I really don’t know how I’ve only just discovered this, but there’s a cosy cafe in Marylebone dishing up an Aussie-style brunch (almost) all day, every day…
Not quite hidden but such a gem, Daisy Green sits pretty on a corner of Seymour Street in the heart of Portman Village.
It’s a deceptively small space, full of quirk and whimsy and complete with an outdoor/ indoor garden in the basement inspired by Alice in Wonderland!
Predictably this downstairs seating was entirely taken by the time Talia and I wandered in on a lazy Sunday morning… But ungrudgingly, we settled on perching by the large glass windows near the entrance instead, the plentiful natural lighting providing motivation enough for me (#BloggerPriorities).
Seeing as this was a distinctly Aussie establishment, a flat white was well in order (and didn’t disappoint) as the breezy brunch options were perused and deliberated over…
Talz went for the shakshouka – baked eggs in a pool of spiced tomatoes and labne (a creamy yogurt-based dip) served with a side of cold fermented activated* charcoal bread.
Oh yes, you read that right.
As my #fitfood guru, Khushboo Thadani, astutely observed (incidentally in her own review of Daisy Green) – charcoal is the new black.
The blackened residue is the haute ingredient on the health-food scene currently, given the whole host of benefits it’s professed to have from cleansing the body of toxins and impurities, to doubling up as a hangover cure!
There’s no denying its visually striking appeal, but in terms of flavour the bread wasn’t vastly different to regular sourdough. Just a tad more gravelly perhaps.
* In case you were wondering, charcoal reaches an activated state by combining high temperatures and the addition of oxygen to carbon, with this process yielding a porous dust.
As for me, well the coconut bread French toast sounded more up my street.
Essentially one big party on a plate, it featured heaps of Greek yogurt, fresh and freeze dried berried, griddled mango, shaved coconut, bee pollen and of course – maple syrup!
Truth be told, I wouldn’t say that it was the best or most perfect brunch I’ve had. The shakhuka was a touch too watery (the liquid from the tomatoes could have been drained a bit more), while my ‘French toast’, while scrummy enough, was more of a slightly dry cake in texture.
And yet the cheerful setting and vibrant compositions made it impossible for us not to have left in a good mood. Sometimes, it’s all just about the experience and the company you keep.
What’s more, I don’t doubt that I’ll revisit Daisy Green. The promise of brunch (in whatever shape or form) on a daily basis is not something to be discarded lightly. Plus her famous banana bread did look well worth a try.
Daisy Green, 20 Seymour Street, Marble Arch, London W1H 7HX