Why study philosophy and theology at university when you can open your own cafe? Such was the dilemma facing Florence Dixon. She opted for the latter.
The impetus for the 19-year-old Londoner to open her own Anglo-Irish bakery, named Tart, was a wildly popular pop-up shop/cafe she launched (it helps, of course, when your father is designer Tom Dixon and he offers you a space in his shop and studio at Portobello Dock). But just in case you think this all sounds too silver spoon-ish, Florence points out that her foothold is provisional; she unfurls her cafe every morning and stows it away at night to make way for the Dock Kitchen's cocktail bar. Her plan is to ultimately move into her own permanent space with a bigger kitchen. Where? "Bloomsbury is my dream," she says. "It's so old fashioned; I'll wrap all my goods in brown paper and twine, like they do at Labour and Wait."
Above: Florence behind the counter, wearing the Tart cafe uniform (striped sailor tops). For staffing, she gets her friends to help her out ("I'm quite bossy," she says).
Above: The cafe overlooking the Grand Union canal near Ladbroke Grove. Florence sources much of her tableware from secondhand shops.
Above: Friends enjoying Tart fare at the the Dock Cafe, amid Tom Dixon furniture and lighting.
Above: Florence arrives early, and beings her day making break, scones, and cakes. By lunch time, she has added salads and savory tarts to her lineup.
Above: A collection of Tom Dixon's Etch shade lighting. Florence hangs paintings she's collected on the restroom doors.
Above: Tart cafe jams. Florence honed her skills at the Ballymaloe Cookery School, located on a large organic farm in Ireland.
Above: A view of Tart Cafe across the Grand Union Canal. The Dock Kitchen restaurant is above.
Above: Nellie, Florence's 1972 VW Beetle. What are her favorite cafes? She tells us, "Rose Bakery is my fave, I love it there and also the cafe at Petersham Nurseries."
N.B. Read our post on Petersham Nurseries.