As you may have noticed if you regularly read this blog, Eva and I have an ongoing project to see how far we can get during Roo’s nursery time. Today may have been pushing the boundaries a little. We often cross Borough boundaries during our jaunts, but today we travelled the very long length of the Borough of Lambeth on the Northern Line and popped up in the Borough of Merton. Which is almost Not London.
There were many good reasons for this trip. The main reason was to meet a friend who perpexingly was hitching a lift from Gerrards Cross to Morden on her way to Putney. Morden sounded like somewhere that might be on the Northern Line, or possibly in Middle Earth, so I did some thorough research into the Morden area and found a baby-friendly cafe in South Wimbledon for our rendez-vous. When I say “research”, you know I mean “Google”, right?
The other reason was an idle conversation I had with Nathan on the way to my Uncle’s house before Christmas. One way or another, I’ve spent an awfully long time on the Northern Line. There were the Camberwell days, when Oval station represented the only tube-like activity in the vicinity. There have been trips to friends in Hamsptead and Kentish Town, training courses in Highgate and the aforementioned Uncle in East Finchley. So somehow, I’ve visited every station on the Northern Line in zones 1 and 2 and the northern part of zone 3 and I only had 12 left to visit. It’s not a project I’m looking to complete any time soon, but if the opportunity comes up why not seize it?
So we were off to the Gooseberry Bush Cafe, near South Wimbledon tube. It’s part of a bigger centre, which offers antenatal classes, baby massage etc so you’d expect them to be welcoming to small folk. And they were. There was a covered buggy park (not that we needed it, with the sling), highchairs and a nice clean baby change area. It was bright and pretty and around the sides of the cafe were shelves of baby- and kiddy-products like those soft leather shoes and rollable placemats. And look at the pretty cupcakes!
This one was lemon meringue and very tasty. They do teapigs tea and organic juices and everything is very lovely. Possibly, in fact, too lovely to take a rampaging toddler to. I currently have no toddler to test these things with and my toddler-in-waiting was asleep half the time we were there, then mellow and compliant the other half (sit in highchair, munch breadsticks). There wasn’t a huge amount of play space and I can imagine a younger Roo pulling all those pretty things off the shelves. But then I’m sure they’re used to that. The staff all seemed very friendly and the other customers were mainly also clutching babies.
I just have to show you one more thing I loved about this cafe. How genius are these sugarpots?
VERDICT: A very pleasant place for a cuppa with a friend and a happy baby. I only wish it was more local.