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Our little black book of enchanting places


From quinoa porridge to aloe vera cocktails: a day of healthy eating in London by Maggie O'Sullivan

Posted in FOOD + DRINK By Maggie O' Sullivan

It’s January. The month for watching what we eat and allowing nothing stronger than fruit juice to pass our lips. But that doesn’t mean we will be giving up our predilection for smart London hotels – here are five that will leave us positively glowing with health.

Metropolitan by COMO, W1

The Metropolitan on Park Lane is famously the home of Nobu. But healthy though Japanese cuisine may be, we’re not here for the sushi: the hotel’s White Room does one of the healthiest breakfasts in town – think quinoa, pear and cinnamon porridge (£8.50) or perhaps a kiwi, papaya, lychee and blueberry salad (£11.50). They’re both featured in the COMO Shambhala Healthy Alternatives menu, developed by Executive Chef Amanda Gale to include a ‘ perfectly balanced mix of raw and cooked ingredients … allowing you to benefit from their ‘life force’.' You certainly can't say that about a Full English (which, incidentally, the White Room also serves).My Hotel Chelsea, SW3

For lunch we’ll be heading to the Chelsea branch of My Hotel in Ixworth Place. As well as a more traditional restaurant, the stylish boutique hotel has a raw food café and superfood cocktail bar run by nutritionist, life coach and raw food guru Tanya Maher. Everything in Tanya’s Café is ‘raw living, plant-based, hand-picked, organically grown, ethically sourced and free from refined sugar, dairy or gluten’. We’ll be tucking into one of the Living Mains: beetroot risotto (£13.50), say, or Thai curry noodles with a kale salad (£13.50).La Suite West, W2 

La Suite West is minimalist designer Anouska Hempel’s elegant boutique hotel on the edge of Hyde Park. Here, it’s all about healthy eating with chef Nik Heartland whipping up a mouthwatering selection of vegan friendly, dairy-free and raw dishes (and yes, there is courgetti on the menu). We’ll be ordering the Vegan Afternoon Tea (£27) – a selection of designer finger sandwiches, pumpkin spiced scones, fresh strawberries and whipped coconut cream, pastries and a pot of Jade Sword green tea. We’ll pass on the alchohol free champagne.Belgraves, SW1

After a day of healthy eating, we’re ready for something a little more substantial at Belgraves’s Pont St restaurant. The executive chef here is Sophie Michell who was part of C4’s ‘Cook Yourself Thin’ series and her menu echos the show’s 'healthy yet delicious' principles: truffle mash or broccoli and hollandaise, anyone? Main courses from £16.50; side dishes from £4.50.The Arch London Hotel, W1

There’s just time for a shot of mineral and vitamin-rich aloe vera before bed. The chic bar at The Arch London is known not just for its delicious cocktails, but for its super healthy mocktails. The Virgin Vera (£7) is made from muddled lime juice, raspberries, aloe vera water and guava juice and served over crushed ice. Aloe vera is also said to help with digestion – and after the day of healthy eating we’ve had, that can only be a bonus.

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