Like my waistline when I eat their cakes, the Daisy Green/Beany Green chain is rapidly expanding. From its roots as a brunch spot at the original Daisy Green, through its various Beany Green coffee shops, the chain now encompasses everything from cocktails and craft beer to sit-down restaurants, all of which are combined in the (relatively) new Darcie & May Green. Opening late last year, they are a pair of canal boats, moored stern-to-stern on Regent’s Canal , in the heart of my old stomping ground around Sheldon Square. You’ll find them outside the back entrance to Paddington Station (this is the one down the right-hand side of the station by the Hammersmith & City/Circle Line).
May Green is a coffee shop by day and craft beer/cocktail bar by night, while Darcie Green is a restaurant offering breakfast, lunch and dinner. They are joined by a continuous rooftop deck that runs the length of both boats. The coffee, as ever, is by fellow-Aussies, The Roasting Party, with a traditional espresso-based menu available in both May & Darcie Green, while May Green has a takeout window if you need a quick pick-me-up on the way from the station to the office.
You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.
Part of the growing number of excellent coffee options around Paddington, Darcie & May Green are moored directly opposite the station’s rear entrance. Darcie is on the right, her bow pointing towards Paddington Basin, while May is on the left, bow pointing towards Sheldon Square. Both have similar layouts, with open bows and covered seating inside. Access to each is down a flight of stairs near the stern, while May has another set of steps in her bow. Finally, there’s a flight of stairs in the middle where the two boats are stern-to-stern, which leads upstairs to the rooftop terrace.
If you want to eat (breakfast, lunch or dinner) head for Darcie, where the staff will show you to a table. If you’re after coffee, head over into May, where a dedicated window on the canal-side dispenses takeaway. Alternatively, head down either flight of steps and take a seat at a table or perch at the counter/bar. Finally, there’s the upstairs which, in my limited experience, is the preserve of the beer/cocktail drinkers, although you’re welcome to take your coffee upstairs if you like. There’s a long strip of astro-turf in the middle where you can sit, or there are picnic tables at either end. If you are drinking up here, you need to go downstairs to the bar in May, where you order and collect your drinks.
I visited Darcie & May Green three times, calling by for a takeaway flat white on my way to the office last week when I was back in Sheldon Square for work, popping in for coffee that weekend and finally having dinner at Darcie Green on Sunday evening.
Starting with my takeaway experience, you order at the window and can stand there, watching while the barista makes your coffee at your feet. You have to bend down to get your coffee, which can be a little awkward with a bad back (guilty as charged: getting back up was actually the tricky part), but otherwise it is a pretty slick operation and my flat white was everything I’ve come to expect from Beany Green/The Roasting Party, rich, creamy and very drinkable.
For my next visit, I popped into May Green. The layout is pretty simple, with the counter/bar running almost the full length of the quayside, the coffee towards the bow and beer at the stern. There are eight bar chairs spaced out along the bar/counter, while there are three two-person tables in the bow, one outside by the steps, the other two inside, one on either side.
During the day, the coffee is made here on the two-group La Marzocco FB80, but this is switched off mid-afternoon, at which point you can still order coffee, but it’s made next door on the one-group Linea Mini and brought through to you. I was there in the evening and had an excellent decaf flat white, every bit as good as the caffeinated one I had during the week.
I’ve had plenty of Beany Green breakfasts, brunches and lunches, but don’t often get the chance for dinner, so I thought I’d pop into Darcie Green on Sunday evening on my way back from the Birmingham Coffee Festival. The steps deposit you by the counter, where you wait to be seated. An open kitchen is to your left/behind you, while the seating runs the length of the boat ahead of you.
There are five two-person tables back-to-back on the right, while on the left are four two-person tables side-by-side, followed by three four-person tables. Finally, a pair of two-person tables occupy the open bow. There are large windows down either side of both boats, interspersed with portholes, so they are very bright spaces.
Unlike the brunch menu, which has lots of non-meat options, the lunch and dinner menus only really have one fish and two vegetarian options. On the other hand, if the food is good, you don’t need many choices. I opted for the Jerkfruit Curry, a new dish for me, with large chunks of curried fruit on a bed of turmeric rice, with a small pot of raita, some pickles and two small slices of flat bread on the side. Overall it was excellent, although if I had one small criticism, I’d have liked more bread.
Sadly there wasn’t time for dessert, although I can recommend the Melbourne Mars Bar cheesecake ball from visits to Timmy Green, while the Yogurt Pavlova caught my eye. Oh well, I guess I’ll just have to go back…
|GRAND UNION CANAL • SHELDON SQUARE • LONDON • W2 6DS|
|Monday||07:00 – 23:00||Roaster||The Roasting Party (espresso only)|
|Tuesday||07:00 – 23:00||Seating||Tables, Counter|
|Wednesday||07:00 – 23:00||Food||Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Cake|
|Thursday||07:00 – 23:00||Service||Order at Counter (May), Table (Darcie)|
|Friday||07:00 – 23:00||Cards||Amex, Mastercard, Visa|
|Saturday||08:00 – 23:00||Wifi||Free (with code)|
|Sunday||09:00 – 22:00||Power||Yes|
|Chain||Local||Visits||8th, 10th June 2018|
You can also see what I made of all the other branches of Daisy/Geany Green that I’ve visited.
Disclaimer: Daisy Green launched a bond in 2015 to fund future expansion. I was an investor in this bond, although by the time I visited Darcie & May, the bond had been repaid. Since my visit, I have become an investor in Daisy Green as part of a round of further investment funding.
My decision to write about Darcie & May Green was in no way influenced by my investment.
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