A Portobello Road café with a focus on healthy eating: breakfasts and brunches, cakes and sweets.
The words ‘healthy eating in Notting Hill’ make me feel slightly queasy. I hate watching those slim, smug one-percenters munch quinoa salad while whining that they can’t get back to Tuscany before the twins start at Pembridge Hall.
Farm Girl, at the southern end of Portobello Road, has its share of local wealth-kissed health-seekers. But I still love it. The room abounds in colour, on the walls (lovely greens) and even in the oatmeal napkins (bleach-free) and pink salt (probably Himalayan). There’s a huge wall-mounted fruit basket.
There is more colour in the smoothies, though the look of the one made with banana and almond milk reminded me of… well, I’d rather not say. And neither would the Time Out lawyer. It’s better on the palate than on the palette, I’m sure.
Colours turn joyful again in the salad combos, sold in two sizes. On the day I went it was coleslaw, green bean and broccoli, and beetroot and spinach. Nothing revolutionary, but apart from underdressed coleslaw, everything was remarkably good. Dressings were zingy, ingredients cooked right on the knife-edge between al dente and al chewy. Nuts and seeds abounded yet none showed the faintest trace of rancidity (a common problem at many a nuts-and-seeds-loving place). Three cheers for simple things done perfectly.
Two off-notes sounded. An on-trend slice of cake (no gluten, etc) was dense, dry and deadly dull. A raspberry cookie (cream-filled butter biscuits) was heavenly, but in size it lay somewhere between a £2 coin and a digestive – and it cost £2.30. Other prices are high but the portions justify it. The large salad (£9) would feed two (sorry Farm Girl!); £9.50 sandwiches are the size of a postcode. The BLT is made with coconut instead of bacon, but others are more conventional.
In addition to the dining room, with its small mezzanine over the serving counter, there is a tiny courtyard at the front: on market day, it’s a blissful haven from the unbearable crowds. Service is nonstop sunny. Fellow lunchers came in all shapes and sizes, and no one mentioned their villa in the Chianti hills. Not to me, anyway.
59A PORTOBELLO ROAD
207 229 4678
This has been on my bucket list for a while and I’m so glad I finally got around to going.We went on a stunningly beautiful Sunday morning, full of sunshine and not a cloud in the sky. I was the first to arrive out of my group at 10:25am, they don’t take bookings so I am glad I arrived when I did as I was second in the queue and didn’t wait long at all for a table. The restaurant is easy to find but hidden through a little courtyard, we luckily were able to sit outside and enjoy the beautiful weather with some baked eggs, blue matcha latte and fresh juice.
Farm Girl has a great relaxed vibe, all the staff we met were absolutely delightful and I would recommend a visit!
I have wanted to go to Farm Girl for a long time, as it’s an Instagram favourite and every time I saw a photo of those great-looking, colourful pancakes, I knew that this should be the go-to place for my next brunch outing.
I went there on a Saturday at 11 am and the queue was quite long – as I expected. But I was really lucky to get a table for me and my friend in 5 minutes, as we were willing to sit outside (it was an amazing and warm spring day). I found the outside space so cozy and it was lovely to enjoy the sun while at the same time enjoying a great brunch.
Naturally, I went for the buckwheat pancakes, which didn’t let me down one bit and truly lived up to their Instagram reputation. They are full of spices, which makes them very different from the usual pancakes you get elsewhere. The pistachio nuts add a nice crunch to them and is also a colourful touch. Delicious!
My friend had perfectly poached eggs on sourdough toast with avocado and smoked salmon, which also looked delicious. We were both very happy with both the food and the coffees. What is also a bonus here is that most of the choices are healthy too 😉
Farm Girl is a place that feeds your eyes as much as it feeds your belly and they make a great effort to make everything look delicious and special – they even add glitter to their cakes! Who doesn’t want glitter on their cake?
All in all it was a really nice brunch place that I would like to visit again. The only small minus was the service, that was very slow. Of course, it was a super busy Saturday and as the the staff is so friendly and the surroundings so nice, it didn’t really affect our all in all great impression.