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Seeking sustainable restaurants in London 

Photo credit: Foodism

We’re becoming increasingly aware of the many environmental and social impacts of our everyday actions, and many of us want to make changes to lead a more conscious lifestyle. But with so many sustainability issues to tackle, it can be overwhelming. Where should you start? Well, why not start with food…

Next time you’re dining out with friends or family, try an establishment that works on a social or environmental issue close to your heart. Perhaps you want to support local farmers to reduce your food miles? Try eating somewhere with a seasonal menu made of local produce. Maybe you want to lower your meat consumption and associated methane emissions? Test out a plant-based or vegan restaurant. Want to help those who experience barriers to work? Opt for a social enterprise.

I’ve rounded up a selection of sustainability-conscious eateries for you to try next time you go out for a meal:

LOCAL + SEASONAL
Native, Seven Dials

Photo credit: Eat Native

Native offer a unique dining experience with delicious dishes made from wild and foraged ingredients native to the UK. Their seasonal menus are full of flavour and are always presented so beautifully – perfect for a special dinner with a loved one.

www.eatnative.co.uk


Salon, Brixton

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Photo credit: Amy Cook Design

Starting as a pop-up above a cheese shop in Brixton’s Market Row, Salon is now a permanent restaurant with a seasonal menu changing week by week. Committed to using UK produce, their food is guided by the seasons. They also have a bar with a range of cocktails, artisanal spirits, craft beers and low intervention, organic and biodynamic wines, which they sell to-go in the Wine Store that they opened next door.

www.salonbrixton.co.uk



FIGHTING FOOD WASTE

Cub, Hoxton

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Photo credit: Time Out

Cub is an exciting and inspiring collective project from Mr Lyan, Doug McMaster, Krug Champagne, Belvedere and LVMH, Dr Arielle Johnson and many others. They careful consider the ingredients and methods used to create a delicious dining experience made in a more sustainable manner. With a focus on waste, surplus ingredients and food waste is collected and composted at Indie Ecology’s farm in West Sussex. Cub have a plot at this farm where they grow their own fruit and veggies to be used in the restaurant for a more circular system.

www.lyancub.com


Tiny Leaf, coming soon

Tiny Leaf is London’s first organic, vegetarian and zero waste to landfill restaurant. Using surplus stock and leftovers from local shops, farms and distributers, as well as growing their own, they aim to make use of unwanted food. Their leftover ingredients are then used for juicing or are composted. Touring London having had two residencies so far, the first in Westbourne Park and the second at Mercato Metropolitano in Borough, Tiny Leaf are now moving on to their third residency which will be revealed soon.
www.tinyleaflondon.com

 



SOCIAL ENTERPRISE

Luminary Bakery, Dalston
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Photo credit: London On The Inside
Luminary Bakery is a social enterprise offering opportunities for women who experience social or economic disadvantages. They aim to break generational cycles of abuse, prostitution, criminal activity and poverty, enabling women to build a future and realise their dreams. They equip their students with transferable skills, qualifications, work experience and paid employment to empower and build confidence, helping them to enter the working world. You can visit for a great coffee and delicious breakfast, lunch or baked treat.
www.luminarybakery.com


The Clink, Brixton
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Photo credit: English Luxury
The Clink Restaurant is at the Category C prison HMP Brixton, serving a delicious meal cooked using fresh, seasonal ingredients. Designed to deliver change, this charity initiative enables prisoners to work towards qualifications in food preparation, food service and customer service, leading to employment in hospitality upon release. With reoffending rates typically above 40% in the UK, helping prisoners to secure employment upon release has been found to reduce their likelihood of reoffending.
www.theclinkcharity.org



VEGAN + VEGETARIAN

Wulf & Lamb, Sloane Square
Photo credit: Wulf & Lamb
Wulf & Lamb are all about sharing food and fun with friends, whatever our prey or preferences. Their 100% plant-based menu is made up of classic comfort foods that won’t scare anyone off. With a focus on quality, their dishes are full of flavour and contain nutritious and sometimes surprising ingredients.
www.wulfandlamb.com


Tibits, Mayfair
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Photo credit: London Town
Tibits is an amazing vegetarian buffet restaurant just off Regent Street. With salads, hot dishes, soups, dessert and juices, it’s perfect for every occasion. And every Tuesday the menu is 100% vegan, with 80% of the options vegan on every other day of the week.



What are your favourite conscious eateries? Let me know by commenting below!

*This article was originally written for ‘The Squeeze’ by Press London
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Eat Live

Sustainable subscriptions – gifts that keep on giving!

A monthly subscription box is a great way to show your loved ones how much they mean to you all year round. Whether they’re coffee connoisseurs, vegan snackers or clean beauty queens, there’s something out there for everyone. And fear not, you won’t have to compromise on your ethics as there are many companies catering for the sustainability minded, gathering a month’s supply of goodies respectful of people and planet. Here are my five favourite subscription box discoveries…

Old Spike Roastery

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As well as supplying some of the finest, freshly roasted, seasonal coffee in the UK, this social enterprise provides training, jobs and housing support for people experiencing homelessness across the UK.

https://www.oldspikeroastery.com

 

Skin Organics Beauty Box

Skin Organics Beauty box

Each beauty box is filled with carefully selected organic, natural, non-toxic and cruelty-free products, delivered to your doorstep beautifully wrapped within eco-friendly packing. The boxes contain five travel size items allowing you to test out some of the latest sustainability-conscious skincare companies around.

http://www.skinorganicsbeautybox.co.uk

 

SourcedBox

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Healthy snacks delivered to your door? Yes please! SourcedBox curate a selection of health-conscious treats using only simple and natural ingredients to keep you fuelled throughout the four weeks of each month (ok, so maybe more likely 1 week for super snackers like myself, but still – who doesn’t want a box of delicious, nutritious snacks?!).

http://sourcedbox.com

 

The Box of.

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Treat a loved one to a monthly dose of self-care with The Box of., containing handy tips and tools that guide you to relax and recharge in a chaotic, non-stop world. Combining aromatherapy and crafts, founders Rochelle and Shana aim to inspire a focus on the positives for a healthier and happier life.

https://www.theboxof.co.uk

 

Abel & Cole

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A subscription classic – an Abel & Cole veg box is the perfect present for any self-proclaimed foodie, wellness seeker or wannabe chef, bundling the best seasonal, organic and wild produce around into a recyclable or returned box. They deliver fruit, veg, meat, fish or meal kit boxes on a weekly or one-off basis, with monthly subscriptions available for wine or cheese (both please!).

https://www.abelandcole.co.uk

 

Thank you for taking the time to read my post – I hope you enjoyed it! Do you receive any subscription boxes? Which do you have your eyes on? Let me know by commenting! Zara x

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Eat Live

Small Change, Big Difference – Fighting food waste with Hackney Council

Last night I attended a food waste fighting feast hosted by Hackney Council at Wringer & Mangle in London Fields. The meal aimed to resemble the scale of food wasted by the average household in UK, providing a delicious three course meal to 100 of the borough’s residents.

This was part of a new London-wide campaign, Small Change, Big Difference, helping people to eat in way that is better for both their bodies and the environment. Current research has found the average London household throws away a whopping 890,000 tonnes of food each year. Of this, 60% is considered ‘avoidable’ food waste. If we all make simple lifestyle changes, we can make a massive difference and can stop wasting our resources, money and land unnecessarily!

Here are a few of the top tips from the night:

We also went home with some great food waste preventing gadgets, including a food bag sealing clip and a Food Minder. I’d never heard of a Food Minder before and I’m really excited to try it out! It’s a battery-powered visual reminder of the expiry of food and drink, flashing different colours depending on how close the item is to it’s expiry date, helping to keep you aware of when your food is expected to go off. You should, however, aim to use these with ‘expiry’ or ‘use by’ dates only as these resemble when the food is safe to eat, instead of ‘best before’ or ‘display until’ dates which refer to quality not safety.

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Check out Small Change, Big Difference to find out more about how to eat with your health and health of the planet in mind and their upcoming events: http://smallchangebigdifference.london/

 

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Eat Exercise

What I did last week: Sustainable sportswear, organic beauty & a food waste feast

As I’ve had a particularly good week of sustainability and wellbeing events, I thought I’d share a little summary with you. I can’t guarantee this will be the first of a new series of posts as my average weeks aren’t quite so eventful, and quite frankly because I’m not sure anyone wants to know what I’ve done all 52 weeks of the year, but I hope this one will be of interest and may inform you of companies or events you wouldn’t have otherwise have heard of. Here goes…
1. Sweating in Sundried

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So I started Saturday off with a HIIT class taken by well-known fitness and food personality Clean Eating Alice at Third Space London. Here I tested out one of my latest sustainable sportswear discoveries, Sundried. Kitted out in my black and red kit, I was ready to get my sweat on. The class certainly didn’t disappoint – a thorough warm up was followed by sets of four exercises we repeated three times to work the whole body. Alice was great too – bubbly, technical and clear, with a great playlist to help you power through the burn! As for my Sundried attire, I love it! It sucks you in all of the right places helping you feel firm, yet it’s still breathable so you don’t feel suffocated during cardio bursts. I’ll tell you more about the company in my upcoming post on sustainability-conscious activewear brands, but as a short summary – Sundried are focused on providing low carbon sportswear that’s ethically produced in one of their two European factories. If you can’t wait to find out more then visit their website here and use the discount code “ZARA” for 50% any purchases!

2. Soil Association’s Organic Beauty Pop Up

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Last week was Organic Beauty and Wellbeing Week, celebrating certified organic companies. As part of the Soil Association‘s Campaign in this area, they held a pop up in Shoreditch with a shop and a number of events. I managed to get myself a ticket for a lesson in essential oils with Neal’s Yard Remedies, so after showering off my sweat from the HIIT session I went straight there. I absolutely love essential oils and the impact they can have on your mental state, so it was great to learn a bit more from the experts and to make my own body oil. They also gave us a sample of their new Frankincense Intense Lift Serum and showed up ways to massage the face to aid relaxation. I’ve tried it since and found it to be the perfect addition to an evening ritual, helping you to de-stress after a long day and get ready for bed.

If you want to learn more about the benefits of certified organic beauty and to read what I found out when digging into what the “organic” label actually meant for the beauty products I own, then please check out my last post here.

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3. TABLE – community dining to combat food waste

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Following my regular Sunday morning barre class, I made my way to Somerset House to meet my friend Eliza for a catch up over a feast of seasonal scraps. For TABLE at the Spring Restaurant, chef Skye Gyngell masterfully put together a sharing menu of delicious dishes with food waste and donations from local farms and restaurants. It was a community dining experience designed to elicit conversation between strangers as well as to contribute to the fight against food waste. Compiling ingredients that would often be overlooked, dishes included Yesterday’s porridge sourdough bread, beetroots with coffee milk labneh and broken rice with nettles and lemon leaves. My personal favourite (as always with such a sweet tooth) has to be desert – Nespole Basbousa and spent coffee grounds. To read more about TABLE click here, and to learn more about issues surrounding food waste and for recipes using up common leftovers visit Eliza’s blog: https://lifebylizasite.wordpress.com

4. Training for TotalBody London x Breast Cancer Now

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As part of the wonderful Chiara Pellegrino‘s (4fitnessake) TotalBody London team I’m lucky enough to attend a number of her fitness events, so this week I’ve been learning her latest choreography for demonstrating at the next event on Saturday morning. For this event she’s raising money for Breast Cancer Now with Callumn Nicholls from Third Space London and Duncan Morris from M&S who are taking on the challenge of climbing Kilimanjaro later in the year and aim to raise £20,000 towards vital breast cancer research. The class is a 45 minute workout that hits every muscle in the body. With a great playlist and three cardio routines, you have fun whilst keeping fit and healthy. Chiara is focused on providing a class you’ll enjoy that takes your mind away from the everyday stresses of life whilst transforming your physical form. It’s not too late to get a ticket – buy yours now on Eventbrite by clicking here.

Did you go to any of these events? What did you think? What would you like me to write more about? Let me know by commenting below!

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Eat Live

Finding Fika in Stockholm

Sweden is renowned for fika, so when we ventured to Stockholm Ollie and I were on the look out for the best cafes to grab a great coffee and sweet treat.

In the 2017 World Happiness Report released this week Sweden ranked 9th place, and we think it’s got to have something to do with this delicious tradition. In fact, a number of studies have linked fika breaks to both the high satisfaction and productivity rates in Sweden (BBC, 2016; Virgin, 2017). Alex Pentland, a computer scientist, monitored the impact of scheduling regular all-staff coffee breaks. He found that staff productivity increased by 10-15% and satisfaction by up to 10%. The main reason was the connection the employees built with one another whilst discussing non-work related topics in a flat, non-hierarchical environment (2017).

We certainly enjoyed exploring Stockholm’s best coffee shops, and the caffeine definitely helped to fuel our long days spent exploring the city. So whether you’re looking for a fika break to enhance your productivity at work, or simply a spot to rest and refuel whilst exploring the city, here’s a round up of our favourite places to enjoy a hot drink and a baked good…

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Dress Eat

Vintage shopping & veggie dining in Manchester’s Northern Quarter

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Photo source: Manchester evening news 

On a trip up to Derbyshire for my Granny’s 90th, Ollie and I spent half a day mooching around Manchester city centre. After searching online for independent shops, we found there is a great vintage scene with lots of shops on Oldham Street. Our favourite was We are Cow, who have another shop in Leeds and are on ASOS Marketplace. They sell vintage clothing as it is or reworked by their in-house seamstresses.

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Eat Live

Market fruit & veg without the waste

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On Sunday, I did my weekly fruit and veg shop at the little market down by Shoreditch High Street station. Not only can you get great bargains, like bowls of pointed peppers and peaches for £1, but you can also avoid the plastic packaging you get in supermarkets. I simply filled up a reusable woven shopper bag with my favourite fruit and veg (above). You may also want to bring a separate cloth bag or reusable container if you’re buying more delicate items like berries.

Around 40% of plastic is used in packaging and the UK generates around 2.4 million tonnes per year of packaging waste (WRAP). The largest source of plastic packaging is the grocery retail sector, accounting for almost 1 million tonnes (or 43%) of plastic packaging (WRAP, 2016).

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Eat

Edible Cutlery: Spoon Feeding Better Behaviour

Currently, around 40 billion plastic utensils are used in the US every year, the majority of which are used just once before being discarded.  At a global level, the magnitude of this figure increases by 16 times the amount. At least 8 million tonnes of plastics leak into the ocean each year. The World Economic Forum forecast that by 2050 there will be a 1:1 ratio of fish to plastic by weight in the oceans. Plastics in their original form can remain in the ocean for hundreds of years. In small particles they can remain in the ocean for even longer. The best research currently estimates that there are over 150 million tonnes of plastic waste in the ocean today!

Bakeys is launching the world’s first edible cutlery line made of three flours: rice, wheat, and sorghum. They want to create a cutlery revolution, helping to reduce waste and ocean plastic by providing an eco-friendly alternative to disposable plastic cutlery. But they need your help: Bakeys are currently running a Kickstarter campaign to raise money to expand their collection and increase the affordability of their alternative to plastic utensils. Find out more below…

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Eat

Wahaca has become the first restaurant group in the UK to be certified a CarbonNeutral Company

In 2016, through the use of renewable energy for restaurants and head office, and carbon credits for the remaining emissions including business travel, Wahaca has become the first restaurant group in the UK to be certified as having a net zero carbon footprint in accordance with The CarbonNeutral Protocol.

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Eat

2016: The Year of the Vegan Donut!

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Photo credit: Alana Dimou

Vegan donuts are quickly becoming the dairy-free delight all conscious consumers want to get their hands on. With more and more bakeries opening up, it really is hard to resist! Their sweet, fluffy texture, and the many different flavours to choose from, make them the perfect treat to cure your sugar cravings. They also make great gifts for all ages, and are a favourite party food. So donut miss out on all the sugary goodness and read my guide to the best vegan donut-eries in London: