It’s raining in Pimlico. In fact, it’s been pouring in London all week. My umbrella is defenseless against the sideways spray, which along with the wind sweeps me into the new Cambridge Street Cafe. Just opened this week, the timing couldn’t be better for my impromptu visit. I take a seat along the banquette, soaking up the pretty pink ambiance and open kitchen as my coat absorbs the raindrops falling from my hair. I like this place. In fact, I like all of Pimlico.

Pink Door in Pimlico

Located right in the middle of central London, Pimlico—like Vauxhall, its across-the-river-counterpart—often gets overlooked when it comes to London neighborhoods. I never think to go there, friends seldom suggest meeting there, and I rarely seem to find myself wandering through.

Cambridge Street Cafe in Pimlico

But on days like today when rain or life’s other unexpected circumstances draw me in, I realize that when I forget about Pimlico I’m like Boris Johnson forgetting to comb his hair. I look like an idiot.

Latte at Cambridge Street Cafe in Pimlico

So today I’m determined to remedy my idiocy, come drizzle or downpour. I fortify myself with a latte, then open my umbrella and take to the roads.

Cambridge Street Cafe in Pimlico

And lovely ones they are. Light pink doors stand out from white columned houses sporting window boxes overflowing with bright colored flowers. Pretty green squares pop up between old stone churches, and historic pubs wedge themselves between orange brick buildings.

Church in Pimlico

Like Maida Vale, the neighborhood doesn’t have just one high street where all the best Pimlico restaurants and cafes reside. But with a little wandering, I manage to find the key clusters.

Antique Textiles in Pimlico

The best one is on Wilton Road, where neighborhood favorite Pimlico Fresh has a queue out the door for its well-known coffee and pastries.

Pimlico Fresh

Up the road is A.Wong, the area’s beloved Chinese restaurant, and one street over lies Rippon Cheese Stores, Pimlico’s famous fromagerie. It’s just steps away from the Tachbrook Street Market, a daily outdoor collection of street vendors selling everything from fresh bell peppers to hot falafel.

Peppers at Tachbrook Street Market in Pimlico

I walk through the market, letting myself be lured from stall to stall by the sizzling aromas of hot food, then continue my exploration of Pimlico’s restaurants and cafes with a peek at Delicias de Portugal. Every tiny table out front is packed with people enjoying a morning espresso. If the rain won’t deter them, the place must be good. I know where I’m going for my next custard tart fix.

Tate Britain

But in the meantime I’m going to the riverfront, where on the border of Pimlico lies another great foodie find: Tate Britain.

Dessert at Tate Britain

I know, I know. It’s a museum. But not only does it have a great restaurant with an impressive wine list, it also has a new exhibition called Tate Sensorium that combines taste, scent, and other senses with art. It opened yesterday, and if there’s an exhibition I want to see, it’s one that combines Paul A Young’s chocolates with Francis Bacon’s Figure in a Landscape (if only Francis were also a kind of bacon!).

Dolphin Square in Pimlico

Heading back to the Pimlico tube station, I wander through Dolphin Square. It’s tucked away behind imposing brick blocks, but nestled within them are beautiful gardens and pretty fountains. Like Pimlico itself, it’s easy to pass by without appreciating how lovely it is. Even in the rain.

40 Comments on Lady in Pimlico

  1. Your post made me wish I live in London! There’s just so many things to discover. Please visit it again when it’s no longer raining, maybe you’ll find more hidden treasures to share. 🙂

  2. Your photos are lovely! I really like this area of London, but haven’t really explored it properly. I’m going to be there this weekend, so will go for a walk for sure! Thanks 🙂

  3. I must agree with previous comments, your photos are really amazing!
    I’m actually familiar with the area so it was good to see your prospective on it.

    I will defiantly keep an eye on your blog 🙂

  4. Have spent some time over the years in Pimlico and have definitely eaten Portuguese custard tarts from Delicias. As for Dolphin Square, my Oz mother-in-law has lived in London for 20 years, at Dolphin Square for over 10. Her flat has a view straight out onto those Dolphins. We’ve stayed with her there and it’s definitely central to all you need in London. I will send her your link as I’m sure she would love to see her special part of the world talked about like this.

  5. I’ve visited London a few times but only as a tourist. I am not surprised to see that there are such charming places I was not aware of. Hopefully, in the next few years I will get to spend more time in town and explore some “hidden gems” like Pimlico. Thank you for sharing!

    Eva

  6. I overlook Pimlico as an area to wander in as I work not too from there but inspired by your post, you’ve reminded me to see what it has to offer next time I have a free afternoon. And just love that pink door!

  7. I am visiting London for the first time next week and I am trying to decide if I want to stay in Pimlico or near the Borough Market? Would you recommend Pimlico? About how far from Pimlico to the main sites, Hyde Park, Buckingham Palace etc? TIA!

  8. Just read your post on Pimlico.Born lived and worked in Pimlico most of my life .Hove moved 10 years ago but still spend a week every month as I miss the place so much.Have seen lots of changes but Still Love It.

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