Looking for a great place to enjoy a coffee and / or lunch? Want to avoid the large chains? Our Food for Thought series will offer you insight into cafés that provide good food and drink whilst helping others.

The Dragon Cafe: The First Mental Health Cafe in the UK

The Dragon Cafe, in the Crypt of St George The Martyr Church

Address: Borough High Street, London SE1 1JA
Open to the public: 12 to 8.30pm Monday only 
Website: www.dragoncafe.co.uk

The Dragon Cafe is a weekly cafe (open every Monday only) and creative space with seminars, exhibitions, workshops and performances exploring issues around mental illness, recovery and well-being.

The Dragon Cafe: The First Mental Health Cafe in the UK

A wide range of creative and well-being activities are available each week, all of which are free and open to all.

The Founder, Sarah Wheeler, started the first mental health cafe in the UK two years ago following a three year period of psychosis. When she was ill she spent a lot of time in cafes,

“They were the only places I could bear to be. They were in effect my drop-in centres, where I could exist incognito. They were places I could go to, be on my own, have some relatively nourishing food and somehow feel incrementally better”.

When Sarah saw the crypt for the first time the idea of a creative cafe was born. Now, two years later, the cafe is incredibly popular (around 200 people come to the cafe each Monday), and Sarah has plans to open more around the country.

Food & Drink

The Dragon Cafe provides a simple, affordable, healthy menu each week. All the food available is vegetarian, and is made on-site using surplus veg donated to the cafe by Borough Market.

The Dragon Cafe: The First Mental Health Cafe in the UK

Photo by Liz Gorman, a Dragon Cafe Volunteer

What’s nearby

Borough Market – a renowned London food market

Southwark Cathedral – the oldest cathedral church building in London

Tate Modern – the most visited art gallery in the world!

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About Author

Nisha Kotecha is the Founder of Good News Shared. Having worked and volunteered for charities in the UK for over 10 years, Nisha is on a mission to highlight how amazing charities are.

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