London’s Growing Green Food Scene

Inspired by New York and LA, London has recently grown its own crop of clean eating restaurants, with chefs, bloggers and Instagrammers creating healthy, delicious, guilt-free and fun spots—ranging from vegetarian/vegan, and raw foods, to whole foods, i.e. no refined sugars or flours, but including organic meats and cheese—there’s even an alcohol free bar.  Here’s the ultimate guide to London’s most virtuous indulgences:

Farmacy


Farmacy, my favorite of the lot, opened two weeks ago in Notting Hill, is a “veggan” (vegan plus eggs) restaurant.  The creation of Camilla Fayed, the 31- year-old daughter of former Harrods boss Mohammed Al Fayed, Farmacy is already buzzing with a mix of post Barre class beauties and the fit fellows that want to date them.  It’s a bright, clean lined space with wood tables surrounding a sleek bar, serving up seriously tasty cocktails (especially the one with gin, lime and cucumber) and organic wines.  The food menu is all gloriously green and super foodie, yet my Argentine, carnivore husband LOVED the veggie burger, and the dairy and refined sugar-free “nice cream” brownie sundae is unreal. http://farmacylondon.com/

“Spoil yourself without spoiling yourself,” is the tag line of the new vegan mini-chain Redemption, with locations in Notting Hill and Shoreditch.  Their hook is the alcohol-free bar, with impressive mixed mocktails, offering teetotal takes on mojitos, martinis, margaritas, etc., the place has a surprisingly cool vibe. Nice food too, the best dish: a spiralized zucchini tossed in basil and pumpkin seed pesto, topped with brazil nut ‘parmesan.’  Yum.  http://redemptionbar.co.uk/

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The Mae Deli, in Marylebone, is the first restaurant from Instagram sensation (nearly a million followers) and clean eating blogger, Deliciously Ella (aka Ella Mills nee Woodward, daughter of supermarket heiress Camilla Sainsbury).  Ella gave up all processed food, meat and dairy four years ago when diagnosed with a relatively rare illness, Postural Tachycardia Syndrome.  Her blog drew a massive following, spawning two best-selling books and The Mae Deli, which opened in January.  Cute place with a small seating area to eat-in, or take away a healthy picnic as Hyde Park is three blocks. All day menu, choose from chia pudding, avocado toast on gluten-free bread, earthy salads, veggie mains plus chicken and salmon, and desserts like black bean brownies or cacao energy balls, matcha lattes and cold pressed juices.  http://themaedeli.com 


Nearby, Selfridges has also gotten into the act, revamped their 3rd floor, renaming it “The Body Studio,” now a retail temple of “athleisure” wear with a new 30-seat café by a pair of blogging/Instagramming sisters, Hemsley & Hemsley, also authors of best-selling clean eating cookbook The Art of Eating Well as well as the highly anticipated follow up Good + Simple.  Nothing processed, but you find meat on the menu here, bone broth, plus lots of veggie options.  http://www.selfridges.com/US/en/content/article/hemsley-hemsley-cafe-selfridges-bodystudio

In Mayfair, Rocco Forte’s Brown’s Hotel has partnered with British chef/Instagrammer/nutritionist/yoga guru, Madeleine Shaw, yet another author of a best-selling cookbook, Get the Glow, to create the exclusive “Nourish” menu of meals, smoothies, cocktails and super food snacks, all refined sugar, gluten and dairy free.  We like the sound of the acai bowl, and the “50 Shades of Green” veggie burger. Meals are offered in any of hotel’s restaurants or through room service.  https://www.roccofortehotels.com/hotels-and-resorts/browns-hotel/madeleine-shaw/

Nama
Nama's avocado toast

Vegan restaurant Nama, in Notting Hill, has been open a few years, pioneering the raw food movement in London.  Everything is raw, unprocessed, and organic; their kale salad is killer, there’s even a raw version of lasagna, cannelloni and Pad Thai, plus a super selection of desserts. http://namafoods.com/

In Chelsea, there’s Tayna’s Kitchen, everything is raw, also wheat, dairy, gluten and refined sugar free.  Boasting an incredible selection of “healthy” desserts, Tanya’s also claims to be home to Europe’s first Super Food cocktail bar (alcohol included here).  Located a stone’s throw from the Victoria & Albert, Natural History and Science museums, surely this is the healthiest respite in the area. http://www.tanyascafe.com/


In Covent Garden, the newly opened We are Farmstand, a tiny 30-seat restaurant on Drury Lane, is great for a quick meal or take away, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner.  You can mix and match proteins and sides, they have organic chicken, beef or salmon plus a veg option.  All locally sourced, no wheat, sugar or dairy here, packaging is also green, well priced.  http://www.farmstand.co.uk


Also in Covent Garden is 26 Grains, with everything on the menu centered around wholesome grains such as oats, quinoa, buckwheat, barley, millet, amaranth, spelt, flaxseed and rye cooked through a variety of milks - nut milk, coconut milk , or water or juices—with sweet (no refined sugar!) and savory offerings.  Toppings range from fruit and nuts to chicken and cheese. The place has a Nordic vibe, fantastic spot to enjoy a hearty bowl of guilt-free goodness. http://www.26grains.com/

Last but not least, the first LEON was set up on Carnaby Street in 2004 by John Vincent, Henry Dimbleby and chef Allegra McEvedy, with a vision to create a healthy, responsibly sourced and delicious fast food restaurant. Now there are 35 locations all over London including the Eurotunnel and Heathrow T2, open all day with great choices for vegan and gluten-free diners, with eggs, meat and treats also on offer.  Menu is Mediterranean inspired, dishes like lamb kofta, haloumi burger but also English staples like chicken curry and fish fingers…plus fantastic super food salads.  Everything is fair-trade and mostly organic, with great prices (nothing over £8), quick service and a winning kids menu, http://leonrestaurants.co.uk/ 

When in London, eat well!  For more photos and healthy openings, please follow my Insta @eatwellanywhere. 

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