Brown and Green is one of those places that defines Crystal Palace for me: slightly tucked away, fiercely independent, welcoming to families and groups, and, naturally, serving up organic food.
It sounds perfect right? It is, but the food is mostly typical of cafes with only breakfast, brunch, and lunch options available such as halloumi and eggs, mixed croissants, scrambled eggs with pesto and something called 'ryes and shine' - vegan friendly - which consists of local pumpernickel rye toast topped with homemade houmous, rocket and tomatoes.
I chose ryes and shine with avocado. It was just the fuel I needed for an afternoon doing a lot of work. I'd bought my laptop with me and parked in one of the little booths, ideal for lone diners like myself, or couples. The few groups I saw seemed to congregate on the larger tables, with space for their buggies and cute kids ambling around.
Great food and not feeling like you're squeezed into a small space is difficult in London, but venture slightly out and you'll find this gem. Not only that, but the service really won me over. The waiter was literally a smiling joy of a man, who grinned from ear to ear in a genuinely friendly, I'm-here-to-help kind of way. Real nice.
Often, when I order a pot of tea, I'll ask if - once I've drank of the water - they can refill the teapot, so I can enjoy another cuppa, basically for free (what savvy tea drinker wouldn't?) and the staff at Brown and Green were more than happy to oblige, and even asked if I'd like to try another type of tea leaf. I was good though, thanks.