202: Nicole Farhi is the quintessential Westbourne Grove lunch spot. An impeccably dressed and coiffed clientele lounge at the pavement tables where it is never surprising to come across a London celebrity thought they hardly stand out from the regulars. Even on cold grey days these tables are bustling, sun traps, where there is no better place for a bite or coffee as you watch the world go by.
Occupying a space that was formally a pub the interior does not disappoint either. This shop/restaurant is open and airy with no sense of clutter and plenty to browse while you wait to be seated. Clothing and homeware occupy the basement level and share the ground floor with a dozen or so bistro tables for which large windows to the back give a sense of separation.
The menu offers a choice of breakfast/brunch items; including french toast, eggs, bagels or pancakes for under 10pounds, a range cold and warm salads and substantial meals such as the delicious poached salmon or the 202 Burger all under 15pounds. The food’s strongest point is no doubt the use of always fresh ingredients meaning the salads are always a winning choice. The rendering of certain brunch items can be somewhat hit and miss – at times the french toast has been delightful and sadly on other occasions slightly stodgy and overdone. Regardless of hit and miss culinary experiences the charm of the location always wins through.
Service is softly professional. Discreet staff go out of their way to provide a table that suits or make a change to menu item as required. Despite the upmarket nature of 202 they welcome children and are happy to manoeuvre tables to accommodate the prams of Notting Hills yummy-mummy brigade.
The kitchen is open from 10:00-18:00 hours daily (17:00 – Sundays) and given the popularity and seating you may need to wait for a table at peak times.
A hotspot of gentrification. Utterly excluding to poorer locals.
Don’t give up. There is always Cafe Bolero, Makan and The Globe for satisfying low-cost eats. It takes two to make a thing go right…