Earlier this week, I chanced upon something rather lovely whilst having a meander around Bond Street with mother.
An Ayurveda-inspired cafe by Jasmine Hemsley, housed within a beguiling pop-up from the New York-based ethical luxury label, Maiyet.
So although I have a colossal backlog of blogposts to share with you in the coming few weeks (#WatchThisSpace), this one jumps right to the top of the list…
I’ll admit, the concept store won me over from the moment I walked in.
Who could resist that #IHaveThisThingWithFloors moment?
Or the elegantly simple floral arrangements from Tuk Tuk studio.
Maiyet’s focus is on sustainable luxury, showcasing intricately hand-crafted details and fabrics sourced from local artisans all over the world, from Bolivia to India.
It’s not just the Mongolian cashmere that you’ll have your eye on for your christmas wish list though, with stunning art and design works also gracing the stands.
Think Tom Dixon home furnishings, dazzling jewellery, handcrafted pieces and a range of books from Phaidon (I’d recommend TOAST, which has pleasantly rendered avocado toast a thing of the past for me).
As you make your way to the back of the store, you’ll hit East by West.
A feel-good pop-up cafe as stylish as its environs, dishing up deliciously nutritious dishes which combine Ayurvedic food philosophy with fresh and seasonal British ingredients.
And it’s run by Jasmine Hemsley, one half of the passionate sister-duo specialising in the Art of Eating Well (really good food that’s also really good for you).
The cafe is miles different to Hemsley + Hemsley in Selfridges, in that it’s been directly inspired and influenced by Jasmine’s recent visit to India, particularly a humble stay in an ashram in the South where she learned more about Ayurveda.
Dating back over five thousand years, it’s both a science and philosophy rooted in finding a physical and emotional balance through holistic living. Food is a big part of that, but rather than a one-size-fits-all approach, your diet is tailored to your unique dosha. Think of it as the sum of your energies.
It’s quite a multi-faceted and thought-provoking topic… so as you’d imagine, once we’d start chatting all things Ayurveda with Jasmine there really was no stopping! She buoyantly caught mum and me up on all her other adventures in India too, from getting engaged whilst there to rescuing abandoned dogs (two have since found their way to her here in London!).
As it was too early for a tipple (wine and cocktails are served post 4 pm), we cemented our new friendship with a round of shots instead…
Buttermilk lassi spiked with mint, cumin and sea salt (it was as refreshingly good as we have back home in India). And a more autumn-appropriate version featuring turmeric, honey and ginger!
Lunch was a nourishing feast for all the senses, revolving around a pakti bowl.
Soft stir-fried broccoli “rice” thoughtfully hewn with a crunchy medley of ingredients and topped off with chunks of cooked aubergine so tender, each sliver practically melted in our mouths.
We scooped up the broccoli with our side order of missi roti, a flat bread made with protein-rich chickpea and chestnut butter. A generous whack of sage butter spread across the rotis completed the deliciously wholesome and satisfying picture!
We finished with a flourish, with the most deliciously healthy ladoos I’ve eaten yet (an energising mix of sesame, peanuts and honey) and a winter-warming, immunity-boosting concoction of turmeric, coconut and honey enlivened with a kick of black pepper.
It was pleasantly creamy, almost buttery in texture… Definitely a new favourite way to imbibe this golden spice!
We lingered for a while after, perusing the treasure trove of things Maiyet had to offer, and left already planning our next visit back, this time for an avocado-chaat and ‘kola kanda’ (herbal porridge) at breakfast!
East by West at MAIYET
40-41 Conduit Street, London W1S 2YQ