The Historic London Cafe That Pays Homage To The Life Of Princess Diana

Princess Diana smiling
Princess Diana smiling - Bettmann/Getty Images

In the charming London neighborhood of Notting Hill, there's a cafe that's gone from being a favorite haunt of a royal icon to being a living memorial. Cafe Diana opened in 1989, and the owner, Abdul Daoud, was struggling to come up with a name in the business's early days. Suddenly, Princess Diana walked by with her sons, Prince Harry and Prince William -- the family lived nearby. Daoud realized naming his cafe for the beloved princess was the perfect idea.

Princess Diana seems to have been flattered by the idea and also taken with the restaurant's menu because she stopped by a few times and often brought her children. Because of the amount of press surrounding her every move throughout her royal adult life, we know Princess Diana's favorite dishes and cuisines, and even what her last meal was. At Cafe Diana, though, Daoud can tell customers some of the more everyday things she liked to enjoy in quieter moments with her sons. She frequently ordered cappuccinos and baked items like croissants or cakes. The boys tended to order a bit more heartily, opting for full English breakfasts, plates of different meats with eggs, tomatoes, beans, and toast -- sometimes the princess took part in this British classic, too.

One day, Daoud asked Princess Diana for a photo he could hang on the wall, and she humbly obliged. Before she knew it, the cafe was leaning into its theme of celebrating her, and the two Dianas developed a special relationship.

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How Princess Diana's Go-To Cafe Turned Into A Memorial

Food and menu on table at Cafe Diana
Food and menu on table at Cafe Diana - Cafe Diana London / Instagram

Today, Cafe Diana is like a Princess Diana museum where you can also casually eat a meal or have a coffee. That one photo the princess herself gave Daoud has turned into dozens that line every wall. This is because Daoud wished to memorialize the restaurant's royal regular after her tragic and untimely death in 1997.

There are enormous framed glamour shots of Lady Di herself, as well as smaller candid family shots. With every inch covered in photos of the princess, it's the kind of place that could feel overly touristy. But Cafe Diana has authenticity because of its namesake's genuine enjoyment of going there, and because it happens to be a local fixture where regulars mingle with travelers because of the fare as much as the royal theme.

Should you find yourself in Notting Hill, you can stop by Cafe Diana and treat yourself to some of the very same things the princess and her sons loved to eat there. The menu still features staples like cakes, croissants, and cappuccinos, plus full English breakfasts, alongside salads, kebabs, and falafel. In the meantime, the restaurant showcases its theme on its website, too, where you can view photos of Princess Diana as a child and on humanitarian trips, as well as letters from the royal thanking Daoud and his staff for sending her flowers on her birthday.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.