It’s been an unusually indulgent week, which culminated in a massive cheese fest for dinner the other night at St Moritz, my favourite Swiss restaurant this side of Zurich. So come weekend I was more than ready for a detox. Thankfully for the new health-conscious wave in London, this no longer implies a bowl of bland lettuce leaves with a measly serving of cucumbers and tomatoes… And I found just the reprieve I needed among the bustle of Kingly Court, the three-storey foodie haven in Carnaby Street.
Saturday afternoon was spent all too agreeably catching up with a friend over super-smoothies and guilt-free snacks at Retreat Cafe, a hidden oasis of calm tucked away at the top of Kingly Court.
The all-vegetarian eatery is part of the Triyoga centre. Founder Kimberly Parsons, a chef and certified naturopath, has devised a menu of nutritionally power-packed yet tasty eats alongside an extensive selection of juices, smoothies and lattes, apt for a pre- or post-yoga fix. I found the protein bars particularly appetising, my favourite has to be raspberry, while you might end up preferring the tahini cookies to chocolate chip once you’ve tried them!
I also sprung for the Coco Green Matcha smoothie – a refreshingly zingy blend of spinach, pineapple and banana with coconut water, matcha and wheatgrass. It provided exactly the burst of energy needed to fuel through a busy day! Would definitely recommend this cosy and rustic enclave as the perfect spot to retreat to whenever in need of a recharge.
Retreat Cafe, 2nd Floor Kingly Court, London W1B 5PW
The next morning found me heading back to KC, this time lured to a cheerfully charming deli that promised to be a place where healthy meets delicious…
The Detox Kitchen
Now I usually live by a simple a mantra on Sundays: brunch. But as appealing as the thought always is of poached eggs dripping down English muffins with lashings of hollandaise, on this occasion I was definitely in need of a lighter alternative. The egg wrap stuffed with hummus, spinach and avocado at the Detox Kitchen hit the spot perfectly.
There was no passing up on the attractive array of fresh and seasonal salads either and I went for a combination of everything on offer. Each was heavenly, but the smoky paprika flavours of the squash and peppers particularly stood out, as did the herby mix of quinoa, peas, edamame beans and pumpkin seeds with basil, parsley, mint and pesto.
It was a surprisingly filling meal and we almost didn’t have room for dessert. Almost. The Kitchen proves that sweet treats free from wheat, dairy and refined sugar can be a delectable affair. The raw cacao slices made with ground almonds and dates had a nuttier texture than regular brownies, while the goji berries and coconut chips on top added another layer of flavour.
The matcha lattes with cinnamon were the highlight though. We chose to have ours with brown rice milk, which lent a sweet undertone transforming our afternoon coffee into a liquid pudding. Just the pick-me-up we needed.
The Detox Kitchen, 10 Kingly Street, London W1B 5PJ
If these cafes sound up your street, then my previous post on other favourite healthy hangouts in London may also be of interest, do give it a read!