please empty your brain below

Oaks Park Cafe is amazing in its own way. I use it a lot.

For many years it was just a busy greasy spoon cafe. Then a coffee chain bought it and basically offered coffee from a takeaway cup. Hardly anyone used it. It then became a nice cafe.

I was convinced during lockdown that the cafe wouldn't survive. How wrong I was! It was about the one place you could legitimately meet up with friends and generally remain open even if for a while you couldn't linger inside. As mentioned, you could drive to it and park knowing it was free and a parking space would be available.

Not only did a lot of outside seating appear (very popular in summer), a new verandah with glassless windows open to the elements was added. At some point the original and verandah were extended which enabled the interior layout to be reconfigured to enable people to be served quicker. Then they added a further covered area at the back. The verandah has now been knocked down and a replacement being built. This is immediately after knocking down the covered area at the back which has also been improved on and replaced.

Part of the cafe's success is that it is very dog friendly and at certain times of day, early morning especially, you would almost feel uncomfortable sitting down inside without a dog. There are very few cafes as accommodating to dog owners as this one. Dogs at this park are generally extremely well behaved.

It is also always warm inside in winter which must be another attraction in an era with high heating bills but I dread to think what their winter electricity bill is like.
The Mayfield Lavender farm seems to get plenty of paying customers, despite the free option, judging from the number of cars I usually see in its car park.

Maybe they ought to give the paying customers hats to wear, so they can identify which people are allowed to wander about, and which ones have to stick to the footpath!
My sister lives in SM7, but not in Higher Drive. Er, that’s it.
A friend of mine lives in Higher Drive.
Hi - it's my understanding that the SM postcode prefix represents 'Sutton and Morden'.
The bit of public footpath between the stile into the lavender field and the crossing into Oaks Park was very overgrown last week. Not sure who's responsible for that strip, but either it's convenient for the Mayfield people to discourage people getting in that way, or the council need to send someone round with a strimmer.

dg nods
Can anyone explain why Higher Drive and the roughly parallel stretch of Banstead Road are not covered by Google's Street View?

dg writes: they both are.
Thanks. On my tablet, Street View appears to exclude the parts of the roads that are in the GLC area. On my PC they ARE covered. Very odd!

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