Paddington Central is becoming more and more buzzy, with the opening of Pergola Paddington in Spring 2017 and (heads up from an insider) plans for plenty more restaurants and wine bars in the near future. The latest addition to this area round the back of Paddington station is a lesson in how to utilise and smarten up every space possible, including London’s waterways.
Daisy Green Collection has been creating antipodean dishes since 2012, with popular brunch spot Beany Green opening up in 2013 to cater to Paddington locals’ weekend cravings. Now founder Prue Freeman and her team of cool and collected Aussies are bringing their Aussie dishes and killer coffees to two canal boats on Grand Union Canal. Sister vessels Darcie and May Green float elegantly outside Paddington station, brightening up the concrete and office block surroundings.
Legendary pop artist Peter Blake is the man behind the design (his signature is playfully scribbled on the side of each boat), so expect a bold and bright finish – hearts, rainbows, swirls and stars in primary colours, greens, purples and a pink finish. There’s a little lawn on each roof with wicker chairs and palmy plants for when the sun’s out and the evenings get longer.
Pop down into Darcie Green, the restaurant canal boat, to bob around with a cocktail and some antipodean-inspired snacks (avocado tzatziki with chia crackers, halloumi fries with pomegranate yogurt, Aussie BBQ lamb cutlets with homemade chilli pesto), or tuck into the group’s brunch favourites (including their epic posh bacon sarnie, charcoal sourdough and squidgy banana bread).
We’ve also heard great things about Timmy’s burger, created by the chefs at Timmy Green in Victoria – a prime 8oz beef patty in a charcoal brioche bun with chilli pineapple salsa for extra zing. Vegan mains include celeriac steak with Asian slaw and grated chestnuts, and Sri Lankan jackfruit curry with turmeric rice.
Coffee on a canal boat, anyone? Adjoining May Green is a bar in a barge, with a huge yellow coffee machine dominating one side (complete with cute takeaway hatch for commuters to pick up Aussie serves of bespoke roasted beans from The Roasting Party in Winchester), with a row of beer taps on the other. Craft beers come from Fourpure in Bermondsey, and include delicately spicy and zesty Indy lager, and floral and refreshing Pils lager, while a Devon mist cider is carted up from Sandford Orchards.
As expected, Australian grapes dominate the wine list, from sauvignon blanc to chardonnay, pinot noir to shiraz.
From brunch to afternoon tea, coffee to cocktails, these funky little canal boats cater to every occasion.