Spin, Lift, Eat. @ Lomax PT

Last week a few of us girls were treated to an amazing day out Lomax PT – one of favourite little gyms in South West London. After a 45 minute Real Ryder spin class and a short workout in the gym, we were then treated to an amazing healthy lunch and delicious smoothies in the cafe – all in all, a pretty good Girls Day Out, and a nice chance to catch up with two of my favourite fitness and fashion bloggers Charli Cohen and Kaisa Larkas – check those ladies out, they are both pretty awesome! So, a little bit more about the gym in question, since I think you all should know.

LOMAXPT

If you don’t know what Real Ryder is, you should. If you live in London, enjoy working out  and you don’t know Lomax PT, which rock have you been living under? Gyms are gyms, and personal training studios are like micro-gyms with less stuff, fewer people and more personal attention. Lomax PT in Chelsea, London, offer a uniquely different take on things. There are no membership fees, there are no half-educated gym instructors and there are no waiting lines for machines; in fact, there aren’t really any machines to speak of (unless you count the spin bikes). The gym itself is designed in pods, each one containing everything you need for a balanced workout from free weights, a squat rack and bench, to TRX bands, olympic rings and a whole list of functional kit that’s really easy to use. The beauty is, all this comes in at £10 per hour for individual’pod’  hire and you will never have to wait for another machine again! Not only that, but the trainers who work here are the best team I’ve ever met, their unique and combined knowledge is unsurpassed, and their enthusiasm and love for what they do shows in their work. The group classes here are the most fun you are ever likely to have in a gym; they offer a unique ‘Blast Class’ with up to 4 people in each class, which means you get the personal attention of the instructor. They also offer Reformer Pilates and the now infamous Real Ryder spin classes (keep reading below) as well as a long list of complimentary therapies such as massage, acupuncture, osteopathy,  life coaching and professional nutritional therapy. Then there’s the Cafe; the food here goes beyond ‘healthy eating,’ it’s mouth-wateringly good while still maintaining completely balanced nutrition and a variety which caters to all possible dietary requirements. The ethos here is spot-on; it’s all about “Bespoke Fitness, Nutrition & Wellbeing.”

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What’s Real Ryder, I hear you ask? Spin classes are old school, old hat, boring and tedious, right? Not so! Lomax and Real Ryder are bringing the sexy back to spin classes, these bikes move, shake and make you work harder than most hardcore gym classes out there, while they put your core and your coordination to the test. What you’ve got here is a bike that moves from side to side and has adjustable resistance to ensure that you are getting the closest possible workout to actually being out there on your bike, only you can do it from the warm and comfortable confines of the gym. In winter, in London, that is a HUGE plus. Depending on whose teaching, the classes do vary – my devil-in-disguise, the gorgeous Hilary Bass-Rifkin, is probably my favourite PT in London and is a demon on a Real Ryder bike – be warned, this lady will put you through your paces. This is an all over workout that you really need to try and even if you really hate spin classes, this will probably change your mind. When you’re done there you can sneak upstairs and try one of the blast classes, have an hour long PT session or just hire a pod and hit the weights all on your own. Then when all that’s done, head downstairs for a post-workout pleasure indulgence in the cafe. The food at The Cafe at Lomax is amazing. I don’t care if you don’t even come here to work out, at least come and check out the goodies on offer. They have smoothies, juices, salads and the best damn turkey meatballs and pasta-free lasagne (made with aubergine layers) in town.

Lomax

LOMAX BESPOKE FITNESS, NUTRITION & WELLBEING | www.lomaxpt.comthelomaxway@lomaxpt.com | 08715 120 770

 

Eating Out Dilemmas

Eating out on a Whole 30 can be challenging; what’s made it particularly difficult are some of the restaurant waiting staff I have encountered on my recent culinary journeys. A good restaurant with well trained waiting staff who are helpful and understanding can make a world of difference when trying to enquire about the possible dairy and grains which might be lurking inside an apparently harmless, seemingly whole 30 compliant meal. You can’t be too careful when it comes to these hidden nasties and believe me, there are many more than you might think. This doesn’t just apply to eating out when on a Whole 30, anyone who eats a relatively Paleo diet will find that certain restaurants cater better to our fairly basic food requirements than others. It’s easy enough to leave out all the simple carbs, but sugars and dairy hide in the most unlikely places and can sometimes be tough to spot on a menu description; I mean it’s not like you can simply read an ingredients list from the packaging.

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A lot of waiting staff, if they don’t know the exact content of a meal, will be kind enough to ask the kitchen and help you on your way to making the right choice; exceptional waiting staff will know the answers, make alternative suggestions or advise the kitchen to leave out certain parts of the meal to keep within your specifications. These are rare and extremely welcome when on a Whole 30; the issue I have is when I have to fork out a reasonable chunk of change to dine out at a ‘good’ restaurant, only to encounter unhelpful, uninformed and sometimes rude waiting staff who are simply unaware of what goes into each dish and who are unable or unwilling to meet your requirements.

Sunday lunch (day 8 of the Whole30) was a wonderfully simple meal at Dean Street Townhouse where I experienced some of the most attentive and extremely helpful waiting staff I’ve come across during the Whole 30. Monday night’s dinner was quite the opposite; I took my mum out for a quiet dinner at Villandry on Great Portland Street where the waiting staff were not only rude and inattentive, but had absolutely no idea what each dish contained, nor did they make any effort to assist in obtaining any information from the kitchen. Quite besides the food lacking in flavour, the entire experience made it quite difficult to stomach the £60.00 bill for only a few simple starters. Disappointing, to say the very least.

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To recap the last few days of my Whole 30:

Day 7: Brunch of Scrambled eggs served with sauteed kale, mushroom and courgette and half an avocado. An early dinner of leftover Tricolore Paleo Pie to finish off the day, and a banana somewhere in the middle to keep me going on a lazy Saturday!

Day 8: Brunch of poached eggs with almond milk poached smoked haddock; simple and satisfying. Having arrived back in London in time for a late lunch I decided to stop by Dean Street Townhouse for an amazing Sunday Lunch which consisted of a smoked salmon and pickled cucumber starter, followed by Sea trout served with fennel, cockles and monks beard (a type of chicory); aside from having to remove the butter from the lemon sauce, the entire meal was Whole 30 friendly and utterly delicious. A big thank you to the fantastic waiting staff for their patience and helpfulness.

Day 9: Monday morning began with a gentle 15km run – long and slow and utterly fabulous in the early dawn watching the sun rise over the Thames. Sunrise is my favourite time of day for running because even on grey and cloudy days, somehow the sunrise still manages to find it’s way through the clouds and it never ceases to amaze me how incredible nature can be at the most unexpected moments. Breakfast was the usual green smoothie, followed by half a grapefruit and then a plate of scrambled egg and avocado. Light and protein packed for post run refuelling. Lunch consisted of very simple steamed broccoli, bean sprouts and spinach topped with a small grilled salmon fillet. Dinner out at Villandry – almost inedible duck breast salad, flavourless salmon tartare and overcooked lemongrass prawns with a side of equally undercooked green beans.

 

Day 4…The Red Lion and Me

Day 4 was a special sort of day; breakfast was ordinary – scrambled eggs, gammon, avocado and roasted cherry tomato. It wasn’t until lunch where things got really interesting; on our drive down to Devon we decided to stop for lunch, but without much idea where we might be able to find decent food; thank god for google! I googled “restaurants off the A303” and read through a bunch of recommendations on the Pistonheads website – a car enthusiasts website may be a strange place to read restaurant recommendations but it was perhaps the one site with the most suggestions. Having read through and found something not too far off the beaten track, I promptly typed the pub name into google. When one types in ‘Red Lion Freehouse, East Chisenbury,‘ not knowing what to expect, it is always a nice surprise when the second page from the top on google search results is a stellar review of the place from Jay Rayner (he seems to be featuring quite heavily in my posts this week).

The Red Lion Freehouse is a quaint gastropub, certainly; but the couple who own and run it are not what you might expect. Guy and Brittany Manning hail from the old school of fine dining restaurants, having both been through the kitchens of Martin Berasategui in San Sebastian and Per Se in New York; two of the worlds finest eateries and exceptional training grounds for any chef. The pair moved over to the UK to open their country pub quite a few years back, and since then they have been building notoriety in all the right circles, with a legion of locals who have helped them along the way, and support from the guys over at The Good Food Guide who have showed their support from the start, this small country pub has won critical acclaim and even a Michelin Star; a fact I found out only after we had eaten there. Not that it would have made a difference, the fact remains that the food here is impeccable, the service friendly and the place itself genuinely warm and welcoming in the way very few country pubs manage to be.

#whole4

I digress; the food, that’s what this is about. The starter of Fennel cured salmon was served amidst a perfectly laid out garden of baby beetroot, fennel shavings and wafer thin crisps, and along the side of the plate was a single thin slice of creamy horseradish topped with a hazelnut crumb; immaculately presented in every way, perfectly balanced and delicate – quite simply, bloody delicious. As a main we both ate roast Cornish hake served with River Fowey mussels, grapefruit, gem lettuce and a chive beurre blanc. The three new potatoes on the plate were of course not something I was able to eat, nor was the sauce or horseradish,  but aside from my bizarre dietary restriction, the entire meal was Whole 30 friendly and absolutely jaw-dropping. I am a bit of a fish fanatic, and anything that tastes that good should be illegal. I don’t care who you are, this is a dish not to be missed; it’s going on my list of recipes to try and recreate at home, immediately.

As  much as it pained me not to try one of the incredible desserts on the menu, I resisted; I even resisted the warm, freshly baked bread which sat in the middle of the table, although not for long. I was informed by my companion that the bread was fantastic, although I’m not sure this was something I needed to be told having watched him devour all four slices in just as many minutes. It has to be said then, this was no ordinary Wednesday afternoon lunch; it was something incredibly special and one of the nicest surprises I’ve had in a very long time. I recommend it, particularly if you happen to be in the vicinity, or driving down the A303 at any time.

Dinner was not worth much of a mention after that; Salmon, mixed veg – basically more fish, thrown on a plate with some green stuff, incomparable to my lunch to be honest but still nice.

The Red Lion Free House | East Chisenbury, Pewsey, Wiltshire | 01980 671 124 | www.redlionfreehouse.com

Paris by Night, and Day

A weekend break to a romantic city is always going to be good but my mission, as I see it, is to do these things differently; think bigger, better, more indulgent and on a tighter budget. It can’t be done, they say. I beg to differ. There are magical places to be found in Paris, and if you look hard enough you might find something that literally astonishes you. I hadn’t been to Paris for quite some time and I thought of doing a little research prior to the trip but then decided that I would take everything as it came. I started my planning by booking into a hotel I had stayed at previously; The Saint James Paris is an institution among Parisians and it houses a members club for locals and regulars, it’s pricey but if you travel at the right time and scour websites such as Booking.com or Expedia, you might just find yourself a deal – on this particular occasion I managed to grab a room for 50% less than normal AND I was upgraded when we arrived. This, my dear readers, is how it’s meant to be! The Saint James has it all; a superior fine dining restaurant, wood pannelled bar, creative interiors, beautiful garden and a listed library. Not only is the interior and the history of the building astonishing, the service here is what really makes this place shine – it is, without a shadow of a doubt, some of the finest hotel service I have ever experienced; on our first night the valet even entered the address of the restaurant we had booked into the sat nav before bringing the car round for us – it’s the meticulous attention to detail that just adds that special something you might not find anywhere else.

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Next on the priority list is food. Restaurants in Paris are tricky; there are a lot of restaurants, granted, but only a small handful worth eating at. I love French cuisine, but you’ll find more authentic French food if you look outside Paris. That said however, all hope is not lost. If you are after a traditional French Brasserie steeped in history and class, look no further than Brasserie Bofinger; a timeless classic that sits quietly in the Bastille area, it is almost 150 years old and its history, charm, the old Belle Epoque decor and its star studded guest list, continue to draw people in from all near and far flung reaches of the world. The food at Bofinger is exceptionally well done, very traditional French brasserie fair; nothing fancy and reasonably priced, served up by waiters in tailored uniform with impeccable training and decorum. It is neither too much nor too little and you would feel comfortable here in an opera gown or a pair of jeans and a semi-smart shirt. It’s one of the only true ‘Brasserie’s’ left and it is a shining example of true Parisian history and style. Don’t expect too much from the food, this is no Michelin starred restaurant and it does not pretend to be, it is warm and wholesome and perhaps even a little romantic, in that way that only a Parisian restaurant can be. I recommend the traditional French Onion Soup, it’s the best I’ve ever had. The food here is fresh and well done without being complicated; the sauerkraut dishes are the house specialities, but even if you’re not much of a sauerkraut fan there is plenty to tempt the taste buds and the dessert menu is pretty punchy, if somewhat over indulgent.

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So after our first night in Paris dining at Bonfinger and sleeping in our uber-cool hotel room we decided to keep the next day pretty mellow, not least for the simple fact that I was sick with a cold and in no fit state to be running around town. A walk up to a local cafe for a light brunch / lunch, a further walk getting slightly lost and stopping to indulge in pastry and coffee at the first patisserie we spotted, followed up with more walking and a little shopping trip for my own foodie indulgence at a local speciality food store; the varieties of Fois Gras on offer was simply mind blowing (this is Paris remember!). After a quiet nap to recharge the batteries we set out for our second dinner, which also happened to be a surprise for me; I hate not knowing what restaurant I’m going to as I find it frustrating and this generally spoils the whole affair, but on this occasion I was more than pleasantly surprised. Chez Paul is honestly one of the most beautifully rustic and friendly restaurants I had ever been to (yes you heard it right, a friendly restaurant, with friendly waiters, IN PARIS!!). I over indulged, but it was so worth it. Undoubtedly so. The food was rich and filling and cooked as though it were made in a French country kitchen, it’s the kind of food that makes you feel warm and incredibly happy, and you just know there was love somewhere on that ingredient list. The restaurant was busy and the service sometimes a little slow but the atmosphere and the food made all the difference. Don’t get me wrong, I love over ambitious fine dining establishments, but I love authentic food just as much; perhaps sometimes I love it even more because, like this, it is served in a place that has character and soul.

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Our last morning in Paris was a slow and quiet one but we definitely ended on a high note; it was my turn to show off a bit of a rustic old haunt that I particularly like. Chez Prune on the Canal Saint-Martin is a local hangout and definitely one of the best relatively cheap and definitely cheerful brunch spots in Paris. It’s quirky interior and haphazard restaurant and bar area make it something of unique spot, not to mention the view over the canal. This is not a tourist attraction, it’s a little off the beaten track and it can be challenging if you don’t know a little basic French or at least make an attempt at it. It’s busy and loud and colourful, the brunches are good in a sort of French-take-on-the-English Breakfast kind of way, with a few interesting additions. It is pleasant and the coffee is reasonable, the atmosphere and general artistic vibe to the place make it a fun and interesting place to spend a Sunday morning, and I hear it can be quite lovely in the evening too. After brunch you can walk along the canal and find several interesting shops and local stores and it is really quite beautiful in the spring and summer. Paris, unlike any other city, is both dirty and breathtakingly beautiful all at once. It does rustic as well as it does refined and there is very little middle ground. I implore you, if you have never been, to go, as soon as you can. It is a wonderful city for walking and exploring and it is, without any shadow of doubt, the city of love. Especially if you love food.

Balthazar Brunch

Sundays in New York City, even in winter, are always a breath of fresh air. Sundays in London consist of pub lunches, hang overs and really crap television; whenever I find myself in New York City I feel as though Sundays begin to take on new meaning, I end up eating out at beautiful restaurants that serve ridiculously good brunches, having interesting conversations with strangers in coffee shops, or wandering the streets just people watching and passing the time. New York has an energy about it, particularly on a Sunday, which makes everything seem brighter and a little more refined than it might do elsewhere. My favourite brunch spot, and I’m sure it’s a favourite of many, is Balthazar’s on Spring street; located between Crosby street and Broadway in Soho, a stones throw from Bloomingdales. Quite by chance, and very conveniently, located only a few hundred metres from my hotel. Perfect then, for a lazy Sunday afternoon brunch. Sundays are meant to be lazy and I take Sunday relaxation seriously; I find that I relax to the point where the week melts away and I can begin again with a clean slate and a clear head, better prepared and ready to tackle whatever Monday decides to throw my way. So, as part of proper Sunday relaxation one should always, without fail, indulge in fine food and a good movie or book of choice, take a long walk and sleep as much as possible.

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Yesterday’s brunch was definitely a winner, and just in time to be the perfect warm up for a week of Christmas festivities and indulgence. I arrived without a reservation, a silly mistake on my part as Balthazar’s is famously busy on Sundays; to top it off I only managed to squeeze through the door around 1pm, slap-bang in the middle of the Sunday lunch rush. I spoke sweetly to the lovely young gentleman managing the bar area and ‘cafe’ and was seated at the bar within mere moments, he even made a point of ensuring I was properly looked after and came back to check on me after dealing with an impatient couple at the next table. The staff at Balthazar are, and always have been, exceptionally warm and welcoming. I’ve never been to a restaurant that makes me feel so at home; this is perhaps the reason I love it so much. The food is of course another game changing element. I decided quite quickly on the ‘Eggs Bella Donna’ – Poached eggs on Polenta served with pancetta, parmesan, grilled cherry tomato, mushrooms and spinach. It has to be said, as far as brunch menus go this one is yet to be beat in my books. While it looks simple at first glance, the descriptions printed on the menu do not even begin to describe the flavoursome and lovingly prepared meals which eventually end up on the plate. Be prepared to fall in love. The eggs were cooked to perfection, the polenta was soft without being runny, the vegetables were cooked ‘just-so’ and the parmezan cheese gave everything a nice salty but sweet finish. Its nothing fancy, it’s just a properly cooked and well thought out brunch plate that delivers.

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Having settled in nicely with a stomach full of food, now mid way through a deep conversation with the barman about coffee, I decided it was time for my second ‘soup bowl’ of Cafe au Lait. Though latte’s are usually served in longer and taller glasses, the coffee at Balthazars is presented in an actual soup bowl – coffee novelty at it’s best! I wasn’t much in the mood for dessert and I certainly didn’t have the space for it but after careful consideration, coupled with a full-on attack of lethal persuasion tactics from all three bar staff, I finally settled on the highly recommended Banana Tart. I have NEVER seen fruit served in a more decadent dish; I’m talking layers here, all piled high in a perfect circle. The bottom layer was a crisp and crumbly, tightly packed circle of biscuit which gave the dish a firm base. The next layer was made up of sliced banana topped with a layer of thick banana and vanilla ice cream which was then sandwiched closed with a thick, dome shaped burnt-sugar crust – something akin to a thick creme brulee crust. Scattered around my perfect tart were thin slices of banana floating in a sea of what can only be described as one of the best caramel sauces I have ever tasted. This dessert, although probably far too big for one person and definitely too big considering the enormity of the brunch I had devoured only moments before, was one of the best damned desserts I’ve ever had in NYC. It was truly an American-French fusion of delicately prepared over indulgence; I finished the entire dish and I’m not even a little bit ashamed to admit it.

Balthazar | 80 Spring St  New York, NY 10012, United States | +1 212-965-1414 | balthazarny.com

Winter Warmers at Pollen Street Social

A recent ‘girls day out’ in London with mum forced me back into foodie mode; I had promised I’d take her somewhere new, and with a growing list of still-to-try restaurants and a host of lunch offers from chefs around town, the decision making process had become more than a little confusing. After much deliberation and some rather heated discussions with myself (no, I’m not crazy) I finally decided on Pollen Street Social, the brainchild and recent venture of top chef Jason Atherton; previously of the Gordon Ramsay Group and El Bulli. I’d heard some fantastic reviews of Pollen Street and had been meaning to go for a long time; however, living in Africa over the past year and a half has made this quite a challenge, as you might imagine. It feels good to be back in London, and although I miss the African sunshine, there is something to be said for the energy in London and the amazing food culture and vast array of wonderful restaurants in this city. Jason Atherton has been making some serious noise over the past few years and has had food critics and food lovers singing his praises more and more; in accordance with his growing popularity his flagship restaurant is still packed to the rafters after more than 18 months since it first opened its doors in April 2011. The interior is calming, clean, traditionally laid out and smart without being stuffy; the lunchtime clientèle consists mostly of business lunch groups, older couples, a few ladies lunches and several out-of-towners, which lends a nice buzz and an air of sophistication to the place – although I’m sure this is largely due to it’s fabulous central London location, mere metres from the hustle and bustle of Regent Street.

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The food itself is simple, understated and yet fabulously indulgent; the subtlety of the flavours and clean, uncomplicated presentation make for an altogether pleasurable experience. The staff at Pollen Street are exceptionally knowledgeable, and even the unusual wine list is well presented and thoroughly explained. To start I ordered the Jerusalem Artichoke Soup served with braised roast duck leg, sautéed mushrooms and truffle oil (I find it hard to turn down anything with ‘mushrooms’ and ‘truffle’ in the description); the contrasting lightness of the soup and richness of the roast duck and truffle were surprising and delightful at the same time, as were the contrasting textures of the crunchy artichoke and soft mushrooms. The dish was portioned perfectly and the entire experience left me wanting more; my mothers starter however, left something to be desired. Not quite what I was expecting, the oily mackerel itself was lovely but the accompanying flavours were lacking a certain sharpness, and the ‘smoked’ cucumber was a little too subtle. It seems there is a fine line between subtle flavouring and blandness, and while I wouldn’t go so far as to call it bland, I do think it could use a little more consideration.

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Following this fantastic start to the meal, I ordered the Roast Hake with lemon conserve; I felt in need of some something light and refreshing to counter the rich flavouring of the artichoke soup I had just devoured. The fish was beautifully cooked and although the citrus flavouring was not a sharp as I had been expecting, the tiny capers served with the dish managed to balance the whole thing rather nicely. My only complaint is that the potato purée the fish was served on was completely unnecessary and had clearly been over-puréed as it was thick and sticky from the release of the starch.  The Beef fillet dish my mother ordered was melt-in-mouth, orgasm-inducingly tender and flavoursome, the deeply rich sauce it was served with was silky-smooth and perfectly balanced, and the carrots were cooked exactly as they should be; again, the only complaint was the potato purée side which let the dish down just a little, although being served on the side made it easier to avoid and it really is a small price to pay considering the high standard of the rest of the meal. Following lunch I caught up with the charming  Jason Atherton and thanked him for the fabulous meal; it’s always nice to see the Head Chef in his place of work, and so rare these days among the ‘celebrity’ chefs as so many of them seem to be more preoccupied with stardom than keeping an eye on their kitchens. The experience was altogether an enjoyable one and we will definitely be back; the restaurant is reasonably priced and the staff here make the entire experience extremely relaxing. I hear the tasting menu they serve in the evening is really what the place is all about, so if you are going to go then perhaps that would be the better choice.

Pollen Street Social | http://www.pollenstreetsocial.com | 8 Pollen Street  London, Greater London W1S 1NQ | 020 7290 7600

Cafe Mila – It’s a Family thing

My father, the nature-documentary-maker turned yoga teacher turned restauranteur, opened a cafe in the small town of Godalming, Surrey, in late 2011 and this little cafe-come-yoga studio has been growing in popularity ever since – it’s located just off the Godalming High Street in Angel Court (near the Boots pharmacy if you’re ever there). It’s not surprising really; they say if you love the work you do, people will enjoy the fruits of your labour that much more, and if Cafe Mila is anything to go by then this surely must be true, since I have never known a man to work so hard nor love it quite so much. You might think I have a biased opinion since the owners are my father Steve and his wife Jane, but quite the contrary, it is not I who has been singing their praises, I have just been listening. The locals who frequent Cafe Mila sing a never ending chorus of praise to the friends and family members they bring in to the cafe for coffee and cake, or to try one of the awesomely healthy lunches and salads, all of which made fresh on the premises each morning. The cakes, thanks to the wonderful chef Jodie (who’s mother is standing in for her at the moment while she is away on maternity) are packed full of amazing fruits and nuts and wholesome goodness; these are definitely not the usual cafe-style treats you might find elsewhere, instead they come bursting at the seams with all the  flavour and moist, juicy, deliciousness that a cake should have. I don’t like sponge cakes, I find them plain and pointless, so I suppose that’s why I love the Cafe Mila cake stands, because they are never plain and never boring and there isn’t a sponge in sight.

The coffee, a carefully chosen blend that  is prepared by the skilled baristas who works the machines behind the counter at Cafe Mila, are always great. I say great, and I mean it; I love my coffee and I am quite careful about where I buy it as I have grown accustomed to good coffee and will not settle for anything less. A good coffee is always part-bean, part-barista; a good roast is nothing without a good machine and a skilful hand who knows how to prepare it well, of which Cafe Mila has both. It’s not just the wholesome food and good coffee that make this place so warm and inviting, the staff here are always smiling, the place is always busy and the atmosphere is always energetic. People like being here because this feels like it could be your living room, (despite the lunchtime rush of mothers with children) mostly due to the fact that it’s comfortable, friendly and relaxed. If you do have children, this is the perfect spot to bring them, it offers healthy treats for all ages and is very child-friendly. If you don’t have kids then there is space upstairs which is clearly marked as a ‘quiet area’ for adults and well behaved children only. It’s the balance and harmony that you can feel as you step through the doors at Cafe Mila that keeps people coming back, the energy here is just right.

In addition to the awesome food, which is locally sourced and mostly organic, the incredible cakes and comfortable seating, friendly faces and oh-so-yummy coffee; Cafe Mila offers up one last drop of goodness to its patrons. Upstairs from the cafe is a dedicated Yoga studio which offers an assortment of classes throughout the week and you will almost certainly find something to suit just about anyone. They are currently expanding this list of options to include other activities besides the traditional styles of yoga, although the majority of the classes here are most definitely for yogi’s. This bright open space with its calming off-white walls and the beautifully painted ‘Cafe Mila Tree’ is exactly what you might imagine it to be – a space for unwinding after a long day, getting energised in an early morning class, or simply sitting quietly with your thoughts. Just remember to head downstairs for coffee and cake after yoga; perhaps not as virtuous but definitely worth it.

Cafe Mila | 1 Angel Court, Godalming, Surrey GU7 1DT |07793 006467 | http://cafemila.co.uk/