Whoever you are, however you like to celebrate, it’s no secret that birthdays are a perfect excuse to do whatever you want all day. From luxury to the quirky, there are a million things to do in London to mark your milestone. For my part, I do not hesitate to honor the fact of being a year older, and I wanted to make it even more special since it landed on a Saturday.
To kick off my 24th year on Earth, I decided to book myself a delicious birthday brunch. I had a million different options to choose from and settled on brunch on a houseboat.
My favorite place was called Darcie & May Green, which is one of 11 places that make up the Daisy Green collection. This group of exciting Australian restaurants has dominated London since 2012 and offers a mix of cafes, restaurants and riverboats.
READ MORE: ‘I ate the best pancakes in London at the best brunch restaurant in the world and it was so good I can’t face homemade pancakes for pancake day’
My colleague recently visited their Scarlett Green venue in Soho, and frankly I was a bit jealous. She claimed to have tasted the ‘best pancakes in London’ so it was only fitting that I try one of their sister chains.
I was immediately drawn to Darcie & May Green, which was housed inside twin barges outside Paddington station in London. It was the perfect setting to feel like I was on vacation in Europe, even though it was February.
Booking a table for two at 11.30am, I hopped on the tube to Paddington and, to my delight, the weather gods blessed me with balmy, clear weather.
Upon arriving at the scene, the houseboat was a delight to behold. Everything dripping in color from head to toe, from the windows to the floral decorations that adorn. It was such a bold contrast to the barren gray tower blocks surrounding London Paddington.
The interior of the houseboat was no different, as the same pops of color appeared on the interior walls and even on the food menus. I then looked outside to see the glistening water of the Grand Union Canal and for a brief moment I thought I was at Bondi Beach.
The houseboat had a very laid back atmosphere, which kept making me think I was in the middle of a heat wave. Before I knew it, I took off my winter coat and put on my sunglasses. In February?!
The Aussie style menu offered a wide range of dishes, from sweet avocado pancakes to sourdough toast. Whatever you chose, it kept the summer vibe strong.
I opted for the vegan burger with oyster mushrooms, Korean BBQ sauce, marinated ginger, sesame seeds, smashed cucumber, burnt eggplant, cashew cream, homemade chips. My plus one ordered the smashed avocado, charcoal bread, labneh and Aleppo pepper.
The burger did exactly what any burger should do; it was bold and heartwarming. To cool off the scorching fries, I opened a bottle of signature bubbly with fresh orange juice. I quickly became obsessed with taking photos of my food, while posing for the camera with a drink in hand. I had the absolute time of my life.
Everything was a real sight to behold; the flowing Prosecco, the lively atmosphere, the delicious Aussie cuisine – all on the bright blue water. I could almost smell the sunscreen and the sea air there. London simply did not exist.
Farewells are the worst, and this farewell definitely marked me. The Southern Hemisphere withdrawals started quickly when I got back on the subway two hours later. I was back in the harsh reality of London.
It was the Aussie brunch dream I never thought I needed. I could keep booking myself a flight to Bondi Beach just to get a taste of this Aussie paradise again.
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