CAFFEINE KICK: Brockley
Once the hidden gem in South-east London, Brockley in Zone 2 has become popular for young families looking for an affordable (compared to North London at least) place to live in London. Expect street art galore, plenty of parks (including Hilly Fields and Telegraph Hill) and a flock of fellow mums. Such a cool, young vibe makes the suburb a hotspot for trendy, independent cafes and restaurants. So whether you live locally or are just popping by for a day in the park or experiencing the famous Brockley market on a weekend, here's our top pick of the best places to re-energise:
Run by a mum, there’s no surprise that this bakehouse/brunch spot/pizzeria has become a popular place for mums and their children during the day. It has plenty of space for buggies (a big tick), and room for some of the more energetic toddlers to run around. It serves up healthy breakfasts/brunch, with a Scandinavian twist, as well as pastries galore for those days when you just need a bit of stodge. Highchairs are in good supply, plus there’s even a choice of kids books/toys for the little ones to keep themselves entertained if you forget to bring your own!
2) The Orchard
One of the best gastropubs in the area, The Orchard provides a good spot for a meet up with friends in the safe knowledge that you won’t feel out of place bringing the little sprogs along too. It offers highchairs galore, with space again for buggies. For big groups, there’s a big dining table that can be reserved. If you are there for a lunch date with just your bubba, then try and bag a seat next to the Orchard’s showstopper: the huge fish tank. There’s also a children’s menu for toddlers and beyond.
Independent coffee shop which serves a great selection of cakes and sandwiches. You can also pick up any organic fruit and veg you may need, or cupboard goods, from its little deli within the cafe. Due to limited space, its best to visit Broca in the summer months when you can sit outside with a buggy, or just as a handy place to grab a takeaway coffee and a cake. It's worth noting that the toilet is small so not the ideal place for when you have a poonami situation on your hands.
4) Hill Station Cafe
Baby friendly cafe situated right near one of Brockley’s best parks, Telegraph Hill. Don’t expect luxurious interiors, this is a lovely relaxed local cafe, with plenty of room for buggies, where you can either while away the hours drinking coffee with your newborn in one of their comfy armchairs or bring your toddler for their lunch after a trip to the park. It also has a gift shop so if you need to buy a last minute present for a friend then this is the place to go! Also has outside space for those sunny days.
5) Jam Circus
A great local pub, Jam Circus offers adults a yummy place to eat, while toddlers can be entertained on Fridays by the soft play area (open 11am - 4pm). It has outdoor seating, however it is on a busy road so not great for those with mobile sprogs or worried about too many exhaust fumes.
6) Pistachios in the park
Located right bam in the middle of Hilly Fields park, this is a great location for parents with tiny newborns as well as those with older children. Pistachios is near the playground, and offers a good selection of cakes, coffees and ice cream! Also does a good range of sandwiches, baguettes and brunch options. Very much a local cafe, expect to find it filled with local dog owners and parents.