As a family, we’re big fans of The Robin Craft Café on Sheen Lane. My husband, Tom, and our three-year-old, Tabitha, have made it somewhat of a weekend tradition to stroll along on a Saturday morning for a cappuccino, babyccino and croissant. It gives them some quality daddy-daughter bonding time while I stay at home with our napping 16-month-old. Tabitha loves the selection of kids’ books and the mini Connect Four. At other times the four of us will pop in for tea and cake of an afternoon if we’re at a loose end and fancy a sweet treat.
I personally think The Robin Craft Café stands out from the numerous other coffee shops in East Sheen. One of the many little quirks is that the hot drinks get served in fun painted crockery (which can actually be purchased there too). The cappuccinos arrive beautifully and carefully decorated, and even the babyccinos get a smiley bear face and a pile of marshmallows on the side. Tea is served in colourful teapots with an accompanying egg timer so you know when to pour.
As well as hot drinks, the café serves various fresh juices and an assortment of homemade cakes, such as brownies, red velvet and delicious cupcakes. There’s gluten-, wheat- and dairy-free cake available and a selection of pastries. They also do a yummy Greek yoghurt, granola, fresh fruit and nut dish for £4.50, which I’ve had a few times when I’m attempting to watch the waistline!
If you fancy a hot meal The Robin specialises in authentic Thai street food. Previous specials included ‘slow cooked Gressingham duck leg with flat rice noodle soup’ for £8.50 and ‘chicken, garlic and black pepper served with Thai jasmine rice and a fried egg’ for £7.25. They also do lighter lunches such as mushrooms on toast.
Another thing that makes The Robin Craft Café so appealing is that it has a lovely—albeit little—courtyard garden out the back. A café with outdoor space is a bit of a rarity in London, especially outdoor space that is not on a busy pavement, and the owners have made the small sun-trap really welcoming with wood decking and an array of plants. In fact, this attention to detail is apparent throughout the café; even the toilet has a pleasant interior with wicker baskets, candles and cacti.
Needless to say, The Robin Craft Café is baby- and child-friendly and there are always other families with young children in there too. You can find the bright-white-fronted café at 38 Sheen Lane—just along from Mortlake train station and very near the Upper Richmond Road with its many bus routes. You can also follow The Robin on Facebook and Twitter.