The last time I ate on a boat, i'd won a trip aboard a luxury barge and decided to treat my fiance and I to a Just Eat curry on the deck; it was the very best meal of my life. So how exactly could new Paddington spot Darcie & May Green beat a korma atop Hackney canal? It was going to be tough, as that's a lot of coconut and cool to contend with, but this restaurant was more than determined.
Bitterly cold and bloody pissing it down, it was already a nay on the weather front, especially as our korma had been backed up with 25 degrees of bliss. There was however a way to see past the weather in this scenario, and it was the pop colour beam of the barge, found right outside Paddington station.
Split between two different barges, Darcie & May Green are hailed as 'floating pieces of art' thanks to an all-over design courtesy of big British name, Peter Blake. While distinct out front, these boats have kept to the Daisy Green brand of minimalism inside, opting for flushed white walls, subtle furniture and the odd spat of colour from baby-pink soft furnishings or flora on the tables. It was sweet, it was intimate, and it was cosy as hell on a day that was bringing hell-weather to the leather.
While we did have to tackle 10 yards of rain to go to the toilet, and the bar staff had to collect cocktails between crafts, ducking between both boats added a sweet little interlude to the afternoon, and the bar boat is also treat in itself.
After shaking off the rain with a couple of cocktails, we got stuck right into the bottomless brunch, which comes in at a London average of £39.50 for one cold item, one hot item, and bottomless prosecco or mimosas for two hours. While that sounds pretty standard for the city, I found myself liking the fact that their dishes were anything but; all Aussie based, interesting, and toppling your average hollandaise.
Skipping the cold item (i'm nay a granola girl) I settled on broccoli & corn fritters with avocado, a poached free range egg and house made chilli pesto alongside my fiance's shakshouka with baked free range eggs, spiced tomatoes and labne. While the shakshouka was firm with flavour, had the perfect hint of spice and acted as the perfect main to a biting day, it was my fritters that stole the brunch title. Not only were the fritters fluffy and pert with the broccoli snippets, I could write a love letter to the house made chilli pesto alone, adding a depth and tang to the dish that elevated the entire plate.
To close, our waiters recommended the Melbourne Mars Bar cheesecake ball with double cream at £7.80. Interested to see what, how, why and where a 'cheesecake ball', we agreed to split what we'd find out was quite the dessert monster. A massive chocolate ball with Mars Bars and cheesecake lashings inside alongside a chocolate dusting strewn about the place, I can see why it's a crowd pleaser, but it lacked energy for me. More so, I lacked the energy to eat it after a main that more than filled me to the rafters.
While our winning night on a boutique barge had a double bed and bargain corner-shop booze, Darcie & May Green is a boutique barge that has a winning combination all its own: stand-up dishes, stand-up staff, and a stand-up atmosphere. This quirky little spot definitely had more than just a low tide on its side, and I can't wait to recommend it to more people.