If you follow London food trends, the names Elan, Peggy Porschen, Dalloway Terrace, Dominique Ansel and Palm Vaults should all ring a bell. They're all cafes that have become somewhat notorious on the Instagram circuit in recent years, thanks to their flowery decor. Rose walls, flower arches and wisteria curtains make them popular with people seeking out that (tamed) touch of nature for their feeds.
But what about London's other flowery cafes? Y'know, the ones that fewer people know about, and that therefore have smaller queues, and fewer people pouting in front of the covetable flower wall.
Aubaine at Selfridges
Restaurant and bakery Aubaine has restaurants all over London, and in Dubai, but the one we're interested in is the one tucked away by the shoe department in Selfridges. Two floors above Oxford Street, #wisteriahysteria has taken grip. Purple fronds hang down from a trellis above the whitewashed terrace, giving the whole place a Mediterranean vibe, while other mauve flowers sit in window boxes around the edge.
Instagrammers, you'll want to turn up in your best shoes. Why? For all the Insta love that wisteria ceiling gets, the monochrome floor tiles are worth a snap as well.
Best of all, the (fake) wisteria's there year-round, so no need to wait for those two weeks in spring to add a splash of purple to your Instagram grid.
We know we said the Selfridges branch of Aubaine is the looker of the family, but actually, the Covent Garden Deli is worth a visit with your camera too:
Aubaine at Selfridges, 2nd Floor, 400 Oxford Street, W1A 1AB
Parisian chocolate brand Saint Aymes opened its London flagship in Connaught Village in February 2018, complete with pink rose wall on the inside and wisteria framing the exterior window. The whole decor is pastel hues, with colourful lattes and a velvet chaise longue making appearances.
The two outside tables are prime selfie spots, but the chocolate has the Instagram-factor too... perhaps all that glitters is gold, after all. Oh and just to make sure it's got every food trend covered, unicorn cookies are on the menu.
Saint Aymes, 59 Connaught Street, W2 2BB
With branches in Mayfair and Regent's Park, Drunch is no newcomer to the London foodie scene. But in May 2018, the Mayfair branch had a serious makeover, splashing its exterior in flowers. Colourful metal benches laden with cushions sit outside the windows, but the real highlight is that floral arch around the door.
Brunch and dinner are the offerings on the menu (hence the name, we assume), but don't be fooled by the granola and yoghurt at the top of the brunch menu — scroll further and you'll find Oreo cheesecake, Snickers milkshake, and the heavenly sounding Nutella & milk chocolate doughnuts with toffee sauce... sounds like our kinda brunch.
Drunch Mayfair, 6 Blenheim Street and 1 Woodstock Street, W1C 2AA
You Don't Bring Me Flowers, Hither Green
This Hither Green florist-cum-cafe is where we head whenever we need to get out of the London madness for a bit, but don't have time to trek all the way out to the countryside. The village-y vibes from the street it sits on carry through into the inside. If it's flowers you're here for, bag a table downstairs — the florist part of the business is tucked into a ground floor corner, under the staircase. Upstairs, focus is more on the kitsch — you might feel like you're taking tea in your granny's living room.
Also what an excellent name.
You Don't Bring Me Flowers, 15 Staplehurst Road, Hither Green, SE13 5ND.
The Green Room Cafe, Stoke Newington
Another cafe embedded into a florist shop, The Green Room serves up breakfast and lunch, surrounded by bouquets, pot plants and succulents.
The Green Room, 113 Stoke Newington Church Street
Know any flowery cafes that we've missed? Let us know about them in the comments.