If you’re into clean-eating, finding a brunch spot can be a challenge. Pancakes, bacon and eggs don’t quite fit into the gluten-free, vegan, sugar-free lifestyle. At least there’s avo.
Thank goodness, then, for the likes of Farmacy, Notting Hill’s beloved healthy restaurant.
But the thing about Farmacy is that it’s popular even with people who like cheese and chips as much as kale and quinoa. And fortunately, Farmacy isn’t remotely preachy – there’s even *gasp* alcohol on the menu.
The interior of the restaurant is beautiful – think Gatsby meets jungle – with a big square bar in the middle where staff whip up impressive-looking smoothies, juices and cocktails.
I recommend the chocolate supreme superfood smoothie (£7), consisting of cacao, lucuma, dates, avocado, vanilla, cacao butter, pink himalayan salt and fresh almond milk. It tasted like a chocolate mousse – rich and delicious but not sickly. But if you’d rather something simpler, there’s infused still and sparkling water for free too.
When we visited for brunch, we shared the sweet potato and quinoa cakes (£7) as a starter – they were moreish and delicious with the lemon and tahini dip.
For my main course I had the pancakes (£11). Made with buckwheat flour and served with fresh berries, coconut yoghurt, chia berry jam and maple syrup, they looked just like any regular pancakes. Although surprisingly delicious for something supposedly healthy, they could've been a bit warmer and it wasn't a huge portion - all the more room for another course then.
More substantial, however, was my friend's veggie burger (£15), made of millet, black beans and mushroom, served with garlic aioli, goji ketchup, avocado, pickles and tomato in a sourdough vegan bun, with chips - yes, chips - on the side.
And if you're really hungry (which we were), treat yourself to a pudding. The raw banoffee pie (£10) – a biscuit base topped with fresh bananas, maca caramel and coconut whipped “cream” – is big enough to be a meal in itself but so creamy you may struggle not to eat it all, even if you are full.
Slightly lighter is the berry mess (£10): mixed berry “cream”, maple meringue, coconut nice-cream, fresh berries and caramelised almonds – which, like the pie, tastes too good to have any health credentials.
Staff are friendly and the vibe is relaxed – whether chia seeds or cheeseburgers are staples in your diet, you're bound to love Farmacy and leave feeling virtuous but satisfied.
Farmacy, 74 Westbourne Grove, London W2 5SH; farmacylondon.com; 020 7221 0705; open daily
Sweet potato waffles with avocado and rocket
Serve up these sweet potato waffles for the ultimate Saturday brunch spread. Simply delicious topped with avocado and rocket, and just a hint of lime.
200 g cold cooked sweet potatoes
150 g gluten-free flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cumin
4 Tbsp Gram flour mixed with 4 tbsp water
350 mL almond drink
2 Tbsp coconut oil
4 tsp nigella seeds
2 handful of rocket
Peel and mash the sweet potato until smooth. Sift the flour, cumin, salt and baking powder into a mixing bowl. Whisk together the gram flour and almond drink. Gradually whisk the wet ingredients into the dry until you have a smooth batter.
Grease a waffle iron liberally with coconut oil, sprinkle in a little of the nigella seeds and heat until hot. Cook the batter in batches until all the batter is used up, keeping the waffles warm as you go.
Peel and slice the avocado, top the waffles with sliced avocado and rocket, serve with a couple of lime wedges on the side to squeeze over.
For more recipes, visit myvega.co.uk/uk/recipes
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