Friday, 11 March 2016


When a new healthy eatery opens in London, it isn’t all that exciting anymore. A variation of vegan/raw/healthy/ridiculously overpriced place pops up every other week in the capital. And so it is a sign of true and impressive dedication that sees The Detox Kitchen opening its second, much larger, cafe in the heart of the West End.

The Beginning

What started out as a teeny tiny deli in Soho has grown into a cafe come studio space that offers weekly yoga classes led by a varying degree of Instagram famous instructors and brunch clubs at the weekend. Lily Simpson is the brains, and the beauty, behind the project and she says herself that she never thought she would see her business grow to such an extent.

At first glance you could be forgiven for walking straight past the café. No gaudy signs signal its arrival, nor are there the usual sickly optimistic quotes adorning the sandwich board outside. Instead a simple glass front reveals a wall of greenery and a sunny interior that only serves to highlight the food on offer. At lunchtime the line snakes out of the door, bearing in mind this place has only been open a few months, but we manage to squeeze ourselves onto a little corner table.

A menu is not enough, however, to enable us to decide but luckily the salads sit up on the counter, nestled alongside one another on pastel coloured ceramics. Sweet potato with honeyed walnuts; a very green looking grain dish; roasted vegetables galore; this is a salad bar that means business. We choose our size of plate and then the mixture of salads that take our liking before agonising over the juice menu and finally taking our seats.

Learning The Lingo

Neighbouring tables are filled with young women conducting business meetings, the allure of a buzzing café trumping that of a dull conference room, while groups of tourists de-layer and, slightly steaming on account of the temperature change, discuss the day’s adventures over soy milk lattes and a beetroot brownie. Even the workers themselves glow with a radiance that surely cannot just be the kale, their t-shirts emblazoned with slogans such as ‘Don’t be naughty. Eat your greens.’ I want whatever they’ve got.

And I do get it, kind of. I don’t think I’m necessarily glowing by the end (my dining partner assured me kindly that I wasn’t) but I certainly feel a whole lot better about my insides. The salads are delicious, every single one bringing something different to my incredibly over laden speckled cream plate. Only slightly disappointing was the cold salmon pattie that neither resembled a delectably fried fish cake nor a juicy burger but something depressing and sad in the middle.

This did nothing to dampen our spirits however as we wiped the rest of the plate clean and headed back out onto bustling Mortimer Street. I take my proverbial hat off to Ms Simpson. She’s managed to keep her own dream alive while not buckling under the weight of the competition. I mean, I’m not going to lie; I did have a bar of chocolate afterwards but still. It was only a little one. Detoxing I won’t be any time soon but I promise this week to try and eat my greens.

The Detox Kitchen
Fitzroy Place, 10 Mortimer Street, W1T 3JJ

Pic via @ivrashton Instagram

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