Andy on his love for the ORTUS centre

Andy lives locally and has been a loyal customer at ORTUS - the building and café Maudsley Charity owns and operates in Denmark Hill. 

Coming to ORTUS is an integral part of my daily life, really. It sort of enhances whatever you’re doing in your normal daily life. “When I first visited, I thought it was absolutely great. I couldn’t believe it. Completely the opposite of what you might think: that it’s part of the hospital. Quite a few people actually asked me, ‘oh, can you go in there?’ I said, yeah, course you can.

It was instantly friendly and warm and welcoming and a great place to come. That was about 2014/15.

Andy, sitting a table with her notebook and a coffee cup
Andy lives locally and has been coming to ORTUS for a decade

Great place to think and meet

I’m self-employed and live really close by, I can walk here in five minutes, and I come here to just get my thoughts together. I’ve always got my diary with me and I’m sort of normally just planning the next phone call or making notes about a meeting or something I’m working on.

It’s unusual these days that I have a day when I don’t come here. I keep coming back because it’s such a nice routine. It’s got a kind of scholarly vibe to it or something – I think it’s the architecture. It’s not claustrophobic, and any background noises become sort of transparent.

On occasion, I have actually had work meetings in here. It’s somewhere I more than happily bring someone who I’m trying to impress.

A man in the cafe, serving a customer
The ORTUS cafe

Welcoming staff

My favourite memories would probably be coming here with my kids in the summer. It’s just a nice feeling because you have all this glass and everything, and the doors might be propped open or whatever. Just so nice.

There was one day in January when both my kids had jobs at the café and they were both at work behind the counter. It was amazing to see because they’d been in here since they were young teenagers.

I’m famous for ordering soy cappuccinos but I’ve now actually ventured into oat cappuccinos. The staff here are great. Sometimes you don’t even have to say, your coffee will already be done before you come in the door. The local connection bit is just amazing. It’s a real blessing.