider - I nearly put Starbucks in my post but thought that might be a bit too inflamatory!

Matt-Z said...

The veggie breakfast at the Central Cafe is a mighty hangover cure and great value (£5.50 including a cup of tea I think)

Anonymous said...

A Mc Donalds might be more viable on that corner. There are already some coffee shops.

Anonymous said...

A KFC would go down well I feel and would mean not having yet another mung emporium.

food lover said...

The London Particular's is a peculiar breakfast experience. More like a barbecue rather than a breakfast. The halloumi is barbecued rather than fried. Those beans are just wrong, I don't know what the flavour was but woah. Oh and loads of tomatoes which don't help either

Anonymous said...

I dont agree with a KFC as there are many other fried chicken outlets nearby that might be threatened by it. Mc Donalds also do brekfast.

Anonymous said...

KFC is nicer than your average "Kennington Fried Chicken" type place though, the blend of herbs and spices is really quite nice.

dude said...

Blend of herbs and spices?

Oh yeah, salt & pepper..

Hex said...

Moonbow Jakes indeed was a trailblazer, unfortunately another case of the owner being an idiot, treated staff terribly and incredibly full of himself.

But maybe sadly that's what's needed to run a business these days.

mk said...

@Matt-Z, you're not wrong, the veggie breakfast at Central Cafe is something else. A mighty, mighty filler when you're feeling under the weather. Trouble is, I often can't move for hours afterwards.

BrockleyBiker said...

An full English is good but nothing beats an Ulster Fry especially when the lot is cooked in dripping. Mmmmmm.

A full Irish is also good as it'll include white and black pudding.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand this issue with food & money. Do you all really wash your hands every time you take a note from your wallet? A little bit of dirt's not going to kill you.

Anonymous said...

The Central cafe is great. A proper working mans cafe. A place to read the tabloids, stock up on carbs and gossip about how the job is going. Plastic seats and simple decoration, it is an unpretentious place.

The Toads Mouth is also great, in a different way. Eccentric, selling fancy teas and coffee, fancy continental food. Art on the walls, nice garden and so on.

One is twice the price of the other and they appeal to quite different sets of customers.

Both do breakfasts. Having partaken of them both, for me it came down to the sausage test.

Central uses cheap sausages. Tasteless and full of cereal binder. The Toads are quality and so are most of the other ingredients.

Verdict: you get what you pay for.

There is a definite market for any place that does a quality Full English and a Sunday Roast in Brockley.

Sadly, I don't think there is a kitchen in area that is geared up to producing them at full pelt, when everyone in Brockley decides they want a lazy weekend.

The fact remains, there is not a lot of choice in the area.

Hopefully, whoever takes over the Toad will invest in its kitchen.

BrockleyCross said...

I like the Toads Mouth enough, but their grubby student-bed-throw table cloths were always a bit off putting. And I always wondered what the experience would be like as a vegetarian as everything that came off the grills always tasted of bacon .. probably a rare treat, but not for the purist.

Insider said...

the above comments are a great example of an ever growing problem on BC. One person trying to dominate by having an argument with themselves under multiple anons e.g. anon 18.22,11.09/23/29/30/32. Can you spot them using other pseudonyms? I think their sarcastic tones are pretty recognisable. The tired use of the words 'mung', 'honest/dishonest' and 'fare' are for their own amusement. All this just muddies the debate.

Brockley Nick said...

@Insider - I think the "dishonest fare" guy is satirising the "salt-of-the-earth, not like you middle-class-ponces" line of argument you sometimes get and sometimes makes me laugh.

The 'mung' poster is a different person, never funny and isn't being satirical.

oryx said...

Funnily enough my only two visits to TM2 were before I moved to Brockley! One lunch and one evening that involved rather a lot of red wine (though probably not of monkeyboy in Killwinning proportions ;-)- still laughing at that one).

I liked its little intimate rooms and general ambience - though I haven't been back as I moved to waaaaaay down the other end of Brockley, and I don't exist on Saturday and Sunday mornings so can't comment on the full English.

I agree with other posters re hoping another independent business opens up there - the local independent traders are what make this area.

Anonymous said...

whoever said a McDonalds or a KFC would be godo should NOT be living in Brockley.

Anon1109and1130 said...

The business is closing, and much lamented on the part of those with fond memories of it. Remind me again what that precious debate that you refer to might consist of.

Anon 1109 and 1130 said...

To insider, that.

Anon 1109 and 1130 said...

@Anon 1:56 Some Troll suggested a Starbucks for there. I know I shoudnt have taken the bait. Really I do.

Tressilliana said...

"whoever said a McDonalds or a KFC would be godo should NOT be living in Brockley"

Oh, come on. Brockley is a very diverse area and has been for a long, long time. I wouldn't be keen to see McDonald's or KFC there but equally I would be sorry to see Brockley turn into an affluent middle-class enclave full of chi chi little shops and cafes out of the price range of people on average incomes. Not much chance of that, though!

Anonymous said...

Lets hope it gets taken on by another Orchard style independent i.e good food /good ambience/good service/ which would be a good thing!-I've been in there so many times when people are turned away because its fully booked- and lets face it there are few alternatives in Brockley

Anonymous said...

KFC fare is pretty honest, more of that please.

Anonymous said...

Oli, you ask why all the hate. Because that is what this site is about.

Welcome to 2011 said...

Show me 'the hate'. I see mostly positive and some valid criticism. Last anon you're the only one being hateful.

Simon and Olivia @Geddes said...

We have been to TM2 on a few occasions and we have enjoyed the food-especially the lentil stew. The layout of the place is certainly unusual but it certainly offers great potential for any future buyer.
Although we have always had a pleasant experience at TM2, we are pleased there are also other places in Brockley where we can get a decent bite to eat. Sometimes on threads such as this one, people take an either or position with regard to which restaurant/cafe they use. We prefer to use various one's and we like the slickness of the Brockley Mess as well as the quirkiness of TM2.
We were interested by the suggestion that TM2 would make a great Cafe Rouge. It seems the owners of that chain are closing most of their sites now.
In our opinion, sometimes the introduction of a chain restaurant can be a good thing in an area. They show they have confidence in the area and that things are on the up. If you look around many areas of London, you see many chain restaurants operating alongside independents. The only real downside is when their presence encourages commercial Landlords to hike up the rents of adjacent properties. We would rarely use a Starbucks as we prefer to use the local independents whenever possible.
That said, we do sometimes use Pizza Express because our children enjoy it and we like the ambience and consistency.
It always amazes me that people don't exhibit the same hostility towards fast food chains moving into an area.

insider said...

@Anon 02.07
well as with most debates it consists of people voicing their opinions, all of which are individual, different and valid.

Sad fan said...

No!! Overall, the Toad's Mouth has been a lovely place, even when the service has been dodgy...it's never had the up-itself attitude that the Mess and the Orchard can have, and the Toad's Mouth is happy to let you linger over a coffee and enjoy the garden...we've taken loads of friends there and it was a lifesaver after our first baby - think we wouldn't have managed to get any sustenance if it hadn't existed...
Think the good definitely outweighs the bad...very sad to see it go...

Anonymous said...

@ Insider. Not wanting to stifle your debate (I know that binary opposites are as a full English to many), but please, isn't this more of a paying respects, funerary type of thing?

Food lover said...

It is still open for the time being, so use it. They do great cheesecakes with a scrumptious ginger biscuit base 3 quid per generous slice.

Zorrogirl said...

Maybe we should have a goodbye Toad evening (I mean those who liked it)? I'm really fond of it eventhough the price of breakfest was a bit steep :-)

I generally like things that are one off and diffrent and so no Cafe Rouge or KFC for me. I'm not saying they're awful, I just don't like institutions ;-)

Anonymous said...

Hear hear Zorrogirl, one offs are a big part of the charm and the challenge of the area.

Great idea for a goodbye Toad night; How would it be done I wonder, awful late to be setting up a fan club!

Zorrogirl said...

I think we just have to establish when is their last night :-)

spincat said...

So sad it is closing. I eat there a lot, mostly the really good evening meals and tea and cakes. I agree the full-english breakfasts weren't so great, but there were plenty of other things on the menu. I can't imagine another owner leaving the lovely garden and warren of rooms be - they'll probably get stripped down to clinical minimalism or faux 70s/40s chinz

Anonymous said...

'Establish when is their last night' Of course! I would have thought of that. Squirm squirm

Anonymous said...

Maybe they could have a "Good, honest grub" night?

The Cat Man said...

TM2 will be sadly missed - It was the only decent place around here for such a long time...

It didn't take a genius to work out that it needs updating, but running a restaurant takes alot of energy so this is a prime opportunity for someone with a bit of enthasium.

Lets keep it independant pls!

Anonymous said...

How on earth will the 'independent ethos' be upheld when the current owners are asking such a preposterously high premium?! poor old Brockley - I see the immanent arrival of a Cafe Rouge, or at worst a Starbucks....

Simon said...

@Anon 15.33
Why on earth shouldn't the owners of TM2 ask for "such a preposterously high premium"?
They have taken all the risk in setting up their venture-which could have ended in bankruptcy-and they have probably given up the best years of their lives working all of the hours God sends.
They may well have made a decent profit over the years-I hope they have-but quite often, despite being very busy, the profit margins are tight and the real value is there when one comes to sell.
In my opinion there is nothing wrong in building up a business with a view to selling at some point.
It is quite right they should be looking for a high premium as this will probably be negotiated down quite considerably in time and is only a starting point.
If Cafe Rouge,Starbucks, Pizza Express or any other chain really want to get into Brockley, they will probably look for a more workable site than TM2. It isn't as if there aren't many suitable potential units around the area.
Should an independent wish to chance its arm, it can also find another suitable unit without having to pay a premium.
It is also worth pointing out that the business is probably being sold as a going concern and therefore one would be buying a successful business which has probably been valued by a business valuer. Anyone wishing to purchase TM2-other than a chain or cash buyer, will have to raise finance and the bank will only lend if they feel the asking price is a fair reflection of the actual performance of the business.
It is worth noting that certain pubs and restaurants have opened relatively recently in the Brockley area-The Talbot, Brockley Mess and Orange Tree and although they are not chains, they seem to be well supported. If Cafe Rouge or Starbucks come to Brockley, do you really think that the local residents will abandon the above established locals and suddenly frequent the chains?
If they do, then they will only have themselves to blame.

Lazy criticism said...

Why are chains seen as automatically being a bad thing?

Brockley Nick said...

@Simon I 100% agree with your post.

mk said...

@lazy criticism - because, as has been mentioned on here in the past, for some what makes Brockley a pleasant environment is that it is one of a few areas in London that is chain-free and where independents are generally well-supported. I personally don't like chains because I think it often leads to bland, uniform environments, sub-standard food/drink and a general absence of anything close to individuality or character (which is what makes independents such interesting places).

I, for one, would be dead against a chain moving into Brockley if that were on the cards.

squawk said...

KFC in Brockley? No thank you. I don't want to eat meat from birds that have suffered horribly cramped conditions and had a pitifully poor quality of life.

Gourmet lover said...

nothing controversial from me...just adding my two-pence worth to say I am gutted TM2 is going. Without doubt my favourite place to eat in the evening in Brockley- their dinner menu was quirky, quite upmarket, varied and delicious! I could also hold a conversation in there with family friends without being drowned out by the din i often find in the orchard. We were in there at least once a week for an evening meal and it never disappointed. In my view no other Brockley eatery squares up for evening food to TM2. To be sorely missed!

Anonymous said...

Wetherspoons is a chain.

I am sure for some residents, their cheap 'defrost, heat and serve' menu is perfection on a plate. But some of us measure a meal by its depth of character and taste rather than the economy with which it fills the belly.

TM2 does lovely home-made desserts and the portions were always generous. They care very much about the food they serve and take pride in their recipes. I will miss that. I very much appreciate the hard work that the proprietors put into that business, they created something unique, eccentric and sometimes brilliant. But always entertaining and I spent many happy times there.

I hope, whoever takes it on is also a foodie.

Brockley needs more decent places to eat and more variety.

Anonymous said...

Wetherspoons is fine. Cheap food, reasonable beer and as another anon said earlier, no musac. Not everybody can afford up-market restaurants on a regular basis.
There is room for both in Brockley.

mary said...

I just found myself reading these comments, shocked! I,ve been a regular in the Toad's Mouth since it opened and I have enjoyed every visit, always feeling able to relax and enjoy... Great coffe and cakes and great service. I think the layout is very open, there is nobody or nothing hiding, all is exposed, I like this and think it's very honest and real. Well done to all who work there.

Anonymous said...

@anonymous 15:33
What is a preposterously high premium?
Let's get it out here. £££?

Anonymous said...

This place will be missed for the food and ambiance, but not for the awful way that the manager/owner lady used to speak to her customers... I vowed never to go there again after my last visit. Hopefully I'll be able to return and enjoy the place again soon.

Eagle eye said...

Just noticed in the Broc Soc newsletter there is a pending planning application in on the Toad for a change of use from cafe and art gallery A1/A3 to restaurant and bar A3/A4. Ref is DC/11/78223/X.

Monkeyboy said...

Well spotted, could this be the news that Nick is hiding?

so the working title is 'Le Toad' I like that, it's slightly stupid.

The best news is that they want to install a proper kitchen downstairs. I was never that convinced by the food, he basically cooked everything on a tiny grill. No wonder he lost it occasionally. Also plan to turn the upstairs into a small bar.

The Orchard may have competition, especially in the summer with the 'Le Toad' garden.

Kenn Munk said...

Does anyone know if Toads is still open?
Visiting from abroad and feeling like a full English...

Anonymous said...

Thank goodness it is being revamped. Can't wait. It has a lot of potential. Look at how well the orchard has done since it was taken over by someone who had half a clue.

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