Ottolenghi, Islington, London

HONESTLY’S VERDICT
In a word:  Original
Food:  Favourites are the salads (all of them) and breakfasts
Service:  Great service from familiar faces
Presentation:  Sleek, shiny and polished. Food.  Flowers.
Ambience:  Busy buzz of talk over the communal tables, avoid this with a breakfast visit
Location:  Our local is Islington, right in between Highbury & Islington and Angel tube stations.  Branches at Notting Hill, Spitalfields, Belgravia, and NOPI in the West End.
Value for money:  A personal fave: £18 for a large box of takeaway salad that easily fills two.  Breakfasts between £5 and £10. Coffee or tea £2 to £3.
Worth a visit?: Yes, this is a must visit foodie establishment.  Plus their almond croissants are our of this world amazing!

Ottolenghi is original, a much reproduced original, although very few manage to hit the high standards in the deliciousness stakes of Yotam Ottolenghi and his team.

Food-wise,  it’s a casual, European dining style with a couple of large communal tables with a few small tables along one side of the restaurant.  The menu is very much seasonally influenced with enduring favourites making a regular appearance.  Flavours are a mix of Mediterranean, Middle and Far Eastern and ingredients are sourced from the UK and Europe with a focus on small scale, artisan producers and growers.

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Avo on toast

Retreat Cafe at Triyoga Soho, Kingley Court, London

HONESTLY’S VERDICT
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.

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Swan Valley Cafe, Swan Valley, Perth WA

HONESTLY’S VERDICT
In a word:  Vibrant
Food:  Fragrant and fresh vegetarian, vegan, raw and gluten free options, plus they have a shop for take homes and a booze license!
Service:  Friendly and helpful
Presentation:  Simple; the quality and freshness of ingredients shine from the plate
Ambience:  Tranquil and full of light, beautiful quiet garden overlooking vines and fields
Location:  Conveniently located amongst the vineyards of the Swan Valley
Value for money: On the upper end of the café scale at around $20 for a main. This is ingredient, labour and love-intensive food.  Plus it’s in Western Australia, possibly one of the most expensive places on the planet!
Worth a visit?:  The perfect place to refuel, nourish and relax between tasting sessions

The Swan Valley Café is a breath of fresh air, it’s super easy to find- on one of the main roads in and out of the Swan Valley wine region, the staff are friendly, the café has a homely and welcoming feel, and the food, perhaps most importantly, is absolutely delicious, looks and tastes fresh and brimming with goodness.

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