What?: The original Apple Tree Cafe is good, but this one is better. To be fair there’s not a lot in it, but its light and airy corner location on the edge of Peckham Rye, purpose-built wooden play structure (as opposed to Herne Hill’s more traditional soft-play situation) and the welcome addition of a baby-sensory room mean Apple Tree 2 just edges it over its sister site. Like Herne Hill, the Peckham cafe offers a themed activity that rotates on a weekly basis (think sorting play food by group, magnetic fishing and role-play activities), ride-on-toys, a play kitchen, a reading area and buckets of baby and toddler toys. Food consists of toddler ‘tapas’ lunch plates and brunchy favourites for the grown ups, along with homemade cakes and great coffee.
Where?: Unless you’re South East-based, you’ll be sorely disappointed to learn that Apple Tree’s second installment is less than two miles away from the OG, at 134-136 Peckham Rye, SE22 9QH (the other one’s on Norwood Road in Herne Hill). Worth the trek though, even if you live on the other side of the river.
When?: Apple Tree runs four 90-minute play sessions every weekday, commencing at 9am, 11am, 1pm and 3pm (with 11am predictably being the most popular – and getting pretty manic at times); and two on Saturdays from 9am and 11am.
Cost?: £6.50 per child, with one adult included for each. Additional adults cost £3.50 each.
Where to next?: Head to Peckham Rye Park, Brunswick Park or Goose Green’s excellent playgrounds, Peckham Levels for street food and a brightly coloured concrete indoor play area (complete with half-pipe), the South London Gallery or Dulwich Picture Gallery for family workshops, the idiosyncratic House of Dreams museum and The Mamahood for amazing gifts from mum-run brands.