Enriching the South East London community with activities, events and mature gardens
Hidden in the centre of Westcombe Park in Blackheath is a community centre, set in an beautiful pre-war building, flanked by mature gardens. It’s carved out a mission statement of developing a contemporary, fit for purpose facility and first class programme. What that means on the ground is that Mycenae House offers a range of enriching classes, fully stocked café bar, choice of events & shows and beautiful outdoor space.
There’s a regular programme of activities, broken out into three different sections: Children & Learning, Health & Wellbeing and Arts & Leisure. I can say from personal experience that the classes are warm and welcoming; they’re everything that’s “right” about community centre classes. The activities on offer provide a healthy range of choices, for all ages and abilities – including a variety of yoga sessions, Bridge club, Irish dancing and wine club, to name a few.
If the dozens of classes weren’t enough then there are also a host of events – showcasing the talents of local artists and musicians. Some of the events are free and if tickets are needed then the prices are modest (usually ranging from £5 to £12). This season they have acoustic music, folk-dance and comedy planned. Be sure to catch the Summer Sizzler on Sunday, July 30th, which offers workshops, craft stalls and music as well as food and drink.
If you’re looking for a casual, quiet space to grab a bite to eat (with free WiFi) then Mycenae House operates a café bar, which has been recently refurbished. It’s open from Monday to Saturday from 9:00am to 5:00pm (even staying open a bit later on Monday and Thursday evenings). They stock a full range of snacks, sandwiches and cakes – there’s also a bean to cup state of the art barista machine! If you fancy a tipple then there’s a selection of beers, wines and spirits on offer.
Last, but certainly not least, is the mature garden at the back of the property, a precious green space at the centre of Westcombe Park conservation area. The garden is open to the general public and has been developed to bring people together, protect and promote the gardens as a Site of Importance and foster the natural environment for the benefit and well-being of the whole community. Whether it’s just for a stroll in the sunshine, or a long linger on a picnic blanket in the summer heat, it's not to be missed.
Insider Tip: Mycenae House is a non-profit organisation and the vast majority (90%) of the funds that contribute to the running of it come from their activities, shows and sales. It’s spaces like this that make London a unique and interesting place to live. Think about taking a class, attending an event or donating to ensure it stays open.