Farmacy, Notting Hill
Notting Hill has its fair share of healthy joints. There's Farm Girl, Nama and Granger & Co to name a few, and now, there's Farmacy. A glistening, light-filled, plant-spurting-from-every-corner vegan restaurant on Westbourne Grove opened by Camilla Fayed, daughter of ex-Harrods boss Mohammed Al Fayed.
Having visited twice now - once on a press breakfast and once off my own back - I'm going to say two things:
1. Don't go if you're not open to the clean eating way of life. This place is healthy, seriously healthy. Same goes for taking someone who's not into the clean life too!
2. It's opened in exactly the right area. Perfect for the health nuts and yogis that grace the hood, all lycra-clad and sunglasses-adorning boys and girls that will make you feel like you too should be brunching in your best Sweaty Betty gear.
I should say as I type this, I'm snacking on a dairy free, 100% raw, organic alternative to vanilla ice cream... so I'll say that I liked Farmacy but I'm well aware this place won't be for everyone - as veganism certainly isn't!
It's certainly one of the area's prettiest restaurants. As glossy as its clientele.
^ I call the banquette's colour 'vegan green'. Fits, doesn't it?
Drinks are an intriguing bunch.
I chose the 'Adaptogenic Latte' made with reishi, chaga, ho shu wu, maca, vanilla protein powder, dates & almond milk.
I did ask the waiter about the 'adaptogenic' part but sadly he was as helpful as the description itself, saying it was just a 'vanilla latte'. Riiight. It tasted like a warm version of some almond dream 'nice' cream I have. An acquired taste, but one I wasn't totally opposed to.
If you're feeling brave and virtuous (but mostly brave) give the Fire Starter syringe shot a try!
By no means is it an easy shot to drink - in fact, sipping is still quite impossible - due to your mouth being positively on FIRE but the ingredients of turmeric, ginger, cayenne and lemon are sure to give your metabolism a serious kick!
Next up, came the food.
On my second visit, the pancakes caused a divide on the table.
I'm all for them. They're light, genuinely delicious and don't leave you stuffed.
But my pancake-loving pal who likes her's totally indulgent and naughty quoted them as "too healthy tasting".
So you've been warned, they're not for everyone! Still, pretty though.
The smashed avo toast was somewhere in the middle on the scale of avo toasts in London.
Recommendation: order something else to go with the dish. Whether it's a side, another dish altogether or a smoothie - you'll probably want something more to fill you up!
With all that said, we really did enjoy both our respective dishes and it's great to find somewhere that does plant-based food well.
We all have those moments of needing to be a bit more virtuous when we eat out and Farmacy is perfect for this.
Who knows, maybe you'll become hooked?
So, will you be paying Farmacy a visit?
Find them at 74–76 Westbourne Grove, Notting Hill, London W2.