Happy New Year, if I may still be permitted to say; but for those who chose to extend the festive break, today is the first working day of 2018, and thus, the most tragic day of the year. January statistically correlates with a high volume of re-joiners to the gym again, resolving to be more active and live healthier. Preach alert; the choice I made years ago was to be relatively healthy as an all-year-round lifestyle approach, (not a seasonal one), and it’s broadly been an enjoyable one at that! But for those taking up gym membership today and mobilizing those resolutions (quite literally), remember that so much ground is “made in the kitchen”. So, to help you not only eat healthily but also eat delicious and adventurous fare in 2018, here’s my top curated list of old and new healthy restaurant discoveries to check out around London. MORE…
Whilst the sprawling metropolis of London is a culinary Mecca that’s blessed with an un-visitable panoply of eateries, not all of them will help you achieve your 2018 healthy goals – it can be a bit of a dietary minefield to say the least, though I readily – neigh, open-armedly – welcome those places which will plate up an occasional indulgent treat. My experience is, there is never one restaurant which is ‘holier than thou’-100%-healthy, so take each restaurant and café with a large pinch of salt. Although not literally because that too would work against your health goals by speeding arteriosclerosis. Bad.
1) YEOTOWN KITCHEN – Marylebone
I really loved this place! Yeotown Kitchen is part of the Devon wellness retreat Yeotown http://www.yeotown.com , co-founded by husband and wife team, yoga teacher Mercedes and Simon Sieff. Their Marylebone outpost isn’t just a venue to eat but also somewhat of a mindfulness occasion. There’s a wide & varied menu to cater for the healthy eater with ‘avo fatigue’ – there’s plenty of exciting nutritious and delicious ingredients as well as freshly pressed juices, superbly executed, in what feels like a very clean and tranquil space. Besides that, an unusual part of the experience (which really works surprisingly well) is that you can pop downstairs for a spot of meditation to one of their two pods, selecting one of their five 5-minute guided mindfulness meditations, narrated by their founder Mercedes, whilst sipping a herbal tea in a cocooned sanctuary. I found the experience to be an unexpected relaxant at a point in my day when I could really benefit from it.
42 Chiltern St,
Tel: 020 7935 4085
2) REDEMPTION – Notting Hill
You can find this vegan, added-sugar-free, wheat free and alcohol-free restaurant in Nottinghill and Shoreditch. Redemption Bar ethos is all about looking after the planet, sustainability and proving that vegan can be delicious too! They’ve really taken on the challenge fully, and the meals feel filling, and far from what one might have assumed vegan to be. There are also mocktails and big salad bowls that prove challenging and satisfying in equal measure! Myself (& plus one) tried the Buff burger 🍔 (shiitake mushroom, black bean & red beetroot burger in a gluten free bun) with sweet po – yum! Also a winner was the wild mushroom & black rice risotto & a side of kale salad.
3) DAYLESFORD ORGANIC – Marylebone
Daylesford is a family run farm which was set up over thirty-five years ago, first in Staffordshire and then in the Cotswolds. Their belief in sustainability and organic farming resonates with the Swedish ‘natural’ ethos I subscribe to. All of the food comes straight from their farm whether it’s the meat and poultry, fruit and veg, bread from the bakery and dairy from the creamery. I really enjoy coming here, partly because I’m admittedly a bit of a clean freak (as my friends like to point out) and this place feels very fresh and clean, a good environment in which to prepare and serve food! The interior is Minimalist, with uncomplicated wooden surfaces, and a light and airy feel pervading the space. It’s roomy and even has an adjoining shop where you can buy fresh products from the farm as well as other bits and bobs to take home. I consider it perfect for brunches and breakfasts alike, and personally love the kale ‘Orchard’ salad, whilst the eggs are deliciously intense! Check out the full menu here: https://daylesford.com/locations/marylebone-w1/
6-8 Blandford Street
4) ’RETOX & DETOX’ AT THE 108 MARYLEBONE
This beautiful venue lies in the heart of chic Marylebone village, on Marylebone Lane itself. It’s a wonderful stop not just for tourists staying at the hotel but for locals too. High ceilings, flooded with light, a gorgeous retro-tinged bar with a sense of historic elegance running through the very well invested spaces – as well as some gorgeous outdoor seating (for warmer days than we’re perhaps currently experiencing!) and a fab brunch menu, for which purpose I visited recently!
5) GRANGER AND CO – Notting Hill
In a bout of contemporary hipster intent, this excellent Notting Hill venue unfortunately, does not take reservations, so one is guaranteed a long queue outside the door – and for good reason. The eponymous Bill Granger describes the restaurant merely as ‘Australian’: having just returned from 2 weeks in Queensland, I now understand that to mean sunny, easy-going and generous. Yes Bill, the portions are indeed generous. The atmosphere is relaxed, friendly and always busy – so that’s the sunny easy-going bit covered off too! Get there early, or ensure you have plenty of time (including queue time).
Find the full menu on their website here https://grangerandco.com/notting-hill
This place is perfect for brunches and breakfasts. Satisfying portions of the mighty classic smashed avo on toast go down a treat. My favourite is the ‘Avo Poke’ (raw tuna and avocado poke bowl, brown rice, cherry tomatoes, pickled cucumber, and sesame).
175 Westbourne Grove
London W11 2SB
+44 20 7229 9111
6) MILDREDS – Soho
There have been countless occasions where I’ve been in central London famished, but somewhat unsure as to where I might grab something ‘trusted’ and healthy to eat… Should you find yourself in a similar predicament in the environs of Soho, this is the place for you! Not near Soho? Fear not, there are another three – in Camden, Dalston and Kings Cross – but so far I’ve only sampled Soho.
My perception of the overriding aim at Mildreds chimes with their own mission statement; to serve good value, fresh and colorful international vegetarian food. I’m always surprised at the generosity of the portions when they arrive, and by the diversity and intriguing combination of ingredients added to each salad. If you’re not a veggie (and are perhaps suspicious of how they might ever feel full), I must assure that you’ll leave completely satisfied and full. This place is perfect for lunches, meetings, and catch-ups make sure to check out the detox salad and curry dishes!
45 Lexington Street
Happy dining! Faya x