Reasons to love Croydon part 1: Beanies

It’s been a little while since I blogged, as nothing’s really grabbed me. I blogged about Scottish independence when I was monged out of my face on morphine in hospital, and the whole Ukraine issue is a little close to home.

There hasn’t been much excitement in capital markets the last few months and I haven’t been anywhere new for an eating out blog. So this is a blog about part of my routine, a blog about the ordinary, but about a place that is far from ordinary.

Beanies is a cafe and soft play area on Croydon. It is run / owned by three Croydon women in their 30s and they are assisted by a great selection of younger staff. There have been (literally) ups and downs as the management team tried to make the most of their 3 storey property, but the core offering has remained constant;

  • a great soft play set of claiming frames
  • lots of toys and dressing up clothes
  • Good coffee and food far better than it has to be, with a hint of spice here and there. Sometimes more than a hint
  • Staff who are happy to see you, engage in easy conversation, and understand that less is more

This should seem like a simple equation. The reality is very different. The fact that the team is still there and running the business is an exceptional achievement in the current business environment where cash is short across most of Croydon’s sociological sectors.

Aidan and I, normally with Kirsty, have spent many hours in Beanies and I remain amazed how much Aidan loves it and how happy the rest of the kids are there. This in turn meant the parents are all chilled, as their kids are happy and there’s enough space and variety for them not to get bored.

Basically, it’s a lovely place to spend an hour or two if you have young kids. It’s not expensive, as can be seen by the wide range of Croydon families in residence. You can hear multiple languages whenever you’re there, and a lot of laughter, often from the parents enjoying things as much as their kids.

I love this place and I wish the team every bit of luck and a long and successful business. If only because it’s one of the very few places in croydon where when it’s raining I can go with Aidan, he can run around and have fun and I can chill out with an decent espresso.

Long live beanies. Probably the main reason you might find me in croydon on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon.