07 Aug The Rookery Cafe
The Streatham Common Co-Operative and the Friends of Streatham Common are the forces behind the revitalised Rookery Gardens and the adjacent Rookery Cafe, perched halfway up the hill on the common’s south side. Both the formal gardens and the café are minutes away from the 249, 109, 118, 250, 159 and 133 bus routes, and a brisk 10-15 minute walk from Streatham and Streatham Common stations.
The Rookery Cafe has long been a favourite spot for locals, but its lovely location and friendly atmosphere mean it’s now welcoming visitors from further afield. Run by the team behind Wandsworth Common’s Skylark Cafe, it is open from 9am to 6pm pretty much seven days a week, 365 days a year – we’ve even been there on New Year’s Day for a hangover-quenching Caravan coffee and bacon butty.
There’s an extensive outside seating area, with umbrellas to provide shelter from the elements. As a park cafe, dogs are frequent and welcome visitors, and there’s a thriving community of dog walkers who stop off for a post-walk brew and exchange on the excesses of canine behaviour. Water is also available for thirsty mutts.
The cafe is also popular with mums who’ve been helping their little ones run off excess energy and paddle in the recently restored pool.
As well as breakfast and brunch staples such as cheese and ham toasties (£3), and sausage and bacon baps (£2.50-£3), there’s a decent choice of lunchtime specials. These include tasty homemade soups (£4), avocado and halloumi on sourdough (£7), and pea and courgette fritters (£8.50), all freshly made each day from locally sourced ingredients.
In fact, many of the ingredients come from the common’s own community garden which grows a selection of fruit, flowers and veg – we’ve even seen fresh nasturtiums decorating the plates!
In addition to hot and cold soft drinks, the Rookery Cafe serves beer, cider and wine, including St. Reatham Munich Lager from its next-door neighbour, the newly opened Inkspot Brewery. That’s a seriously short trip from keg to table.
The cafe also provides refreshments for visitors to the common’s many popular events such as Kite Day and Shakespeare in the Rookery, as well as hosting occasional seasonal suppers which see the cafe put on its best bib and tucker to serve up an evening meal. We also expect the café to be playing its part when the Rookery farmer’s market sets up shop.