Hop scotch, Honor Oak

Hop scotch
72 Honor Oak Park
Honor Oak
London
SE23 1DY
t 0208 699 8998


Zoe, whose review of Le Querce is still one of the best and best-read articles on this site, more than two years after she wrote it, is back with this review of Hop scotch:

I have now been a happy resident of Honor Oak Park's main parade for exactly a week. This follows five happy years on Tyrwhitt Road, having a coffee & a muffin in the Broca nearly every weekend since it first opened its doors.

As I've commented in a few threads - not too bitterly, I hope - having recently had a baby and in need of more space, my husband and I found ourselves priced out of Brockley (oh the sting of all the recent press hailing it as the new affordable corner of London!). So far, so good and I think we will end up liking HOP as much as we did Brockley. We are just a short walk down the road and can still use many of the amenities we've grown accustomed to like the Shop on the Hill and Degustation. In any event, I was keen to checkout the immediate coffee offerings at the newly opened Hop scotch.

Hop scotch continues the trend of recent (and welcome) arrivals - Brockley Mess and The Orchard, looking to court the area's particular mix of young professionals and young families. Until 8 months ago, I was part of the former and am now part of the latter so I consider myself part of their target market.It serves a selection of hot and cold drinks, real ale and has a full bar that is open late on Friday and Saturday evenings. The menu consists of light snacks such as paninis and mezze platters, as well as child-friendly options.

I was greeted warmly from my first visit and found very generous pushchair access. The proprietors themselves have relocated from East Dulwich and have a toddler. They are keen to provide an atmosphere equally suitable for those with little ones or those just looking to work on their laptops. They have gotten the balance right. I was slightly disappointed on my second visit to see that the menu offerings had contracted, eliminating more substantial dishes like shepherd's pie and fishcakes, though from a business point of view, simplicity is prudent and many readers may recall that Brockley Mess did the same after its first few weeks.

The staff are friendly and serve good coffee. Having followed BC's advice to check out the Monmouth Coffee stall in Lewisham Market, the bar has been set exceptionally high. Hop scotch has an appealing selection of homemade cakes but having tried both a cupcake and their chocolate cake on different days, I found their recipes a bit dry. Full disclosure: I am a cake obsessive and was let down that Jam Circus just yesterday have tried their hand at making their own carrot cake rather than continue on with the local woman who was previously providing such a delicious and moist one. The result was a rubbery slab, but I digress...

I get the sense the Hop scotch owners really want to make a positive local contribution and if the packed tables on the weekends are anything to go by, they will. I wish them every success - and some moister cakes to sell me.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Nice article Zoe,seems most people only come on here when there at work lol.

abdou said...

Shocking news about the Jam Circus carrot cake

abdou said...

ps, that was in no way intended to be as sarcastic as it looks

mario antoinette said...

If it wasn't it should be. No one should be that intense about cakes.

Monkeyboy said...

I'm more interested in cake than coffee. The cake rating is of vital importance.

Tamsin said...

Tend to agree - if you're expecting to tuck into a cake that you know, from previous experience in the venue concerned, to be delicious, it is bitterly disappointing to find that they have changed the cook or the recipe.

On rating cakes, MB, do come and join in the judging at the Cake Competition in the Telegraph Hill Festival (part of the craft fair on 20th March). For £1 you get to taste all the cakes and cast a vote for the winners.

b. said...

i think i was standing at the bar at Jam Circus on saturday lunch time when the 'slab' of cake was returned. people dont seem to happy .. weird.

Zoe said...

The amount of cake-related comments! @ b.: I didn't return my piece if that's what you are saying, just left it uneaten with only a single cartoon-style bite taken out of it.
I didn't mean for my digression to so hijack the HOP Scotch review, but maybe if the Jam Circus folk read BC, there might be a fortuitous return of the classic carrot cake...

b. said...

I think that cakes days are numbered. . . Def gonna give the new place a try - been a while since we've been up there - will be good to see what's changed

Gaga said...

I too visited Hop Scotch recently. The space is welcoming and has a cosy feel, unlike the glacial, minimalistic and oh-so-naughties Brockley Mess. The first coffee we got was tepid but the 'barista' was more than happy to serve us a new one, which was fine. I didn't try their cakes but I've got to have an excuse to return, haven't I.

Sam@JamCircus said...

Return of classic carrot cake..

Affirmative

Anonymous said...

We went to Hop Scotch for the first time this afternoon and loved it - friendly atmosphere, lots of buggy space but not just people with children there, and just a nice place to be. We had carrot cake which was really amazing, very moist, cinnamon-y, full of fruit and nuts and a lovely cream cheese topping, and also a home made biscuit which was also delicious. We'll definitely be making it a regular haunt.

Zoe said...

Sorry to keep commenting on my own review, but in case my turn of phrase raised any confusion about "the bar being set very high," I don't literally mean the bar in HOP Scotch is too high. I like their decor and the heights are fine. I meant that in light of excellent coffee available in the borough (see BC post about Time Out's coffee coverage south of the river), HOP Scotch comes out well and has good coffee indeed. Maybe I've used an Americanism?
@Anonymous 10 Mar 20:37: I agree! I just had the HOP Scotch carrot cake and it was yummy!
@ SamJam Circus: great news!

Anonymous said...

We tried hop scotch yesterday and it was packed out about 12 , so we came back a few hours later. It was still packed but we squeezed in and sampled the delicious carrot cake and their coffee.

The coffee was extremely good, served from a amazing looking machine with lever handles , a bit like a retro italian one.

nice fit out and freindly service, we will be regulars for sure !

Anonymous said...

I’d have to disagree with you on the cupcakes. Popped in there a couple of weeks ago and was enchanted by their really generous cute looking cupcakes. As a hater of choice, I spent ages trying to decide between vanilla and coconut – in the end I bought both. They were moist and delicious – just how I like my cakes.

Anonymous said...

I went to Hopscotch yesterday and had an appalling experience. Firstly I had called ahead to check that they had "full english breakfast" on the menu for the day before I took the 20 minute walk there as I couldn't face the disappointment being pregnant (and past my due date). After being assured they did have what I was looking for, on arrival when I tried to order I was told that they only did cooked breakfasts at the weekends (but I had only just called and been told otherwise?!!) and then when we did receive our food it was luke warm. We asked for sauce to go with it and by the time the waiter/barista had made coffees (which we received a while AFTER the food), and then served some other people we had to ask for the sauce again so the food was then freezing. Then the manager/chef refused to come and see me on the basis of being "too busy". I have worked in the catering industry before and understand how busy things get but a manager refusing to speak to customers?!! It's really not acceptable. There was one problem with that place yesterday, they were understaffed and that was going to be my only complaint had the manager come to speak to me I would have been able to pass on my views in person.

Anonymous said...

this place is great , it does lovely coffee, the staff are genuinely friendly and the music and vibe is calm

i think the last post is a bit tight considering they clearly made a mistake with the breakfast issue - did you not complain the food was luke warm ?!.......
perhaps being past your due date effected your perceptions a teeny bit .. ?

i'd NEVER expect a chef to come out mid shift !

a great addition to a generally dull parade ; i hope this is the start of HOPs transformation !

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