Élan recently launched a second café in affluent Knightsbridge (239 Brompton Road to be exact, the same road that the luxurious Harrods is on!) to accompany its original one in Mayfair. It’s only been open for less than two months but when I arrived for brunch with my lovely friend Aimee at 11:30am on Saturday morning, there was a queue heading down the street! And you can see why..
Annoyingly, Élan doesn’t take bookings. However, for tables of two, the wait isn’t so long and we probably only waited outside for around 15 minutes before being seated.
Élan is a French word and means enthusiastic vigor, style and flair, which is written in gold lettering at the back of the café, right below, what I can only describe as a huge rose crown! The décor of Élan is gorgeous, a mixture of elaborate floral, millennial pinks and deep sage green with marble, gold and rose gold detailing. Team a beautiful colour scheme with coffee lover quotes, a giant cherry blossom tree and a rose wall and you’ve got yourself an Instagramers DREAM café!
Some skeptics may think style over substance but it’s not just the décor that makes this café a winner. The food is delicious and there is an amazing variety of food and drinks to try, all just as Instagramable as the surroundings.
The menu is a mixture of typical, trendy ,healthy dishes like smashed avo on toast & acai bowls and Middle Eastern cuisine. Aimee and I spent ages looking over the menu, worried about food envy and missing out on something amazing but ended up ordering the exact same thing (I guess that’s one way to avoid food envy!) We chose the Grilled Ras el Hanout Chicken Flatbread with a poached egg, grilled peppers, lemon yoghurt & chilli oil with a side of courgette and halloumi fries to share and chai lattes to wash it all down.
The food, ohhh THE FOOD, was amazing! You can tell that they use good quality produce and the arrangement on the plate is just as pretty as the café itself! I highly recommend the Grilled Chicken Flatbread and the halloumi fries were definitely some of the best I have ever eaten (and I have eaten A LOT of halloumi!). Originally I wanted to try the ruby latte after seeing countless pictures on Instagram of the pink hot drink, however when I realised it was part of their ‘alternative’ latte section and was made of beetroot and ginger, I decided against it. Although, going by how good our chai lattes were, I am sure it would have been just as nice! The chai lattes were so good that we actually ordered a second round to drink with our cakes… moving me nicely onto the sweet stuff!
Élan have a glorious selection of cakes, tarts and pastries which include colour-glazed croissants and huge cheesecakes! It was hard to make a choice but I’m a toffee/caramel kinda girl so originally went for the Dulce de Leche cake, which wasn’t on display. However, when it arrived I was a bit disappointed as I didn’t realise it was more of a milk cake with lots of whipped cream (so heads up incase you order!) , rather than a sticky toffee style cake that I had in mind. So I asked if I could swap it and ending up going for the Date & Walnut cake to fulfill my sticky, sugar fix. Aimee went with a carrot cake and both were delicious but neither of us could finish them (probably didn’t help that we were washing them down with rich, spiced milk but hey!)
Overall, we had a lovely time and its the perfect spot for a girly catch up. Price wise, it is of course slightly more expensive than your average café but the décor and the quality of the food/drink makes it worth it and I will definitely be going back! (I might even try the Ruby Latte, next time!)