I am all for a red cup with an unpronounceable long name to it, as long as it’s got my name written all over it. But sometimes, I just need to step away from the corporate coffee chains and go for the real deal: a local cafe, where the bread is freshly baked and the soups are cooked on site.
Jamie Oliver’s Recipease in Notting Hill isn’t really a hidden gem – with its large glass front and its corner position on Notting Hill Gate and Pembridge Road it practically jumps at you. Also, Jamie Oliver isn’t really a small local coffee shop owner; it’s an international TV/DVD/multi zillion book deal/cookery accessories and food education brand. However, they have somehow managed to keep a very local and genuine feel to their cafes and restaurants.
Maybe it’s because their dishes come on chunky pottery rather than plastic boxes, maybe it’s because their cakes and pastries taste authentically homemade, or maybe it’s because there is a certain, distinct Jamie Oliver atmosphere about the place. Take the loos, for example. Made by Thomas Crapper. Typical Essex boy toilet humour.
My favourite dishes: carrot pancakes and eggs & soldiers. Favourite drinks: beet squeeze (a smoothie with banana and beetroot) and fresh mint tea. Served in a chunky little teapot, of course.
Recipease, 92-94 Notting Hill Gate, London W11 3QB, Tel.: 0203 375 5398