Le Chic En Rose

Diaries of an independent traveller

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 alsoΒ 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!

 

Inside the Wildflower Cafe Notting Hill

Inside the Wildflower Cafe Notting Hill

 

The Wildflower is proud to have been named number one cafe in Notting Hill by Time Out magazine readers in 2014!

 

The Wildflower Cafe was recently voted number 1 cafe in Notting Hill by Time Out readers

The Wildflower Cafe was recently voted number 1 cafe in Notting Hill by Time Out readers

 

The food and presentation certainly merits the accolades! Β 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!

 

Pretty rustic table settings at the Wildflower Cafe

Pretty rustic table settings at the Wildflower Cafe

 

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!

 

 

Copyright Β© 2015 Rosemary Thomas Le Chic En Rose. All rights reserved

 

 

34 thoughts on “Exploring London’s Notting Hill: The Wildflower Cafe

  1. avibrantday says:

    Oh, wow!! I’d love to visit this spot! It looks wonderful (and I love the pansy on the delicious looking plate!).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was a great little spot for a relaxed brunch Jacqueline and so pretty too! Wasn’t the purple pansy a sweet touch – all the dishes came with floral decorations on them?! Wishing you a lovely weekend πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      1. avibrantday says:

        I can’t wait to get back to the UK. My first impressions were wonderful. I’d love to visit this quaint little spot. Thanks for sharing!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. You’re welcome Jacqueline πŸ™‚ London has so many charming little spots too! You can wander around for hours and not get bored plus they’re having lovely summer weather at the moment! πŸ™‚

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  2. I’ve never been to Notting Hill Rosemary in all my London visits – seen the movie too though!! The Wildflower Cafe looks absolutely adorable and the food is mouth watering in your pictures. Your daughter is lucky to have a place like that as a local haunt – think if it was near to me I’d never be out of it!!

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    1. It’s funny how you can visit a place often Joy or even live there and not go to many of the attractions. Having said that Notting Hill did not have the profile it has now when we lived in London over 20 years ago! We would have never known about the cafe if our daughter hadn’t taken us there. Yes she is so lucky to live quite close by and the Portobello Road markets were wonderful (more about them next week). I’d love to a have local haunt like the Wildflower Cafe too but I might not get anything else done!! Enjoy your weekend πŸ™‚

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      1. Looking forward to reading about the markets Rosemary – I’m already getting lots of ideas for a next London trip!!

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        1. That’s great to hear Joy – part of the reason I wanted to do some London posts was that we went to some places I wouldn’t normally go to because our daughter is now a local! It was interesting to see London through her eyes and get a feel for how London has changed since we lived there. The markets were amazing too – I could have stayed all day!!

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  3. KerryCan says:

    I read mysteries by Deborah Crombie and they’re set in this part of London–all the place names sound familiar!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hadn’t come across her books before Kerry so I’ve just googled them and they sound fascinating and right up my street! Apparently they are well known too for the maps and illustrations and I see she set some of her books in Notting Hill!

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      1. KerryCan says:

        Try them! I really like them a lot. it’s a series, with main characters that are very appealing. It’s probably worthwhile to go back and start with the earlier books, so you get a sense of character development. And, yes, the maps are charming!

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        1. Thanks for the tips Kerry – always love a good crime novel!

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  4. There are really nice places in London, a bit away from the touristy side, when you know where to find them πŸ™‚

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    1. Exactly Gin you just have to go off the tourist trail a bit and knowing someone with local knowledge really helps! πŸ™‚

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  5. restlessjo says:

    Looks great! It’s a long time since I headed out that way, though not too far away at Little Venice. Hope the tube closures didn’t affect you too much. I like the buses better anyway (or hoofing it πŸ™‚ Tired legs!)

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    1. The cafe was lovely Jo and a new experience for me being in that part of town πŸ™‚ We did head out to Little Venice one day too – Mlle took me to me to Beany Green for morning coffee (another of her favourites). She was heading off to work that day though so we didn’t have time to stay and wander along the canal (I remember that great post you had recently about the area!). Fortunately we’re back in Perth now so not affected by the tube strike – it must be causing chaos though! Hopefully it will be resolved soon – Mlle is in France so she is missing out on it too! I do take the tube if I’m in London but it’s such a scrum! I couldn’t believe the distances we walked – my iPhone health app was saying we were doing about 7 to 8 miles a day (everyone drives far too much in Perth!). I also took the bus quite a bit with Mlle on this visit and was pleasantly surprised how easy it was to get around that way – now I have an Oyster card it’s so much easier whenever I go and visit there too πŸ™‚

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      1. restlessjo says:

        Hard to keep track of where us travellers get to πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

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        1. Yes it can be rather confusing Jo – I have sort of backtracked to London on the blog at present. The Munich and Bavaria trip was after that but I had so many posts to do on there that I thought it was time for a change. I’ll go back to Bavaria soon (in a manner of speaking) and I haven’t covered Yorkshire and the Harrogate area yet either! Am back in WA for the time being (and we have done some great days out here too recently, which are worth a mention)!! πŸ™‚

          Liked by 1 person

  6. Looks like a really nice places with delicius food! These pictures got me hungry….

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    1. It’s a lovely cafe Hanne and the food is delicious – they use organic products and have some great recipe ideas. Plus it was just a lovely ambiance inside! I’m feeling hungry myself looking back at the photos – we’re having very chilly nights here in Perth this winter and I just seem to be eating all the time to stay warm! πŸ™‚

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  7. colibrist says:

    Florist and cafe, so original! Looks nice and homely and the food looks tasty, definetely a place to try if I’m ever around! There’s nothing as visiting a place with a local – and meeting family after a long time! Happy travels πŸ™‚

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    1. I know I thought it was a great concept Laia too. It was lovely to have our daughter as a travel guide – we found so many interesting places πŸ™‚ Much better to go round with a local as you say and catching up with family too after a while is lovely! I can highly recommend the Wildflower Cafe if you’re ever in this part of London πŸ™‚ Hope you’re having a lovely time catching up with your family again in Canada too. I’ll head over to your blog very soon too for a good catch up! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Heyjude says:

    Oh now, it is not too early to enjoy this breakfast! Looks delicious. I love finding little cafΓ©s like this where the food is great and the ambience perfect. It certainly helps to have a ‘local’ to show you around. I love visiting my son in Australia as he usually takes me to little places like this, although now he has moved to Perth I guess he is still in the process of discovering them for himself.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can certainly recommend the Wildflower breakfast Jude – it was delicious and such a lovely cafe in which to enjoy it! They do lunches and dinners there too – it is the sort of place you’d never know about unless someone told you. As you say it certainly helps to have a local showing you round πŸ™‚ How interesting that your son has moved to Perth! We’ve lived here twice – initially for nearly 4 years when we first moved from the Uk. Then we went off to Melbourne for nearly 7 years before returning to Perth where we’ve been for 14 years now. It’s a great place to live and has really expanded since we first came here – much more cosmopolitan that it used to be and a very relaxed and laid back lifestyle, which you will hopefully discover for yourself in due course! πŸ™‚

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      1. Heyjude says:

        Well yes I am hoping for at least one visit there! Though I think they will probably only be in Perth for a couple of years – it is a stepping stone on the career ladder, and knowing my son, he could jump off at any minute! I think they’ll end up in New Zealand eventually (partner’s family live there) once little man starts school.

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        1. Often people move when kids are due to start school – it certainly affected our decisions over the years. I hope you can come out to Perth at least once when your son and family are here – there’s a lot to see and do here and it’s a beautiful place! You can go down south to the Margaret River area (one of my favourite places) or up north (which we’ve never done despite living here so long now!)

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          1. Heyjude says:

            I have been south (though it wasn’t the best of weather at the time) but I’d like to go north and also see the spring flowers up there. Timing has to be right for that, but given your high temps last summer I think I should avoid the summer months!

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Actually we didn’t think last summer was too bad! We didn’t have too many days in the high 30’s and only a couple around 40! So yes I’d avoid January and February but the rest of the year should be fine – spring is the time to see the wild flowers, which am sure you’d love πŸ™‚

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            2. Heyjude says:

              High 30s and 40 degrees would finish me off! I like it around 25 at the max. And not humid. Humidity makes me bloat and feel uncomfortable. It was a lot more humid in Sydney when I was there in November than I remembered from previous visits. Is it humid in Perth?

              Liked by 1 person

            3. No Jude, Perth is lovely in that respect – low humidity during the warmer months (we do get an occasional summer storm if there is a cyclone up north and I always feel more uncomfortable then than on hotter drier days). That’s why I much prefer Perth – a lovely Mediterranean climate, not humid and with an afternoon sea breeze in the summer months πŸ™‚ The eastern states (and of course Darwin and NW Western Australia) are a lot more humid and they’ve had progressively wetter summers, which has increased the humidity levels. Queensland is always very humid in summer (I’ve only been there in winter when it was lovely). My husband has been there quite a lot for work and says I’d hate the summer – it is so humid and uncomfortable there. I know it sounds hot here in Perth especially in January and February, but often it’s only for a couple of hours or so then the sea breeze comes in and anyway it’s a dry heat the majority of the time. Much prefer the west! πŸ™‚

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            4. Heyjude says:

              Sounds like my kind of place. Sigh. I shall definitely have to make plans to visit next year.

              Liked by 1 person

            5. Sounds a plan – if you want to see the wildflowers spring is the time to come here! πŸ˜‰

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