Inside London's New Love Hearts Cafe

Laura Reynolds
By Laura Reynolds Last edited 64 months ago

Last Updated 16 January 2019

Inside London's New Love Hearts Cafe

Pink flower wall? Check.

Neon lights? Check.

Marble and rose gold tables? Check.

Elan — the cafe chain known for its OTT aesthetics — just opened its most Instagram-targeted venue yet, which, if you've seen its previous venues, is something of an achievement.

Opening the heavy door — so heavy in fact, that it seems the cafe is closed at first until we shove a little harder — is an assault on the eyes. To the left, shelves upon shelves of beautifully colourful patisserie cakes. Over to the right, carousel horses — pink, naturally — hanging from the ceiling and embedded in that pink flower wall. Straight ahead, the carousel from which said horses have presumably 'escaped', serving as the cafe counter.

In a classic case of Do Not Adjust Your Set, it really is as pink as Instagram would have you believe. The Barbie's-unicorn-just-hurled look isn't to everyone's taste, but once you get past the eccentricity, the majority of the tables are rather lovely, in mute, pastel pinks.

It's the largest Elan — or EL&N, as it's now calling itself — yet, with more seating downstairs. Head down the staircase for cosy pink booths, and the cafe's biggest attraction — the Love Hearts wall.

Huge versions of the sweet provide the backdrop for two of the larger booths, with slogans coming at you left, right and centre. Naturally, these booths have been all over Instagram since this branch opened in December 2018.

Those Love Heart walls, it turns out, are an excellent way of gauging your pop culture age. Among the usual Love Hearts slogans of 'Marry Me' and 'First Love' are some bang-up-to-date cultural references. Admittedly, we're probably not the exact target audience for this cafe, and we sit somewhere between recognising 'Thank You, Next' as an Ariana Grande reference, and being stumped by 'Okurrr' (FYI, it may or may not be something to do with a Kardashian and/or Cardi B — ask the whippersnappers on the table next to you).

If you want a shot at sitting by that Love Hearts wall, your best bet is to go early — this branch doesn't take bookings, but Elan tells us that between 8am and 10am on a midweek morning is the quietest time.

As for the menu, it's much the same as at all Elan branches, focusing on colourful cakes and pastries, posh and quirky coffees, and salads.  They've missed a trick by not having any Love Hearts specials though.

EL&N's new Love Hearts-themed branch is located at Hans Crescent, Knightsbridge (right next to Harrods). Further branches can be found at Park Lane (which we visited in 2018), Brompton Road, Selfridges and Oxford Circus, with a Belgravia venue due to open in February 2019.