Hop scotch, Honor Oak

Hop scotch
72 Honor Oak Park
Honor Oak
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.