I thought Urban Meadow, the cafe and bar in Bayswater, looked like the perfect Saturday pit stop, so when I was invited down to try it out what better time than lunchtime on a day of *intense* Christmas shopping.
When we visited it was looking very festive, even though I had expected, (name to blame), for it to be more of a summery venue. It had actually been transformed into a ‘winter meadow’ with fairy lights and white twigs aplenty. The ceiling is adorned with big copper leaves and a big terrace along the front of the restaurant was made more inviting with heaters and twinkly lights – but we were happy the other side of the glass, in the warm.
Met with a very welcoming atmosphere it seemed as if everyone was enjoying afternoon tea. Appealingly (and refreshingly) presented on long plates, scones, brownies and mini pots of jam sat two by two, ensuring no one is deprived of their fair share. But back to business; lunch was calling.
Prosecco kicked off proceedings, along with a hunky bread board. I didn’t want to fill myself with bread but the balsamic vinegar that accompanied was addictive. Thick and sweet I couldn’t resist dunking piece after piece of warm bread and next thing I knew I’d had half the board.
Moving on to mains, our attentive waiter recommended the larder plank and the pulled pork burger as they are the longest standing dishes on the menu but we rebelled and went for the spicy fish stew. Whilst I wouldn’t call it ‘spicy’ it was certainly fragrant, and the bisque full of flavour. The new potatoes were perfectly al dente, the seabass and gurnard amazingly flaky and diving a little deeper into the bowl we found huge prawns. We got our vitamin C and K allowance with a side of buttery kale and spinach – a good choice with the fish and the perfect size for two to share. The bread continued to affect our food choice as we were defeated and declared too full for dessert but the dark chocolate fondant with vanilla ice cream very nearly tempted us.
A walk back through Kensington Gardens kicked our digestive systems into action and we emerged out the other side, sufficiently refuelled and ready to resume shopping. Urban Meadow Cafe & Bar is a great lunch spot for weekends spent in Kensington Gardens or Hyde Park and because it’s so reasonable you can definitely justify a quick browse on Kensington High Street afterwards.
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Fran can be found sipping espresso martinis by night and, by day, on the hunt for London's best brunch. Bonus points for a runny yolk and the perfect flat white.