Brunch! The most basic habitat of a basic girl. Unsurprisingly, I love finding new brunch places, so when my friend invited me to Farmacy (not to be confused with Damien Hirst’s Notting Hill restaurant, Pharmacy, which closed in 2003) in Notting Hill on Sunday, I was intrigued. Is it brunch at a former pharmacy location, clever marketing for farm fresh food, or are we just going to go get the morning after pill and a green juice?
Turns out, it was just a good name. This tasty vegetarian spot on the corner of Westbourne Grove opened in late April. I do wonder why they haven’t branded themselves as fully vegan as there’s only one item on the menu that isn’t, and it’s only because it contains an optional egg. Normally, I roll my eyes at vegan places or those that proclaim themselves to be, gluten, dairy and meat free because, not only does it have the potential to bring the most annoying people in the world together, what do they serve? Usually, very expensive carrot sticks. However, I was pleased to see Farmacy has plenty of (still expensive) options and it was all very flavourful.
We ordered a bunch of stuff to share, which I recommend in order to try the large variety they offer. Farmacy has everything from pasta and pizza to ‘earth bowls’ (think quinoa and veggies) and ‘syringes’ containing cannabis oil, which I sadly didn’t try. But, I’m glad the pharmaceutical theme found it’s way into the menu without being creepy.
Opened by Camilla Al-Fayad, the daughter of former Harrods owner Mohamed Al–Fayed, Farmacy is, according to their web site, “not just another food and beverage play. It’s a game changing lifestyle brand. A positive lifestyle choice which connects people to source, self and community through healthy and holistic eating”. I don’t know what that means, but they have plant-based burgers and nachos that are ‘healthy’. Even the coffee came with a vegan twist, only offered with almond milk and coconut sugar. Because everything coconut is healthy, right?
Many of the ingredients had quotes around them, which made me wonder what was actually in it. Not enough to ask, mind you. I didn’t want to be the ravenous carnivore at the table and offend anyone. Although, delicious, it did make me think twice while digging into the ‘sour cream’ on my nachos.
The nachos were really tasty, if a little sparse to share and low on toppings. Insiders tip: dip the remaining tortilla chips in a side of hummus.
The hummus! No exaggeration, it was probably the best I’ve ever had. It came plain, so, had we not ordered the mixed potato sticks (more on that on a second), I’m not entirely sure how we were supposed to eat it.
So, what made me giggle the most was ordering the mixed potato sticks with aoli. I knew some quinoa and beetroot wasn’t going to fill me up, so I was looking for a heavy carb fix and the mixed potato sticks was my contribution to the group order. Then it arrived….
Chips. I’d ordered chips. Sniffing out the only unhealthy thing on the menu is pretty much the most me thing I could have done at a healthy vegan restaurant. They were good.
We ordered 3 earth bowls: the green eggs bowl (which actually came with a single egg) reminded me of Dr Seuss which is why I suggested it. It contained kale, broccoli, avocado and a poached egg. From my understanding, they ran out of eggs as I heard someone else was unable to order it so I’m not sure if it was supposed to come with just one.
The middle east bowl (above) was probably my favourite. The baba ganoush was fantastic, although I’m not sure exactly what an ‘activated seed’ is.
Which also brings me to the ‘activated quinoa’ in the macro bowl. I couldn’t tell the difference between the macro bowl quinoa and the green eggs bowl quinoa, which was apparently not activated.
What to wear: I came from Yoga (that basic lyfe) so my hair looked like ass and I was wearing ripped jeans. But to be fair, a lot of people in there looked like they’d come straight from yoga.
I’m definitely going to make my way back to this place. Be warned though, it’s quite pricy (£20/girl for brunch with no booze) and there is a bit of a wait list. We put our names down and went to have a juice for 40 minutes while we waited, so I recommend making a reservation. It’s surprisingly good for a veggie/vegan haunt. If they can figure out eggs benedict like The Good Life Eatery has (more about that here) and combine that with the nacho offering, Farmacy would be my new favourite healthy brunch place!
74 Westbourne Grove
020 7221 0705