Darcie & May Green, a ‘floating piece of art’ opposite Paddington station, is an all-day restaurant on a canal boat from a team of Antipodeans who are big fans of brunch. It’s covered with colourful pop art stencils, there’s a cursive neon sign out front and astroturf on the roof. From the description, I thought it was going to be terrible. But don’t you just love it when a restaurant proves you wrong?
Off the brunch menu, the baked aubergine fritters (which were crispy and deep-fried) with kimchi ketchup, poached eggs, avocado and corn salsa were delicious, as was the shakshuka: spicy tomatoes, creamy labneh and two beautifully wobbly eggs in a skillet. Even the desperately trendy ‘charcoal bread’ it came with turned out to be great, its smokiness adding a whole other dimension. Later, a slice of moist, delicious banana bread came topped with berries, mascarpone and a drizzle of super-sweet honey, and the coffee was flawless.
The boat is split into three sections: a roof, a bar and a dining area. All are lovely. Dishes are served on beautiful ceramic plates, the chairs are plush and colourful, and light reflects off the water so it flickers peacefully inside. It’s unusually spacious and pleasant for a canal boat. Though you can’t eat on the roof, when you’re finished dining you’re allowed to take your prosecco upstairs.
It’s a stellar combination of brunch spot and rooftop bar – what could be more perfect for London?