London Life Places

you don’t bring me flowers

February 25, 2013

Today i’d like to introduce you to a very special place, a favourite of mine, a little hide-away that i wish i could transport to be my local. Unfortunately it’s too far for me to visit sporadically and i have not been there for ages. Over the weekend, while visiting friends in Kent for lunch, i made a special de-tour to go and take pictures for you.

Let me introduce you don’t bring me flowers. Hither Green (SE13) is not far from lewisham, so if you ever are in that area, maybe to visit aladdins cave, do make a small detour and go and treat yourself to this bijoux florist and café, filled to the brim with charismatic detail. A real feast for the senses!

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Meet lynne. Unassuming, gentle and definitely practicing the slow living movement, she does not own a computer. When i asked her whether she would mind me taking some photos so that i can blog about her place, she simply said yes. Thank you lynne.

You don’t bring me flowers (named after the neil diamond song) started life about 9 years ago. I first discovered it around 2005 and every time i needed a special bouquet of flowers i would head there. Fortunately over the years i have managed to find flower shops that sell wild flowers a little nearer to where i live. But, hand on heart, it’s never the same. There is something magical about the way lynne does everything and she just has that magical touch!

A knitwear designer with a fierce eye for styling and vintage pieces, she has created this unique space in an extraordinary manner.

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Let’s begin with the gorgeous blooms! It isn’t just the flowers. It’s everything around them too. Living in central london, i’m surrounded by celebrity florists selling the most predictable flower bouquets at hugely overinflated prices. They always leave me cold and uninspired. Take a look at these!

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I would kill for that tap!!!

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Home-made and locally sourced produce take care for an authentic café menu, all part of the charm. You’ll find tea paraphernalia and all sorts of produce for sale.

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I particularly like this big pinboard of cards.

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While you’re enjoying your stay, vinyl records are played throughout the day. It’s as far from the digital chaos as you can get.

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A few more delightful details for you.

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I just had to show you the various lights dotted around the place. Beautiful, no?

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There are two floors. Downstairs you’ll find the florist, a few tables, art on the wall. Upstairs is like an intimate and cosy living room with the most charming vintage decor. It was packed so not really conducive to photographing.

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You don’t bring me flowers also hosts monthly writers nights, some film nights and other events. For more information contact them directly.

You must all know the saying: ‘je ne sais quoi‘. That fits perfectly to describe lynne and her effortless way of having created this unique space, right near the station. Even after 9 years, it has not dated and, for me, is one of the coolest and inspiring cafés/florists around. Bravo!

You don’t bring me flowers
15 Staplehurst Road
Hither Green
London SE13 5ND
Tel: 0208 297 2333

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37 Comments

  • Reply Lindsey February 25, 2013 at 10:33 am

    This would so become my regular hangout. I love it!

    • Reply tina March 1, 2013 at 12:16 am

      Ha. Me too! Thanks Lindsey.

    • Reply nikki March 22, 2013 at 10:34 am

      I am lucky enough to have this as my regular hangout and for that I am eternally grateful.
      A truly wonderful place and their Curiosity Shop nights are magical.

  • Reply Louisa Blackmore February 25, 2013 at 10:34 am

    Brilliant Tina, another place to add on my visit list. Really…. This is getting out of hand! Hahahah!! This is sooooooo up my street, love the wild flowers they are faboosh. Have a lovely week my dear x

    • Reply tina March 1, 2013 at 12:17 am

      Hahahah…at least you have a personal and well curated list:-)

      I know, I think we’ll have to organise a LBG meet-up there. It’s not that big but we could ask to have the upstairs which is gorgeously intimate.
      Maybe in the summer??? xx

      • Reply Louisa Blackmore March 6, 2013 at 8:04 pm

        Sounds like a fabulous idea darling! Do they allow pugs though? 🙂

  • Reply Rebecca Portsmouth February 25, 2013 at 11:39 am

    Thanks for featuring You Don’t Bring Me Flowers – it’s relatively local and I haven’t been there in ages. It’s a great reminder to go again … even in the snow!

    • Reply tina March 1, 2013 at 12:18 am

      Oh Rebecca, now I’m jealous… yes, DEFINITELY go there and say hello to the lovely Lynne x

  • Reply Alison Sye February 25, 2013 at 1:35 pm

    Can’t tell you how much I enjoyed reading this post, it was a trip down memory lane for me – and great to see a picture of the lovely Lynne.
    You Don’t Bring Me Flowers was the first shop to stock my cards, and was quite literally just around the corner from my house. I love Lynne and the fact that she doesn’t have a computer, so refreshing, she has always been incredibly supportive to me.
    You Don’t Bring Me Flowers really changed the area, suddenly trees and shrubs started to appear, and then a deli opened next door. We bought our house in 1998 and left it exactly two years ago, I would move back tomorrow given half a chance. I love Hither Green, and absolutely loved living there.
    You Don’t Bring Me Flowers is well worth a special trip, I have never been in a better cafe or seen a florist with more exquisite flowers.

    • Reply tina March 1, 2013 at 12:22 am

      That is incredible that it’s the first shop that stocked your cards. What wonderful memories and what a wonderful first shop.

      I can’t believe this was around the corner for you and then you moved… tragic!!!
      Lynne is so unassuming and lovely. I also like the fact she doesn’t own a computer. When I asked her if she minded that I take photos and blog about her she kindly agreed.
      I then mentioned that I would like to show her the results, that’s when she said she doesn’t own a computer but I could post it on their facebook page.
      I did an dI got a most lovely comment saying how much they loved what I said about them and the fab photos. And I made their day!!

      Ok, when it gets warmer and as we’ve never met, let’s meet there? deal??
      I feel exactly the same as you about it!

  • Reply We Heart Home February 25, 2013 at 2:27 pm

    omg, a cafe/florist! Fabulous idea. There is cafe/plant shop near my house too. I love to go in there, not only to look at the wonderful cakes and plants but also to visit the two parrots that live there. They’re always quite chatty. But I must admit, I’ve never stayed for coffee or a quick bite because it’s so humid in there… ;)In the summer, they have seats outside, so I will stop once for sure.

    You Don’t Bring Me Flowers is so super charming. The name, Lynne, the decor … I can’t get enough of that image with the loaves of bread stacked on the shelves.

    Thanks for taking us here Tina 🙂

    Xx. Holly.

    • Reply tina March 1, 2013 at 12:23 am

      It’s actually quite rare, can you believe it??
      Ha. Can just imagine you going to visit the ‘chatty parrots’.

      There’s just too much to show you when you come to London:-) Glad you enjoyed the virtual trip xx

  • Reply Nicola February 25, 2013 at 3:27 pm

    Life would be easier if you had a ‘Like’ button by each of your photos, could you arrange it?

    Love the heart wreath on the awning. A woman after my own heart who loves flowers, stationery and tea! x

    • Reply tina March 1, 2013 at 12:25 am

      Oh, Nicola, what a compliment. Thank you!!! Feel free to pin if you like:-)

      Yes, the heart wreath is genius isn’t it?
      Ha. Flowers, stationery and TEA!. We must go there… x

  • Reply geraldine February 25, 2013 at 4:47 pm

    Another gem of a find. Thanks for sharing this. Love those yellow billy Buttons she has in her bouquet. Everything altogether gorgeous. xx

    • Reply tina March 1, 2013 at 12:26 am

      Yes, the flowers are exquisite…glad you enjoyed. xx

  • Reply Catherine Bedson February 25, 2013 at 11:41 pm

    Beautiful place, a cafe and florist is such a great idea. I prefer these type of flower arrangements also, they have so much more character and warmth when displayed in your home. Thank you for all the beautiful photos you took to show us this gorgeous place Tina. xx

    • Reply tina March 1, 2013 at 12:27 am

      Pleasure love. Always happy to show you Aussie friends.. there is nothing like a bouquet of wild flowers. Perfect! Thanks love x

  • Reply Doris February 26, 2013 at 11:21 am

    Oh Tina, what a little gem! I know what you mean about bouquets missing the X factor. I am also surrounded by florists with particularly uninspiring bunches. We need more people like Lynne and her shop in this world! As usual great photos and another place I need to add to my list 🙂 xD

    • Reply tina March 1, 2013 at 12:29 am

      I so agree. If every area in London could have a Lynne and YDBMF, the world would be a happier place. I’m so bored with most florists.
      There is a lovely one in Stoke Newington I go to. She also sells wild flowers and has a good eye. xx

  • Reply Anya Jensen February 26, 2013 at 11:55 am

    Hi Tina, you find the most amazing hidden gems, the flowers here are divine, I am totally with you on the overpriced florists (I feel the same about many interior designers actually – no soul springs to mind). This place is right up my strasse – I adore it. A bit of the beaten track, but who knows, perhaps I will go there some day. Happy Tuesday:)
    Axx

    • Reply tina March 1, 2013 at 12:31 am

      Yes, I also agree with your feelings on overpriced interior designers. EVERYTHING has to have value for money because then the transaction becomes a win-win situation for all parties involved.

      Ha. Knew you would ADORE this place, MISS ADORES:-)
      One day I’ll do a VIP tour and will take you guys to all the special places wherever they may be … xx

  • Reply Gerard @WalnutGrey February 26, 2013 at 8:07 pm

    I do love the idea of a florist and cafe as one. ‘You don’t bring me flowers’ must be in the dictionary beside the definition of quirky. A quick look at their website and I did enjoy the old-time music they have playing. It must make for a lovely atmosphere in the shop.

    I’m not a flowers kind a guy… they don’t float my boat so to speak. But I do love to see well executed bouquets. There is such an art to being a florist. ‘You don’t bring me flowers’ isn’t a place that would be top of my list, but I can appreciate how others would certainly love its ambience, style and offering. That first chandelier picture is fantastic and I love the orange phone – a proper phone 😉

    The best thing about the place is its individuality and the fact that owner Lynne is unassuming and does things in her own way. I think that’s beautiful.

    Thanks for the look in xx

    • Reply tina March 1, 2013 at 12:39 am

      The shop has a unique atmosphere.. it’s a little like stepping back in time when everything took it’s time and people were happy to wait to be served. You’re surrounded by great eclectic decor, vinyl music playing, flowers displayed beautifully and happy staff – what more could you wish for?

      I’m a little surprised to hear that. I took you as a ‘certain kind of flowers’ guy. I’m not sure about this tying bouquets business. I’ve always done it instinctively and find it’s the easiest thing to do. Of course, you have to have the right flowers but then I trust myself to know how to choose those. I think this celebrity florist phenomena that has sprung up in London in the 90’s is totally overrated, boring and actually leaves me cold. Sometimes, in this case – definitely, less is more and it doesn’t need to cost the earth!!!

      Lynne is exactly that. Unassuming, unique and she created a lifestyle and world that she loves and feels at home in and we, who take to it, happily join and support her… there is nothing more perfect in the world of making money and supporting oneself.

      Thank you for your considerate comment. xx

  • Reply annie February 27, 2013 at 12:43 am

    That shop looks really lovely. Shame it’s so far away. I will fight you for that stunning tap though.

    • Reply tina March 1, 2013 at 12:40 am

      Ha. You’ve got the dog. The tap would be mine!!

  • Reply noreen February 27, 2013 at 2:32 am

    wait – a florist/tea shoppe? how wonderful! and having a writers’ night. i can see why you make a special stop at this place. now i want to go! (i also wonder – do the upside-down teapots work?) joy! n

    • Reply tina March 1, 2013 at 12:41 am

      Haha. I think those teapots do work, btw… yes, it’s rather a unique combination and the beauty is that Lynne has attracted her ‘tribe’. Thank you Noreen.

  • Reply En Brogue February 27, 2013 at 12:42 pm

    My husband bought me the most beautiful bouquet from YDBMF last week. They lasted a week and smelt fantastic. This is such a wonderful spot, I can’t recommend enough!

    • Reply tina March 1, 2013 at 12:42 am

      Wow, you lucky girl!! Thank you for coming here to endorse this. I know that my readers value my curation and opinions but there’s nothing like an independent testimonial!

  • Reply Marit February 28, 2013 at 1:23 am

    So, so gorgeous. I’ll have to put that on my “must do” list for traveling!

    • Reply tina March 1, 2013 at 12:42 am

      Thank you Marit, I hope you get to go there one day!

  • Reply leah of sang the bird February 28, 2013 at 4:13 am

    lynne has such a cosy, comfortable aesthetic! what a beautiful gem to share with us! i am glad you made the detour. i love love the heart wreath on the awning, and i could spend hours chatting with you in a sweet nook upstairs. xx

    • Reply tina March 1, 2013 at 12:44 am

      Ha. Imagine, we could collate our fellow bloggers from all over the world and be tele-ported to this place for one afternoon. We’ll reserve the upstairs and chat until Lynne gently asks us to leave so she can shut shop! Perfect daydream! Thank you Leah xx

  • Reply Ingrid March 1, 2013 at 9:26 am

    Lovely warm space -gorgeous flowers x i

    • Reply tina March 2, 2013 at 4:19 pm

      It’s just your kind of place x

  • Reply Nicky Grace March 7, 2013 at 7:17 pm

    How lovely ! Not my neck of the woods but it looks like it’s worth going to specially.

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