The Pinkest Places In London To Get Your Barbiecore Fix

Laura Reynolds
By Laura Reynolds Last edited 12 months ago

Last Updated 13 July 2023

The Pinkest Places In London To Get Your Barbiecore Fix
The Peggy Porshcen sign - pale pink with brown lettering - with fake pink and lilac flowers dripping off it.
Peggy Porschen: London's original pink hotspot. Image: Londonist

'Millennial pink' isn't just a throwaway phrase. It's an epidemic sweeping London's cafes and restaurants — and even more so now that the 'Barbiecore' trend is on fleek. As social media becomes more influential in people's choices of where to chow down, many cafes and restaurants have turned their attention to becoming as Instagram-friendly as possible, in order to keep customers coming through the door. If it's a pink selfie you're after, head down to these rosy-hued London eateries:

Peggy Porschen, Belgravia and Chelsea

The exterior of Peggy Porshen Belgravia - a pale pink shopfront with purple and lilac fake flowers, including wisteria, hanging off of it.
Peggy Porschen is known for being one of the pinkest places in town. Image: Londonist

The original cafe beloved by Instagrammers, it's rare to walk past this Belgravia bakery and not see people posing for photos outside. We salute the staff for their patience in dealing with the smartphone-wielding masses, many of whom don't seem to show any interest in actually, you know, eating or drinking here.

The reason for Peggy Porschen's popularity? A seductively curvy pastel pink exterior, topped off with a flower arch over the door. The (fake) flowers change seasonally, usually brighter colours in the summer, and toned down, glittery offerings for Christmas.

There's now a second branch of Peggy Porschen, on Chelsea's King's Road, and the decor here is as on-point as at the OG branch. Both cafes play up to their looks with beautiful cakes and coffees that finish off that Instagram shot perfectly. And if you're interested, they taste amazing too.

Peggy Porschen, 116 Ebury Street, Belgravia, SW1W 9QQ, and 219 King's Road, Chelsea, SW3 5EJ.

El&n London, various locations

A wooden table in a cafe. One wall behind it is pink, with pink neon writing saying 'Coffee and friends the perfect blend'. The other wall is covered in oversized pink Love Hearts sweets.
The very pink 'Love Hearts' themed El&n can be found right next to Harrods. Image: Londonist

If you're on Instagram, you probably know El&n even if you've never been — it's that fancy cafe famous for flower walls, and more recently, Love Hearts and neon signs, in various shades of pink.

We've been watching El&n with interested fascination since it burst into our Instagram feed in late 2017 — it's the quintessential example of a business that's been built entirely by — and for — Instagram, and it's been wildly successful thus far.

What began as two pretty pink cafes (in Park Lane and Brompton Road, which tells you all you need to know about the target market) known for their flower walls, has quickly converted into a sprawling empire of flowers, pinkness and Love Hearts, across 10 branches in London — plus others elsewhere in the UK and internationally.

Two chairs and a small table alongside a flower wall consisting of white and pale pink roses, inside a cafe.
The original El&n on Park Lane leans into the pink theme too. Image: Londonist

The Knightsbridge cafe opened in December 2018, and is the pinkest offering to date, with the coffee counter modelled like a carousel (pink horses included, naturally). The piece-de-resistance is two booths embedded into a wall of giant plastic Love Hearts.

Every branch is always heaving, and though bookings weren't previously taken, we've noticed recently that you can now reserve for certain branches at certain times.

El&n London, various locations and expanding fast. The Knightsbridge 'Love Hearts' branch is at Hans Crescent, right next to Harrods and the neon branch is in Soho.

Wallace Restaurant at Wallace Collection

After a cultural morning taking in the impressive sights of The Wallace Collection, we wouldn't blame you if you were suffering from a touch of museum fatigue. Head to the Wallace Restaurant, an oasis of space, calm, and yep, you guessed it, pink, to clear your head.

The walls of the conservatory-style restaurant are pale pink, with cornices and window frames left a contrasting white, resulting in a doll's house-like effect. There's something calming about the space, a combination of those subtle pink walls, green trees, and airy, high ceilings.

Breakfast, lunch, snacks and afternoon tea are all on the menu, and reservations are recommended. You don't need to be visiting The Wallace Collection to dine here — although with all this on show, why wouldn't you?

The Wallace Restaurant at Wallace Collection, Manchester Square, Marylebone, W1U 3BN.

Frank's at Bold Tendencies, Peckham

Hipster hang-out Frank's in Peckham is all about those skyline views... or at least it was, until it opened for its summer season a few years ago and punters found that someone had applied weapons-grade volumes of pink paint to the concrete staircase over the winter months. Those skyline views and Aperol Spritz shots were ousted from Instagram, replaced by selfies and #SquadGoals shots that were all so very, very pink. And the pink paint job is still in situ today.

Frank's Cafe at Bold Tendencies, multi-storey car park, 95a Rye Lane, Peckham, SE15 4TG.

Dyce, Bond Street

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From the outside, brunch spot Dyce is blue, but inside it's pink, pink, pink. Think salmon walls, contrasting with deeper pink padded seat backs, and plenty of circular lights and mirrors thrown in to give it a modern feel. The menu's not exactly ugly either, ranging from brunch dishes to pink tacos, to made-for-Instagram smoothies, milkshakes, cakes and desserts.

Dyce, 27 James Street, W1U 1DX.

Girlfriend, Clapham Junction

Pastel pink walls schmooze up against forest green velour benches at cocktail bar Girlfriend, facing off against pink stools and dark marble surfaces with gold trimmings. So far, so elegant, but there's a playful side too — those walls are lined with famous paintings, their subjects' faces obscured by a well-placed dab of pink spray paint.

Girlfriend London, 40 Battersea Rise, SW11 1EE.

Simmons, various locations

A bar, completely empty and dimly lit with pink-hued lighting.
Simmons in Holborn has the brand's rosy pink glow.

We're in hen do territory with this chain of cocktail bars dotted around the capital, each with its own unique style. Soho's Simmons is a particularly lively place to start a night out, with minimal seating offered around the edge of the petite bar, the rest of the floor space given over to dancing.

Scalloped fabric lampshades above the bar and garish retro wallpaper are reminiscent of Deptford's Little Nan's bar, but the neon pink lighting is far from anything you're ever likely to come across in your grandmother's front room — it's more strip club than scones and tea, bathing the entirety of the venue in a sultry pink glow.

The Holborn venue is equally rosy-hued thanks to that lighting, and also has a giant disco ball-shaped DJ booth, and a wealth of neon signs dotted around the place.

Simmons, 2 Bateman Street, Soho, W1D 4AE and many other locations.

Tonight Josephine, Waterloo and Shoreditch

Waterloo cocktail bar Tonight Josephine now has venues in Shoreditch and Clapham (as well as elsewhere in the UK). The east London branch self-describes as a "the pink hole in the wall basement bar [which] promises sass, girl power, and the sweetest of cocktails."

What that means in real terms is a mixture of booth and bar style seating with a pink glittery wall as a backdrop, leather benches and booths, and green and pink neon lighting.

And then of course, there's *that* famous neon pink sign at the original Waterloo branch.

Tonight Josephine, 39a Hoxton Square, N1 6NN, and  11 Waterloo Road, SE1 8UL.