After a seemingly mild Christmas period, with jokes like “what a lovely spring we’re having this winter” and far too many people prancing around in shorts and t-shirts for that normally brisk time of year, the new year has finally brought about the sudden temperature drop that most of us were expecting to hit us in mid-October. So what with this sudden change, it seemed right to let you know about some of the cosy bistro-cafes in Lewisham, which specialise in becoming havens of warmth for temporary hibernation at this time of year. The unmistakable smell of fresh pastry, the re-assuring wail of coffee grinders, the steamed windows, and the friendly chit-chat all bubbling away in a perpetual cycle…there’s no place better to spend time on a bitterly cold January morning. So here’s a list of 11 cosy bistro’s in Lewisham to visit this winter for a quick escape from the cold, a nice hot beverage, and half an hour of warmth to try and re-establish feeling in ones fingers…
1. The Archie Parker - Forest Hill
Located on the bustling Dartmouth Road in Forest Hill, which houses many other fantastic local businesses and cafes, The Archie Parker is a vibrant, colourful cafe that offers freshly made food and sells one of the best local coffee producers iconic brand of ‘Dark Fluid’ coffee. With a spacious interior and chic, 60s-esque decor and furniture, this is one of Forest Hill’s most favoured cafes. The staff are friendly and warm, and will delight in hosting you in their cosy cafe during the winter chill…
Lewisham Card members receive 10% Off at The Archie Parker.
2. Le Delice - Ladywell
Occupying a street corner as you enter Ladywell village, Le Delice is unmissable and has a reputation across the whole borough for providing great French food and a bustling, vibrant atmosphere as one would expect from an authentic patisserie in Paris. With a vast menu of pastries, sandwiches, panini, pizza and much more, they also serve a wealth of beautiful, homemade cakes, and of course, great coffee. Popular with families and small groups, it can get quite busy and offers a cosy atmosphere, perfect for creating warmth and neglecting the outside chill…
Lewisham Card members receive 10% Off cakes at Le Delice.
3. Lighthouse Cafe - Catford
Providing a range of vegetarian and vegan meals freshly prepared daily, Lighthouse Cafe is a nutritious and tasty alternative to the myriad fast-food shops in its surrounding area. Served as a buffet-style menu for lunch, the food is always varied and delicious, and the coffee outstanding. They also have a range of flavoursome smoothies, and plenty of speciality teas to keep you warm and toasty…
Lewisham Card members receive 10% Off at Lighthouse Cafe.
4. Ten Thousand Hands - Ladywell
One for the dog walkers and park strollers, Ten Thousand Hands is a small but brilliant cafe slap-bang in the middle of Ladywell Fields. The atmosphere is lovely, and the food, (especially the beef sandwich on gorgeous sourdough bread!) is freshly prepared and sourced locally. Step in from the brisk chill and warm up over a piping Americano and some top notch grub at Ten Thousand Hands this January to keep you from freezing outside.
Lewisham Card members receive 10% Off at Ten Thousand Hands.
5. La Boulangerie - New Cross
Ideally located opposite New Cross Gate station, La Boulangerie is a perfect stop off for those with 20 minutes to spare before the rush into work, or for anyone needing a quick coffee to warm their hands up and get their brain into gear before a long journey. Spacious and warm inside, it is great for a sit down meal as well, and provides brilliant ciabattas, panini and sandwiches, all freshly made.
Lewisham Card members receive 10% Off when you spend £5 or more Off at La Boulangerie.
6. Delight House Cafe - Lewisham Way
Boasting a healthy selection of Moroccan-style sandwiches, and an array of delightful cakes, the aptly named Delight House Cafe is a large cafe with a neat interior. Cosy sofas are available towards the back, alongside tables and chairs, and the vibe is very friendly inside. They sell plenty of drinks, including high-quality arabica coffee, and a supply of fruit smoothies which you can freely mix and max to make your own.
Lewisham Card members receive 10% Off at Delight House Cafe.
7. Brown’s Of Brockley - Brockley
Brown’s of Brockley are a favourite coffee shop for many local Brocklians due to their superb blend of Square Mile & filter coffee and their good hospitality. The cafe is small and cosy, with just a few tables and stools for sitting, yet the vibe is perfect. They serve a fantastic and varied lunch menu, including sourdough sandwiches and pastries, soups and salads. Located just opposite Brockley train station, it is another perfect stop off before heading out, and will definitely do a good job of warming you up before you step outside and brave the not-quite-sub-zero-but-still-pretty-damn-cold British winter!
8. Archibald’s - Lee
Nestled off the beaten track, half way up Manor Lane in Lee, Archibald’s is the epitome of cosy local bistros. It’s quaint and subtle decorations, coupled with its delicate furniture and beautiful garden, make it a perfect hub for socialising and enjoying a good coffee. With a brilliant breakfast and lunch menu, using locally sourced producers for their food and coffee, there’s lots on offer to keep you busy while you relax and enjoy the warmth in their colourful establishment.
9. You Don’t Bring Me Flowers - Hither Green
Imagine the 1950s. Antique furniture, beautiful ceramics, tiny tables with the prettiest of table cloths and an assortment of flowers filling any gap not yet taken, that erupt fragrant, aromatic smells that can’t help but arouse the nostrils…Then stop imagining. You are in fact inside You Don’t Bring Me Flowers - one of Hither Green’s and Lewisham’s most treasured secret gems. This quaint, beautifully decorated cafe is worth exploring just to take in its artistic allure. But while your at it, you might as well try some of their superb coffee and freshly baked snacks, no doubt served in a beautiful china piece that's lived a long life, and warm up in this cosy dreamworld, neglecting the vicious winds while you hibernate...
10. St. David’s Coffee House - Forest Hill
Continuing along the trail of small, hidden gems, we find another magical coffee house perched above a walkway in Forest Hill. The locally famous St. David’s Coffee house has been around for a while and has built up a good reputation in the local area. With an almost hobbit-sized door, you’re instantly engrossed in this little cafe’s charming atmosphere from the second you step inside. Sharing the same coffee supplier as Brown’s of Brockley, Square Mile, they also provide fresh pastries, and lunch time meals of ample variety. Thursday is their special day for food, where they explore one of the wonderful delights of the Peranakan cuisine - Laksa. Snuggle into this little gem one day this January and warm up with the steam of a piping brew or the fragrant aroma of a delicious soup.
11. The Waiting Room - Deptford
Vegetarians, vegans and coffee lovers, get in line. Deptford’s The Waiting Room, located half way down the high-street, is a cool, chic cafe with an artistic interior and mouth-watering sandwiches, food and coffee. Sitting just right of Deptford train station, it is a great stop off to get your caffeine fix in before marching out into the frosty streets or boarding your train.
Much like pubs, everyone has their own favourite little coffee place, so let us know of some of your favourite bistros to escape the chill this winter in Lewisham!
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