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A trip to the big city

Posted May 29 2012 12:05pm

Last week Nick had a work conference in London so we headed to the big city for a few days. We stayed in a hotel right next to Trafalgar square…amazing location, so central and perfect for seeing all the sights. The weather was extremely kind, and if anything it was a little too hot in the city!

It so happened that our trip coincided with the opening of the new Whole Foods Market at Piccadilly Circus. The new store replaces the old one in Soho, and though not as big as the flagship Kensington store, it is a fairly good size, has a great range of products and the store is really well laid out. The store was opening at 8.45am, and they were offering goody bags for the first 100 people into the store. As I was up early and the location was so close to our hotel I thought I might as well head over and check it out.

I got to the store around 8.30am and there was already a fair sized queue, but I did manage to land a goody bag with some pretty good freebies:

Goody Bag

Whole Foods Tote Bag which included:

  • Probiotic tablets
  • Herbamere sachet
  • Molkosan vitality sachet
  • Mini Loveea Bio sunscreen
  • Mini Loveea Bio Shampoo
  • Mini Burts Bees Shampoo
  • Better You Magnesium Spray (I’ve never come across this before, and it really irritated my skin)
  • Arnica Gel
  • Better You Total Nutrition Superfood Powder (Great in a smoothie!)
  • Chocolate Chip Clif Bar
  • Coconut and Macadamia Bounce Ball
  • Pip Organic Apple Juice
  • Viridian Flax Oil
  • Viridian Coconut Oil
  • Chai Latte sachet

A few of the products I either didn’t want or weren’t vegan so I passed them on to my brother, but it was a pretty good haul! After the store was officially opened I headed to take a look around and stock up on some essentials to take back to Dublin. I later realised after spending £22, that the goodby bag also included a £5 off voucher when you spent £25, annoyed!

  • Vita Coco Acai
  • Clif Crunchy PB
  • Chickpea Flour (I’ve been racing through this lately!)
  • PB & Co Old fashioned smooth
  • Beond acai bar (Haven’t tried this yet, but my brother said they are good!)
  • Maca Powder
  • Yogi Licorice Tea
  • Sweet Potato and Buckwheat Noodles (A new spot. I tried them today at lunch, and they are great, plus gluten free!)
  • Brown rice and Wakame noodles

I now have to fit all this in our already overfull suitcase to take home ha! After this I headed over to High Street Kensington to meet my brother. We pottered around the high street and stopped off in the Whole Foods there to share a large green juice. We then headed over to Camden to visit Inspiral Cafe . The last time I ended up here it was completely by chance, but this time I knew I wanted to head back there.

It wasn’t as busy as the last time I went which was nice, as we could get good seats looking out onto Camden Lock, and it didn’t feel as squished or cramped. I forgot to take pictures but the food was fantastic! Inspiral offers both vegan, and raw options, but I usually go for the raw options as they are so interesting and delicious! I chose the raw falafel, which came with raw hummus and raw pitta. The falafel was fantastic, the spicing was great and it had a really great texture. It also came with 3 sides, so I picked steamed greens, quinoa and green leaves with sprouts. The portions are enormous so my brother shared quite a bit of my main. He went for the cashew nut cheese and pesto bagel, and he got some raw hummus and vegetable crisps to dip. He really enjoyed the food, and said it sorted out his hangover! This kind of food always makes me feel so alive and energized. I also had an amazing green smoothie, but I can’t remember what it was called, I think it had almond milk, chia seeds, avocado, spinach, and some other stuff in, it was so creamy and delicious. We were absolutely stuffed after lunch, so we walked along the canal to Primrose Hill and proceeded to lie in the sun all afternoon!

Great view over the city and amazing weather!

In the evening I met up with one of my best friends who lives near the city and works in London and we went to Mildred’s which was a cute little veggie restaurant. I went for the organic energizing detox salad which included carrots, sultanas, fennel, sprouting beans, coriander, toasted seeds with an apple, lime and ginger dressing plus some organic tofu. It was delicious, I loved the contrast between the sprouts and seeds and the raisins, definitely one to recreate. I balanced it out with a mojito, it was too hot to resist a cocktail!

The next day we headed to the Southbank as Nick was hungover and wanted breakfast. I had oats with flaxseed and chocolate sunwarrior in the hotel room which I had brought from Dublin. I just added hot water to make them up, and a spoon of fresh cashew butter which I ground in Whole Foods. Nick went for a full brunch, and I got the Mango Mama smoothie which was Mango, strawberry, banana, orange, and apple juice. It was pretty good, and we enjoyed sitting out on the banks of the Thames watching the world go by.

We then went on a mini walking tour of central London, walking down to the Eye, across to Westminster and the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, and Westminster Abbey, before ending up in St James Park where we chilled in the sun for a few hours. We then walked to Covent Garden where we met Nick’s sister and headed for lunch. We traipsed round the streets for ages looking for somewhere to eat. Nick wanted a big meal, and meat, I wanted something vegan clearly, and his sister is vegetarian, so it wasn’t that easy to find somewhere. We eventually ended up at ultimate burger on Tottenham Court Road, where I got an aubergine and pepper salad with a side of hummus. This was surprisingly good, it was huge, and it also contained massive green olives, I had it without the house dressing and slathered it in hummus. Yum! They went to get fro yo, but I settled for a vita coco, to rehydrate in the heat. We spent the rest of the afternoon pottering around the shops and lying in parks, before heading to catch our bus to Cardiff. I got salad bar from wholefoods to take on the bus, although I think I made a faux pas, in loading up on the really heavy broccoli, as it made it weigh a lot more and so was more expensive! I also had some spinach, cubes of squash, and a little bit of a few different bean/lentil/quinoa salad mixes. It was my first wholefoods salad bar experience and it was pretty good, and made the bus journey back to Cardiff a little less painful.

Have you been on any trips lately?

Have you visited the new Wholefoods Piccadilly?

Have you tried any of the above products?

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