June 29 2010
It’s not often that one stumbles upon a small slice of heaven, especially with a raging hangover. But after a somewhat full-on World Cup party recently, stumbling into the Clifton Nurseries in London’s Maida Vale the following morning was bliss. For not only are Clifton Nurseries festooned with a soothing selection of plants, trees, shrubs and topiary spread out over more than an acre; they serve that mother of all hangover remedies, a proper breakfast.
The Clifton Kitchen within Clifton Nurseries surely boasts the most aesthetically uplifting backdrop in London, after the National Gallery. There’s a choice of two environments. First there is a garden café, set close to the glorious bedding plants and beneath an awning and trellises filled with flowers, through which the light streams. Or there is a smaller indoor area with easy chairs, gigantic pot plants, skylight roofs and cakes on silver platters. Either way, this place is a welcome relief from the hard lines and minimalist design that characterise most other cafés in the area – especially when, as I was, you are feeling a little delicate.
All the food at The Clifton Kitchen is homemade, including the jams, cakes and chutneys. They serve breakfast, brunch, lunch and afternoon tea. The same Leafi group also runs The Buttery café at Burgh House in Hampstead and The Courtauld Gallery Café at Somerset House on the Strand.
Scrambled eggs and parma ham or bacon, £8.50; coffee, £2.50; cakes, £2.25-£3.50. Open Mon-Sat, 9.30am-5.30pm; Sun, 10.30am-4pm.