From the Toads Mouth

After we reported the plans to reopen the Toads Mouth as something new there were plenty of questions raised by readers, which new owner Ali kindly agreed to answer. Here's what she told us:

What balance will you be striking between being a restaurant, a bar and a café? 

We are primarily going to be a restaurant. But we’re lucky that the area upstairs naturally lends itself to a different kind of atmosphere, so it will primarily be a bar. And during the day we will be serving breakfast and lunch, café-style.

What sort of restaurant are you planning? 

It will be a neighbourhood restaurant – simple and delicious rather than over-ambitious. It will have a strong French influence but we will be serving a range of cuisines, including British. Our influences are mainly French restaurants, but an example of the kind of atmosphere we’re hoping to create would be Pizza East in Shoreditch. The décor will combine Victorian features with natural wood.

What will your opening hours be like? 

We’ll be open every day except Monday. The bar will be open until 11.30pm and the restaurant until 11pm on Friday and Saturday. We’ll be open for breakfast at the weekends and brunch during the week.

Toads Mouth’s garden was its best feature, in our view, and a bit of a rarity for the area. What are you planning for it? 

The garden is really important for our plans. We love it too. There will be outside dining, although we have to prove ourselves to our neighbours and the Council, so evening opening hours will be limited – 6pm on Tuesday and Wednesday, 9pm on other days. That does restrict what we’re able to do, so we hope to show that we are responsible owners, in order to persuade people to let us open a little later, eventually. 

How child-friendly do you plan to be? 

The space is divided in to lots of small rooms and we plan to take advantage of the flexibility this offers by creating some areas which are better suited to kids and some areas which are better suited to people who want somewhere a little quieter and more relaxing. I know that the balance can be tricky to get right. It’s always been a tricky site for buggies, due to the narrow stairs, and we haven’t been able to change that. We plan to be friendly to all our customers!

Have you decided on a name yet? 

We’re down to a shortlist of five. I think we already know our favourite, but I will be able to tell you what we finally choose shortly.

Do you live in Brockley? 

My husband and I live in Woolwich but my brother lives in Brockley, so we know the area really well and understand what the Toads Mouth meant to Brockley.

Will you be using many local suppliers? 

We have a list of South East London companies that we’re hoping to work with, including La Bonne Bakery in Sydenham and the Mean Time brewery in Greenwich.

When do you hope to be ready? 

We’re aiming for mid-May, at the moment.

96 comments:

Anonymous said...

How about The Brockley Badger as a name?

Brock being an ancient word for badger.

From The Edge said...

This really gives me a lot more confidence! Sounds like they're really trying to fit in with the previous Toad vibe rather than bleaching it and starting over.

And breakfast! Yay!

Anonymous said...

"We'll be open every day except Monday"

Is it a chip shop?

Foxberry Flo said...

Sounds so lovely and just what we need. Hooray!

RosieB said...

very much liking the sound of this, we will be trying it out for sure !

Moira said...

I met the owners yesterday and they are really keen to be part of the Brockley Max, so if you want to hold an event there (they can't have music yet) get in touch with us for a booking form (deadline 10 April).

Moira said...

I met the owners yesterday and they are really keen to be part of the Brockley Max, so if you want to hold an event there (they can't have music yet) get in touch with us for a booking form (deadline 10 April).

Anonymous said...

Can't wait! Just what Brockley needs. I stopped going to the toads mouth years ago as the service was terrible and I was never allow to take my dog in! Hoping it's going to be dog friendly??

Best of luck to the new owners!!

Tim said...

I hope it's not dog friendly! Those tight spaces are surely unsuitable for dogs. Don't understand why owners of dogs and non well behaved kids think they have a "right" to foist them upon others.

Anonymous said...

I hope local parents with their mop-headed Mungo and Jemimas take close attention of which rooms are child-friendly and which are not.

Anonymous said...

Enough with this 'Brockley Badger' it's a terrible twee name! Who cares if Brock was an old name for a badger.

Anonymous said...

I hope when they say they are working with the Meantime Brewery it doesn't mean there won't be any cask ale. The Orchard work with the Meantime Brewery, but I don't count their offering as serving ale.

Anonymous said...

Seconded on not the Brockley Badger, it's a pretty poor name for a restaurant. Badger perhaps at a push, but Brockley Badger sounds like some kids/scouts/church group.

Monkeyboy said...

All good. No news on the smoked streaky bacon question? must be a given so not worth the confirmation.

omnivore said...

The Broca has cornered the market in ancient local names.

This sounds encouraging, really hope the food is good.

Also hope they use free-range eggs, and say so on the menu.

Anonymous said...

The Meantime pale ale is rather good. #meatliquor still serve it despite the move to central London.

Tamsin said...

@ Moira - any reason why they shouldn't apply for a TEN? Or why the Max shouldn't apply for one on their behalf? Only costs £21 and you can have "regulated entertainment" for four consecutive nights.

kolp said...

Unless it's a guide dog I see no reason why a dog should be allowed a place serving food.

Anonymous said...

Agreed that the Meantime Pale Ale is a good ale, but it's hardly great and there are a lot of very good local breweries. It saddens me when a place (e.g. the Orchard) limit themselves to one ale from one brewery and don't have anything on rotation. The Orchard used to have some on gravity, but sadly stopped doing this. Please TM2 have non-Meantime beers at some point (ideally all the time)!

Lady in the Well said...

Sounds great!

Dogs don't belong in restaurants! They are allowed in the Ladywell Tavern though.

I'll be leaving fido at home, unfortunately for some I may 'foist' my children upon the place. Social services might object if I leave them at home.

Fattyfattybumbum said...

Hows about a name which doesn't have "Brockley" in the title? We have enough of them already....

Anonymous said...

Anyway, it's not clear that the 'brock' in Brockley has anything to do with badgers.

It's much more likely to be an Medieval name like 'Broaca', so the place is really called Broaca's Wood. ('Ley' meaning 'wood', of course)

Actually, Ley can mean wood or clearing, depending on when it acquired the name as it changed over the years. But you get the idea.

Anyway, as long as they don't call it the Brockleberry Badger Bar & Grill, I don't mind!

Anonymous said...

"Also hope they use free-range eggs, and say so on the menu."

I hope that they concentrate on producing decent grub over pandering to mung fadisms.

Ian on the Hill said...

Like the idea, looking forward to a friendly bar, would love some simple French food in the area, OK with Brockley Badger but Meantime beers are like the product of an unexpected micturation.

Anonymous said...

I agree Meantime beers aren't up to much. I would suggest that just because something is from South East London shouldn't automatically make it first choice!

NAT said...

Shepherd Neame would be good.

Anonymous said...

Another vote for a dog friendly establishment please!!

Anonymous said...

no dogs! or dogs in garden only! Why can't you leave your smelly, four legged killing/drooling machines at home?
And free range eggs really can't be classed as 'mung fadism' if Wetherspoons use them in their fry ups...

Brockley Ben said...

They also use free-range eggs at that bastion of "mung fadism": McDonald's.

Tim said...

News flash: Free Range eggs taste better and are nicer to chickens. No brainer.

mb said...

Dogs serving food? STOP THIS SICK FILTH!

Anonymous said...

Are they artisan dogs?

Anonymous said...

@Anon 15:03 "I would suggest that just because something is from South East London shouldn't automatically make it first choice!"

Unless they decide to sell Kernel Brewery beers I agree! That brewery is amazing.

@NAT "Shepherd Neame would be good."

Please no, they all taste the same!

@Ian On The Hill "would love some simple French food in the area"

Mr Lawrence sell simple French Food in the wine bar, though I suspect this place is going for more emphasis on food and a larger menu.

Faux Berry said...

blind taste tests pretty much show that free range eggs don't acutally taste any better. That doesn't mean that they shouldn't be used anyway of course.

NAT said...

Anon 15:46: I look forward to your providing me with a pint each of Spitfire, Bishops Finger and Whitstable.

Faux Berry can chip in with the eggs and blinfold.

dogfarts said...

Agreed with nixing Meantime. Please! A dog in a pub, I can tolerate, but dogs in a restaurant? No thank you!

How about the Harvey's range. Delicious and from Sussex, isn't that close enough?

NAT said...

Shepherd Neame is closer and better I think.

Anonymous said...

Harvey's works for me.

The choice of meantime makes me slightly worried about the menu - how can any foodey not taste that it is a pretty poor tasting offering.

Anonymous said...

@NAT My point isn't that they are identical (I'm not an idiot). My point is that they all have a Shepherd Neame aftertaste, which I think is pretty unpleasant. Presumably it is from the yeast/water they use. For me I just think the beers are very unexciting. As blind tast tests seem to be the craze here - put any of their beers in front of me and some other brewers beers and I'll be able to identify the Shepherd Neame one for you.

On a side note, if you can buy a beer very easily from any supermarket (and for £1 a pint, as is the case with Shepherd Neame beers) then I'd rather not pay a lot in a bar for it, when I could get something interesting.

NAT said...

£1 a pint!!!

Where?

I know bottles will always trump draught, but to that extent?

Your experience of SN wasn't confined to that served in Wetherspoons was it?

That would explain a lot.

Anonymous said...

@NAT Lidl

My experience of Shepherd Neame is limited to their own pubs, other pubs, their brewery tour and their bottled beers...

M said...

Real ale fans you should check out the Catford Bridge Tavern under it's new landlord (if you haven't already). Incredible selection of ales that are constantly changing.

Anonymous said...

Bockley Beaver.

NAT said...

Ok Anon, each to their own.

Where is the Kernel brewery and where could I try some?

Alex said...

I think the Kernel Brewery is Rotherhithe but I might be wrong. Mr Lawrence sells bottled offerings from them though.

FrFintonStack said...

Kernel was on Maltby Street in Bermondsay until a few months ago, in a railway arch. They've now moved to a bigger arch a couple of hundred yards further east. (map http://thekernelbrewery.com/saturdays.html) You can visit on Saturdays before three. Other than there, Mr Lawrence has a good selection, as does Cafe Oto in Dalston, The Rake in Borough Market, and the Euston Tap. You very rarely see their beers on tap: usually just at launches, beer festivals and the like. (I'm not in any way involved with the brewery, I just love their beer.)

Also, just to add that I've never tried a Shepherd Neame beer that I liked, and I've tried quite a few. It's the sort of bog-standard ale you can pick up in the supermarket for a song: it's not going to drawn anyone in. And as for local, there are now at least nine breweries within London. Meantime is OK (far better than SN), but Camden Town, Redemption (Tottenham), Redchurch (Bethnal Green), London Fields and Brodies (Leytonstone) are all superb, and even Fullers produce some good ones (thought *not* London Pride). Dark Star (Sussex) is also superb, if a little further afield.

FrFintonStack said...

And yes, second M's call on the Catford Bridge Tavern. A lovely pub, and a great selection of beautifully-kept beers.

Anonymous said...

Sounds brilliant. Yes to kids - perhaps in particular rooms? But a definite no to dogs. I'm allergic so it would deter me, but anyway, who takes their dog to a restaurant?

Anonymous said...

How about we have all the real Brockley people in one room - and then put the Heston and Jules types in a separate room. That way we'd be kept away from that braying lot, and their kids would go with them.

Anonymous said...

London Particular also serve Kernel. It's lovely stuff

Anonymous said...

Champagne please.......

Agree with binning off the meantime ale- certainly would not look forward to a pint of that in the garden :(

DJ said...

Anonymous 18.49. Damn right. And perhaps the blacks in a seperate room too. And as for the gays - the garden? Keep Brockley Real!

You twat.

DJ said...

Anyway, Anonymous arses aside, sounds great - best of luck to them. Echo the call for some real ale (and the recommendations of the Catford Bridge Tavern btw).

Anonymous said...

Out come the children and dog haters..I dislike seeing some peoples miserables faces but have to tolerate them..lighten up whingers !!

Anonymous said...

Sad cases…These people are not cultured and have probably never been out of Brockley!!!

Anonymous said...

or worse, only recently moved in and want to make it so uber cool they hate everything

Anonymous said...

It's well known that Real Brockley was hear before the Mung Boom of 2005-2006. After that, the Mungos with their mop headed kids called Hugo all moved in.

Anonymous said...

"Unless it's a guide dog I see no reason why a dog should be allowed a place serving food."

You've never been to Paris I expect, or anywhere civilised.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like the clientele will consist of child-hating snobs,with their dog-hating, inverse-snobbish neighbours. Les toutes Brockley

DJ said...

I want dogs in the bar! But only dogs who can prove they've lived in Brockley since 1973!

Anonymous said...

Lets send these ignorant people to Paris to see how it's really done!

Anonymous said...

"only dogs who can prove they've lived in Brockley since 1973!" ...that'd be some very ancient dogs. They might smell a bit.

dogfarts said...

@20:48 and 21:09 Are you seriously comparing Brockley to Paris? Seriously? If so, can we get a decent boulangerie first?

Anonymous said...

Don't be silly. Dogs don't go to restaurants. Small dogs occasionally go to cafe style places. Children cannot run around this place and should not be allowed to run around anywhere else. I speak as someone who often stays at home as I do not consider my child's behaviour sufficiently good to go out.

Anonymous said...

I'll be in the non-dogs category as well, please. In fact I don't think dogs in London are a good idea at all, let alone in London pubs, bars and restuarants. Keep the dogs for the country. They would almost certainly be happier there than in city restuarants.

Young children are fine, provided they are well-behaved (the same goes for adults). Babies, mewling, are not.

Anonymous said...

Young children are fine, provided they have a degree.

Anonymous said...

No mobiles, no ipads, no laptops, no wifi.

Geekie said...

No customers

Anonymous said...

Indeed, other customers are a bit of a pain generally, with their dogs, kids, unstable relationships and general bad manners.

I would prefer to have the entire restaurant to myself and selected companions. The menu, of course, should reflect my own prejudices and indulgences of the moment and the drinks menu full of my favourite tipples.

I would also like to quite modestly priced, in these straightened times.

Sort that lot out and you will have a devoted customer.

Anonymous said...

No dogs allowed in the fenced-off childrens' bit of Hilly Fields, but I've just spotted the first blow-job of Spring being given there in full view of the rest of the park. My dog was shocked.

Anonymous said...

I'd eat in a restaurant called The Badger. I love badgers!

Anonymous said...

How about The Mole Hole...?

Anonymous said...

Having trawled through this comments page I think people are mistakenly posting onto what they believe to be The Guardian's comment pages. Too many bad jokes and 'clever put-downs'... Do you not all have jobs??!

Anonymous said...

Yeah you're right, allowing dogs into the Orchard, Brockley Mess and Jam Circus has really hampered their success.

We're not talking about a Michelin starred restaurant here. From reading the owner's description it seems as though it will be fairly similar to the Orchard. Therefore I don't think the odd well behaved dog on a Tuesday night is going to bring about Brockley's rapture.

The people complaining about dogs and threatening not to go if they are allowed, are in all probability not going to be regulars there anyway. If it's not dogs, or kids, they'll be moaning about the music being to loud, it being too crowded, the décor, etc.

Unfortunately, leaving the safe confines of your beige coloured flat and into the world around you (post 1973) will require the odd bit of social interaction...oh, and you might also need to change out of your hypo-allergenic hazmat suit.

Anonymous said...

"Yeah you're right, allowing dogs into the Orchard, Brockley Mess and Jam Circus has really hampered their success."

So all restuarants should cater for exactly the same type of customers as the existing ones on the grounds they not had their success hampered. Clever argument. All restuarants will be exactly the same in future - no development, no improvements.

Oh, and by the way, they might have been even more successful if they had not let dogs in. you have no evidence to disprove that, do you?

Anonymous said...

I'll happily have a dog over a Mop Headed Mungo.

Lady in the Well said...

Is 'mop headed Mungo' the new 'honest fare'?

Bore off Anon.

NAT said...

What's wrong with this site at the moment?

The last seven posts have been Anonymous and they're not the usual hit and run jobs; some at least are a bit thought out.

My issue is that Anons can disappear in a puff if challenged only to resurface when conditions are seemingly conducive.

Some of us have to stick to our guns, witness me as the only one in Kentish London who enjoys a beer quite popular in Kent, but I guess I'll live.

Some of you would benefit from a christening.

It's charachter forming.

Lady in the Well said...

NAT my theory is the school holiday effect. I can't explain it but mark my words.

FrFintonStack said...

"Some of us have to stick to our guns, witness me as the only one in Kentish London who enjoys a beer quite popular in Kent, but I guess I'll live."

My point isn't really to take issue with other people's beer tastes, more that SN's not going to provide a specific draw for many people in the same way some of the London or Sussex breweries might, precisely because it's already so widely available.

That said, I'd be suprised if the new place sells real ale on handpump at all. It can be very difficult to keep without a proper cellar, and, of course, you need the right kind of clientele for sufficient turnover. A decent bottle, Czech lager or new-wave keg ale (BrewDog, Thornbridge etc.) is definitely preferable to flat, vinegary cask.

Also, v. good points on the anons. Still far too many bellends going on about mung for my liking, though.

Danja said...

witness me as the only one in Kentish London who enjoys a beer quite popular in Kent, but I guess I'll live.

I'd missed that strand - as a se kent boy at heart, draught Sheps is the nectar of gods if kept just right - admittedly, that is pretty uncommon, it seems to be very fussy. Get it right with a big fluffy cloud of madly big bubbly head, and it is genius.

The bottles are rubbish.

NAT said...

Point taken Fr.Stack.

Tastes even better by The Briney, I think, Danja.

And yes the bottled stuff is dreck.

NAT said...

Lady in The Well, It was like this last Half Term.

You may have something there.

Vesta Curry said...

@Anon 15.28 ... I worked on a book about Badgers - believe you me, they're not the tousle-haired sweeties you might imagine. Very territorial, quite vicious and wild ... and sometimes eat other Badger's babies! And don't get me started on the parasites!

Brockley Michael said...

I wish there were 'thumbs up'.'this'/'recommend'/+1/'like' buttons on the BC comments. Some of this thread is comedy gold.

Anonymous said...

This is not Kent and it has not been for some considerable time.

Metropolitan chic please, not Worzel Gummage.

Some pure foreign brews please not some barrel of Badgers Balls.

This thread started off OK, but now seems to be taken over by Morris Dancers.

Anonymous said...

The Gangs of Brockley

NAT said...

Feels like Kent though does it not?

Them magnificent estuary skies.

I was brought up near an estuary and have something to compare.

And Kentish brews do rock as long as you're not looking for a nose of almond and vanilla say, and you hanker for a finish of, for example, burnt hazelnut and patchoullli.

Anonymous said...

Given the amount of space available in the Toads Mouth, I cannot see much room for barrels of beer.

So a lot of this beer talk will be irrelevant in the scheme of things. A few bottles, maybe.

However, it would be a very suitable space for a cocktail bar.

Brockley Nick said...

I think they said they were going to have one or two taps, but yes, you're right, there's not a lot of room for a wide range of beers.

They will be doing cocktails.

Anonymous said...

So, you're a swampy NAT?

NAT said...

Yes Anon. Though not of the tree hugging variety.

Trees wouldn't stand up where I came from.

I'm really caught between Joe Gargery and Magwitch for role models.

Suppose I'm an alien of Marsh-ian origins.

Back on track, I'm looking forward to Toads Mouth Three.

Sally said...

There's a planning application to turn the old car lot on Harcourt Road into a community microbrewery

NAT said...

Wow!

@HighStreetBen said...

So what name have you gone for Ali? Dont leave us hanging!

Anonymous said...

please don't be like the Toads Mouth as honestly it was not great!! dirty, poor quality food and service it pains to say! We gave it a go on 3 different time and esch time very dissapointing!!
We cannot wait to have something decent other than The Ochard" which is really nice...

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