Being back home brings with it lots of forgotten familiarities…my dented tea caddie, (dropped on my foot) the smell of my sock draw, (it’s nice, honest), the neighbours making a racket at 7am on a Sunday morning (not so nice) and all the lovely cafés I’ve nestled myself in over the years, drinking tea, chatting with my pals and reading the papers from cover to cover. (When I say ‘papers’ I mean Grazia).
One of my favourite haunts in the neighbourhood is The Oak – a restaurant which knocks up the best wood fired pizzas this side of Napoli and also offers an extensive and delicious seasonal menu. I went there with my mum yesterday for a snack, some chit, some chat and a Woo Hoo Poppy’s Home! celebration.
We ordered two starters and shared. We do this a lot. It eliminates the inevitable food envy which comes with a menu as tempting as the one we were faced with. We chose ‘Deep fried squid with watercress and skordalia’ (I didn’t know either – it’s a thick Greek garlicky puree) and ‘Grilled goat’s cheese salad with mixed leaves and red and golden beetroot’. Uh huh.
The food arrived more swiftly than a very swift thing and was fresh, aromatic, colourful and completely, ridiculously and utterly delicious. Goat’s cheese is a marvellous invention. (Well done goats.) We chitted and chatted and woohooed and had a very lovely time. We tried to guess everyone’s name in the restaurant too. I wonder what Frederica and Harry are up to today…
In addition to their top notch restaurant, they also have a bar called ‘Upstairs at the Oak’ which is, um, upstairs. It’s a lovely atmospheric lounge bar, (think battered leather sofas, twinkly candles and long plush curtains) and serves cocktails and tapas from 6pm. We didn’t go as a) mum had to wend her way home and b) I had to do my laundry.
So if you’re stuck for somewhere to go to eat a cracking pizza, drink Margaritas or settle back for a spot of people watching, you know exactly where you can head.
137 Westbourne Park Road
London W2 5QL