If you’re Brook Green bound be sure to drop into The Corner House. Devised by three local parents, this stylish neighbourhood hub has been designed so parents can meet like-minded mamas and papas, sip on a killer coffee by those canny Caravan Coffee Roasters, pick up a few groceries and even indulge in a little exercise. The basement is a dinky ones dream, decked out with a tiny wooden Corner House, your little ones can safely play, read and dress-up in their indoor play area all whilst you watch on from the adjoining cafe. The Corner House will soon be launching a crowdfunding campaign to give mamas and papas around the capital the unique opportunity to contribute to opening further sites in your neighbourhood – register your interest here.
We took five with founders of The Corner House Victoria Emmerson and Annabel Fitzwilliams to discover which dishes in London their kids crave and their favourite spots for a good ol’ goss with their mama pals…
1. I’d like a table for…
Lunch at Chucs on Westbourne Grove, outside in their small but beautiful courtyard, with our favourite girlfriends and a bottle of rose.
2. Early-birds catch the coffee at…
Scottie’s coffee. With van’s in Chiswick, Hammersmith and Brook Green, this kiwi style coffee is hard to beat.
3. Best brunch with kids?
This is a tough one to answer unbiased as of course we believe The Corner House! Finding somewhere to go which caters to all ages is very hard and one of the reasons we created The Corner House. Whether your ideal brunch is a Bloody Mary and Burger or Cold Press Juice and smashed avocado on toast, the menu caters to all ages and parents can relax and read a paper whilst the children enjoy the large play area.
4. Children’s menu must-visits…
Wahaca. Our children find it hard to choose between building their own wraps or enjoying the quesadilla’s. It’s great fun.
5. Where do you grab a bite with mums en masse?
The Bird in Hand is a firm favourite. They have fantastic pizzas for adults and children, as well as delicious cichetti plates and a great wine list.
6. Hidden gem for treating tiny ones?
Bear’s Ice Cream parlour next to Ravenscourt park. You’d be hard pressed to find more creatively decorated ice cream cone with more topping options than the children could possible between.
7. Best piece of advice for dining out with kids?
Our children are not the type to sit quietly for any length of time so finding a place with outside seating and a garden (no matter how small) for them to run around in always makes for a successful outing for all! Otherwise taking an activity book or children’s magazine is a fun added treat and great distraction. You might get the odd judgemental look for taking an iPad or handing them your phone but many of the programmes can be educational and even recommended by school – screen time doesn’t always have to be Angry Birds.
8. Date night – takeaway or take me out?
Date night for sure. A chance to ditch the trainers, dust off a dress and maybe even put on some heels for a rare night out a-deux knowing that no little people will be popping in to ask for more milk, check for spiders, or a snack for their teddy, etc.
9. My earliest food memory…
Trying marmite on toast for the first time and bursting into tears!
10. Five mums, one table – who’s joining you?
Great girlfriends, for sure.