© Michael Franke
Time Out rating:
Time Out says
Posted: Wed Sep 25 2013
Birdhouse is pretty much perfect. It’s an unpretentious but attractively decorated spot, with a soothing colour scheme (grey with touches of yellow), retro furnishings and jolly pictures on the long flank wall. Fanatically skilled but socially casual, the staff in attendance always seem to include at least one of the two owners. They make the place buzz with their evident enthusiasm for coffee, catering and customers.
You’ll almost always find a mixed crowd, right down to babies and toddlers. Outstanding baked goods include a warm banana bread, which regulars reckon is irresistible. Sandwiches are equally good. And the coffee? Well, if you like espresso, you’ll love this place – heaven in a tiny cup, using Climpson & Sons beans. The baristas tend their machines as if they were Maseratis, and that attention to detail pretty much sums up everything that Birdhouse does.
Birdhouse 123 St John's Hill
- Venue phone:
020 7228 6663
- Venue website:
- Opening hours:
Open 7am-4pm Mon-Wed; 7am-10pm Thur, Fri; 9am-10pm Sat; 9am-5pm Sun
Tube: Clapham Junction
Lunch for two with coffee and service: around £15
- 123 St John's Hill
- 020 7228 6663
- 123 St John's Hill
Average User Rating
4.3 / 5
- 5 star:26
- 4 star:0
- 3 star:0
- 2 star:0
- 1 star:6
I have never written a review before but I wanted to warn anyone who is shy or nervous or just going through a tough time not to go to this cafe. I used to go nearly every day because it was so empty and at the time I found it difficult to leave the house after a breakdown. It was my safe place in the area to have a coffee and read a book. Then one Sunday, at nearly three pm, with half the cafe empty I was told to leave the premises because I didn't want any food. It didn't matter that I had spent lots of money in the cafe and had left a tip every time. After that I didn't leave the house again for a while. I have now found a really lovely French cafe on St John's Hill called Deli Boutique. The staff there are REALLY lovely. They are welcoming even when they are busy. There is a disabled lady who comes in and she is treated with real kindness - as a valued customer. Plus they have brioche and croissants and all good things for a fraction of the price charged at Birdhouse. It's not as fashionable or cool-looking as Birdhouse. But it makes you feel better about being alive!
I cant really understand how is it even possible that in such a lovely place the staff can be so anoyed and rude. I would love to visit again, but the atmosphere was so unpleasant that I probably wont..
Well worth any detour for the incredibly fabulous coffee, marvellous, inventive, flavoursome bocaditos, soothing on trend decor, lack of prams and wild kids, ! ...Service varies (on the rare occasion it has been know to verge towards the Basil Fawlty style of customer service, most amusing), but on the whole the staff are friendly and welcoming. An uplifting addition to a pleasant ,almost chain free high street.
Great Coffee - TERRIBLE staff attitude , RUDE Manager and NO customer care skills whatsoever. I will NOT be returning which is a shame.
Best coffee and service in Clapham Junction.....especially considering I'm usually wandering by early in the morning. Definitely also worth a visit for the sandwiches and the cakes.
I am from Melbourne so naturally, I am obsessed with coffee. And the Birdhouse is one of my favourite coffee houses. Period. Their flat whites is the best i've had in London but it doesn't just stop there. Their food is always fantastic - french toast which is ridiculously delicious, as are their sandwiches and whoppie pies. Definitely definitely definitely worth a visit
Only popped in out of the rain and found HEAVEN!!. Coffee Mocha best Ive ever had including Borough Market's best. Saw delicious looking meals being served - still raining. Spoiled for choice, very tempted by Crushed Avocado, People sitting opposite ordered the Banana Bread which appears to make everyone addicted but I settled for the Cuban steak sandwich....orgasmic! Can't wait to return Staff very self effacing xxx
I sat their all day conducting interviews, they didn't seem overjoyed to have me there, but tolerated it! I made sure I ordered something every hour - the people I interviewed also bought a drink or snack of some sort during their stay - so win-win as far as I'm concerned. The food was amazing and the teas and coffees too. Would stop in again next time I'm in the area x
Definitely has potential - good set up and good coffee, would have loved to have tried the food but the terrible service and attitude forced me away. I've seen a few reviews for this place about their attitude towards anyone with a pram.. I went in, yes it was the weekend but it wasn't even a 1/4 full. There was a HUGE space right at the front (multiple free tables and seats) and as my baby was asleep I couldn't really wake him up to leave the pram outside. I did say when I arrived that if it looks like it's going to start getting busy I'd happily vacate, however rules were rules and there were no exceptions I was told. Even though I had sat down and asked for a food menu, and also ordered a coffee during this time I was told I had to sit outside. No problem, I moved and sat outside. I would say the staff obviously have no attention to detail or customer service skills - If I asked for a menu and ordered a coffee while asking for a table, at a guess do you think I was planning on eating/drinking there. When my coffee came out I was given it in a take away cup? I asked if I could have it in a normal cup as I was planning on staying and ordering some food - How retarded that the response from the staff is not one of "i'm sorry, sure I'll sort that out for you" like any half decent cafe who rely on customers to earn an income but one of "I thought you were leaving". Plain and simple. No discussion. Then she walked off. No.. no I wasn't. What gave you that impression. At a guess and based on other reviews that i've read this is their standard attitude and response to people who don't fit into their ideal customer base i.e. people with kids. Words of advice - train your staff, lose the attitude and have some respect for paying customers. While you may not care or notice, I go out of my way to tell people (that includes other parents looking for good coffee) to stear well clear of this place.
Very dissapointing for good coffee to get lost behind rude service. My husband and I are coffee mad. We spend our weekends going to independent cafes. We travelled 40 mins to try Birdhouse. Birdhouse don't allow prams inside on the weekend. Fair enough, but the cafe was half empty and there was a table right by the door. Before a employee even said hi she said we had to go sit outside. I said that if it got busier we would move immediately. She said no. We sat outside, ordered coffees and got them in takeaway cups. I asked if we could have proper cups, she said 'I thought you were leaving'... So we did! We had planned on getting lunch and our usual 3 coffees each. Pity.
Loving the kitsch utilitarian chic without the pretentious, snobby staff you usually get in this kind of place. Great atmosphere, coffee and food.
The coffee was great, really friendly and welcoming staff. The decor was exceptional. Would definitely recommend it.
Amazing coffee. Delicious food. Sophisticated interior. Friendly staff. It's everything you could possibly want from a cafe. Highly recommended.
Really good service, I go there to study so it s cool and relaxed place. The coffee is amazing and the food is worth a go too. Thanks
Hidden germ in Wandsworth! After an hour spent there you feel like a chirpy bird yourself ;) Delicious and elegantly served food, tasty and rich coffee, creative interior and friendly service can make a difference, and the Birdhouse definitely does that. Honest and organic, just great. Tried and tested, truly recommended.
Best coffee in London, AMAZING egg mayo and pancetta toasted ciabata that will see off any hangover and great guys running the place. Worth a special visit even if you don't live nearby.
Best cafe and gem of the neighbourhood. Everything about the Birdhouse is spot on from the design, atmosphere, service, food and drinks. Obvious attention to every detail and their care and expertise shines through. Very much a Labour and Wait feel to the cafe.
Wish this place was on my doorstep. The coffee was brilliant and the toasted banana bread with butter was wonderful. The staff were charming and very welcoming. Loved the design of the place, there is some real talent there. I was relaxed even with my young son in tow.
Visit this place regularly and have not had a single bad cup of coffee. Very impressive to consistently maintain such a high standard with something so temperamental as coffee. Coffee is excellent, the food is delicious, and service is warm. Feel very fortunate to have this place so close to home.
I have to say,, best food and coffee in London. Having moved to London recently from Melbourne I have been in desperate search for a good latte. The coffee was fabulous and the food amazing. I had the pumpkin and blue cheese sandwich - both fresh and full of flavour!
Amazing coffee, amazing service.. I only live 5mins away and I have been in every weekend since discovering the joint! Try the egg and prosciutto ciabatta.. Amazing :) You'll see me in there every weekend with my latte and ciabatta!
I enjoy my coffee…this is definitely the best coffee in SW London (if not London), the cakes and sandwiches are quite a treat too!
Amazing coffee and the banana bread is a winner too! Really cool little place to chill out or grab a take away flat white. Best coffee in Clapham and exactly what St Johns Hill needed!
Great taste. Great look and it feels like coming home. Worth the hike. I particularly love the friands.
Excellent coffee and the tastiest baked goods you'll find anywhere in London. Hands down my favourite new cafe and well worth a little trip to Clapham if you're not local.
The lovely chaps who run this humble establishment should win awards for their home-baking abilities alone. The coffee is clearly cherry picked for quality of flavour, connoisseurs and purists are spoilt and will find assurance at the barista skills. It's one of those cafes you can sit in for hours, reading the papers or a good book and before you know it you've lost half a day. The interior design is stunning with a mix of eclectic and classic furniture, wall art, objet 'dart, and even innovative use of school Bunsen burner tripods for cake stands (genius!). All of this set amongst a non-invasive background of deep grey with golden yellow accents. Attention to detail is second to none, to the free bottle of water served with your coffee to the subtle, but amusing, theme of birds placed carefully around the room. 5 Mins from Clapham Junction station on St John's hill it's ideally placed to grab a breakfast bite and coffee to run with as you rush to get the train too. You have to run to work off the calories of the brownies, chipsters (brownie with cookie topping) croissants, friands, banana bread amongst other devilish waistline enlarging delights.