|In a word: Haven|
|Food: A perfect mix of salads & healthy light mains plus more juices and smoothies than you could shake a stick at! Oh and a good selection of treats and lots of take-away options.|
|Service: Friendly and kind.|
|Presentation: A small, but perfectly formed cafe, lots of light and lots of wood. Food presented with rustic touches; think wooden platters and thick glass bottles for juices and smoothies|
|Ambience: Very calm and chilled out midweek, although I can imagine the place gets buzzy with yoga bods over the weekend|
|Location: Slap bang in the middle of central London, a heavenly little escape away from shoppers and tourists|
|Value for money: Yep, you’ll struggle to find the equivalent quality any cheaper in central London; £4.80 for a freshly made juice or smoothie, bowl of soup £5, avo on toast £4|
|Worth a visit?: I’d highly recommend this little gem. Whilst you’re there take a yoga class at Triyoga…it might just change your life!|
The Retreat Cafe at Triyoga in Soho’s Kingly Court is the brainchild of Naturopath, Kimberley Parsons. The ethos is clean, nourishing and delicious eats. Where better to find health-conscious people than at a yoga studio in Soho, central London.
The Retreat Cafe is referred to and certainly feels like London’s best kept secret, I often find it’s a quiet haven away from the busyness of Soho, Carnaby, Oxford & Regent Streets. I usual visit during the week when the only time the serenity is disturbed is by a gaggle of hungry yogis after a class and office workers at lunchtime. I’m assuming this little place comes alive at the weekend with health-conscious foodies and yoga bods.
Inside, there is space on a shared table and stools by the window, or you can take your goodies away. Outside; tables for two on the walkway and they even give you a rug if you’re going to brave it outside.
For me, the Retreat Cafe is the perfect place to eat after a yoga class, refuel between classes, or to grab lunch if i’m working in the area.
At the Retreat Cafe, the emphasis is on nourishing vegetarian wholefoods, lots of brightly coloured natural ingredients formed into delicious gluten, diary and processed sugar-free eats.
The menu has a great selection of juices and smoothies. The food selection is a little more limited, however, the salads, soup and stew change regularly; I think i’d be able to eat here most days of the week for lunch without getting bored.
I usually take advantage of their Lunch Deal; £12 for a juice or smoothie, together with a stew or soup, and a protein ball. On this occasion, I chose the homemade stew and juice to go with my protein ball.
I’m declaring Salute the Green as my favourite juice (at the time of writing!), its a vibrant mix of fennel, apple, lime and spinach – simple and flavourful, the fennel really gives it something a little bit special, in a good way!
My co-eater chose the avocado on spelt toast. Such a simple staple and finished nicely with sunflower and pumpkin seeds, lemon and a good sprinkling of black pepper.
I usually go for the salad option of a mix of the two salads or a big serve of one, this time, i’m enticed into trying the stew – a Mediterranean-style veg stew, perfect for a chilly day between Christmas and New Year. A spiced, light and filling chunky stew served with a couple of slices of spelt toast served on a nice rustic wooden platter.
We both opted for the date and goji protein ball for dessert, these have more of a subtle flavour than my homemade versions as i’m rather heavy handed with the cacao. Nevertheless, a light and healthy way to round of lunch.
I’m in love with all the homemade take away treats available at the Retreat Cafe. If I needed help sticking to a healthy eating plan or just unsure of where to start with a healthier food intake and portion control, i’d be stocking up my desk drawers with these perfectly portioned goodies. Great to reach for when you (inevitably) do go off piste post-New Year, instead of those hideous chocolate or muesli bars full of sugar and highly processed crap.
The counter staff at the Retreat Cafe are always friendly, attentive and up for a quick chat.
You’ll find it takes a little longer to get your meal if you ordered a juice or smoothie as these are made from scratch. Soups and salads come out pretty quick. Anything accompanied by toast comes out to table once the toaster says it’s ready.
Naturally light, with the Triyoga colours adding interest, lots of wood with simple crockery and an eclectic mix of cutlery and flatware.
The food looks great, and again, this comes down to the fact that it’s simple – the colours of the ingredients shine from the plate.
Value for money
You’ll get a smoothie or a freshly pressed juice made for you at the Retreat Cafe for just under £5. A bowl of soup or stew comes in at £5, avocado on toast £4, a large salad for £6.50, and their tea and cake deal is £5. Nothing too outlandish with those prices for nutritionally dense dishes.
With the lunch deal coming in at £12, it’s not cheap, and I think most people would bulk at the prospect of spending £12 on lunch. I would argue that most London office workers are spending between £6 to £8 at a chain cafe / supermarket on a sandwich, can of cola, packet of crisps and chocolate bar (the staple diet of many office workers), or a selection of sushi, then they’ll end up reaching for something mid-afternoon as a booster to get through the final few hours at work, that’s another £4 spend (i’m thinking coffee and a muesli bar).
I certainly don’t feel like I needed anything else to get me through the afternoon after my three course lunch deal at the Retreat Cafe, so for me, it’s £12 well spent…and that’s before we enter into the conversation about the nutritional content of your supermarket lunch versus lunch from the Retreat Cafe. I’m guessing it also comes down to what price you put on your health.
Retreat Cafe at Triyoga, Soho
2nd Floor, Kingly Court, Carnaby Street, Soho, London W1B 5PW
A second branch is at the Power Yoga Company in Parson’s Green
Monday – Friday 07:30 – 20:30
Saturday 08:30 – 18:30
Sunday 09:30 – 18:30