Who remembers the all day brunches that the Roastery on Wandsworth Road used to offer, complete with giant mushrooms and a corn fritter options? They were the first place in the area to sell Flat Whites (way before they became ubiquitous), and introduced many to to the art of the Anzac cookie. When they closed after more than a decade in business, many missed them – and it also left a local gap in the market for a good quality brunches and lunches.
The Howdy Bistro has opened at 62 Lavender Hill just this week (formerly Noiya, though you won’t recognise the interior), and James and Yasir aim to fill this gap – as well as supplying good coffee and cakes. James is a professional chef, and it shows – it’s fair to say on our first visit Howdy didn’t disappoint – indeed it felt quite under priced for the quality. Child friendly, with high chairs and a children’s menu set to arrive in the next week or so. We hear more is to follow, including a cosy outdoor seating area that will make the most of their front terrace.
Meanwhile The Roastery’s old premises (up the Wandsworth Road heading up the hill from Tesco) has been redecorated and reopened as Maiolica Cafe, serving Sicilian food (including breakfast) and proper Italian coffee. Headed by enthusiastic new owners, it’s definitely worth heading all the way out here to their end-of-the-street location. We were pleased to see that some of the old wall artwork from its days as the Roastery has been preserved!
Nearer the station, established local coffee shop 2Love have outgrown their St Johns Road premises and opened up their second local branch in what used to be the right hand half of Braggins Carpets. It’s way smaller than their first premises but is doing a healthy trade – and they’ve brought with them the huge range of intriguing teas.
A bit of good news is that the former Valentina (which has been empty for some time after the whole chain went in to administration, and whose garden has been turning in to a bit of a wilderness) has apparently been let and will become a bar with light music (there’s currently a licensing application on the door; neighbours will be pleased to hear that the proposed use of the outdoor garden will be limited to before 9:30pm).