I probably don’t talk about it enough, but I *heart* my local area. Bromley is such a brilliant place to live – in my 20s, I loved it because it has fab shops and it’s only 20/30 minutes from Central London by train (last train home is 00.48 meaning PLENTY time for drinking wine in Soho pubs after work). Now I have a family, I see it through different eyes. It’s a safe area, there are excellent schools, an abundance of child-friendly restaurants, an ace leisure centre and plenty of baby groups and classes.
One of my favourite things about Bromley is a little cafe called The Lavender House on Plaistow Lane. Everything from its bright purple exterior, to the garden area, to the warmth you feel as you walk inside is welcoming.
We probably go to The Lavender House at least once a fortnight – the four-year-old loves the kids’ lunch boxes and the big basket of books and toys at the back of the cafe. Owner Niki is so friendly – she knows all the regulars and always makes time to chat, no matter how busy the cafe is. The decor is modern-country-cottage with wooden floorboards and floral bunting.
But as well as how child-friendly The Lavender House is (see the high chair in the photo above and there are crayons and colouring sheets on the dresser) the food is fantastic. It’s really hard to pop in for a coffee and not buy one of their cakes. They recently started opening on a Sunday, serving brunch and I’m not even lying when I say the eggs benedict is the nicest I’ve ever tasted. And I’ve tasted a lot of eggs benedict.
They also serve amazing lunch specials like smoked haddock risotto with a poached egg and warming hearty soup. I love that we can pop in, have something to eat and a nice coffee, and the four-year-old is happy colouring or reading books for a while.
Usually, after we’ve eaten, she asks to play in the garden – which has a brilliant play area with a slide, climbing frame and swings. Even in the depths of winter, the four-year-old can be found hanging and swinging, climbing and sliding. She loves playing shops underneath the climbing frame, and we often have to order apples and bread from her. (They always cost £20 though, so it’s a bit of a rip off if you ask me.) During the summer, we love to sit outside on the picnic tables with a cuppa, while she plays.
The Lavender House has recently started doing crafternoon sessions, where experts come in and show you how to crochet or make pretty garlands. Next week, they have a kids’ pottery painting afternoon because it’s half-term. Niki also organises supper clubs in the evening, with chefs coming in to prepare amazing three course meals.
It’s such a brilliant cafe, and we’re so lucky to have it nearby. Next time you’re in SE London, pop by – you’ll probably find me and the four-year-old in the window seat or through the back, reading story books – her with an apple juice and me with a cappuccino.
• Linking this post up to Wild and Grizzly and Tigerlilly Quinn’s blog post link up Style In Your City – celebrating our local areas.