Get into the gluten-free groove with Portobello’s newest addition, Pearl and Groove.
There’s another side to Portobello Road. We all worship the congested weekend markets, round the corner brunch queues and grungy piercing parlours, and all for good reason, Portobello Road is part of London’s DNA. But let yourself wonder down the yellow brick road, out of your Notting Hill comfort zone, and you will thank us. Crossing the border into Ladbroke Grove, you will find that Portobello Road is host to a charming, village-vibe set. Blooming florists, pavements lined with French cafés, zesty Mexican joints, boutique beauticians and our favourite newbie: the pretty Pearl and Groove.
Founded by the gorgeous Serena Whitefield in 2013, Pearl and Groove have been providing London’s gluten free troop with sweet yumminess, available to purchase from luxe-store Selfridges, eateries including Portobello’s Farm Girl and via direct delivery from their website. Following her dreams, Serena has now opened the doors to their first bakery, filling the sidewalks of Ladbroke Grove with the scent of freshly baked paradise.
The café is as darling as its cakes. Serena’s partner in crime, Flo Sadler, has a background in interior styling, and this can be spotted in every detail and crevice. Picture comic cartoon artwork, vibrant stationary displays and sharing tables occupied with antique glass accessories and adult colouring in books. Our favourite flair is the vivid pink loo-paper graphic wallpaper, covering the entire ladies’ toilet – a discovery from Serena’s Amsterdam travels. We wanted to get our hands on some!
However, what you are really visiting Pearl and Groove for is their delectable, delicate and delightful loaves of gluten-free gorgeousness. Displayed in the window, like an extract from a Parisian patisserie, the spread is full of colour and design. On our visit, we were lucky enough to catch a batch coming straight out of the oven. Unable to resist the aroma, I engulfed at lightening speed, a still gooey and warm, dairy, refined sugar and gluten free, Coconut and Strawberry delight. My sweet toothed accomplice opted for one of their Pistachio and Rose cakes, a fragrant and oriental offering that paired perfectly with a mint tea. We had to stop ourselves tarnishing their pretty display by reaching for the other favourites, which included their most popular Dulche de Leche and Sea salt flavour alongside their paradise inducing Coconut rum and lime.
The secret to the success of these gluten free cakes? Serena won’t tell us the details, but we know that the basis is making sure to get the right bake, bang on flavour combinations and the use of almond flour to ensure moist and succulent cakes are enjoyed every time.
The café also serves killer coffee, matcha latte’s and Roots cold-pressed juices, so after you have devoured your daily, or hourly, intake of sweetness, you can sit back, relax, and colour yourself away into a state of pure, unadulterated, sweet bliss.
Pearl and Groove also offer home delivers and will make larger sized cakes for special occasions. Shelf life is 7-10 days and prices start from £3.95. For more information visit www.pearlandgroove.com and @pearlandgroove.