8 OF THE BEST CAFÉS IN CHELSEA, MAYFAIR & KENSINGTON
If you’re a fan of cakes and pastries, leisurely breakfasts and afternoon tea then check out our guide to the top delicatessens and cafés in Chelsea, Kensington and Mayfair
1 Baker and Spice, Chelsea
The scented aromas of cinnamon and danish pastries will entice you inside this adorable bakery before you know it. Baker and Spice produces a daily fresh selection of cakes, croissants, pastries and cookies and has done so since opening its doors in 1995. Not only are you guaranteed to enjoy fresh-tasting local produce but breads made using traditional artisan methods and a divine homemade range of jams and preserves with flavours driven by the seasons. If you’re not on the run, take a seat in the warm, cosy interior and enjoy an all-day breakfast or brunch. Everything is incredibly healthy thanks to daily drop-offs of ingredients like Israeli avocados and Turkish pomegranates. With only three café locations: Belgravia; Chelsea; and Maida Vale respectively, it’s an absolute local gem that you must visit.
54-56 Elizabeth Street, Belgravia SW1W 9PB; 020 7730 5524 or 47 Denyer Street, Chelsea SW3 2LX; 020 7225 3417; bakerandspice.uk.com
2 Bluebird Chelsea, Chelsea
A well-loved local institution, the Bluebird Café’s usually packed front courtyard provides a great spot for people-watching during the day. When it gets dark, make your way inside to be greeted by a glitzy setting. The menu is French Bistro: everything from scallops and foie gras ballotine to whole turbot and roast barbury duck breast. With a great atmosphere, classic dishes and a reliable service, it’s a swanky treat but a worthwhile one.
350 King’s Road SW3 5UU; 020 7559 1000; bluebird-restaurant.co.uk
3 L’ETO Caffe, Belgravia, Chelsea and the King’s Road
L’Eto’s culinary creations are so pretty you might find yourself being one of those people that stare agog unashamedly through the display window. It’s a wonderful place for breakfast or afternoon tea; a few walks around the block and some of you might be able to justify doing both. The best-selling honey cakes – six layers of honey-dipped cake, filled with sweetened sour cream – are legendary and are worth the visit alone, however the excellent quality of the desserts will not disappoint any sweet-tooth lover. If you’re opting for a savoury menu, the colourful salads are hugely varied and there are pasta, chicken and fish dishes for heartier appetites. Both the Belgravia and King’s Road branches run an-all day menu: for breakfast try one of the delicious apple pancakes with fresh berries, vanilla cream & fruit compote, and Granny Smith apple sorbet.
See website for individual location address details; letocaffe.co.uk
4 Colbert, Chelsea
Brought to you by the group behind The Wolseley and Zedel, the Colbert is a more relaxed venue, evoking the spirit of Parisian boulevard cafés. The setting is superb, overlooking the cross-section of Chelsea, Knightsbridge and Kensington on Sloane Square. Inside every effort has gone into transporting you back to the 1930s with a dark wood décor, red banquettes, mirrors and white linen tablecloths. With French bistro cuisine on the menu, it would be rude not to order a croque sandwich – the Croque Madame comes with gruyère cheese, jambon blanc and a fried egg while the Croque Raclette is filled with raclette, bayonne ham and dill pickle. Alternatively an omelette makes the perfect option for a light lunch.
50-52 Sloane Square SW1W 8AX; 020 7730 2804; colbertchelsea.com
5 La Piccola Deli, Kensington
From its small roots in Kensington, La Picola Deli has grown in stature to become an in-demand specialist importer and distributor of Italian foods in London. Perched on the corner of Stratford Road and Stratford Studios, it’s a good place to sip on a cappuccino while watching the world go by. Being a shop, cafe and deli all in one means that you can enjoy a slice of their tasty pizza before stocking up on bread specialities like the rustic loaves from Puglia and expert-made ciabattas. If you’re looking for something to really fill you up, try the Parmigiana di melanzane or traditional beef lasagne, both made in-house.
La Piccola Deli, 20 Stratford Road, Kensington W8 6QD; 0207 938 5456; lapiccoladeli.com
6 Pavilion, Kensington
Adam Simmonds’ restaurant-cum-bar-cum-deli has elevated the art of brunch from a bleary-eyed weekend rite of passage into an elegant dining experience matched by the excellent quality of its artisan produce. Food here isn’t going to involve a bacon bap; you only need admire the Marquina marble, brass inlays and glamorous champagne bar with high leather bar stools to realise that. The Fromagerie stocks over 25 English and continental cheeses while approximately 12 different types of bread are made in-house. Among the sourdoughs, rosemary focaccias, croissants and Danishes are also gluten-free breads. Cured meats are served in sandwiches from Borough Market’s Cannon & Cannon – a pork pie here means a homemade pork pie with gold leaf and black truffle jelly – and even the garnishes, such as the piccalilli and the celeriac remoulade are prepared fresh. Come hungry.
96 Kensington High Street W8 4SG; 020 7221 2000; kensingtonpavilion.com
7 The Mount Street Deli, Mayfair
Since opening in 2010, The Mount Street Deli has become a destination deli with a chic clientele as well as being a firm favourite with locals. Sister restaurant Scott, which sits over the road, shares many ingredients and there are daily specials so no two visits are ever the same. Not just a sandwich place, the deli offers salads, meat dishes, plus a variety of pastries and a breakfast menu with homemade granola and egg dishes. There’s always a warm atmosphere and great service, and do not miss the regular food and drink events with a different theme showcasing the finest seasonal produce – bookings are essential.
100 Mount Street W1K 2TG; 020 7499 6841; themountstreetdeli.co.uk
8 Ca’puccino, Chelsea
An Italian coffee house and kitchen that first originated from Milan, Ca’puccino already has a branch in Harrods and another on the King’s Road, which opened in August 2011. Celebrating the best of regional Italian produce, the menu encompasses pasta and paninis, salads and soups, plus regional dishes like the Focaccia di Recco, a gorgeous focaccia from the city of Recco which is thin, delicate and crispy, filled with soft crescenza cheese and baked lightly in the oven. Also recently launched is the Aperitivo menu, an indulgent mix of hand crafted savoury and sweet canapes, and piccoli dishes, paired with deliciously sweet cocktails like the ‘Rossini’, which is named after the famous Italian opera composer Gioacchino Rossini and contains a blend of Prosecco and strawberry puree.
138a King’s Road SW3 4XB; 0207 0360 555; ca-puccino.com