Each November, when winter rolls around, I start to feel especially grim. The weather, food, and people seem dreary. When it comes to meals, I often find myself roasting a single, pathetic butternut squash in my parka because our heating is out (RIP to me).
However, I’ve now found the perfect cure for this dull, depressing time of year-head to London for no reason but the sole purpose of feeling rejuvenated (all in the name of self-care). Sure, the weather is equally dreary, but there’s something vibrant about London that makes me feel energised.
So, I made a reservation at the Hilton (shout-out to Daddy’s hotel points?) and planned a weekend to find the absolute best spots for shopping and food. Here are my top three.
(74-76 Westbourne Grove, London W2 5SH)
This restaurant is at the top of my list for good reason. Beyond the zen, atmospheric vibe inside there is a shocking level of attention to detail in the menu. I eat gluten free, nut free, and mostly dairy free, so my choices for interesting/exciting food are limited. However, I was in shock at the complete list of allergens on the menu. Filled with natural, paleo, vegan, and clean options, Farmacy has a treat for anyone. I had the caramel latte with oat milk and protein ‘omelette’, described as a “chickpea pancake filled with roasted butternut squash, avocado, seasonal greens & harissa served with paprika tahini”. If anyone is wondering, this spot is Gwyneth and GOOP diet approved.
Price point: Four Pablos
Dress code: Casual
Location: Notting Hill
(9 Old Compton St, Soho, London W1D 5JF)
Being from Houston, I was initially sceptical about trying Mexican food in London. Us Texans have regular access to quality Tex-Mex and I didn’t exactly expect to be blown away by the guacamole—but I was. Though it is a touristy spot due to the eclectic exterior designed to look as a sex shop, the food is worth the hype (and so are the hot bartenders). I tried the salmon, yellowfin, and salmon ceviche with mango and pomegranate dressing…and way too much complementary tequila when the bartender thought (for whatever reason) it was my friend’s birthday. Go into Bodega expecting to splurge but know that you’re lucky to have even booked a reservation.
Price: Use Daddy’s Amex
Dress Code: The goal is free tequila
(150 Bayswater Road, London W2 4RT)
I’m sure there are other places for Açai bowls, but Urban Meadow has a fantastic location and great coffee as well, which is why it’s on this list. It was just down the road from my hotel and great for an afternoon blood sugar crash. I had the Amazonia Acai Bowl, “The Antioxidant-Burst”. The menu description guarantees “no gluten, dairy, refined sugars or GMO’s”, which made it guilt free as well!
Price: A Soul Cycle Class
Dress code: A Soul Cycle Class
Location: Notting Hill
If you’re a foodie in search of thoughtful, wholesome meals that inspire your own cooking, head to London. Whether it’s one of my top three or a hidden gem from the second page of google search, there are so many spots in London that will warm you during our never-ending winter.