I’m about to share with you a hidden gem: Book & Kitchen, a bookshop and a cafe located in Notting Hill.
I discovered the place with my boyfriend a few weeks ago but it was closed. It seemed to be so cute that I swore to myself to come back.
When Nathalie was there, we couldn’t go to both Notting Hill and Camden so I chose to go to Notting Hill that I was sure she would prefer.
When I go in this area by myself, with my boyfriend or with Londoner friends, I tend to avoid weekends because I try as much as I can to stay away from the crowd.
But with friends visiting, especially if it’s their first time in London, I make an exception and go during the weekend to show them the world’s largest antiques market on Portobello Road.
So we went on Saturday morning. Despite being the first weekend of May, it was freaking cold and I had to lend a beanie and a pair of gloves to Nathalie.
On the way, I told her about the little place I had in mind for lunch but also that I was that I was a bit worried that there would be no table available.
After the market on Portobello Road and some mythical places seen in the “Notting Hill” movie (such as the bookshop and the blue door of the house where Hugh Grant lives), we finally turn right on Lancaster Rd and then the second on left on All Saints Road.
After a few more steps we finally arrived to Book and Kitchen.
We entered in the bookshop and were surrounded by contemporary and classic fiction, art, philosophy and non-fiction books.
When I said that we were here for lunch, I was told that we could eat on the big table facing the window on this floor or go downstairs where the cafe is actually located.
We took the stairs and arrived to a room with more books (it’s the children’s area with books for newborns to 18 years old) but also tables, chairs and a display of the food of the day. The place was much bigger than I expected.
And, there was a window opened on a courtyard garden…. Curious as we are, we went to have a look. The courtyard is sheltered from the wind and the temperature was surprisingly good. We decided to eat outside. We couldnt believe how lucky we were as we would never have guessed that possible when we went out in the morning with our beanies and gloves…
I expected the place to be full, it happened to be empty. The reason is that it was a Bank holiday weekend and that most of the regulars must have left London. As for the tourists, they normally don’t venture further than Portobello Road.
A member of the lovely staff told me that the place is never packed. Good to know!
The menu is composed of the salad of the day, the soup of the day (during winter months) and a range of cakes. There is also a good selection of teas and coffees. The food is freshly produced daily using local, organic, fair trade or traceable products when possible.
The salad of the day, which we both ordered, was composed of asparagus, courgettes, eggplant, tomatoes, pine nuts and arugula and was perfectly dressed. It was an excellent choice.
Once we have finished our healthy lunch, we stayed a bit longer to enjoy the warmth and quietness of the courtyard. We could have stayed the whole day but we had more sightseeing to to.
Book & Kitchen is the perfect place for a light lunch or a sweet pause. I’m planning to come back with my boyfriend, my friends, my family and alone. Indeed, as there is a Wifi connection, I think that it will become one of my favourite spots this summer to work on the blog and relax far from the hustle and bustle of the city.
For those interested, Book & Kitchen also hosts masterclasses, literary evenings, supper clubs, music nights… The dates and descriptions of the future events can be found on the website.
Keep this address in mind but don’t spread the word too loud!
Book & Kitchen
31 All Saints Road
London W11 1HE