The Brownie Box – Earls Court Bakery
It’s a muggy and miserable day here in Earls Court and I’m sure the rest of London isn’t fairing any better. On days like these I often develop a determination to stay indoors and ratchet up the heating. That way I can still pretend that I am living in tropical climes and need not envelop myself in the nearest duvet and mope.
But sometimes even number eleven on my electric heater can’t do the trick and I have to turn to other creature comforts. Namely food. Mainly cake.
I’m gazing out of my window at a very neat and tidy opaque sky, light grey and so close I think I might be able to reach out and touch it. I need a hot chocolate, and something sticky and sweet and filling and delicious to go with it.
I’ve walked by The Brownie Box in Earls Court more times than I can count and, upon reflection, it amazes me that I haven’t yet succumbed to at least one or two of those tempting tasters laid out on top of the cake display. I’ve been trying to be good you see, since the birth of my baby girl, and The Brownie Box is relatively new and has suffered the myopic vision that comes with the Dukan Diet.
But I ditched that crazy diet a few weeks back, along with any dreams of fitting into a size 8 again anytime soon, and frankly there is just no excuse now for not giving this delightful little bakery a fair crack.
So here’s what’s going to happen: I’m going to close this laptop, wrap up in something warm and get me some cake. I will report back anon…
Brownies and Muffins and Cakes, Oh My!
I thought it only fair that I try more than one of the treats on offer in order to give a fair appraisal of the available goods. There is an argument for trying out one of their hybrid NYC Style Bronuts but I went for one Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Brownie (there is only one other combination on this planet as meant to be as PB and Chocolate and that is bread and cheese), one Black Velvet Cake (a moist, fudgy richness combined with a splash of Guinness apparently – Uh-mazing) and finally one Triple Chocolate Blondie (the much underrated sibling of the plain old Brownie).
Diet and weather be damned, The Brownie Box has cured my blues! And their hot chocolate ain’t bad either.Brownie Box 247 Old Brompton Road, West Brompton, SW5 9HP Mon-Fri. 8:00am – 7:00pm Sat. 9:00am – 8:00pm Sun. 10:00am – 7:00pm 020 7373 9111
Only Roses – Earls Court
I never knew I was a flower snob until a tiny little gem of a florist opened up on the Old Brompton Road in Earls Court.
Up until this moment I could have brightened my bedroom with some playful Tulips or, if in a slightly more sentimental mood perhaps some Flocks, or Lupins for a more vintage look. I had Hyacinth in my wedding bouquet as it is my father’s favourite and I have been known to dress a dining table with Calla Lily when I’m feeling eighties-tastic…
But look at this:
This Earls Court shop does what it says on the tin, that’s for sure, but it does it better than anyone else. These are epic roses, the kind that you only see in films. The kind of roses that you want to capture and keep under glass, (and they actually do this) ask about their Infinite Roses range.
OnlyRoses offer the highest quality fresh-cut, premium Ecuadorian roses (ClassicRoses) with a choice of 250 stunning varieties, and offered in many different sizes (up to 1.5 meters tall), shapes and colours.
And now you know about these beauties you’ll never look at flowers the same way again. Enjoy!Only Roses 257 Old Brompton Road, West Brompton, SW5 9HP 0207 373 9595 Opening Hours: Monday – Saturday: 10am – 7pm Sunday: 10am – 6pm Orders & Deliveries: Monday – Sunday: 7am – 11pm
Best Cocktails – Evans & Peel – Earls Court
While there is a plethora of watering holes in the Earls Court area to quench one’s thirst, I often long for a bit of that urban edge, the icy cool hand of a slick mixologist and a damned good Old Fashioned without having to brave the East End.
Luckily we have been blessed with a little nook that caters to all the above and I can practically see it from my sitting room window. I have to look closely though because Evan & Peel’s Detective Agency, like all good speakeasies, is marked only with a dimly lit streetlight and a rusty intercom.
You need to ‘book an appointment’ so that someone can ‘look over your case file’ and decide whether or not it is worthy of taking on. And if you fancy sporting your best Great Gatsby get up you won’t be the only one… 1920’s is the theme.
I don’t want to spoil the fun and in the interest of keeping this post on track I’ll cut straight to the chase. The cocktails here are excellent – dangerous, but excellent. E&P don’t deal in single shots, not that you’d notice as these drinks slide down like a dream.
My favourite? An A&T the namesake of a bartender who has long since moved on but the delicate cucumber, tea and vodka infusion he invented has stayed on and let me tell you, it packs a punch. The menu offers a smorgasbord of innovative combinations as well as a firm grasp of the originals, all served in cut glass or, in some cases, a teacup.
Arrive early, plead your case and stumble home.
Evans & Peel Detective Agency 310c Earls Court Rd, West Brompton, London, SW5 9BA 020 7373 3573 Open 5pm-midnight Tue-Thur; 5pm-00.30 Fri-Sat
Garnier – Earls Court
Garnier opened its doors in the heart of Earls Court to little fanfare in 2012. A sleek no nonsense cream interior with red banquettes and white tablecloths presented a sedate if not slightly detached London bistro. As a result not many locals showed interest and the dining room remained largely empty for the first quarter.
Who knew then, that this Earls Court restaurant was going to offer some of the finest French cooking to hit West London in a decade? AA Gill, that’s who. A double page, five star review in the Sunday Times put paid to all the indifference and Garnier was soon turning would be diners, without a booking, away in droves.
The menu is more ‘brasserie style’ than ‘haute cuisine’ but this does not hinder the flavor or presentation of the food. I would whole-heartedly recommend anything on offer here but have to say that the simplest dish of all has stolen the show. The Fillet of Scottish Beef with Tarragon Sauce; cooked to perfection (I like mine medium rare) melts in your mouth, coated with meaty juices and buttery tarragon deliciousness that somehow only the French can deliver to a dining table. Can it get any better? Only with some flawlessly fried chips to clean up your plate with.
If there are more mouths to feed then why not feast on the Cote de Boeuf? And do not forget to enjoy the extensive wine list, which is a joy to read even if there are a couple of bottles that could seriously damage your wallet!
To have this little gem planted right in the middle of your neighbourhood is a gift. Enjoy it!Garnier 314 Earl’s Court Road, Earls Court, London, SW5 9BQ 020 3641 8323 12-3pm, 6-10.30pm Mon-Sat 12-3.30pm, 6-10pm Sun
Best Italian – La Pappardella – Earls Court
Throw a rock and you’re bound to hit an Italian restaurant in London.
The same goes for Earls Court – there is a plethora to choose from – but there aren’t many I would proudly recommend to a hungry Italian.
La Papardella is one of the very few that make the grade, and right on my doorstep, what a treat! Unassuming and friendly from the get go, there is rarely an evening when you won’t find this eatery buzzing with clientele all tucking into some of the most delicious Italian fare this side of Puerta Banus, which is where founders Lucia and Tony set up their second sister restaurant.
The service is great; you are welcomed like an old friend and always offered a gratis shot of Limoncello to round off your meal. And what a meal you’ll have! A varied menu offers traditional starters; Bresaola e Rucola, Garlic and Tomato Pizza Bread, Bruschetta, Caprese – all fantastic. Pasta and Pizza range from regulars to downright daring – try the Spagetthi Neri All’Aragosta, a home made black ink squid pasta with diced whole lobster, bisque, garlic and fresh chili.
The Mascalzone is the right choice for anyone who can’t quite make up their mind, divided into two tasting pockets each containing an explosion of flavours and toppings.
A bit carbed out? Try Spigola All’Acqua Pazza, Fresh Butterfly Sea Bass, Mussells and Clams cooked in olive oil, garlic, white wine, chili and oregano, served with spinach. Bellisimo! A single espresso and a slice of Mamma’s Tiramisu leave little else to long for. Well, maybe a trip to Puerta Banus…La Pappardella 253 Old Brompton Rd, Earls Court, SW5 9HP (020)-7373-7777 12 Noon to 12 Midnight