Photo courtesy of Granger and Co.
The London Wellness Guide
The wellness industry in London has found its feet—its soft, beautiful, callus-free feet—with a host of entrepreneurial women taking the lead. Experts like nutritional therapist Amelia Freer, meditation guru Vanessa Kandiyoti, and spiralizing queens Jasmine and Melissa Hemsley are writing books, hosting workshops, and opening businesses faster than you can say “turmeric latte and acai bowl, please.” And there are new collaborative havens dedicated to wellness, including the Bamford Haybarn Spa in Brompton Cross, Bodyism in Notting Hill, and Yogarise in South London, that are also springing up across town.
We spend a lot of time in the UK capital these days, thanks to our own well-being mecca—the now-permanent London goop store. We’ve compiled a comprehensive wellness black book for your next visit, whether you’re looking for a medical-grade facial or the chicest cryotherapy chambers in Europe or just craving a perfect smoothie and a plate of organic veggies. London, in other words, is basically Southern California with a lilt.
Andina1 Redchuch St., Shoreditch | +44.20.7920.6499
The first of its kind in London, Andina offers up the concept of Andean picanterias—casual, family-run community restaurants. Serving up fresh juices and smoothies, a variety of ceviches, quinoa burgers, and the like, it’s one of our go-tos for a healthy, well-priced meal in Shoreditch.
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 twenty-six, duh), a few spices, and a couple of toppings, and you are good to go. Plus, you sit for a meal at the 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.
The Good Life Eatery59 Sloane Ave., Chelsea | +44.20.7052.9388
Green juices, superfood salads, acai 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 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. Its 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, überhealthy, raw, and delicious salads and treats, alongside exercise classes with some of the city's best teachers.
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.
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 the communal wooden tables and dig into a smoothie and salad (we're also hooked on the butcher's chicken sausages). The concept is expanding fast with locations in the City and Tower Hill—there are surely more to come.
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 perfect to work or read from—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.
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 Wi-Fi, 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 sights 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.
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 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.
Granger & Co175 Westbourne Grove, Notting Hill | +44.20.7229.9111
Known for his relaxed approach to cooking, Bill Granger has fronted major culinary hits in Australia and Asia. This bright, airy, and generally packed place on Westbourne Grove is his first London restaurant, and like its predecessors, it offers casual all-day dining with a comfort-food slant (awesome mash) and a fantastic weekend brunch. Look for simple dishes, like the signature ricotta hotcakes or the full Aussie breakfast. The no-reservation policy means you'll probably have to wait, but it's totally worth it. For the North Londoners reading, there's a second location in King's Cross, plus two more in Clerkenwell and Chelsea.
Honey & Co.25a Warren St., Fitzrovia | +44.20.7388.6175
Readers of the Financial Times will be familiar with Honey & Co. chefs and owners Sarit Packer and Itamar Srulovich. Their Levantine, vegetable-forward recipes feature in the paper weekly, though nothing beats tasting the chefs’ dishes themselves. Self-described as a Middle Eastern–style diner, Fitzrovia’s Honey & Co. is warm and inviting, with Moroccan-tiled floors, shelves heaving with jars of preserved lemons, and seats for a mere twenty guests. Those seats fill up daily with hungry Londoners craving butternut squash falafel, marinated eggplant, and braised artichokes. The food is heavy on vegetables and brightened up with assertive sauces and spices, accompanied by homemade iced teas and really, really good coffee.
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.
Farmacy74 Westbourne Grove, W2 | +44.20.7221.0705
For the health-conscious West London audience it attracts, this restaurant is a dream come true. Here, food that's free of refined flour, sugars, dairy, and other common no-nos is presented in a beautiful, tastefully decorated space full of plants and unusual ceramics. In other words, it's health food minus the hippie digs. Plus, everything from the millet bean burger to the take on Caesar salad is just as good as the "real" thing.
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 (an amazing spot for a turmeric latte or to plow through emails), 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 everyone here remembers your name.
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.
Rovi59 Wells St., Fitzrocia | +44.20.3963.8270
Yotam Ottolenghi has opened yet another restaurant that Londoners cannot get enough of (his seventh). This time it’s in Fitzrovia—a neighborhood that, until recently, was a kind of a culinary wasteland. The addition of Rovi has changed all that. The magic here lies in the fresh, vegetable-centric dishes slathered in all manner of Israeli and Palestinian sauces and a bright, cheerful dining room with high ceilings and red banquettes. The wine list is stellar and features some rarely seen Palestinian labels.
Slaw149 Upper St., Islington | 0203 774 3624
Three friends with careers in law and finance have come together to open their passion project: Slaw. The menu is rooted in the kind of plant-based, root-to-stem cooking that they love to eat, eliminating as much waste as possible. The interior feels straight out of Copenhagen, with chevron wood flooring, white-painted brick walls, and stacks of firewood heaped in the corners. You immediately want to settle into one of the wicker chairs and start eating. Bowls of squash and barley risotto topped with hazelnut crumb, a plate of garlicky chickpeas, and spicy, slow-roasted tomatoes are so nourishing and satisfying, you’ll hardly miss the meat—and that’s exactly the point.
Squirrell11 Harrington Rd., Kensington | +44.207.589.9333
Lunch on the go can be a conundrum. One the one hand, you know you should eat something healthy and green. But you also want to feel full and not have to go miles out of your way to pick it up. For those based in West London, there’s Squirrel. The menu of build-your-own bowls is full of proteins, vegetables, and tasty add-ins like feta, avocado, and pickled onions, which make these salads feel like full-on meals. They are filling enough to stave off the dreaded 3 p.m. hunger pangs, but light enough to stop any midafternoon snoozing at your desk. Our standing order when in town is chicken or salmon mixed with nutty quinoa, kale, pickled onions, and a boiled egg—all tossed in a citrusy sumac dressing. You can order for delivery or pickup, and it never takes more than thirty minutes for your biodegradable bowl to arrive or be ready. Best of all, it’s consistent, and lunch is exactly as you order it every time.