I still have many more stories from our recent Bavarian travels to write about, but for this week’s post we’re heading back across the Channel to London to share some reminiscences from the few days we spent there earlier on in our trip. Our younger daughter, Mlle, has been living in London since last year and she was keen to show us round her local haunts and some of her favourite London places. Amazingly we had been to very few of them, despite living and working in London for 9 years ourselves! Our old stomping grounds were the suburbs to the north of the centre such as Camden, Wood Green and East Finchley where we lived at various times. I always loved heading over to Hampstead for a browse round the upmarket and rather expensive shops or hanging out at one of the Highgate Hill cafes. Of course with its many attractions we knew Central London well. However Notting Hill had a less than salubrious reputation when we lived in the metropolis, so I was hesitant to venture out that way – my knowledge until recently was confined to the Hugh Grant/Julia Roberts movie of the same name.
Notting Hill however is not too far from Mlle’s new base and so we headed off there one Saturday morning to take a look round. First stop a delicious late breakfast/brunch at an adorable eatery, The Wildflower Cafe, which has become one of Mlle’s favourite venues. The Wildflower Cafe, as its name would suggest, is actually a florist and restaurant combined and serves fresh organic produce. A favourite amongst locals, it is the sort of place you need to hear about through word of mouth. Somewhere between Ladbroke Grove and Westbourne Park, the Wildflower is tucked away along Chepstow Road W2. We arrived by a slightly circuitous route due to tube station closures, where we took a wrong turn into a housing estate (Mlle was using a phone app, which seemed to want to go as the “crow flies”!). We also had a few stressful moments trying to cross the busy thoroughfare Westway! You can’t miss the Wildflower though once you turn into Chepstow Road – the cheery lilac exterior brightens up the row of typical London terraced buildings.
Inside, the floral theme continues and you dine amongst pots of beautiful flowers in a setting that is cosy and rustic, yet hip and trendy at the same time!
The Wildflower is proud to have been named number one cafe in Notting Hill by Time Out magazine readers in 2014!
The food and presentation certainly merits the accolades! We tucked into scrumptious poached eggs on rye toast with avocado, truss tomatoes, wilted greens, mushrooms and organic fruit juices – it all tasted wonderful and as a tea connoisseur I especially enjoyed the green tea blend. Of course they serve plenty of coffees too and Monsieur got his long macchiato just to his liking without having to explain it to the waitress so he was duly happy!
The dishes are all served with a floral twist too!
Not surprisingly the Wildflower is extremely popular and bookings are essential. It still retains a lovely homely feel – we were pleasantly surprised to see a couple with their canine companion sitting at the table next to us – no way can you take a dog into a cafe in our neck of the woods back home in Perth (unless it’s a guide dog)! We’ve always liked the way continental Europeans are so relaxed about allowing doggy companions into restaurants and hotels and it looks as as though that influence is now coming into London cafe life too. If you’re visiting London the Wildflower Cafe is well worth checking out. Next week we’ll go exploring more of Notting Hill with Mlle!
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