Farm Girl

Restaurants, Cafés Notting Hill
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 4 out of 5 stars
(11user reviews)
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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. 

By: Richard Ehrlich

Posted:

Venue name: Farm Girl
Contact:
Address: 59a Portobello Road
London
W11 3DB
Opening hours: Tues-Sat 9am-5pm; Sun 10am-6pm
Transport: Tube: Notting Hill Gate
Price: Meal for two with drinks and service: around £25.
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