Having spent the last 3 months living just a hop, skip and a jump between South Kensington and Gloucester Road tubes, I think it’s safe to say I’ve become quite an expert on the local cafes on offer around the area. I’ve spent many a weekend diving in to try a new cafe to warm up with a chocolatey mocha and a slice of cake to keep me going till dinner time.
I don’t want to tell you about the usual suspects round the area i.e. Hummingbird cafe (unreal cupcakes) and Gail’s cafe (fantastic sausage rolls), but instead to tell you about a few that aren’t the usual haunts to visit.
On arriving in Gloucester Road for the first time, my husband and I were walking to our new flat and spotted Zach’s on our route home. It had that feel of a diner in New York and of course, having dumped all our stuff in the flat, we thought it best to head straight back out and try the place out.
All the amazing cakes are in the window enticing you in, so it’s hard to walk past the window and not look what’s on offer.
It’s got a nice clean, simple, fresh feel to the place and a nice welcome from the waitress to start the experience off. We both ordered coffees and I spotted the chocolate chip cookies, whilst Will went for the rockyroad brownies. I also had a browse at their jams and chutneys which all looked tasty along with their menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It looks like the kind of place the cool kids would hang out with their Mac Books enjoying the free wifi.
If you’re looking for a local place that does coffee and sweet treats right, then definitely head here if you’re in the area.
Zach’s Deli, 115 Gloucester Road.
On another occasion, after some boxing day shopping and a very long walk all the way from Covent garden to South Ken, we stopped just a few minutes walk from home at Muriel’s Kitchen which is just a 30 second walk from South Ken tube.
The restaurant was beautifully decorated with lights from Christmas and there was a crowd round the window pointing at all the gastronomic delights on offer.
The have a nice set up with just a few standard tables and the rest are high seating either looking out over the road where you get to watch the world go by or across high tables where you can gossip with the girls. The place is beautifully decorated and you really feel like you’re in a family kitchen with mum getting the kettle on for you.
We managed to get a nice spot in the window without having to wait too long and ordered some coffees along with a brownie and some lemon cake, oh yes and a milkshake to boot! We had been walking a long time so we needed the calories. Honest. Service was quick, coffees were tasty, the lemon cake was great, the brownie somewhat small! The atmosphere was all cozy and you felt like you could stay there for hours just ordering more coffee and catching up with friends.
I did however go back there recently with my parents for coffee and cake and unfortunately the service was dismal. I don’t know why, but everything was terrible, but I’m putting it down to a bad day at the office for them and will remember my first visit their fondly.
Follow them @murielskitchen or visit them at 1-3 Pelham St, South Kensington, London SW7 2ND
The last ‘place-to-visit’ on my list isn’t strictly an independent caffe, but it did serve the lightest piece of cake I’ve ever tasted. L’Eto Caffe was actually the place I tried to go to with my parents but they only have enough room for 8 people to sit down at one time so as a group of 4, we didn’t get lucky and just salivated a little bit at the cakes on show that we wouldn’t get the chance to try that day. I wasn’t going to be beaten though and dragged Will there the following weekend for a spot of lunch followed by cake.
They have the most beautiful salads on show and you can just see all the vitamins and nutrients from the bright colours produced across the array of salads from mushroom and spinach quiches to fennel and apple salads. They all looked so good I just asked the waiter to pick as many as he could fit on my plate. I must admit, this might have been a slight oversight on my part as I discovered the cost was based on weight! I thought a big bill might just be coming my way at the end of the meal (and it did!).
However, what I wanted to tell you about was their Honey Cake. It was just stunning. I couldn’t decide what to have with so much choice but the waiter told me it was their best seller, so who was I to argue with the masses. It was the lightest, most delicate cake I’ve ever eaten and delivered the most dreamy flavours. I didn’t even think I was a big ‘honey’ flavouring fan, but this one won me over.
They do have cafes all over town, but this tiny place whilst on the small size definitely punches big flavours. Go spoil yourself on what is probably the best piece of cake I’ve ever eaten, it’s worth it. (Just miss out on the salad… £7.50 for a piece of quiche, don’t even ask what the salad part came to!)
I visited the caffe on 125 Fulham Road, Chelsea SW3 6RT