Historical version 1 of Cobb's Corner, SE26 4RS
Café in the Cobb’s Corner neighbourhood of Sydenham. Slight Jamaican theme. Attentive and efficient staff.
The café has a slight Jamaican theme. It used to be the Blue Mountain Cafe, according to a small painting inside and Google Streetview from April 2018, but perhaps the owners felt it should echo the name of the immediate area. (The Cobb’s Corner area’s name derives from Cobb’s department store which was apparently one of the great London stores, rivalling Harrod’s and others. Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!) Possibly it’s associated with the Blue Mountain Cafe, SE22 9EU.
The café seats maybe 30, mostly at wooden tables and chairs inside. They have a very small, covered back garden with decking and a few tables. Not clear whether it is intended as a smoking area. There is also seating, at several tables, out the front. Shelves along one side have a variety of produce for sale: olive oil, fruit, coffee, wine, bread etc.
Rowley Birkin QC visited late morning/lunchtime on a Friday in April 2019: three staff members were present. There were three or four other customers at first, growing to 10-12. I had an Americano, eggs royale (£8), and Earl Grey tea, all good.
A man came in, asked for “English breakfast”, and the woman staff member said “do you want the meal or the tea?” Unfortunately the staff member had a very thick accent, and the customer clearly missed what she’d said, replying “what’s the difference?” So the staff member said “one is to eat, the other is to drink”. Fortunately the customer grasped what she was saying, and replied “English breakfast to eat”. However, his own speech wasn’t that clear, and it almost sounded like “English breakfast tea”. I nearly dived in at that point to put people on the right path, but fortunately the staff member realised the potential confusion, and got him to clarify that he wanted the meal. I so wanted the exchange to continue “and do you want a drink with the meal?” with him replying “English breakfast”, but it didn’t.
The music was mostly reggae, not too loud. Staff are pleasant, attentive and efficient.
There is WiFi, but it’s quite weak (and a staff member did volunteer this upfront). In fact, it’s so weak that if you want an Internet connection for your laptop it would be better to tether.
Accessibility: Step up to get in, and a step down into the small back garden. Bit of a squeeze to get into the toilet.
Child-friendliness: some high chairs (stored in the back garden).