Regular readers will know that ever since it opened, Beany Green in Paddington has been my local, since it’s on the other side of the square from my office. I’ve also visited the South Bank branch, a quirky little container at the south end of Hungerford Bridge.
However, until last week, I’d never been to where it all began, the wonderful Daisy Green, parent of all the little Beanies spreading around London. So, on Friday, I took the plunge, forsaking lunch at Beany Green, and made the relatively short walk to Seymour Street, where, just a stone’s throw from Marble Arch and two blocks down from The Borough Barista, I visited Daisy Green.
If you’ve never been, you’re missing out. There’s the same Beany Green goodness that I’m used to: coffee from The Roasting Party, a wide range of innovative food and a selection of Aussie-inspired cakes, all in the same quirky surroundings that make the Paddington branch so wonderful. At the same time, Daisy Green is very much its own place, as you will discover…
You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.
Daisy Green, on the corner of Seymour and New Quebec Streets, is where it all began. Looking very much like a Beany Green (deck chairs outside on a strip of astroturf, name in lights above the door) and simultaneously very different (small street frontage, subdued white paint), Daisy Green is easily recognised as the parent of the ever-multiplying Beanies, from whom they have inherited much, while still being its own place.
Stepping inside, the first difference is apparent: Daisy Green is much smaller than the Paddington Beany Green. Much, much smaller. Entering via the recessed door, you find yourself confronted by the counter, an L-shaped beast that occupies much of the left-hand and back walls of Daisy Green. Behind/to your right, a narrow bar runs along the front, which is all windows, before extending halfway down the right-hand wall. And that’s it.
However, Daisy Green belies its size. By not cramming upstairs with seating, an immediate sense of space is created, helped by the wall above the bar opposite the counter being all mirrors. It also leaves plenty of room for people to come in, eye up what’s on offer and order, as well as creating a natural flow. Plus there’s room to linger if waiting for takeaway.
If you like, you can sit upstairs at the bar, watching the coming and goings of the customers, but if you’ll take my advice, head past the espresso machine and, turning back on yourself, follow the illuminated arrow which points down a steep flight of stairs. These pitch you out roughly under the espresso machine, with a kitchen behind you and one of the London’s most delightful seating spaces ahead of you. Slightly smaller than upstairs, there’s a communal table on the left-hand wall, and four, white, round tables, one against each of the remaining walls, with the fourth in the centre of the room.
This being a basement, you might presume it dark and dull, but far from it. Windows pierce the front (Seymour Street) and right-hand (New Quebec Street) walls, while Daisy Green could never be described as dull. With banana-theme rabbit art on the walls, giant, decorated eggs in the corners, flowers on the tables and hanging from the ceiling, this is Daisy Green at its idiosyncratic best.
However, there’s more. A bright red door in the front wall beyond the communal table leads into Daisy’s final delight, an outdoor, subterranean area, a cross between grotto and garden. Running in a narrow strip open to the sky along the front and side of Daisy Green (where it gives access to a metal staircase up to street-level), there wouldn’t be much to it, except that the grotto-part kicks in, with three bays extending under the street, two to the front, one to the side. In all, you could comfortable get another 20 people out here. Colourful and slightly incongruous pictures bedeck the whitewashed walls, while astro-turf lines the floor.
Back upstairs, it was lunchtime. I had a Beany Ball, a healthy, protein-based concoction, enlivened by spicy tofu mayonnaise, plus coriander cauliflower salad and a mix of peas, beans and spinach. All very tasty and filling. And, of course, I had a flat white, every bit as good as those that I enjoy on a regular basis when I’m in Paddington.
For some other perspectives, check out what Bex of Double Skinny Macchiato thought of brunch at Daisy Green and see what Something Different thought of the bottomless brunches. In other news, Daisy Green won the 2015 Coffee Spot with the Best Basement Award.
You can also see what I made of all the other branches of Beany Green that I’ve visited.
|20 SEYMOUR STREET • LONDON • W1H 7HX|
|www.daisygreenfood.com||+44 (0) 207 723 3301|
|Monday||07:00 – 18:30||Roaster||The Roasting Party (espresso + bulk-brew)|
|Tuesday||07:00 – 18:30||Seating||Bar (upstairs) Tables (downstairs & outside)|
|Wednesday||07:00 – 18:30||Food||Breakfast, Lunch, Cake|
|Thursday||07:00 – 18:30||Service||Order at Counter|
|Friday||07:00 – 18:30||Cards||Mastercard, Visa|
|Saturday||09:00 – 17:00||Wifi||Free|
|Sunday||09:00 – 17:00||Power||Limited|
|Chain||Local||Visits||20th February 2015|
Disclaimer: In the second half of 2015, Beany Green launched a bond to fund its future expansion. I invested in this bond, and, like all bond-holders, receive free coffee as a reward. This Coffee Spot was published before the bond was launched.
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