The colour pink was once mocked by all, and pink restaurants in London were nowhere to be found. Pink was accused of seeming anti-feminist and often associated with Barbie’s unrealistic, disproportionate physique.
In recent years though, pink is having somewhat of a renaissance – millennial pink was named colour of the year in 2016 and pink hues have since been sported by celebs on the red carpet, as well as being featured in many a savvy interior designer’s home. Restaurants have also caught on to the pink trend, incorporating the colour into their décor, food and even bathrooms. If like us, you can’t get enough of the stuff, we’ve rounded up some of London’s cafés and restaurants which are sitting pretty in pink.
Doña, Stoke Newington
What: If music and mescal sound like your idea of a good night then you’re onto a winner with new temporary bar Doña. This fluffy, fiesta-loving venue in Dalston is said to be a ‘pink den of empowered femininity’ and will be serving up Mexican-inspired cocktails and live female-led performance - from DJs to singers - to help jazz up up November. The space is decked out with fluffy feathers, low hanging fringed lighting and a beautiful sweeping gold bar - perfect for those all important Instagrams. If you want to pay the team here a visit you’ll have to be fast as it will close its doors come December 21 2019.
Where: 92, Stoke Newington High Street, N16 7NY
What: Walk into this positively pink dessert parlour and find everything that ticks the aesthetics box in the millennial handbook. From the ice cream pink floors and bubble-shaped cushions, to booths and selfie-worthy mirrors mounting the walls and ceiling there's something to snap from every angle here. The pretty in pink DYCE shows off with a DIY menu too, where you can make your own ice-cream-topped dessert from doughnuts, brownies, cookies and even baklava. Sprinkle on some fruity pebbles or caramel popcorn while you sip on a bubble tea and you’ve got a dream come true for the grid.
Where: 27 James Street, W1U 1DX
Kalifornia Kitchen, Fitzrovia
What: This Fitzrovia joint must have looked up the formula of how to make millennials come to your restaurant. Purposefully misspelled name? Check. Entirely plant-based menu, all-pink interiors and CBD-infused lattes? Check, check and check again. It should come as no surprise then, that the restaurant is the brainchild of Instagram influencer Loui Blake. Serving up the likes of jackfruit tacos and guac burgers, Kalifornia Kitchen couldn’t be more painfully on-trend if it tried. If the neon pink lighting and palm print walls weren’t enough, you can even order a pink croissant to try – we did warn you.
Where: 19 Percy Street, W1T 1DY
What: Clearly designed with Instagram in mind, Genesis is a two-floor vegan eatery in trend-hungry Shoreditch which features neon pink signage, rose gold detailing, marble and of course, pastel pink walls. The restaurant serves a traditional ‘fast-food’ menu of burgers, hot dogs and milkshakes, but all without animal products. Try the likes of the seitan dog and pair it with yucca fries and vegan mac ‘n’ cheese – it’s pretty obvious that veganism is no longer just a ‘fad’, and it seems that the pink interiors trend isn’t either.
Where: 144 Commercial Street, E1 6NU
Brasserie of Light, Marylebone
What: Brasserie of Light, in all its camp glory, took Londoners by surprise when it opened in late 2018. So many department store restaurants end up looking and feeling a bit naff, but the stunning interiors here have won the restaurant plenty of fans, not least because of the diamond encrusted Pegasus statue which looms over diners and boasts a 30-foot wingspan. For your fix of pink interiors though, head to the ladies bathroom (the gents have to settle with a black and gold theme), where you’ll find an Instagram-flirting mix of mirrored surfaces, and pink marble – guaranteed to rake in the likes.
Where: Selfridges, 400 Oxford Street, W1A 1AB
The Wallace, Marylebone
What: You wouldn’t know it from the outside, but as well as housing many covetable treasures, the Wallace Collection also boasts a unique and rather stunning restaurant. The classical space features pink-toned walls, plenty of natural light coming in from the glass ceiling, and imposing trees which bring the outdoors in. The menu champions timeless French dishes made with British produce, with dishes to try including the likes of filet of veal with beetroot gravlax and thyme sabayon, as well as root vegetable tartar with sea lettuce croquettes.
Where: Hertford House, Manchester Square, W1U 3BN
Ask the experts
@LondonIsPink on why pink restaurants are so popular: “With the rise of Instagram and millennial pink, London restaurants have grabbed onto the trend as a way to pull in more customers. And it definitely works! These pink cafes often have queues out the door, even on weekdays. The big question: Is it for the photo or the food? Hard to say! For me, it always has to be about both and the places I always find myself coming back to are Sketch, Peggy Porschen, and Palm Vaults."
Tonight Josephine, Shoreditch and Waterloo
What: This all-pink play pit has been marketed as the ultimate girl’s night out. You’ve undoubtedly seen someone you know posing in front of the club’s ‘well behaved women don’t make history sign’ on your Instagram feed, and the rest of the interiors are just as kitsch. Silver banquettes, funky neon signs and powder pinks come as standard, while the cocktails all boast funny names such as Loch Negroni Monster or Flaming Zombie. If you really want to get the party started though, try out Josephine’s dizzying range of shots, shooters and bombs.
Where: Tonight Josephine, 39a Hoxton Square, N1 6NN; 111 Waterloo Road, SE1 8UL
EL&N London Brompton Road, Hans Crescent, Lowndes Street, Market Place and Park Lane
Why: Decked out with floral installations and powder pink furnishings, EL&N London’s stable of locations are among the most Instagrammed spots in the capital. It’s not just the pink interiors that are eye-catching though – check out the velvet latte made with red espresso, or the Black Magic latte, which is made with activated charcoal and sprinkled with glitter. Sweet treats meanwhile, including a chocolate and raspberry brownie and a vegan pumpkin and coconut cake.
Where: 239 Brompton Road, SW3 2EP; 42 Hans Crescent, SW1X 0LZ; 25G Lowndes Street, SW1X 9JF; 9 Market Place, W1W 8AQ; 48 Park Lane, W1K 1PR
Peggy Porschen, Belgravia and Chelsea
Why: One of the first ‘Instagram famous’ cafés, Peggy Porschen draws in the crowds with its soft pink interiors, floral installations and array of cutesy sweet treats and cakes. Head here for shots of espresso or a hot chocolate topped with miniature marshmallows. You can also satisfy your sweet tooth via the likes of a banoffee sponge, orange and almond cake or one of Peggy’s signature macarons, with flavours including raspberry and rose, or elderflower.
Where: 116 Ebury Street, Belgravia, SW1W 9QQ; 219 King's Road, Chelsea, SW3 5EJ
Tell Your Friends, Parsons Green
What: The cast of Made in Chelsea aren’t exactly known for their subtlety (unless you think slinging Champagne in someone’s face is subtle), but former cast members Lucy and Tiffany Watson have surprisingly decked out their debut restaurant with pretty low-key interiors. The splashes of pink here aren’t over-the-top, but rather understated – think a pink neon sign on the wall, faded light pink walls and dusty pink banquettes. On the food front, you can expect an entirely vegan menu of meaty mimicry, which includes ‘fish’ & chips, ‘chicken’ bites and ‘faux gras’.
Where: 175 New King’s Road, SW6 4SW
Ask the experts
@RachelRecommends on her favourite pink-hued spots in London: “Choosing gram-worthy dining destinations has become a way of life for me and many millennials. And of course, millennial pink is naturally our colour palette of choice, so when the two come together it's a match made in heaven. It's important not to choose style over substance though, but you can guarantee tasty treats and a pretty backdrop at Peggy Porschen and Elan Café, two of my favourite London cafés. And Sketch takes the crown for being the ultimate blush beauty – with fabulous toilets to boot."
What: While the food menu at this beautiful restaurant inside the Centre Point development is inspired by the swinging 60s, the décor thankfully avoids psychedelic patterns and brash touches, and is actually rather tasteful. One of our favourite elements are the bubblegum pink chairs, with are suitably comfy and prep diners for a food menu which encompasses classic comfort food from the era. Think cauliflower cheese croquettes with slow-roasted tomatoes, and chicken à la king – sautéed chicken, mushrooms, cream and white wine. Don’t forget to finish up with a banana split for dessert either.
Where: Centre Point, 101 New Oxford Street, WC1A 1DB