Local Parent: Shu in Hither Green

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Describe your area in three words: Lewisham does cosy.

Coolest coffee spot: Arlo & Moe on Springbank Road. Not only has it got great coffee but their Guinness cake is the stuff you will have wet dreams about for days. They actively welcome families, are breastfeeding-friendly, host supper clubs with varying cuisines in the evening and have a succinct but bangin’ menu with generous portions. They do their best to cater for different diets, and the owners and staff are lovely people. Perfect for all involved.

Best family-friendly restaurant: Cafe Green on Ennersdale Road – a truly authentic Vietnamese restaurant run by a friendly family. The Beef Oxtail Pho is one of the best I’ve had in London. In the early days, when I was on my own during maternity leave, the grandmother of the family offered to hold Sebby so I could eat my food hot. They have always been extremely accommodating, and have clip-on high chairs and toys despite their small space.

Favourite park or green space: Manor House Gardens and Mountsfield Park in joint first. Beautiful landscaping and fantastic playground areas. Manor House Gardens has the family-friendly Pistachios in the Park with lots of food for little ones, while Mountsfield has a flying fox contraption in the playground. Even I want a go.

Best local museum or gallery: I’m not actually aware we have any…

Coolest kids’ shops: Hands down, Cissy Wears on Hither Green Lane. Trendy and cool, independent, design-led kidswear, toys, family lifestyle items and illustrated children’s books that should be framed. This is my go-to gift place when friends have popped and when kiddies have birthdays. There is a train set in the middle of the store that kids will be occupied with for days – therefore a wonderfully peaceful shopping experience!

Favourite under-5s class/activity: Fit Mums, a mother-and-baby fitness class run by the lovely Hannah at Anytime Fitness in Hither Green. Hannah is mum herself, is passionate about fitness and actually makes it fun for both mother and baby. She tells it like it is, brings toys to the class and puts on cool disco lights that the babies love.

What makes your area great?: The community here is truly passionate about nurturing the neighbourhood and making it as liveable and sociable as can be. We have local online forums where one can genuinely reach out and receive support, be it for services, recommendations, activities or schools, etc. The enthusiasm for growing all our amenities is amazing. Hither Green also has some awesome eateries. Families and all are very well catered for in a small neighbourhood.

What’s the best thing about living in London?: Diversity, and a world-leading effort in championing that.

And the worst?: Paying through your nose to get a shoebox to call home.

Follow Shu at @thgsupperclub

Photo credit: Shuwen Tan