Sunday, 16 October 2016

Keeping it Local...

A combination of the dreaded bloggers block and a run of migraines/nasty headaches kept me away last week, but I'm back (hooray all 3 of you shout!). I've been spending a little more time around my local area again since the little man went back to school (and I've been out and about a little more since work has calmed down a bit in the last couple of weeks). I realised the other day that I rarely write about where I live and I tend to think of it as rather uninteresting, but that isn't actually true - I just need to make more of an effort to find (and make proper use of - remember Just A Card folks!) the good, small, local stuff.

So this brings me to food.

I actually now have a whole list of wonderful things in Wallington, Carshalton and Croydon to share with you but I'm going to start with a couple of places which are within walking distance of my home.

New in Carshalton is Dotty's Teahouse. I visited a couple of weeks ago for a meeting and it's now set to become the weekly pre-swimming cafe stop with the little man, as he's completely fallen for the place too. 

It's a proper tea shop - pots, leaves and strainers, crumpets and Victoria sponge. Carshalton has quite a few cafes and when Dotty's opened I questioned whether it needed another, but this place is different. As well as gorgeous food and very nice tea they sell some vintage bits, pretty little girls dresses and all sorts and have an area for smaller children out the back. The staff are all dressed beautifully in 1950s style dresses. I basically want to go every day. 

They've also just won Newcomer of the Year at the Surrey Life Food & Drink Awards - that and the fact it always seems to be busy, suggest I'm not the only one to love it! 

Back in Wallington, we have somewhere that's been a favourite of mine for quite a while, The Brook.

The Brook isn't just a cafe - although the food is fab - they've just gone over to a fully vegan menu which I'm yet to try but I will soon (even though I'm a confirmed meat eater!). I have held two exhibitions of my work at The Brook, I've been to gigs, I've been in the evening for drinks and cocktails and taken the little man there for chocolate cake.

So rather than just a cafe, it's more of an arts venue - they have a recording studio there, regular weekly events (like a choir which I'd love to join but my childcare arrangements don't allow me to - maybe they will one day). They also have open mic evenings, ukulele nights, a book club and lots more. The back room can be set up as a cinema and they do parties... The list goes on. A lovely atmosphere and run by wonderful people who love their local community. They're currently doing a bit of crowdfunding to enable them to do more.

So the very furthest reaches of South London aren't quite as much of a desert as you may think...

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