A pasteltastic Hackney café serving coffee, cake and meals.
You know those super-cute, uber-quirky interiors you’re always lusting after online? The ones full of pastels, pot plants, retro prints and mid-mod furniture? If the answer is ‘nope’ then you might want to stop reading, since Palm Vaults – which landed on the pedestrianised top end of Mare Street this summer – is totally committed to its eccentric look.
From the enormous cheeseplants to the luscious pink and green icing on the cakes, the vintage marble-topped tables and exposed brick walls right down to the pink paper in the till, every tiny detail is geared towards aesthetic nirvana (2016 edition). For better or worse, it’s been called ‘London’s most Instagrammable café’. What’s surprising is that Palm Vaults is more than just a pretty face; it does the business when it comes to eating and drinking.
When it first opened, this place didn’t serve much more than coffee, though we’re talking more than greasy-spoon cappuccinos – matcha frappés, avocado coffee and colourful rose, aqua and lavender lattes appear on the pegboard menu alongside five hot chocolates and nine loose-leaf teas. Ditching dairy? Then try soya, coconut, oat, almond and cashew alternatives to cow’s milk. That’s a whole lot of vegan coffee combinations.
Now, Team PV have also added breakfast, lunch and brunch to the equation. They do avocado on toast, obviously, but again there’s a twist: chilli, seeds and (optional extra) bits of downright delicious vegan ‘bacon’ made out of coconut. The spinach dhal was a warming and authentic treat too. Add a slice of courgette, matcha and lemon cake for lunch beneath the palms. It’s not the most affordable meal in Hackney, but for a tropical escape this winter it’s a damn sight cheaper than Miami.
411 MARE STREET
MONDAY – WEDNESDAY: 7.30AM – 6PM
THURSDAY – FRIDAY: 7.30AM – 8PM
SATURDAY: 9AM – 8PM
SUNDAY: 9AM – 5.30PM
This is an all vegan restaurant not far from West Kensington / West Brompton stations. From the outside it looks like a cafe but it’s not quite so basic on the inside although seating is pretty informal. Our table of 5 we’re sat on a long table sharing with other small groups. Other tables in the restaurant were predominantly for 2. The menu is pretty extensive and on entering the restaurant the smell of the food hits you – it is soooo good, I didn’t expect to get hungry just on entry alone! We were a party of 1 vegan, 1 veggie, 1 pescatarian and 2 meat eaters and we all loved it. We shared the garlic bread (gorgeous), artichokes, plantain, pitta and dips to start. The avocado dip is mixed with a basil pesto and is such a great combination – the pimento dip is equally moorish! We were all really happy with our mains, the seitan stroganoff was a popular choice and disappeared very quickly! The service wasn’t fantastic, a little slow and frantic and we didn’t get our jug of tap water until we asked for a fourth time. However, the food was really interesting and genuinely very tasty, we all tried a bit of each other’s and have sworn to come back to try more. Oh, and the desserts are delicious and feel almost guilt free!! The chocolate gateaux with ‘vanilla dessert’ is beautiful – it needs to be shared though due to sheer richness! ‘Vanilla dessert’ is vegan custard and it’s not far off the real thing, very satisfying!