I’m a huge fan of the Daisy Green Collection – a group of restaurants that serves perfect simple food that is just packed with flavour in a relaxed atmosphere that is also beautiful. In other words the Daisy Green restaurants (which now encompass eight venues across London) are just deceptively good which is why I return time and time again to my local Timmy Green. When I heard about the opening of Darcie and May Green in Paddington, I was keen to see how it compared and intrigued by the setting.
Because Darcie and May Green is actually located on a colourful barge on the Grand Union Canal in Paddington
Actually make that two colourful barges, named Darcie Green.
And May Green. And actually they’re more than just barges they’re works of art designed by the ‘godfather’ of British pop art, Sir Peter Blake.
Like two vibrant sisters floating side by side. May is the party animal, open late into the evening, housing a buzzy bar with nine local craft beers on tap and a full cocktail menu. And then opening again at 7am when you’re ready for your morning flat white and a slice of that famous Daisy Green banana bread. Darcie is the more relaxed of the sisters serving an Aussie-inspired brunch and all day menu.
She’s quite a babe on the inside too, not too narrow for a canal boat, the dining room is relaxed and spacious with fluffy cushions and extra blankets.
My time spent with my university friends has become much less frequent than when we first graduated, as now many have moved out of London. But fortunately Paddington is in easy reach for my friend Claire who is currently on maternity leave meaning Darcie and May Green was the ideal lunch venue (it’s right opposite the station too). Brunch items are served until three and I spotted some familiar favourites on the menu that are also available at Timmy Green (shout outs to the shakshuka, salmon royale, granola and Mr S’s favourite, The Bondi) or you can opt for the all day menu from 11.30am.
We started with tuna tostados – rare tuna on avocado with an onion relish which were our favourite thing of the day. We even asked for a second plateful as we were super impressed with the little bites, packed with the great flavours that I expect from this restaurant collection.
Claire opted for the tempura soft shell crab, Szechuan caramel, pickled cucumber salad which was delicious and crispy and actually a good lighter choice. Less successful were the daikon fries with miso mayo which were recommended to us. I’d never had the radish cooked in this way and, Claire thought they tasted undercooked and I though they resembled deep-fired water.
Much better was the substitution, beautifully cooked and filling roasted sweet potatoes – you can’t go wrong with a classic and they were served with a delicious pomegranate mint yogurt.
I enjoyed my tuna but would have personally preferred it slightly pinker and I’m not a huge fan of the raw artichokes but I loved the fennel and caper salad and the liberal salsa verde dressing on the plate. I have so many hefty Christmas meals coming as well as my trip to Budapest so it was great to have something lighter.
However, of course being a food blogger means it’s often necessary to have dessert, it’s my job after all… and spying something rather special on the table next to us, Claire and I already knew what we were going to order.
The Mars bar cheesecake is a dream! Crack open that delicious shell of chocolate and there’s sweet cream cheese, chocolate and caramel – I can easily see this becoming one of London’s iconic desserts.
Just like Darcie and May’s older brother Timmy, I can see this restaurant becoming a firm favourite. It’s also gorgeous and one of a kind!
Grand Union Canal
We were guests of Darcie and May Green