The London Wellness Guide
There’s no question that the wellness industry is booming, but in London it’s really taking off, with the added benefit that there’s a whole collaborative scene leading the charge, with an impressive group of entrepreneurial women at the helm. People like nutritional therapist Amelia Freer, cookbook authors and spiralizing queens Melissa and Jasmine Hemsley, Detox Kitchen founder Lily Simpson, and many, many others are writing the books, running cafes, and offering services that used to be totally unheard of in this town. We asked them and many others to open up their blackbooks and combine forces on a comprehensive guide to wellness in London, whether it’s a deeply relaxing reflexology treatment, a high-tech facial, or a go-to raw eatery.
26 Grains2 Neal's Yard, Covent Garden
It can be surprisingly hard to find a healthy breakfast or lunch to-go in London, which is why places like 26 Grains are a godsend. The concept is pretty simple—choose a grain (of which there are 26, duh), a few spices, and a couple of toppings and you are good to go. Plus, you sit for a meal at their communal table, which is a lovely experience, complete with beautiful, handmade ceramic dishes. At breakfast, you'll find porridge and bircher muesli and at lunch, it's more like quinoa, rice, and the like. Don't miss the turmeric almond milk latte.
Bodyism222-224 Westbourne Grove, Notting Hill | +44.20.3327.4640
The positive affirmations emblazoned on the windows catch your eye first. Then the fluttering pieces of paper taped to the doorframe with words like “gratitude,” “love,” and “forgiveness” (pull off what you need—the equivalent of a wellness fortune cookie, without the cookie) lure you in. Through the Aussie-style café down the stairs is Bodyism, a wellness-mecca-meets-private-members’-club. Unlike other private gyms, there isn’t a treadmill in sight; instead, Bodyism is focused on personal training and classes, teaching clients to be kind to themselves with a more low-impact routine than the often punishing cardio regimes found elsewhere. The ballet, yoga, Pilates, and boxing are taught—for the most part—by former athletes, and the training sessions are something you’ll actually look forward to. Everyone here remembers your name, and oftentimes you’ll notice a personal message of encouragement on your post-workout shake as you leave.
Daylesford208-212 Westbourne Grove, Notting Hill | +44.20.7313.8050
With four London locations in addition to their Gloucestershire farm, Daylesford Organic's farmshops—they're also home to small cafés—are an amazing place to get a very literal taste of the English countryside. You can pop in to buy the local, organic, and humanely raised groceries, or stick around to try their straightforward (but stellar) menu. Their Gloucestershire farm, home to the largest and most elaborate of their farmshops, is well worth the trip if you have the time (you can also spend the night). There are also locations in Marylebone and Pimlico.
Farm Girl Café59a Portobello Rd., Notting Hill | +44.20.7536.2108
This is one of those incredibly versatile cafés that there aren't enough of: The Wi-Fi flows freely; the space is gorgeous, decked out in sea-green tiles and elegant line drawings; and there are matcha lattes (with every kind of milk, from almond to coconut and beyond) on tap. And then there's the actual food, which ticks every box: There are açai bowls and a fantastic vegan BLT for lunch, plus the fluffiest pancakes or the hard-core rump steak sandwich with harissa for the indulgent. Farm Girl is an all-rounder.
Glow Bar70 Mortimer St., Marylebone
Glow Bar is a welcome one-stop wellness shop in one of the more chaotic parts of town. The philosophy centers around stress management in the form of sipping, sweating, and shopping. The café section is a calming pink and green corner with an adaptogen-heavy menu of moon milks, smoothies, and pitaya bowls to help soothe the nervous system. The infrared sauna is meant to assist with sleep and collagen production, while the shop is stocked with clean beauty, herbs, and other wellness essentials.
The Detox Kitchen10 Mortimer St., Fitzrovia | +44.20.7498.6417
The Detox Kitchen is quite simply the OG (and best) health food and detox delivery service in London. It's first deli on Kingly Street yielded a whole new troop of beetroot brownie and spiralized zucchini salad devotees. Now, its enlightened founder Lily Simpson is moving on to bigger and better things with a big new flagship in a fancy new development in Fitzrovia. The new Detox Kitchen melds food and exercise classes into a healthy lifestyle emporium. It's the full package with amazing, uber-healthy, raw, and delicious salads and treats, alongside exercise classes with some of the city's best teachers.
The Good Life Eatery59 Sloane Ave., Chelsea | +44.20.7052.9388
Green juices, superfood salads, açai bowls, and the like are the health-infused, light, protein-packed goodies offered at this all-day café. The concept is further improved by the fact that if you go to the café (and manage to snag a spot) it's Wi-Fi-free and meant for "real" conversation or reading, though if you'd rather take away, you can also have it delivered. This is the original—thanks to huge lines, a second location has opened in Belgravia—but with better-quality food in such high demand, it's bound to keep growing.
The Natural Kitchen77/78 Marylebone High St., Marylebone | +44.20.7935.8133
When you're window shopping in Marylebone and in need of a healthy lunch or snack, The Natural Kitchen is the perfect stop on the High Street. Take a seat at one of their communal wooden tables and dig into a smoothie and salad (we're also hooked on their butcher's chicken sausages). The concept is expanding fast with locations in the City and Tower Hill—there are surely more to come.
Raw Press32 Dover St., Mayfair | +44.20.3627.3190
The cold-pressed juices at this Dover Street café fly off the shelves every morning, fueling the days for the art gallerists, fashion buyers, and hedge fund managers who work nearby. While they're out the door within a matter of minutes, others tend to stay and enjoy their almond milk lattes (quite possibly the best in town) at the communal table at this cheery, healthy hideaway. There's also WiFi, which means the whole place is often abuzz with business meetings.
Hemsley + Hemsley at Selfridges400 Oxford St., Marylebone | +44 207.318.3170.400
Having published two bestselling cookbooks, and made the spiralizer a household tool, it was only natural that sisters Jasmine and Melissa Hemsley would set their sites on opening up a café. Of course, it's not just any café: They've opened in the department store's brand new Body Studio—a major part of the shop dedicated to wellness—and serving up their grain-, gluten-, and refined sugar-free food from morning till night. Expect flaxseed muffins and green juices, bone broths, chicory lattes, colorful, spiralized salads, and many other Hemsley hits.
Ottolenghi63 Ledbury Rd., Notting Hill | +44.20.7727.1121
Mediterranean-inspired Ottolenghi sort of defies categorization: The four locations differ slightly in their offerings, but they all feature some level of sit-down dining, a deli with premade takeout, and excellent catering. Don't be surprised to find a line no matter what time you arrive but know that it's worth the wait for the near-perfect pastries, quiches, and salads. If you don't have time to cook before a dinner party, it's an excellent choice for a meal that you can pick up and bring home.
With eight different locations scattered all over London, this ingredient-driven salad/flatbread/soup operation makes eating well at work all week long totally effortless and most importantly, enjoyable. Once you sign up for delivery services, you can place the day’s order in the morning (or the night before) and have your lunch—everything from pho bowls to curries to 100% vegan wraps—delivered to your office or home. Get your coworkers in on the action and go in on a group lunch from the extensive catering menu.