Forest Hill ‘Aladdin’s Cave’ (Home Accessories Extra) becoming Costa [Now open]



What about our local independent Coffee Shops in Forest Hill, will you compete with them, I hope not.


As much as I love Home Accesorries I completely am against any Coffee Shop offerings as we have very fine ones already with @TheArchieParker @StDavid Agas Deli & so many more.

This offering is not needed in FH.


Thanks Anotherjohn.

The smaller shop will certainly be cheaper for HAA and hopefully make the business sustainable.

As for the Indy/chain argument, its horses for courses I think.

Some will prefer idiosyncratic, some will prefer the familiarity of a chain.

It’s all about choice


If all goes according to plan, yes.


Thanks @macpaul for the info. Always good to hear these things directly :slight_smile:

I am very supportive of a Costa, as I can see many others on this site are.

Choice is the key word.

And let’s not forget people, people who staff these chain coffee shops. Some mentions I see here almost insinuate that chains are faceless or not part of a community. My absolute favourite baristas, who I see every day at the Costa at Blackfriars station, are an absolute joy to my mornings. Super fast, super friendly, always remember my orders. It’s not the first Costa that’s left this impression on me, so I think they must be doing something right in their staff training. Chains and those who work there absolutely can feel a part of the community.

I hope they take the space personally :):grin:


Obviously I’m not involved but they do seem to be reasonable employers - no zero hours contracts etc apparently.


Very sad to hear that, wish you the best of luck but I will leave this thread now.

I support my independent Shop Neighbours @StDavid @TheArchieParker etc

Sorry I can’t support a chain that will compete with outstanding independent shops.

Wish you the best though feeling quite sad about this.


I have to say I think there’s room for everyone.


I dont see the point of negativity on this. Another business being added to the growing list in Forest Hill is surely a good thing?
Competition is a healthy thing, and pushes people and businesses to strive to be their absolute best.

Nothing wrong with a mix of chains and independent businesses, I am sure there is a market for all.

@macpaul thanks for all the info, and for what involvement you have in this venture, I wish you all the best and hope it is a successful one.


Sadly I don’t!

Best wishes anyway.


Thanks Mr Guy. It’s been quite a ride from Blockbuster on …


They are also, notably, one of the few big coffee chains that pay their full taxes in the UK. I’m not the biggest fan of Costa coffee, but will always give them my custom ahead of Starbucks, which thinks it is too good to pay our taxes.


Cor, Blockbuster, blast from the past! Sometimes I forget VHS ever existed, let alone that there was a shop who rented them out haha.

Kudos for sticking in there and sticking with Forest Hill.
Here’s to the next step, and the ongoing growth of the area.


@macpaul I’d like to apologise to you if I have upset you in anyway.

It wasn’t my intention.

While I still worry about our independent Coffee Shops having to compete I do understand that as a landlord of this massive premises you may be helping your tenant to keep there business rates down, which I’m sure must be massive.

All the best, even though I will still worry about our independent Coffee Shops


Dear Pauline,

That’s very kind but there really is nothing to apologise for.

You said what you thought in a clear, polite way and I respect your opinion entirely.

I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the thoughtful courtesy people show each other on this forum (on this subject at least) and I’ll post any news I have as it goes along.

Best wishes



I like both independent and chain, it depends what you want, if I’m in a rush I’ll probably get a chain coffee, if I want to relax and have a treat (and possibly more coffee, snacks etc) I’ll probably go for an independent as they offer something different.

Speaking to friends from elsewhere in London last night, Forest Hill has really changed in terms of its reputation, definitely on the up.


So when does a coffee shop change from an independent to be cherished to a chain to be derided?

Costa Coffee’s history started not very far from here in Vauxhall. I remember the smells from their roastery in Lambeth in the early 90s not far from where I lived. Costa very much started life as a small independent roaster than coffee shop.

Jump ahead 20 years Costa now has 1,000 shops in the UK with the help of its new parent Whitbread. 30 years later they are the world’s second largest coffee chain after Starbucks. A truly successful BRITISH multinational who want to be a part of Forest Hill.

I’d be proud to have them in Forest Hill.

But there is another reason. If I, and a group of friends want to meet for coffee in Forest Hil are choices limited. There is Canvas & Cream which can accommodate groups but as noted by many expensive… St. David’s, Ada’s and Archie Parker… as much as I love them often struggle with a group of four or more. The Tea Pot is good. So I’d love a place in Forest Hill where I can meet a bunch of friends for coffee, cakes, at a decent price that isn’t a pub.


I find Costa coffee better than Starbucks but nowhere near the artistry of @StDavid.

If I wanted to meet some friends for an average-tasting coffee, I’ll just invite them round to my house or head to a pub - there’s little argument for Costa IMO but each to their own :slight_smile:

Also, Costa lacks relationships with local bakeries so its mass-manufactured cakes and pastries are limp and dry.


Home accessories and Costa does seem to be an odd fit, I can understand it with a supermarket but it’s not like you will look for a plastic tub and then go for a coffee; I imagine that they would be quite separate. The benefit would hopefully be at the least a re-fit of the current store.

I don’t have anything against Costa, although I prefer supporting independent coffee shops. I do think however that the location for Costa would be more suited at the back of the station, like at the Perry Vale, to draw those more comfortable with chains to that quieter side of the station. But if the new hotel at the co-op location is a Premier Inn, they may well also have a small Costa at the front of the hotel.


Many years ago that frontage was made up of 3 separate shops; and I’m sure the finished appearance will look like that again - as opposed to 2 businesses sharing a space.