The London Review of Breakfasts

"Hope is a good breakfast, but it is a bad supper." (Francis Bacon)

Monday, January 14, 2008

Café Diana, Notting Hill

Café Diana
5 Wellington Terrace
Bayswater Rd
Notting Hill
W2 4LW (Map)
020 7792 9606

By T. N. Toost

I was expecting a lot from Café Diana. After all, Matt at 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.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I found myself in Cafe Diana in the summer of last year, desperately hungry and unable to spot anywhere else that might serve me breakfast. It wasn't until I sat down that I actually noticed the hundreds of framed photos of Diana staring down at me, and try as I did to focus on all the exciting menu options - chips and beans, egg, chips and beans, bacon and egg and chips, and so on - I couldn't bring myself to actually eat a meal there, it was just too morbid. In the end I scarpered before anyone could take my order, and I ended up having an enormous, and highly satisfying, brunch at Balans in Soho, entirely free of dead princesses.

There's another Cafe Diana on Holloway Road, but this one appears to just have a single crocheted image of Diana hung on the wall so it's not as terrifying. Course, nobody's ever likely to go to Holloway Road for breakfast so it's a moot point.

10:50 PM, January 14, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would like to direct readers to a curry house on Brick Lane which has a mural of Diana is a sari against a backdrop of an idealised Kashmir complete with fertile hills and water falls.

I think Imran Kahn may be in there too.

11:00 AM, January 15, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This review alarms me. Morbid? Shrine? Dead? Is Lady Diana dead? This fact completely passed me by. You'd think the media might have given more coverage to the death of such a well known celebrity.

12:28 AM, January 18, 2008  
Blogger London Review of Breakfasts said...

Just a note to say this review was edited post-publication on 25/1/08 at 18:01 GMT.

6:01 PM, January 25, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Paul Haine says "Course, nobody's ever likely to go to Holloway Road for breakfast so it's a moot point"
May I point out to him that there are indeed some fine places to eat breakfast on the Holloway, the 'Paradise' and the 'Hope Workers Cafe' are two of many worth mentioning.

3:28 PM, September 08, 2008  
Blogger lewis said...

I used to work a few doors down from Diana's and the thing is it's actually a Lebabnese cafe that does the odd british caf thing as crappy additions to the menu. If you go there try a kebab or falafel and it should be of a much higher quality.

10:51 PM, March 04, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dirty, mice infested place. Very smelly and has had few visits from health and safety department. Do not got there!!!

1:34 PM, March 25, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I always wonder about people who leave messages anonymously, what it is exactly that they have to hide. I have lived locally to Diana's for years and have eaten there regularly and always found the food tasty and the place clean. And just out of curiosity I went down there yesterday again and everything is this same. I recommend the place to anyone, any day.

6:37 PM, July 14, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The owner you all spotted on pictures is from Iraq and He is still there.This cafe has survived few recessions and been there for more than 20 years,so they must be doing something right.Their kebabs, falafel and other middle easter foods are of high quality and I personally think that the fact Diana used to pop in before dropping children to school is a nice little touch.

4:05 PM, May 01, 2010  
Blogger gee said...

diana was attractive and sexy, if you cant see that then youse a woofda

4:50 PM, October 17, 2011  
Blogger gee said...

Diana was also very horny in her early middle age

5:11 PM, October 17, 2011  
Anonymous disneyrollergirl said...

Been going here for years, decades even. Always have the chicken tikka pitta break sandwich which is fab. No frills but hits the spot. Never seen a mouse. Service is hit and miss though and knives could do with a sharpen.

4:13 PM, January 01, 2013  

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