One of my favourite things about summer, apart from wearing shorts and kaftans all day and lazing on rooftops, is friends visiting from abroad! This summer has of course been extra extra special. It’s like one of those summers from our childhood – actual summers where we had with a bucketfulls of sunshine and ice creams and picnics, summers where we could plan things! Totally dreamy.
Summer is also one of those fabulous times when friends visit London. I want to pick cool cafes with good coffee, great atmosphere, lots of light or an al fresco option and healthy delicious my kinda food if it’s breakfast or lunch. People are always asking for recommendations, so I thought I’d put it up on my website. And speaking of writing, I also love working from these cafes.
I’ve organised them in terms of area – that’s how I find it easiest for myself 🙂 So here you are!
MARLYEBONE / BOND STREET
High Mood Food, Duke Street, literally right next to Selfridges (they also have another location in Spitalfields market in Liverpoot St)
Apart from the incredible location in case you or your friend are wanting to pop into Selfridges J this place has delicious breakfast, snack and lunch options – healthy and yummy. One of my favourite drinks here is the hot lemon cayenne and honey drink. I forget all the name! They have the most delicious coconut flour brownie and great salad bowls. Sit by the window if you can!
Pantry Café, Paddington street (near the corner of Chiltern street) a super easy location!
This is a quieter street than Marylebone high street or Baker Street and yet two minutes from both. Coffee is delicious, they do yummy yoghurt, berries and granola for brekkie, a good-looking salad spread for lunch and quite a lovely mix of people. If you want to sit outside and catch sun, there’s Fucina right next door with a couple of outdoor tables – I recently had burrata with pesto and a goat’s cheese salad there for lunch with friends.
I’ve loved this place for years, especially for a weekend brunch and for their presentation. There’s a few tables outside so if you can wait for one of those or manage to get there on time, do that! Their pancake and yoghurt with granola and chilled berries is just yum, but there’s also super tasty tapas style Greek salads and dishes, eggs and omelettes.
Leaf Wild,Ladbroke Grove
My friend David @pridekitchen creates the most delicious vegan food and has his current residency at Leaf Wild. I had the best ever vegan pancakes here – I mean they were totally delicious American fluffy pancakes but gluten and egg free. They also do wonderful salads and toasties and cakes and everything! I hosted a supperclub at Pride Kitchen when they were in Covent Garden – so have a kinda soft spot for them.
Farm Girl, Portobello Road
Always loved the atmosphere food and vibe here! That’s why I held my book launch here last year. It’s large yet made cosy with warm blues and turquoise tones and of course on Portobello Road – which is great (it does mean weekends are pretty busy though!)
Kingly Court, Carnaby Street Acai Berry,Detox Kitchen, So Pure Café
I just love this slightly tucked away secret enclave of cafes and restaurants. And there is plenty of choice! My favourite cafes are the ones mentioned above, for different things! Such a lovely place to hang out in the summer – or anytime really!
Koya, Frith Street
This isn’t exactly a café – more of an informal restaurant and bar. It’s small, cosy and you sit around the kitchen counter. I loved it for a Sunday catch-up brunch for two. The udon noodles and broths are simple, healthy and warming, the walnut honey miso for my ramen bowl was so more-ish and the chicory salad on the specials made for a perfect addition to our petite spread.
Nopi, Warwick Street
A firm favourite. This Ottolenghi restaurant always has great options both for breakfast, brunch and lunch. Small plates of colourful salads, shakshuka and other breakfast treats and beautiful white and gold interiors.
Maple & Fitz, Mortimer Street, Fitzrovia
This is more Fitzrovia (so around 5-10 mins walk from Soho) but well worth the walk to pick up a super tasty colourful salad. If I’m in Fitzrovia, this is my go to lunch spot!
Essence Cuisine,Old Street
If you’re looking for artisanal, beautiful and absolutely yummy vegan food, this Matthew Kenney (if you know you know!) inspired café is simply fabulous. My friend Anjli Vyas has just moved to London and is now head chef here. Say hi to her if you go. Total food genius.
This one’s super popular – if you’re going, do order the chai (it’s my chai, so I’m not exactly unbiased, but it’s the best!) I love sitting in this café, it’s a great brunch spot and they have a great food menu too.
Raw Press,Ellis Street, near Sloane Square station
Slightly biased as I’ve been working with Raw Press for years, selling my fudge and chai there, but they really know how to make tasty treats and delicious soul-filling salads. They also do waffles and acai bowls and more!
Juice Baby,King’s Road (right near Triyoga)
This is my fav place after a yoga class at my fav yoga studio Triyoga. They have the best acai bowls, great juices and smoothies and I love their tex mex salad.
Good Life Eatery,Sloane Avenue
A place I’ve been visiting for years when I’m in this area (usually for the hair salon opposite called Aldo Coppola). Their salad bowls are great, smoothies creamy and consistently yum, and if you’re up for a big sweet brekkie, try their buckwheat waffles with coconut yoghurt.
Wulf & Lamb,Pavilion Road, near Sloane Square Station
Discovered this one recently. A lovely cafe/ restaurant in a charming lane tucked behind Peter Jones. Healthy vegan salads and burgers in the heart of Chelsea!
Acai Bowl from Juice Baby
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Mira Manek's desire for healthy cooking combines her love of traditional Indian cuisine with her mother and grandmother's recipes to create lighter, healthier dishes.