Contributed by Jo Campbell:
As a new mum, one of the things that kept me sane was meeting up with friends I’d met in antenatal classes. We’d meet weekly (usually in the afternoon because we were still getting to grips with leaving the house before noon then). One particular meet-up sticks in my mind. We had arranged to go for coffee in Wimbledon. So in the pouring rain and wind, all of us struggling with prams and their accompanying rain covers, we made our way to our local branch of a well-known chain of coffee shops. The only thing that kept us going through the driving rain was the thought of the tall skinny lattes waiting for us… But as we reached our destination – all 24 wheels, six squealing newborns and six stressed out mummies of us – we realised to our horror that we wouldn’t all fit in there with our prams. Maybe we were still awash with hormones, but there were more than a few tears being blinked away that day.
So my first visit to The Gooseberry Bush – a friendly, welcoming café serving delicious homemade food on Kingston Road in South Wimbledon, was a revelation. I have a soft spot for thoughtful details, so was won over immediately by the lovely bone china mugs with gooseberries on them, the beautiful range of gifts on display that you can buy and – best of all – the securely-locked shed on the side of the café for parking buggies. I would certainly have been a regular all those years ago when my daughter was a baby because it’s the perfect meeting place for expectant mums, new mums – well, anyone really. The range of locally-sourced food which is prepared fresh in the café will appeal to everyone’s taste buds whether you want a slice of cake to accompany your Tea Pig tea or a warming soup of the day. They also provide bibs, beakers and high chairs for younger diners.
The café itself is light, bright and the walls are lined with shelves stocked with all sorts of lovely gifts and goodies. From handmade mugs from Brixton Pottery to Boo-Boo’s all natural pampering kits, Montezuma’s chocolate to Raggy Tag blankets, you could do all your present shopping while enjoying a latte. There’s also a fantastic range of greetings cards on display in the café too.
And if gifts, cakes and homemade food isn’t enough to tempt you there, there are treatment rooms and a studio upstairs. The studio plays home to a busy timetable of classes such as NCT, yoga, Pilates, baby massage and natal hypnotherapy to name a few. Some of the therapies on offer in the treatment rooms include aromatherapy massage, homeopathy, nutrition, osteopathy and reflexology. So what are you waiting for? Cake, shopping and pampering under one roof. It would be rude not to—especially with the buggy parking!
On Saturday July 14 the venue will be holding an open day, where you can meet some of the therapists, take part in taster sessions and enjoy some delicious cakes! The open day is in aid of First Touch, a charity which raises money for the neonatal unit at St George’s Hospital in Tooting.
For more information on Gooseberry Bush, please visit:
Jo Campbell of www.sweetheartstudio.co.uk specialises in bump, baby and family photography and holds regular mini portrait sessions at Gooseberry Bush in Wimbledon. Her next session is on May 10 from 2-5pm.