Five Reasons to hang out in Marylebone: Natural Kitchen / Wallace Collection / 106 Baker Street / Roots and Bulbs / Nordic Bakery
I don’t spend enough time in this part of London. So when a free Saturday appeared, I chose to spend the day discovering more of what Marylebone has to offer.
Breakfast at the NATURAL KITCHEN
Yes, it’s a chain, but there are three main reasons why I love this place:
1) It serves a large variety of healthy but delicious dishes
2) All their food is organic and fresh
3) The duck logo
There are two Natural Kitchens in this part of town, one on Baker Street (the one I visited) and the other on Marylebone High Street. The Baker Street one is large and spacious, divided in the Deli/Juice Bar area (where all the skinny bitches hang out in sports wear, sipping green super juices) and the main restaurant area, with long wooden, basil pot adorned tables, retro lamps and window seating. It was full for the entire two hours I was there, a mixture of friends brunching, families bonding, a few kids making too much noise. It has a nice feel to it. It’s a place where you can come and work/blog (like I did), or read the papers, or be sociable. The Marylebone High Street one is their flagship – and is first and foremost a shop/deli, but also has a cafe. I can completely see why they have become such a huge success around London.
55 Baker Street
0207 935 0987
Culture at the WALLACE COLLECTION
It is very strange that this stunning National Museum is always so empty. And that so few people actually know it exists. The Wallace Collection is home to a stunning private collection of 18th and 19th Century works of art, once belonging to the first four Marquesses of Hertford and Sir Richard Wallace (son of the 4th Marquess). Now there is free entry to the public, to wander through the stunning, colourful rooms of Hertford House. What I like about this museum is that it’s not too overwhelming. The lack of crowds mean that you can amble from room to room at your own pace, and that you don’t have to strain your neck trying to get a glimpse of the lovely van Dyk portraits. My favourite painting? The Laughing Cavalier by Frans Hals. But I also adored the room of the paintings of the views of Venice, mostly by Canaletto. Make sure you’re around at either 11:30 or 14:30 for the complimentary guided tour around the museum.
London W1U 3BN
A juice at ROOTS & BULBS
I’ve been following these guys on Instagram even before they opened shop on Thayer Street. They’re the ones who started the trend of cold-press juice bars, and now there are many more like Raw Press and PRESS. I love their sleek but practical interior. Their fridges, lined with a range of colourful, uber healthy bottles of juice, make you want to turn your life around and become healthy forever. As unrealistic as that may be, buying a ‘G1’ bottle (Celery/Spinach/Cucumber/Lemon/Ginger/Spice) or a gluten free avocado wrap or a chia seed pot is certainly a step in the right direction. Go check it out.
5 Thayer Street
Lunch at 106 BAKER STREET
Baker Street itself is far less appealing than the charming Marylebone High Street or one of the cuter, cafe-filled roads in the neighbourhood. Baker Street is busy, noisy and not as trendy. But it’s slowly changing for the better, and 106 Baker Street is a representation of that change. This is a pretty white-washed cafe, with a lovely little street side terrace and a bright and airy, clean-lined interior. The staff are super friendly and enthusiastic, but it’s the food (and the value of it) that you’re here for. Keeping in line with healthy eating, they offer a ‘main’ (choose from a grilled chicken steak, a salmon steak, or a veggie option) and three salad choices – all for £7.50. That’s a bargain in London these days. The salads change regularly, but you can expect red quinoa with pumpkin, giant cous cous, beef tomato salad, creamy humous and much more. You get a full plate and it’s delicious. And if you’re still not full after this, try one of their gluten free carrot or beetroot cakes (£1.50 a slice). Perfect place for breakfast (they have the weekend papers) or lunch.
A Cinnamon treat at the NORDIC BAKERY
Scandinavian food continues to take London by storm, but the Nordic Bakery has actually been around in London for over 3 years now (there are now two others in Soho and Golden Square). Even from afar it’s clear how Scandi they are – a dark grey, minimalist exterior and interior, a limited menu (expect lots of dark rye and smoked salmon for lunch) and simple wooden furniture. But when it comes to the sweets & pastries, there is nothing minimal about it. Their in-house bakery ensure that the buns/cakes/cookies are all super fresh and all look mouth-wateringly delicious. When we asked the smiling staff which bun to go for, the over-riding recommendation was one of their Finnish Cinnamon Buns. While harder on the outside than expected, I loved unravelling the layers of cinnamon sweetness. The perfect afternoon treat.
37b New Cavendish Street