Toasted english muffins. Tarragon mayonnaise. Baked brioche with ricotta and banana.
Have we caught your attention? Great, we’ll begin.
Lowry & Baker is a ‘neighbourhood coffee house’ (as quoted from Google – a massive undersell), positioned on Portobello Road and just a stone’s throw from the rest of the packed out mid-morning brunch spots of Westbourne Park. Any Londoner will know that Notting Hill isn’t short of quality dining venues, but this cafe offers something different to the pricey menus that the area is known for. It’s known locally as somewhat of a neighbourhood secret… but when it comes to top quality brunches, we’re not to be trusted. So here goes.
From the moment you walk into this quaint spot, you’re hooked. The aroma of sautéed mushrooms and garlic fills the room, and the relaxed ambience encourages you to get comfortable right from the off. Forget mile-long queues, pretentious diners or “sorry guys, it’s a 2 hour wait” – the staff will greet you as though you’ve returned for the 50th time (a commitment you’ll vow to uphold when home time comes around).
As well as the atmosphere, the crockery is also a big selling point here. Food arrives on rattling plates featuring detailed floral patterns, while coffee is served in delicate cups and saucers that’ll have you savouring every last drop.
And then, the food. My friend and I both went for sourdough bread and smashed avocado, plus a poached egg on top. To top it off, we shared a side of salmon and sautéed mushrooms. The toast was crusty, and served as the perfect accompaniment to the generous helping of creamy avocado that was placed on top of it. The salmon was flaky and delicious, while the mushrooms – as expected – had us brushing our teeth for the remainder of the day (just how we like it).
If you’re looking for someone to thank for this little London hideaway, his name is Ondrej Petras. Petras took over ownership of the hangout in 2017, and has been welcoming locals, tourists and desperately hungry, hungover 20-somethings (us) ever since.
Here’s to you, Ondrej. And your garlic mushrooms.