The online home for all things Brockley (SE4), St John's, Ladywell, Nunhead and Telegraph Hill
Long, lazy dog walks ahoy!
I can see most of my maternity leave next year being spent in this cafe.
great there is a cafe, but i do fear it'll be full of mums and babies. fingers x'd for a baby-free happy hour
It will almost certainly be colonised by the buggie brigade. They are usually quick to stake their claim on any new cafe.Hopefully it will take the pressure off other establishments in the area so customers might be able to enjoy a quieter cafe experience.
Looks like it has a flat roof. Would be fantastic if they give it a green living roof.Pistachios, if you are reading this, how about it?
A cafe in a park very near a playground seems like an ideal place for the buggy brigade to me. The children can run around safely on the grass rather than in an environment not designed for young children and full of hazards, e.g. boiling water, scaldingly hot milk, sharp table corners.Hope this venture is a great success!
Great news. Shame though to see the first thing on some peoples minds is to slag off mums and children. Well done the usual Anonymous wankers.
A rather less hasty version of this drawing together with the full plans, elevations and planning application can be found on the Council's planning website or at its offices, under application reference DC/11/78508/X."Looks like it has a flat roof. Would be fantastic if they give it a green living roof." Yes. It does have a green roof.I have to say that I normally hate wooden buildings and green roofs in a townscape with a passion, but in the middle of the park here it does look very good.
The figures in the drawing are a bit shady. The flasher and his mate?
I have to say that I normally hate wooden buildings and green roofs in a townscapeWith an exception, presumably, for the likes of the old Kentish weatherboard buildings near Greenwich park, and dotted around Charlton etc?
Looks far too small to me...
Yes, but will it blend?
Totally agree with you DJ. I always find it rather depressing when I realise how misogynistic & child-hating some of my SE4 neighbours are. Being and becoming the parent of a very small child is the hardest of all ordinary human work. It represents a normal crisis, but a crisis all the same. So what if new parents find places within and amongst the community which welcome them for an hour here and there in the midst of what can be many months of very tough parental slog? Really - so the fuck what? People who moan about stuff like this make a noise so much more abrasive and disturbing than a baby, to my ear. Are you adults? Were you children? Would you grudge your own parents such experiences? Grow up.
Yes, it is sad there's an immediate anti-buggy outpouring. There are very different types of buggy brigade. Nice ones, who are considerate and park buggies in intelligent places, keep their kids entertained with a book or toy (and in close proximity), and who nobody could really worry about.Then there are ones who are a right pain in the backside and let little Torquil and Jocasta sprint around the place 'socialising' with other patrons...
They should get a liquour license for sure. Babies are in bed for early evening. What else is there for it to do in the evening? I like the thought of beers in the park during those long summer evenings.
Down with the baby haters. Who the hell else is around in the middle of the day to make a success of the park? The odd person who's 'working' from home and goes to a cafe to use the wifi and nurse a latte for 2 hours. We mothers keep the cafes of Brockley in business so that the rest of you can enjoy them as well. And who on earth do you think they're aiming a cafe in a park near a playground AT if not the buggy brigade?
Yeah- 'working'. Some of us do 'work' from home. Not sure why you feel the 'need' to refer to it as 'work' as opposed to work. I hope 'you' and your 'child' are 'ok' with this...
You're right, I should have said 'working from home'. If you're working from home, then work. From home. Or do you think that you are entitled to a break, a change of scene, an occasional coffee to treat yourself after a few hours' hard slog? In which case, why shouldn't mothers - who are also working from home - be allowed to do the same?
@Nick, Why am I not allowed to reply to anon's comment? My reply was not offensive - and certainly no more aggressive than his, which you have left.
I didn't touch your comment.
@nick, sorry. It's back. It went for a while. I assumed I must have broken a mysterious rule.
I like the idea of a buggy free happy hour... Not everybody in se4 has / wants kids.
So lets be clear, babies/toddlers in cafes are a problem. Vans parked on the street are a problem. Drug and Alcohol Treatment centres nearby are a problem. Junk shops that sell junk are a problem. Cars that park by th station are a problem. Travellers are a problem. Churches playing music are problem. Skipyards are a problem. MOT centres are a problem. Shipping containers are a problem.
Anon @22:50 you're furthering my theory that most Anons arrived here by parthenogenesis.
I blame the parents.
Okay, LOL, one per year duly used.
I've seen the plans, I've met the proprieters and now I've sampled the coffee and the biscuits. I have to say, I think they have all the ingredients to make the Hilly Fields Cafe a great success.I'm looking forward to sharing the space with all the work from homers, mothers, toddlers, students, bankers, school kids, creatives, public sector workers, fitness heads, dog walkers, tramps and whoever else cares to want to use it.I just hope that it's not full of 'people like us' - because that would be pretty dull.
99 Problems: Yep, what's your point?
Does Brockley really have community spirit? Say what you like about Hugh & Lou at least they don't pretend to be anything other than self interested.
Anyone that latches onto a silly stereotype and adds the word "brigade" can be safely ignored. Fancy, kids in a cafe in a PARK! The world has gone to the dogs etc......
Yes, I bump into lots of people I know and we exchange pleasantries. It does of course require some effort and a lack of cynasism of course. You should try it.
Ooooh beers in the park, yes please!
Yeah a glass of wine or beer would be a good additional offering!
I exchange pleasantries with people but is that community spirit? The web seems to reveal what people really think, seething resentment against other groups.
You don't have to go on the web to hear people moan about people different to themselves. It is a regrettable characteristic of human nature that crops up pretty regularly in "real world" conversation too.David Mitchell summed up most of the grumbling you read on BC and encounter in daily life perfectly when he wrote this:"We British love to judge our close class competitors - people incredibly similar to us and therefore most threatening."We're quite tolerant of genuinely different ways of life but, for those very like our own but with just a hint of either the stuck-up or common, we reserve our highest octane vitriol."
London's a big city and we live in zone 2 - Brockley is a bit of a mix of urban and surburban, so some people are more community minded than others... some people just want a few nice places to go for a drink / coffee
Same comment made by social anthropologist Kate Fox in "Watching the English" - it is us middle-middles who are the most acutely class sensitive.
Anon @10:54, are you talking about yourself? Many seethers, most are not. Go to brockley or deptford markets, go to the wickham or browns. Just because everyone doesn't walk round grinning like a halfwit and hugging everyone they meet doesn't mean the area lacks a "community", an overused term anyway. We live in a fairly typical London area. Better than many, not as bad as some.
@ReallyQuite right. Community means argument as much as it means brotherliness. Any "community" that agrees with themselves all the time is basically a narrow subset of likeminded folk.BC's argumentative nature is an indicator that it is a healthy community.
As to self interest. Community spirit is as much about enlightened self interest as it is to do with altruism.Hugh espouses the unenlightened sort.
Anyway, I think the cafe looks and sounds great. Can't wait. They'll be going some to get it done by march though?!
I think BC's argumentative nature is down to the 'I'm alright Jack' attitude from many of the posters.
And the holier than thou attitude of others, etc, etc, etc, etc.People who have all these attitudes are what makes a community.
Babies and young kids are fine - they know no better than to express themselves.Good parenting is another matter entirely.Brockley has a few truly god awful local parents who are a public nusiance. They make it miserable for the staff and other customers because they cannot, or simply refuse to ,control their children. Some are defiantly proud of this neglect because they believe that this free expression is a good thing even if it come at the expense of others.
*Lewisham needs to up its game on the the healthy and sustainable food front. (*Work done by the Transition town and others notwithstanding)"... six boroughs were highlighted as "lagging behind disappointingly on action to support healthy and sustainable food" – Bexley, Brent, Hillingdon, Lewisham, Newham and Westminster. It does not for borough pride scraping in the bottom of this food league.Story: http://www.eatoutmagazine.co.uk/online_article/Islington-and-Richmond-top-London-Borough-league-table-for-good-food/14898
I'd rather they didn't spend their time trying to promote sustainably sourced food and instead concentrated on keeping the streets clean, lighting maintained, etc. That's a nonsense report by a nonsense organisation (Sustain).
Nick, I believe you're speaking in a decidedly "off-message" fashion as far as the Mung Bean Elite is concerned... you may want to self-moderate before the elders find out.
Re-doing the audit in early 2012 if they have only just reported the results seems a total waste of time and effort. If councils were told that the surveys would be redone in, say, late 2013 those that care would have time to improve their performance.
"It does not [do much?] for borough pride scraping in the bottom of this food league."It does a lot. For once I am proud to live in Lewisham. Lewisham is a good, honest, down-to-earth place. Surprising to see Westminster there too.
It is really down to the efforts of people like Robert and Brockley Nick working tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure that pistachios got that pitch. This is the sort of community effort that is needed in order to keep the dross out. Well done to you both.
What a strange comment. Perhaps you can explain how I masterminded Pistachio's tender win?
Sorry Nick I didn't mean to say you masterminded it just that you and the Brocsoc were clearly game on for it. If I’ve touched a nerve or got that wrong then please accept all my apologies.
I was fully supportive of a cafe for Hilly Fields and I reported the project's development and based on my experience of Pistachios in other local parks, I think they are a good choice by the Council for this, but that's all. I have had to put up with accusations of favouritism from time to time, so I thought your comment was another of those. Glad to hear it wasn't, thank you.
I second that. Nick works damned hard enough as it is with a fulltime job and five kids and doesn't need that sort of comment.
@Lin - erm, thanks. Not five kids though, I am glad to say.
Nick I don't know what issues you have regarding Sustain, but they appear to be a perfectly decent campaigning organisation for better food, farming & agricultural policies. If you have justification for your attack on them,"...a nonsense organisation (Sustain)." please share it, i'd be most keen to hear.
Lets be clear, Nick doesn't have to do this blog if he doesn't want to, he does it for his own personal reasons, and reasons that have become abundantly clear over the years
because... he wants to be able to buy a sandwich in the park?
i posted the first comment about fear of mums and buggies claiming another brockley cafe, I dont think it was at all unreasonable to say what i said, nor was it rude and I'm quite shocked to see how all the parents' comments are so openly hostile to this general concern...some people actually used abusive language which is completely unnecessary. i wont be getting more involved in this debate so dont bother trying to keep arguing with me. Interesting to see who the aggression is coming from on this issue...sounds like you've all been drinking too much coffee. Un-courteous, and unaware of peoples feelings...or 12-4 at any coffee shop in brockley. Show some respect please.
Pistachios have a similar place at East Greenwich Pleasance. The original cafe was located at the Greenwich one way system. Some may rememberWhilst in an unusual spot it seems to be very popular, and the offerings of sandwiches / coffee are more than sufficient.More info:
@David. Your comment was unnecessarily hostile to a large group of would-be users of a park cafe. Replace 'mums and babies' with 'black people' or 'gays' and you'll perhaps see why it met with such a response.
@Dan. They have one in Manor Park too. I've eaten there many times and enjoyed it.It's right next to the playground though so watch out for the dreaded mums and babies!Very much looking forward to the Hilly Fields one.
They also had a movable van in the Telegraph Hill Park for a while. Very nice crepes and ice-creams. If I remember right they would also do very small scoops of icecream for a small price - just what you will need, Nick, when you get those five children. Unfortunately stopped when one of their other vans was trashed so they redeployed the TH one to the other more profitable location.Still, that made space for Cafe in the Park which is really local people (in the same street as the park) and there every day.
Mothers and their Babies are not the only customers of any cafe in the area.I do hope the prejudice shown in some to the comments here to other sections of the cafe going community are not representative.I do not object to anyone choosing that lifestyle, but I do object having to put up with poor parenting in public spaces.Just because someone has kids does not mean they are any good at being a parent.There are some very disruptive parents in this area who are the bain of the lives of cafe owners, their staff and other customers.I don't doubt that their anti-social behaviour stops there.
George Orwell says you're wrong. Now please don't be such a bore.
There is little that is more boring than people who obsess about the doings of their spawn.
I take it you are little then.
Oi! It's cold out you know!
Cue the BDS indoor carol singing and swinging section.
Brockley Dogging Society will be out in full force again this year, with events including a Christmas eating out, gifts from Santa's sack, and also the hanging of the baubles (Thursday night special interest group only).As for now, we're still biding our time until the second coming.
I can't possibly see how a cafe on that site will be a going concern - little passing trade and nothing in wet weather or after dark - doomed to fail.
Hilly Fields is well used and the cafe will become a daytime destination for people who live in Brockley and Ladywell, particularly parents. They won't bother opening after dark, obviously. It's being run by a company that has experience of making several other such places work and knows exactly what they are taking on.Certain to succeed.
This CPU.d be the same anon who gave dark predictions about the failure of Brockley Market, cut him some slack.
it has to be said that the brockley market has had a very lucky time of it - every weekend has been fine since it started - it'll be a different matter when it's pelting with rain - people will return to their former habits
I remember Lou Baker saying the exact same thing about the East London Line. The market is excellent, people love it. Why wouldn't it succeed? Sounds like wishful thinking on your part - you wouldn't be one of those people who said it was in a terrible location and predicted it would be a flop before it started would you?
It'll slow down in the wet miserable jan-feb period Im sure. Conversely, imagine how well it will do when spring hits and we move into the warm Saturday's of summer? It started in the autum and has established itself already.
@Anon - agreed. And we're now in the run up to Christmas, so there will be plenty of people stocking up and looking for presents. Not to mention, it's just as much fun walking around a market with a warm cup of coffee on a cold day as it is pottering about on a sunny one.
I saw 2 people disconsolately standing around inside the old park keepers shed/toilet block on Hilly Fields. The interior has been cleared of partitions. A skip has been outside the toilet block for couple of weeks.
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