Hello my loves!
My affection for the international city of London, is rapidly growing. I adore becoming attached to a place. It motivates me to better understand the culture, curiously explore and get to know amazing people. Whenever I am visiting a new or familiar city, I ask myself, Could I live here? Often the mental response, is no. ( ’cause I am so dern picky) But a few spots have creeped into my heart, and then magnetically pull me to plan my next visit. London happens to have crawled into my life and does not want to leave. It wants me to go go go to London and stay stay stay. Until I can plan to move my booty to London, I will prance around and discover the best nooks, cocktails and boutiques! Enjoy this little weekend guide to London for the chic, health conscious and occasionally trendy traveler. Xo
*All restaurants are celiac/gluten free friendly.*
P.s. I will be sharing more about my current whereabouts & life happenings soon !! Keep those eyes peeled because my laptop is fixed and I am ready to write! Meow Meow xoxoxo
When to go: Stop by for a light breakfast, coffee rest (limited seating) or an in-between snack
What it is: The cafe at the uber chic, members-only wellness center called Bodyism. With the warm & energetic atmosphere, you will feel right at home. It is difficult to tear yourself from the hot trainers & positive energy of Bodyism, but you must keep on keepin’ on! I mean the staff and guests are seriously good looking and the food is so tasty and friendly for my people (celiac people) !!
Must try: Matcha latte with RICE milk (for a sweet & smooth addition to the earthiness that is matcha), as well as the gluten free/paleo bread
Celiac Awareness: Nearly everything (if not everything), is gluten free friendly. Fast & yummy nibbles that make you feel happy happy healthy. Bonus points that the team at Bodyism cares about the ingredients of their products as well as dietary restrictions !!
Where: 222 – 224 Westbourne Grove, London, W11 2RH
When to go: Literally any meal you could ever hope for… but I would say an indulgent lunch or dinner would suffice. However, one must plan ahead of time and book in advance. TRY to book a table in the garden !!
What it is: Incredibly chic and wildly delish. I usually avoid large menus, but I genuinely feel that the variety of options at the Ivy Chelsea does not hinder the quality and taste of the dishes.
Must try: An anytime cocktail (IE breakfast, lunch or dinner. Go wild.) I had the Six Bells Tea Cup (served in a china cup and served with a refill) & Sarah sipped on the Lavender Lady. We both agreed these cocktails just might be the best in London…
Celiac Awareness: They were very accommodating at the Ivy Chelsea, and helpful as I made my lunch choices. A+ friends !
Where: 197 King’s Road, Chelsea, London, SW3 5EQ
When to go: Early lunch. This little spot gets mad busy during lunchtime. Either go at an off time to pick up some grub, or allow time for a short wait.
What it is: Where does one even start? My sister-friend Blaire, introduced me to Ottolenghi. She is a big fan of his cookbooks, so these dishes are assimilated into our kitchen-culture in Charleston. (love you bb Blaire !! ) This Notting Hill gem gives you a little taste of Yotam Ottolenghi & his team’s extensive culinary talent. Each bite contains exuberant flavor that somehow does not overwhelm the senses. I am not a spicy girl, and I really appreciate intense flavor that is not painful for my tongue and/or tummy! So go. ASAP.
Must try: Grab a few things! (Veggies, fish, etc… your options will be equally mouthwatering) Have them toss your goodies in a take away bag and you can make your way to a park for a moment of rest with a yummy lunch.
Celiac Awareness: Most of the food is gluten free and there were several sweet options friendly for my people during this recent visit.
Where: 63 Ledbury Road, London, W11 2AD
When to go: I was not enamored with the brunch, and prefer the full lunch menu. I am hoping to return soon and investigate the dinner situation. Bookings are available, however we did not book in advance and happily sat at the bar.
What it is: Healthy & upscale. The clientele all appear to bloggers with a mass of followers; given their indoor sunnies and decked out ensembles.
Must try: One of their seasonal dishes.
Celiac Awareness: Everything on the menu has some little “*” pointing to the allergens, or lack thereof. However, they were very cautious about my celiacs, as cross-contamination was a possibility. They were very thorough and kind, and thankfully I felt fine after my meal. I was surprised they weren’t more allergen friendly, given their obvious healthy mission.
When to go: Breakfast or Lunch
What it is: Organic farmshop and cafe in Notting Hill. Daylesford has an organic farm and has created a mini bio empire in the UK! The cafe and farmshop in Notting Hill, is just a glimpse of all that Daylesford has to offer.
Must try: Gluten free granola & almond milk !! Being gluten free and lactose intolerant, the luxury and simplicity of cereal and milk as an option at breakfast join is unheard of!
Celiac Awareness: Certain of the ingredients, the staff was accommodating.
Where: 208-212 Westbourne Grove, Notting Hill, London, W11 2RH
Why worth a visit? It’s got a nostalgic air of Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, meets the modernity of the women of Notting Hill. Eclectic & tasteful brands can be found along the likes of Trademark, Apiece Apart, Rachel Comey and the list goes on… They’ve got women’s, men’s and children’s clothing along with a selection of trendy cat-lady home accessories.
Where: 188 Kensington Park Road, Notting Hill, London, W11 2ES
Why worth a visit? If you like books and have lovely taste in reading material, you will dig this.
Where: Lutyens & Rubinstein Bookshop, 21 Kensington Park Road, London, W11 2EU
Purchased at the bookshop:
NW Zadie Smith
How Fiction Works James Wood
Between a Wolf and a Dog Georgia Blain
A Moveable Feast Ernest Hemingway
Kitchens of the Great Midwest J. Ryan Stradal
The Opposite of Loneliness Marina Keegan
London. September 2016.
Photos snapped via iphone. Taken by yours truly, aside from the obvious where I am in the picture.