Daisy Green

The letters DAISY, illuminated with light bulbs, with the DIY in green and the AS in redAt last! Normal service has been resumed. After three straight Coffee Spots visiting places in the correct order, the Coffee Spot returns to form…

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
  • The Beany Green heritage: deck chairs & astroturf out front despite the lack of space!
  • More outside seating in the shape of these three chairs down the side of Daisy Green.
  • Stepping inside, the L-shaped counter, seen from just inside the door, dominates the upstairs.
  • Upstairs at Daisy Green, looking back towards the window from the counter.
  • Detail of the window bar at the front of Daisy Green, looking out onto Seymour Street.
  • Daisy through the looking-glass: most of the wall opposite the counter is mirrors.
  • There's not a lot of space upstairs at Daisy Green, but this looks promosing...
  • Let's follow the arrow, shall we?
  • Woah! Why do stairs always look steeper in photographs?
  • A panoramic view of the lovely downstairs at Daisy Green, even smaller than the upstairs.
  • The seating is dominated by this long, communal table along the left-hand wall.
  • There are also four round tables, including this one by the left-hand window...
  • ... and this one against the front wall.
  • But wait! There's more! What's through the window? Let's find out, shall we?
  • It's the Daisy Green basement garden, seen here from by the window.
  • The 'garden' actually extends out under Seymour Street in the form of these two bays...
  • ... which are decorated in true Daisy/Beany Green style. This one has a communal table...
  • ... while this one has four individual tables.
  • Typical Daisy Green artwork on the back wall: colourful and slightly incongruous.
  • The garden extends around to the New Quebec Street side...
  • ... where there's another little bay extending out under the street.
  • It wouldn't be a Daisy/Beany Green without an enamel bath...
  • Although the giant Connect-4 is a new one on me.
  • The garden, showing its taste in reading materials...
  • Keep Cup takes a breather from the extensive tour.
  • Keep Cup, on the outside, looking in... But are the bars to keep us out or to keep them in?
  • The view through the window, back into the basement.
  • Time to go back inside...
  • We really should be heading back upstairs, but before we do...
  • ... let's take a look at the decor, starting with the painted egg at the bottom of the stairs.
  • Eggs seems to be a common theme at Daisy Green. Here's a (giant) golf ball egg...
  • ... and a papier mache rabbit's head. Why doesn't Beany Green have one of these?
  • As I've come to expect from the Paddington Beany Green, there are flowers on every table.
  • The artwork, however, is something else. Rabbits and bananas again...
  • ... while there are also flowers hanging from the ceiling.
  • Lots of flowers!
  • Sadly, this time we really do need to head back upstairs...
  • ... where we find Daisy Green demonstrating its dubious taste in reading material!
  • Nice telephone!
  • Very Daisy/Beany.
  • I really liked the bare light-bulbs hanging above the front window.
  • You knew this was coming, didn't you?
  • Aussie favourites: the cake menu, plus smoothies.
  • Meanwhile, here are the cakes themselves. It's a smaller selection than at Paddington.
  • That's because the bulk of the counter is given over to food.
  • A recent addition, both here and at Paddington, is the broccoli bread.
  • The range of healthy salads has also been extended...
  • ...while there are the usual wraps and the (unusual) 'power balls'.
  • At the heart of it all, though, is the coffee...
  • ... which comes from the lovely people at The Roasting Party in Winchester.
  • The menu, by the way, hangs above espresso machine on the back wall.
  • Self-portrait, sort of, as I put Ida to work on the espresso machine.
  • As a result, I got this lovely flat white, every bit as good as the ones at Beany Green.
  • I also had some lunch while I was there: salad and one of the Beany Balls!
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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.

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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