Tanya’s Cafe, Chelsea
For those of you who are starting to take your health more seriously, be it by drinking less or cutting down on carbs or sugar – Tanya’s Cafe (both gluten and sugar free) might be the place for you. But even those who aren’t health-obsessed, I’d still recommend it. And that’s what’s so great about this place. It’s fun. It serves alcohol. You don’t just get uber-skinny (sorry, ‘lean’) girls in their Lycra sipping on green juices. It is a place for everybody – as long as you know that it’s raw food you’re getting. It is the perfect setting for a ‘healthy’ cafe, located in the conservatory of Chelsea’s MyHotel’s; a very light space, with decor that almost makes you feel like you’re eating in a green house. A very ‘green’ experience all round.
The definition of raw? That food cannot be processed or cooked over 40 degrees, thereby retaining all the natural goodness. So while the caramelised onions we had definitely did not seem raw, they’d simply been put in the oven for 48 hours in 36 degree heat. If you think the menu is limited because the food can’t be ‘cooked’, think again – it’s diverse and surprising. You can have anything from cashew cheddar quiche to pizza. Well, the healthy version of.
I went twice in one weekend. First time was for a cocktail; a ‘superfood cocktail’ (Tanya’s is the first place in Europe to offer these). I love this concept as am more and more aware when sipping cocktails that, no matter how good they are, they also very high in sugar. Here they offer sugar free cocktails which still taste – and look – amazing. A guilt free drink, apart from the alcohol (which is vegan and organic FYI). ‘What the doctor ordered’, with cold pressed vegetable juices, RAW honey, chia and vodka was right up my street. ‘The Filthy Rich’ was almost edible – so chocolatey with a clear cherry and acai berry presence. And we had it with the blueberry cheesecake because we just couldn’t resist. How do you make something taste so good without butter and sugar?
I went back the following day for brunch. Except, to my irritation, breakfast actually finishes at 11, not 11:30 as the website and menus claim (take note). And so we couldn’t have the dehydrated flax banana crepes. Then again, the lunch menu wasn’t half so bad – the pizza with a nut-free crust and sautéed vegetables had to be tried. And we were also curious about the raisin bread, with the caramelised onions and basil, cedar nut and macadamia pesto on the side. It was all delicious. And while breakfast might have finished, their cold-pressed juices and shooters are available all day. So we had a latte of chai spices, almond butter and date syrup, and a ‘My Warrior’ smoothie, with Maca powder, bee pollen, vanilla protein and my endurance milk.
I left feeling distinctly healthier and more energised. No food coma. And ready to take on the rest of the weekend.
Ixworth Pl, London SW3 3QX
020 7225 7538
Photos belong to Tanya’s Cafe and my own.