Forest Hill is bursting with sweet independent cafés where it's not unusual to find a vintage shop, a free art exhibition or even a therapy room alongside the tea and cake. And they're all really pretty too. Here are three worth checking out the next time you're in SE23.
Spread over three floors, The Montage combines a café, free art gallery, and a vintage shop.
Furnishings are sourced from vintage markets in the UK and abroad, and practically every item you see or sit on is for sale – you could literally go in and walk out with the whole café.
Recipes and artwork (available to purchase) fill the walls – go in for a tea, and leave with a tip or two from ‘The Spice Cookbook’ (Avanelle Day and Lillie Stuckey), and a new painting for your home. 33 Dartmouth Rd, SE23 3HN
If someone told you this café was made up of donated furniture you would probably envisage chaos – but Canvas & Cream is surprisingly relaxing given the mismatched décor.
It also has a substantial food menu, free art gallery (where regular exhibitions are held), artist studios to rent out, live music nights, and a therapy room where you can book in for a massage or choose from a variety of other treatments.
And a visit to the toilets will definitely make you feel like you’ve fallen down a hole into a strange new land. 18 London Rd, SE23 3HF
This quaint café exhibits artists' work and also hosts pop-up restaurant nights.
A different artist's work adorns the walls every month – and if you're a creative type, you can ask to display your work too. 5 David's Rd, SE23 3EP