Following years of regeneration, Greenwich has become a hotbed for buyers and as our first blog on the area revealed, this historic borough prides itself on its proud naval heritage and friendly atmosphere.
For our second and final blog on Greenwich, we returned to this vibrant corner of South East London to ask business owners and managers why they love living and working in the area.
Plum Tree Café
With a varied menu featuring everything from hearty fry-ups to vegan dishes and sumptuous sweets, Plum Tree Café has been delighting hungry residents since it opened in 2012.
Boasting two successive Time Out ‘We Love London’ awards, the café, located off Greenwich High Road just minutes from Greenwich DLR, bakes all its delicious cakes from scratch and provides a platform for pop-up restaurants in the borough.
Adriana Sisolakova has been working at the café for several years and has watched it grow in to a firm favourite with locals in the area, especially young parents.
Hi Adriana. How has Plum Tree Café grown in to an award-winning eatery?
Every customer is different and we try our best to cater for all tastes and needs. We offer a range of gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan options in store, which has been greatly appreciated by our customers. Oh, and lots of cake! Cake is always a winner.
A lot of our regulars are parents, so we installed a soft play area at the back so those with young children can put up their feet while their kids play.
Why does the café reach out to pop-up restaurants?
Greenwich has a wonderfully varied food market and we wanted to showcase local talent from aspiring restaurant owners.
Our pop-up nights have proven to be a hit and we have recently hosted the Three Olives Kitchen, Greenwich’s first 100% vegan kitchen.
Why do you feel Greenwich is a good place for home buyers now?
There’s so much to do and see in Greenwich. There’s obviously the Cutty Sark and the Observatory but there are also wonderful museums, comedy clubs and of course, the beautiful Greenwich Park.
The Fan Museum
Greenwich may be home to the renowned National Maritime Museum, but the borough also lays claim to this unique hidden gem, packed with exhibits from all over the world.
The Fan Museum – the world’s first museum dedicated to the preservation of fans – is constantly updating its collection of colourful and fascinating objects and hosts creative workshops each month.
Its Orangery Tea Room, located in the stunning greenhouse towards the back of the museum, overlooks a secret Japanese garden and hosts afternoon tea throughout the week - perfect for relaxing summer afternoons.
Jacob Moss is the museum’s curator and believes the space perfectly suits Greenwich’s quirky environment.
Hi Jacob. What does the Fan Museum offer for the people of Greenwich?
It’s a completely unique museum housed across two Grade II listed townhouses. I think it offers visitors a creative outlet with our monthly workshops and the Orangery Tea Room is a beautiful place to unwind.
Why do you love working here in Greenwich?
With both the university students and influx of tourists coming to the area, there’s a real mix of culture which I find helps make Greenwich a very creative environment.
Personally, I love the park. It’s beautiful all year round and a great place to run through.
Do you have any advice for people moving to the area?
Obviously visit the Fan Museum, but I would also encourage residents to interact with the community around them and keep independent trade alive.
Also, check out the Queen’s House. it’s a very interesting space full of history.
Dubbed ‘the first shop in the world’ because of its location just yards from Greenwich’s famous Meridian Line, Nauticalia is the perfect place for sailing enthusiasts and picking up the odd nautical themed gift.
The shop is part of the small Nauticalia chain which has stores across the south coast of England, and is well worth a visit if you want to keep the maritime vibe going after visiting The Cutty Sark or National Maritime Museum.
Morat Benaufman has been working at Greenwich’s Nauticalia store for 25 years.
Hi Morat. You’ve been working in Greenwich for 25 years. How has the area changed in that time?
The area has changed dramatically since Greenwich has turned in to a Royal Borough. More high end brands have moved to the area, there’s new housing and with the opening of places like the 02 arena the area has become very affluent.
Nauticalia is a very niche shop. Why has proven so popular in Greenwich?
We deal a lot more with tourists now. Originally the brand Nauticalia specialised in trade products but with more people coming in to the shop, we have geared our merchandise accordingly and include more gifts.
We still have our regular customers coming in to the area because they love what we have on offer here but the tourists get a real kick out of the brand as they often haven’t seen any nautical themed stores.
What is your favourite thing about Greenwich?
There’s now a very vibrant social scene in Greenwich. As part of the transformation there’s a lot of new places to eat, especially on the Greenwich market place – I always try and go there.
Could you see yourself becoming part of the community in Greenwich?
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