I often wonder how many post pubescent voyeurs crack on to the mother-and-baby scene, because there is a fair amount of free breast viewing to be had! Maybe there is something sacred about a lactating breast that is *ever so slightly* asexual. Like beautiful angels or amoebas. Nevertheless, it is a relief that mothers across London do not generally have to suffer under the prying gaze of perverted boob spotters. I always marvel at the effectiveness of female group mentality in social situations where there is a primordial undercurrent of vulnerability. Women go to the loo together, and apparently they also choose to meet up for group breastfeeding.
I sound disparaging, but I am not. It is only that it’s been two years now since I was in their place, so it’s definitely my turn to be smug! Anyway, I digress. I meant to focus on writing a review of Bertie and Boo, a delightfully colourful cafe on the corner of Ramsden Road and Balham High Street, but I just caught sight of a nipple and it sent me into a reverie…
I meant to say that the beautiful home made cup cakes here are delicious, and they serve a selection of hot and cold sandwiches, as well as a selection of teas, coffees and smoothies. There is a comprehensive children’s menu at a not-too-exorbitant price. It is extremely popular with local mums and also with their children, because they have a reclaimed vintage car from a fairground ride on their deck. Watch out for terrible two-year-olds fussing over whose turn it is to sit in the four different drivers’ seats as you duck for cover from the next table’s infant’s milk reflux.
I like coming here, and so does my son. It’s pretty in a shabby chic kind of way, with its stripy wallpaper and polka dot crockery and worn down reclaimed school desks-for-tables. It has received high accolade from publications such as Time Out, and the owners have a birthday party delivery service. But it can get pretty crammed with pushchairs, it’s not particularly cheap and it’s right on a pretty busy road.
I wish this place was larger and served a more varied menu, but I am grateful for its existence. It cannot be denied that it is a very pleasant little coffeery and cakery, and it imperceptibly twists my social behaviour so that I feel like ‘one of the mums’ whenever I visit. I always feel slightly unnerved when I spot customers without children coming here for a coffee. I find myself frowning at anyone who dares light a cigarette on the open deck. Think of the children!!! It makes me question their motivations. If you don’t have kids, why would you come here? Are you hoping to see boobs?
162 Balham High Street, Sw12
Underground: Balham -Escalators and Stairs
Overground: Balham – Lift