Lonon aka Love at First Sight
This city hit me with all its forces! You know, English had always been a rather present language in my life, even though I am born Swiss. I always had a fascination for languages already from a young age and therefore, I attended history class in English at Highschool and did later on my Bachelors Degree in Design Management, also in English. But, until the year of 2018, I had never been to an English-speaking country! Crazy, isn’t it?
So, when I hit grounds in London – thanks to LUSH, who had invited me for their annual summit (read the article on this wonderful & memorable experience here), I immediately fell in love. I wasn’t sure what to expect from London, but I sure did not expect at all to fall for this city so quickly.
Anyways, since then, I have been back several times, and I keep discovering and enjoying this city so much! I do not only love the vibes, the politeness of the people, but also the sheer endless choices of foods, creative hotspots, sports activities, etc. In the following you’ll find a list of the places I already grew to love and to some of them I am even already kind of a regular.
1 The Ned – The Pancakes of my Life
Okay people, I am not exaggerating here! But at The Ned London (which is a 5* hotel in the middle of Bank) I had THE VERY BEST pancakes of my life so far. They serve you a Turmeric – Peanutbutter – Banana – Deliciousness that I could not only eat on a daily basis, but for which I might even be crazy enough to board a plane to just have’em. Okay, well, maybe I’d not go that far but, you get it! They are incredible! Also, the Açai Bowl, the Avocado Toast, the Decaf Oat Milk Latte – basically the entire menu, is the best!
Moreover, I fell in love with the atmosphere at the Ned London. Where, even though, income-wise I do NOT AT ALL belong to this segment, I do feel welcome and very comfortable. It’s just the perfect (slightly decadent) breakfast experience, after for example having taken a sweaty Spinning class at Psycle. Sitting in the halls of this ex-bank is quite impressive. And so is going to the loo, by the way.
I had the pleasure of staying some nights also, when I travelled to London with LUSH – and you may guess it: it was super! But, end of the love story – you let me know what you think of this gem and I’ll hopefully soon be devouring some more Ps in the famous halls of the Ned.
2 Footnote – Avocado Toast on Repeat please
Well, but of course, I can’t or actually don’t want to hang around too much in over-the-top luxurious fields and I mostly crave some good food, in some solid, colorful, inspiring and warm environment. That’s what I found at Footnote’s. Whereas not the entire menu is vegan, I am more than happy to just pass by, sit in the middle of countless Avocado plants, and have my Avocado Toast, which is one of the most delicious I had so far. Sprinkled with seeds, topped with a nice dressing, and served on a wholewheat-bread-awesomeness – I am in heaven! Avo-Toast heaven.
3 Psycle London – Sweat Your Ass Off & Beam Yourself into the ultimate Bliss
Before we go on with foods – let’s work out a bit. In my opinion, food tastes a thousand times better after a good workout. And that’s exactly what you get at Psycle London. A veeeery sweaty, challenging 45 to 60 mins with a guaranteed happy ending. These classes directly beam you into the ultimate workout high. High-on-Life you then stumble to the next delicious food hotspot and let me tell you: you’ll finally understand the meaning of life.
Also, you may order your yummy smoothie at Psycle so that you get your dose of vegan protein right after the class. Psycle London takes Spinning to the next level – instead of just sitting on the bike, you actually party and get a full-body workout whilst having so much fun. The choice of coaches & studios is impressive: I do love Alvin’s Latino-Vibey-Classes, Wolf’s full-of-fun-and-charm-Classes, Seema’s Over-The-Top-Solid-Super-Workouts and last but no least, Miss Super-Sexy Sinead rocks your life for 45mins to happiness! Just do it. Believe me.
4 Franco Manca – Next Level Vegan Pizza
I normally try to avoid food containing or made out of wheat. But I am also very willing to once in a while making an exception, and for example order a vegan pizza at Franco Manca’s. Their sourdough-pizza really is next level – at least for my taste. It’s super easy to order your vegan variation – and you’ll not regret it later on, since the “cheating” was more than worth it. Enjoy! Because #yolo.
5 Mother – Fabulous Not Only because of the Name
Smoothies, cold-pressed juice, açai, mother bowls, curries, burgers, nachos, raw cakes – you name it! I was so proud when I discovered this little vegan café gem in Hackney Wick, serving up nature’s goodness. At Mother you get what I call healthy food – and you get it in a laid-back, peaceful, Yogi atmosphere that makes you stay a little bit longer, even when you already finished everything on your plate. Down-to-earth, real stuff! I like! Very much.
6 Protein Haus – Calculated & Healthy Nutrition Made Easy
At Protein Haus (TakeAway) a big part of the offer is not vegan! But, the vegan stuff they have is really cool! So, they sell for example a Green Juice only made out of celery, kale and spinach (as I remember). And sometimes, I really crave a thoroughly green juice, which is still hard to find. Also, they sell nice menus that are labeled with the exact calorie count and support a healthy, goal-oriented diet. And the vegan-bounty-bar. Diiiiifficult to resist!
7 Pho – Vietnamese Food I could Live Of
I got introduced to Vietnamese food not too long ago by Alessandra, one of my dearest friends. She always knows where to go to for good food from whatever corner of the world and she’s also a great cook. So the day she took me to have Vietnamese food for the first time was also the starting point for my weekly cravings of Vietnamese Summer rolls. So when we discovered Pho on an excursion to Brighton, we were not only super happy to have Vietnamese food for lunch but actually amazed by the deliciousness of the food.
Even though Pho is a chain of restaurants, the food does taste quite authentic and at least what I had ordered, a Green Papaya Salad and Summer Rolls (all vegan), was more than delicious. They are very helpful with regards to the vegan choice on the menu and I’ll definitely be back. I wished it was today!
8 Dough Society – VEGAN DONUT HEAVEN! VEGAN DONUT HEAVEN!
My number 8 could easily be my number 1 – even though with regards to healthiness we have to close both eyes, for once. But, my number 8 also is a sad one. Just when I thought that I found the very absolute super utmost best vegan doughnuts, they seem to be gone again. For reasons I don’t know, Dough Society has been closed for some weeks now – Instagram and website aren’t online anymore. And I am the saddest person – at least donut-wise! How should I go on, knowing that I can’t ever eat one of these donut-dreams again. Well, hope dies last, right? So, fingers crossed! And I believe in miracles and stuff.
9 Serpentine Lido – Swimming à la Hyde Park
The unusual heatwave this year, that has been hitting London with an incredibly sunny and warm weather automatically makes you wanna spend your days somewhere near to water. If you don’t want to travel to Brighton (which I honestly did not like that much – too many people, too many tourists, not that beautiful) you may also take your bikini to Hyde Park and go for a swim in the Serpentine Lido. I was lucky enough that when I crawled through the warm water, I basically swam next to the massive art installation by the artist “Christo”. But even without any arts the Lido is a funny little spot in the middle of busy London – no worries, it still feels somehow relaxed and chilled. Can do!