Café Diana, Notting Hill
5 Wellington Terrace
W2 4LW (Map)
020 7792 9606
By T. N. Toost
I was expecting a lot from Café Diana. After all, Matt at London-eating.co.uk wrote, “Me and my sister are both huge fans of Café Diana, We think it is simply the best café in London.”
Matt may not be the most trustworthy critic considering this plaudit was bestowed upon what might best be described as a themed chip shop-cum-café. The menu’s front contained nothing out of the ordinary. The back had two surprises – the “Diana Meals”, which were mostly variations on the kebabs-and-chips theme, and a window of disclaimers – no tap water, when it’s busy there’s a £7 minimum per customer, cash only, tip not included.
After we ordered, we had a look around. Soft-focus pictures of Diana papered the walls – Di in official portraits, Di jogging, Di in an Eagles jacket, Di with people who may have been the owners. Here I must confess that I consistently rank young Elizabeth as the most fuckable royal of all time, tied with Queen Noor (at any age). Diana competes with Elizabeth the Octogenarian. She might have been glamorous at the time, but even by 80s standards I didn’t find her attractive.
When the waitress (an early Christina Aguilera) delivered our food, I discovered that the vegetarian option – two fried eggs, tomatoes, beans, chips and coffee or tea – did not come with toast, so I had to order it separately. Diana’s memory lives on in mediocre eggs, above-average tomatoes, average beans, average chips, shitty coffee and slightly above average buttered toast. I began to think that I should take notes. It was only on the train an hour later that I realised that this was because it was so average – and therefore forgettable. To avoid offence, I shall refrain from comparisons with the café’s namesake.