I remember the day Leslie told me she was moving to London to complete a master’s program in Greenwich. It wasn’t that long ago.
Time flies though, and this city is one of transience and I’ve seen countless friends move here and then abroad and sometimes back again, like I did myself a few years ago.
So to say goodbye and celebrate the short time we did get to spend with Leslie in London, we met with Carolina at Bumpkin’s brand new “secret garden” restaurant housed in a converted Georgian townhouse in Chelsea. It was a beautiful blue and sunny summer day, perfect for a bit of outdoor eating and some seasonal British food.
The “secret garden” is not so much a lush green leafy garden as an outdoor patio area where you can eat away from the noise and traffic of Sydney street. The walls are painted with leaves and there’s a handful of plants hanging around.
It overlooks the Chelsea Gardener in case you’d like to go shopping for your own garden, if you’re lucky enough to have on in London, when you finish. Avoid the bright white table in the corner if it’s sunny. It is blinding!
We went early so we could enjoy a Saturday brunch at noon. Mmm, breakfast food! I ordered scrambled eggs and smoked salmon on toast.
Carolina went for the same, but substituted the salmon for bacon.
And Leslie went for one last traditional English breakfast (baked beans on the side) before heading back to life in Tennessee.
We went for teas and lattes with our brunch, but the drinks looked pretty delicious, especially the cherry lemonade and cherry iced tea. I’m going back for one of those! Or the refreshing sounding “English Garden” – gin shaken with cucumber, elderflower, mint, apple, lemon juice and a hint of soda water.
Last time I went to Bumpkin – the one in South Kensington – was with Jorge for dinner. If you’re there for dinner and mulling over the menu, I would highly recommend the Chargrilled cod served with a heritage beetroot, tomato & fennel salad. Yum!
Inside was typical cosy Bumpkin with green walls, country home style decor, antique mirrors, heavy wooden tables and herbs in white pots.
While there were plenty of people outside soaking up the sun on a rare Summer day, the inside was, as you would expect, completely empty!
Though I think the secret “garden” marketing is slightly over rated, the food was definitely tasty, the atmosphere was welcoming and the company and conversation were, of course, fabulous.
Here’s to British sunshine for months to come.