Of course it’s true to say that Blackheath Village can provide for pretty much every need and want – from fresh fish to quality shoe-fittings; fine wine to fine art; natty gents outfits to a bag of chips. It’s even possible once more to buy a copy of the Economist at the station newsagents (though not to read it on a direct train to Victoria!). But we Radicals are nothing if not adventuring types and as a consequence like every so often to venture to parts beyond Tranquil Vale. And as any hobbit will tell you, it’s no good setting about an adventure without first taking time over a decent breakfast. For those who might be similarly inclined we thought it worthwhile sharing our notes on a couple of recent breakfast outings. What do you think? Where else should we visit when out and about and in need of a petit dejeuner?
Firstly to Charlton, and the Old Cottage Coffee Shop in Charlton Park. The setting is first rate, with plenty of outdoor seating offering fine views of Charlton House. And it’s the perfect place to watch a game of a cricket – the main reason this Radical is often to be found there on a Sunday morning during the summer.
The breakfast itself was very tasty. The ingredients seemed to be good quality (often the sausage is the give-away – and this one was a fine specimen) and the portions decent. When you add in the cost of tea and toast (not included in the breakfast price as they often are elsewhere) it is at the pricey end for a full English. And the service, though perfectly reasonable, was not especially friendly nor speedy – on a relatively busy Sunday that is.
As well as the pleasant park setting, the Old Cottage itself is particularly quaint and, in a good way, idiosyncratic – with Tudor inspired wall paper inside, plenty of newspapers to read and very comfortable furnishings. If you ever have elderly relatives with you and want to set them down somewhere safe for an hour or so, this is the place!
Next to Woolwich and the somewhat trendier Koffees and Kream. Though quite different to the Old Cottage it is the same reason, sport, which sees your Radicals visit K&K – in this case, the weekly game of squash. Yes, yes – you may well ask go to the effort of playing (a term to be used very loosely) squash for 40 minutes and then having a full English breakfast. To which there is no convincing answer so we’ll settle for ‘yin and yang’ and leave it at that.
K&K, despite the annoying mis-spelling in its name (presumably it’s meant to be kool?), is actually a fantastic addition to Woolwich. It has a very relaxed vibe, a sort of cross between an American diner and a high-end coffee bar. The décor on the out and inside is very well done and the whole place feels comfortable, fresh and welcoming. The free wifi is also very good – this is the sort of place you could spend some time working on the laptop whilst drinking the pretty decent coffee.
Again the service, at least on our first visit, was nothing special. Unfortunately there was a mix-up with the order which meant the breakfast took rather longer to arrive (two mugs of tea to be exact) than you would expect, but this was an exception and the manager was apologetic etc. when made aware. The breakfast itself was pleasant when it arrived; good quality bacon, decent quantity of beans and nice toast. And it was well priced. They do breakfast, lunch and dinner and have a license so there are plenty of reasons to pop along.
And, apparently, K&K is already a bit of a hit amongst the SE18 crowd. It hosts popular evenings of music – such as Soul Funk R&B nights from 7pm to midnight. Not really our scene but great to see a place trying this sort of thing. And as a result K&K has a healthy Twitter following (@KoffeesandKream). We’ll certainly be back, so be warned – if you see three figures panting in the corner with squash rackets strewn about the place, keep back!