Would you believe me if I told you that a year or two ago I was just about the least ‘pink’ person on the planet? One hair colour change and a new Instagram page later and I’m practically Miss Piggy. Who knew that pink was secretly my thing all along?!
Imagine my excitement when during an Insta-scroll one day, the most beautifully floral, fuchsia filled dream of a London based café popped up in front of my eyes, conveniently a mere couple of weeks before I was due to go on a trip there… Imagine the joy on the BF’s face when I informed him where the number one stop on our agenda simply had to be!
Having spied these beautiful cafés popping up on any blogger who’s ever been to London ever’s feeds, I knew I had to get in on the action. There are six of these stunning EL&N venues across London, each with it’s own unique and beautiful decor, but with one thing in common…the colour pink, and some of the tastiest looking cakes you’ll ever set eyes on.
We opted to visit the Hans Crescent branch which is located in Knightsbridge, conveniently close to Harrods, because if we were going to do this, it was going to have to be the most extra venue of them all, and oh boy this place did not disappoint! From the moment we approached Elan and spotted a flower filled basket atop a pink vintage bicycle, closely followed by floating pink carousel horses peeking out of the window, I became practically giddy with joy.
We arrived just at the right time, as ordinarily you can expect to queue for quite some time for a table – the café operates on a walk-in basis only – but luckily we were seated in just a few minutes. The first thing I was struck by was the pink. Stating the obvious I know, but let’s just clarify; I knew it was going to be pink. Every one knows that it’s going to be pink, but I don’t think I was ever really prepared for quite how PINK it really was. Overwhelmingly so in fact, but in the most fabulously flamboyant way ever. It was like stepping inside a life sized Polly Pocket (90’s reference kids, if you’ve never heard of it, you missed out!).
Once we’d taken the time to adjust to having found ourselves inside Malibu Stacey’s crib, we remembered that we came there with a purpose. EL&N actually stands for ‘eat, live & nourish’, and having travelled down from Aberdeen very early that morning and sweated our way through London in the 39 degree heat, we were ready to do just that.
” At EL&N, we have a taste for the best. We create coffee with passion and temerity and food that is elegant and modern. We have an unswerving dedication to producing excellent fare.”
A group of four, we were seated in one of the plush pink booths on the upper floor, and began to peruse the calligraphy adorned menus. Of course I knew exactly what to expect having looked up the menu online a week before… (I’m not the only one that does that, right?!). Expectations were high, with everything sounding so fresh and appetising, and just the right side of healthy.
On the menu you’ll find exotic teas and lavish coffees, such at the Pistachio Spanish Latte, made with pistachio paste and crushed nuts. You’ll find colorful brunch options like Shakshuka and ‘Pink Bircher Muesli’. Larger plates and mains include pastas and sandwiches like the indulgent sounding ‘White Truffle Cheese’ and Harissa sourdough. While all of the scrumptious sounding cakes and deserts are also listed, you’ll find them on display at the entrance allowing you to order with your eyes.
A notorious menu faffer and perpetual indecisive when it comes to choosing food, I knew this was going to be a tough choice. I eventually settled for the goats cheese are fig tartine – which is essentially an open sandwich in case you’re not sure, I had no idea either! The BF went for the signature dish, the ‘Pink Ribbon Pasta’, which would have been my second choice, so I was happy in the knowledge that I would be able to pinch some of Grant’s and try that too.
The feta topped pasta was light and refreshing, jeweled with kiwi fruit and served cold, it was the perfect choice for a sweltering hot day such as this. Let’s face it though, it’s just bloody pretty to look at. If I could have pink pasta every time I caved to a carb craving I absolutely would.
The Tartine regrettably wasn’t such a high note. While the savoury goats cheese and sweet figs made for delicious toppings, the dense seeded bread was, to be quite frank, tough as old boots. So tough in fact that my knife and fork failed me, and had me resorting to the good old ‘pick it up and chew it’ method just to finish the dish. Not quite the culinary delight that my imagination had hyped it up to be. The saving grace was the Cherry Lemonade I chose to wash it all down with. Ice cold and fruity, it was just what the doctor ordered to cool me down, and worth every penny of the £6 price tag.
Given my childlike elation at the prospect of visiting Elan, I was left feeling slightly lacklustre about our dining experience. I am confident that had we sampled the scrumptious looking cakes on offer, my mind would have been changed in an instant, however the Harrods food hall was next up on our agenda to satisfy our sweet urges.
Would I return again though? In a heartbeat. The combination of the love heart covered wall and those perfectly pink floating carousel horses would have me coming back time and time again, just for the Insta pics, Just god forbid I ever change my hair colour…
Have you been to an EL&N café? If you have and you loved it, let me know in the comments.
Until next time,