Vegan restaurant Farmacy London opened in 2016 by Camilla Fayed (daughter of ex Harrods owner Mohammed). Nestled between boutiques on Notting Hill’s Westbourne Grove, the exterior reminds me of a Parisian pharmacy. Green and white awnings, extending plants and green Farmacy font against an upscale building. The restaurant promotes “eating as nature intended” following organic and biodynamic farming methods.
Ambience, staff and interior
The green health theme delicately paints the décor. An oasis of plants huddle round the bar. Stepping inside, me and my sister were greeted by a welcoming host who had a natural upbeat enthusiasm. We booked the location for my birthday at 6pm. Arriving 15 minutes early, we couldn’t yet order food but had time to scroll our menus.
When 6 o clock came, me and my sister were ignored while staff attended to other guests entering. We had to stop a waiter to give our food orders. The long wait for service didn’t start our experience great but staff were friendly and polite. I hadn’t visited a vegan restaurant before – usually I’m choosing between a salad and simple pasta at a meat loving place. I didn’t know if any vegan ‘hippie’ stereotypes would ring true.
Farmacy London has a charming ambiance – I liked that there was some noise and atmosphere. The room glistened and looked spotlessly clean. I felt comfortable; though the decorating screamed health conscious dining, diners resembled the image of any glam London restaurant. Newspaper reviews from The Guardian and Spectator criticise Farmacy London – a clean-eating spiritual home spewing nonsense food. I completely disagree.
Farmacy London review – vegan food and drinks
My first cocktail Rum Me Up The Right Way – rum, mango and lime juice tasted delicious and fruity. My sister had a Forager’s Martini which has a strong blackberry taste. We skipped starters and went straight for mains. I loved my mushroom tacos – a simple dish honing superb flavour. The Macro Bowl was enjoyed by my sister. Together we ordered a side of broccoli with almond butter.
Perhaps the tastiest order – I can’t say enough how good the broccoli was. I don’t think I’ve ever had it so flavoursome before. Our second cocktail Cool As A Cucumber resembled a Halloween potion. Though nice enough to drink, I wouldn’t order again. For dessert, my Raw Chocolate Tart lacked the wow factor. Again, nice enough – just not melt in your mouth good. My sister adored her Berry Eton Mess.
Because the restaurant is healthy – focusing on nutrition and healing, don’t expect a parlour of carb-fuelled, sugary goodies. The comfort food options: pizza, nachos, burgers, mac ‘n’ ‘cheese’, ice-cream etc., are created using healthier ingredients. Sourdough pizza bases, cashew yoghurt and ‘nice’ cream. My tacos couldn’t be better so I’m confident the other choices live up to expectation. Across the room, I saw a lady order a burger and it looked divine.
When I finished my meal at Farmacy London, I felt full without bloat. People complain about the clean-eating health epidemic and I admit to questioning it in past blog posts. What’s really wrong with caring about diet? Why do critics from newspapers visit these types of establishments if they’re going to complain about healthy substitutes? Yes, it’s a little trendy and Instagram worthy – Farmacy London has a niche in our social media bubble.
And thank goodness – sometimes I want to eat out without devouring large, sugar coated puddings, heavy chips and hearty mains. It’s nice to finish eating and not feel stuffed or like I need to undo a trouser button. Especially when going out after. Best of all, the food kept me going for hours. I like paying for wellness – knowing my body and my taste buds are happy is a win-win.
My next trip to Farmacy will entail either breakfast waffles or coffee and a light brunch. It’s a pretty place with a lovely atmosphere and smiling staff. My pudding didn’t quite 100% hit the mark and the waiting at the beginning was frustrating – concluding to four stars and not five. What they got right though, made it all worth it.
Four cocktails, two mains, two desserts and a side order came to £100. If you skip the cocktails, you can spend an evening here for around £30 – £40 each. I would book in advance and arrange a table after 6pm. As well as vegan food, many dishes are gluten free. Guests wore smart casual – a mix of families, couples and friends.
Notting Hill Gate station to Westbourne Grove is an approximate 10-minute walk – not the best in high heels. Have you heard of Farmacy London before? Does it seem like an ideal eatery?