Catford area guide - tell us what it's like

Discussion in 'Catford & Hither Green' started by Nick Barron, Sep 24, 2011.

  1. Nick Barron

    Nick Barron Admin Staff Member

    Please use this thread to share your advice about the area - what's good and bad about Catford?
  2. Lady

    Lady Proper Local

    The giant cat. Ladywell fields. The extra-cheap saturday plant stall in Catford Broadway. The Broadway Theatre - a pretty art deco building, esp inside. The library: airy and one of the better stocked local libraries. LK Chinese Groceries, the bright yellow place on Catford Bridge - a really helpful owner who supplies recipes and advice; there's a good turkish food shop just down from it too. Gino's pizza. Sapporo, the Japanese restaurant. Appetito coffee shop -friendly and good coffee. Mekan's - the Turkish restaurant. There's a couple of good afro-caribbean fresh food stalls and one selling patties. The post office that also sells statues of Hindu Gods. Plenty of buses and two train stations to central London.
    'Bad': the indoor market has closed. Too many tacky £1 shops - not necessarily good value.
  3. clogsilk

    clogsilk Fountain of Southern Knowledge

    Riva (next to Mekan) is good too - I had a fab seafood risotto there the other day.

    Second vote for Sapporo which is fab.
  4. betamatt

    betamatt Respected Local

    Riva does deliveries too. Good pizzas. They gave us a free tiramasu last time as well!
  5. Nic Ronconi

    Nic Ronconi Local

    Good: I would add "la pizzeria italiana", the good house stock and value, the easy access to Kent and the planned regeneration plan which will see the end of the horrible depressing towers and a good clean up of the place!
    Bad: it's still scuffy and dirty, too many £ shops, lack of a good pub, gym and a deli.
  6. Catford Grrl

    Catford Grrl Moderator Staff Member

    Living near the heart of Catford (i.e Rushey Green, Bromley Road)
    The Good
    • Good transport links
    • Some nice restaurants as mentioned above
    • A few nice pubs like The Ravensbourne, The Ram and the one by the post office
    • Regeneration will hopefully restore Catford High Street to it's former glory
    • Gorgeous Gifts

    The Bad
    Being so close to Lewisham we may never get the nice shops to commit
    No decent shoe shop
    Constantly being bombarded by charities

    Living up on the Corbett Estate
    The Good
    Nice and quiet
    Lots of little shops to pop into if you run out of things
    No beer cans being thrown in your front garden as there are no pubs
    Friendly people

    The bad
    Too many of the same type of grocery shops
    A bit of a walk to the bus stops (not that I mind)
  7. goldsmithshub

    goldsmithshub Respected Local

    The Good
    Broadway Theatre - people come from all over London to see the shows and it's a lovely building.
    Transport connections in Catford centre/Bromley Road
    Pizzeria Italiana despite its grim location at the bottom of a brutalist 'masterpiece' Eros House.
    Leonard's Electrical on Sandhurst Road - last of the half day closing, can't do enough for you kinda shop.
    Broadway Cafe next to Age Concern does good value caff food including unfeasibly large jacket potatoes.
    Appetito is a good place to meet and have coffee and a snack, despite the public art (see below)
    Nice quiet streets and open spaces between Brownhill and Bromley Roads and Verdant Lane.
    further afield (but still in SE6)
    Caravello Cafe on Torridon Road
    Torridon Library and Children's Centre - an amazing dome inside the library.
    Goldsmiths Community Centre incorporating Limelight Family Learning Centre - lots of activities and services for all ages.
    The bungalow (Excalibur) estate - a haven of peace and quiet. Watch Merlin and you will discover the origin of the obscure Arthurian road names, in the fullness of time.

    The Bad
    Transport connections elsewhere in Catford - poor to very poor indeed.
    Parking in central Catford. Why is Catford Island so mean spirited and the public car park so expensive?
    Lack of variety/shops, food 'deserts', run down parades, shops shut early.
    Absence of places to socialise away from the centre. Blame it on the teetotal developers.
    Vegetation growing up Laurence House - it does not look good. Strip it off to reveal the luncheon meat coloured cladding beneath.
    Pointless public art outside Appetito

    The Ugly
    Catford precinct
    Boarded up shops, pub and offices on Rushey Green
    Ex-Age Concern building in Brownhill Road

    Congestion on one way system
    Pot holes everywhere on residential roads
  8. MSG

    MSG Local

    Agree with all of the above mentioned 'goods'

    Council offices in a roundabout?! Chaos traffic due to poor traffic engineering at this roundabout.
    Alice likes this.
  9. betamatt

    betamatt Respected Local

  10. TheLondonBootcampCompany

    TheLondonBootcampCompany Respected Local

    The Good:
    Mountsfield Park, which is huge and has lovely views across London.

    I do find the area (aside from rent) is very affordable to live in, just because of the low-budget shops.

    I moved here from Aldgate 4 years ago and I really live the convenience of everything being so close from my home in Ringstead Road. There are some good schools. The church community at Holy Cross is thriving. It's easy to get into central London. They Library is good, and I take my son to St. Dunstan's swimming school. It's all on my doorstep!

    The Bad:

    There are an awful lot of drunks that sit in Rushey Green. They make it quite uncomfortable when you're out and about. The "shopping centre" could do with some regeneration.

    There are lots of closed shops because the council charges way too much rent for retail property (about 2x the amount of private retail rents)
    Ben_Neverest likes this.
  11. TheLondonBootcampCompany

    TheLondonBootcampCompany Respected Local

    Appetito was lovely but has closed down. The owner also was my son's child minder. It seems that subway and costa made it impossible to trade. It's a shame because it was so unique and really friendly.

    The new Moroccan place on Rushey green is nice. I get take-out from there
  12. Helene

    Helene Respected Local

    I think you don't realise that the shopping centre is in the process of regeneration & the shops have closed because it's all going to be pulled down soon & rebuilt!
  13. Helene

    Helene Respected Local

    It certainly was unique, and the two European lads who used to work there were fantastic - great cooks & the coffee was fabulous! However, they both left because they were owed several months' wages & no-one can work for nothing. The staff who took over were very inferior & I think put customers off. Cafe Costa is too far away to have had any impact on the Apetito; I believe the problem is that Catford is just not 'cool' enough yet to revel in café culture! I used to go there 3 or 4 times a week.
  14. TheLondonBootcampCompany

    TheLondonBootcampCompany Respected Local

    Hi Helena,

    Yes, regeneration is planned for Catford but this is not the sole reason why we have had empty units.
    And even though it's supposed to be regeneration, we do have high_street chains moving in. Blockbuster
    Is a good example of how a shop unit can stay empty for so long- the council left it empty for almost 4
    Years, because they wanted £70k per year in retail rents.

    As for Appetito, Costa is definitely close enough to divert business. Subway and Greggs are across the road.
    I liked all the staff who worked there.
  15. Ben_Neverest

    Ben_Neverest Proper Local

    Hey Cassandra - that's so sad! I loved Appetito. I don't understand the council strategy of increasing rents: do they actually own the sites on Eros House? Kings Chow Mein has suddenly closed (unexpectedly) too - I guess that was due to sudden rent hikes? I hope the owner has gone onto some better opportunities.

    There is a new Costa opening up on the High Street, as well as the Marrakesh bar and Caspa, Catford High Street on the east side is looking like it's regenerating. I just don't see why the council keep forcing the rents up: for example - 16-20 Brownhill Road which has been vacant for over 5 years, is offered in a delapidated state, boarded up; no parking facilities for any clientele, for £90,000 per year of rent. What kind of small business is going to be able to take that offer up? It's an offer which is designed to kill off any hope of enterprise.
  16. Dirty South

    Dirty South Local

    I don't know if any of you have seen my piece on Deserter about Catford.

    I didn't get to cover it as thoroughly as I'd like - it's mostly about two outstanding boozers - but that just means I'll have to come back and visit all the food options mentioned above.
    Ben_Neverest likes this.
  17. Ben_Neverest

    Ben_Neverest Proper Local

    Not seen it until you linked it - now I have :)

    Thanks for adding your local knowledge to the Catford Central. I've shared it on the Corbetts' Residential Association on FB. Never realised there were white stags in Catford.

    Marrakesh has the distinction of being Catford's only shisha bar, just as Sapporo is Catford's only sushi bar. The second Costa has been up and running for a number of weeks now; in fact, with the conversion renovations happening opposite, at the site of the former Rising Sun, the high street is starting to look like a high street for a good number of metres.

    Sorry - it's actually 'Zaspas or 'Zaspa' - which has striking similarities with the Cream icecream bar in Brixton High Street in its layout and design. The Brixton ice cream parlour opens ludicriously late - and is frequented by mothers and prams way pass baby sleeping hours which surprised me on a night out. If Zaspas opened that late, there could be a lot going for it, provided they get through the winter selling ice cream (the Brixton parlour serves hot crepes with ice cream on the side to add some mix).

    On the non-food side, you may have seen the Irish Community Centre in Catford too; it's very discrete off the High Street in a slightly run down building. They also have some Irish events and Irish Traditional Music sessions. A Polish grocery shop; a Turkish grocery shop; a chinese grocery shop; a Vietnamese grocery shop make it quite compact to get around since we don't have many many duplicates of these like other larger town centres. Similarly, for mothers and babies, there are high numbers of creches; day nurseries; after school clubs catering for families (the new demographic for property buying in Catford, which has overtaken the yuppies of the noughties). We do have sufficient pubs now; the challenge is, to have pubs without the history of the Rising Sun, nor the wholesale depression of yet another boring Wetherspoons on the high street. Some disenfranchisement noted with the Catford Constitutional Club's rising popularity, and dismissiveness towards individual clientele in preference of their large scale booked events during the busy season. How the new Catford Bridge Tavern shapes up will be a defining feature of Catford: this is the first and most immediate large building that any train commuter sees on leaving the station. I hope it becomes a lively family friendly place which helps bolster the non-threatening and community feel of Catford. The last thing we want to become, is a Bromley North station ambushed by four noisy pubs with spill over onto the streets.
    Dirty South likes this.

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