Eating in London

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Retreat Cafe Soho

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I first discovered this incredibly warm and cozy cafe around Christmas time. Kim's welcoming personality and a menu me and my food intolerances didn't have to tip-toe around made me feel at home at once. Kim Parsons, Retreat Cafe's founder and CEO, kindly took some time out of her busy schedule to answer some of my questions.

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Retreat Cafe in a nutshell

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  • Vegetarian kitchen with many vegan options.
  • A mix between local and organic produce.
  • Easy to get some work done (there's Wifi).
  • Seats around 10 to 12 people.
  • Helpful and friendly staff.
  • Everything is available for take-away.
  • Everything is gluten-free. Although, there's the option of having spelt toast or a spelt english muffin.
  • Almost everything is dairy-free.
 
 

How did you end up in London? It seems that there were a few in between stops on the way from Australia to here.

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Well that depends on whether you want the romantic answer or the practical journey? The romantic answer is simply because I met a boy! And decided to move my life to London because of our relationship. 

But before I met my partner I had started my career as a Naturopath. Graduating from the Southern School of Natural Therapies in Melbourne, Australia. 

After selling my naturopathic practice in 2008, I made the bold decision to move to the heart of the Chianti region, Tuscany, Italy. Where I lived in a 15th century villa set amongst the beautiful Tuscan olive groves and hillside. Sampling seasonal work as a chef between villa’s in Tuscany and French chalets in the alps, I taught myself the art of cooking.

Moving to London in 2010 I began work as a private chef in Notting Hill whilst publishing my first recipe book in Norway in 2012. Titled ‘Suitcases of Recipes’ the book is the culmination of my travel and food experiences, photography and memoirs.

Now with the Retreat cafes I have been able to combine my passions of holistic health and food to bring London a new vegetarian and health conscious café concept. We serve vegetarian cuisine, freshly pressed juices and smoothies, among many other delicious delights. Currently located in Kingly Court, Soho @triyoga and soon to open a second cafe in Putney with @thehouseofyoga. Doors will open on the 18th April! Eeek! 

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What's in a name? Tucked away at the top of Kingly Court, it does very much feel like a retreat away from the hustle and bustle of London.

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Retreat is a little haven of health, conviviality and food. It’s your retreat from the hustle and bustle of your day but it is a retreat for your body too. I wanted to create a haven, somewhere you could treat your body to something healthy and give your mind a mini retreat mentally as well. 

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What kind of food does the Retreat Cafe offer?

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Here at Retreat Café we believe in wholesome nourishment. Food that promotes health without a whiff of rabbit food. Our products are virtuous in every sense of the word. Healthy never tasted so good!

All of our products are home-made and carefully formulated by our very own qualified Naturopath, chef and founder, Kimberly Parsons. Nutritionally balanced and freshly made each day, our products are bursting with nutrients and truly healthy in every sense. Absolutely everything on our menu is gluten free, refined sugar free & tastes great!

Our food is lovingly made in our nearby kitchens to health-conscious individuals who still want something delicious. So it's delicious food, healthy food, and everything in between.

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I love that for someone like me, with several food intolerances, almost everything on the menu is an option. 

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We love that too! We love when people come in and think they only have an option or two and we tell them, say, everything is gluten free. It's great to see their face light up as they let themselves start drooling over the muffins.

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How do you source your ingredients? And what kind of value do you place on organic and/or local produce?

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Although we would love to be completely organic we unfortunately can't source every single ingredient organically so we are 'organic where we can be' and all of our produce is locally sourced and our menu changes every 2 months to move with the seasons. We love to use the freshest seasonal produce so we are complimenting our offering to what the body also needs. 

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Any other recommendations for healthy eating in London?

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I am passionate about the art of cooking and love to help people to become creative with healthy foods in their own homes. I will be working on a recipe book this year, which is exciting and very much in line with my philosophy on helping people become confident cooking healthy meals for themselves. 

In London, eating healthily is all about preparation and making sure you know where to go. My personal favourite is Nama foods in Notting Hill. 

 
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where to find the Retreat Cafe

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Retreat Cafe Soho

2nd floor at Kingly Court at Triyoga

Retreat Cafe Putney

228 Upper Richmond Rd,
Putney, London, SW15 6TG

Online

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