In order to fill some time in London before Christmas and to get into the festive mood, I was keen on trying out more of London’s healthy eateries and long on my list was the much-lauded Raw Press. Hidden down a staircase on Mayfair’s Dover Street beneath Wolf & Badger, a trip here is like visiting a juice fridge and is a total contrast to the usual smart restaurants so typical of Green Park. But like lots of things in life, the best things are a hidden secret. After walking down the stairs, I was confronted with a clean, streamlined, perfectly designed cafe that exuded cool. It’s a nice communal space to work, read, or relax and there’s free wifi – whose password is “healthynothard”!
Raw Press is most iconic for its rainbow of cold-press juices, which stand shoulder to shoulder in glass medicine-like bottles. The bright colours of these bottles are incredibly vibrant and inviting and even look like you’re medicating your body with nature’s elixir of life. Cold-pressed juices have many well-recited health benefits and as they’ve exploded in popularity, juice bars are becoming as popular as coffee chains. Cold-press juicing doesn’t use a rotary blade centrifugal machine (in other words, fast-moving parts) as the abundance of heat produced by this friction destroys sensitive enzyme and actually lowers the nutritional value of the juice. Instead, hydraulic processes apply pressure slowly, retaining the highest amount of nutrients. So slow and steady does appear to win the race, although I hope people don’t entirely swap juices for smoothies.
My own smoothie repertoire has been inspired by the Raw Press menu (for recipes, see http://www.telegraph.co.uk/foodanddrink/healthy-recipes/11030932/Fresh-cold-pressed-juice-recipes-from-Raw-Press.html), which range from orange coloured juices like “Uprooted” (carrot, orange, fennel, turmeric, ginger, and argan oil) and “Citrus” (grapefruit, orange, apple, lemon, lime and thyme), to my favourite “Sweet Green” (pineapple, apple, kale, Swiss chard, lemon, ginger and mint). Sweet and spicy, exotic and zesty, these natural cocktails of vitamins and nutrients are a perfect morning detox.
As well as their cold-pressed juices, Raw Press serve everything from nourishing breakfasts and salads, to snacks. As it was exactly 1pm, I couldn’t resist a selection of their vegan and gluten-free salads. I went for the Thai courgetti, the marinated tomatoes and my favourite, the cauliflower “rice” sushi, all served with tamari. Yum(tini). It was all so fresh – which was clear as I saw them bringing out new platters of salads as their selection was quickly devoured by the many local people who seem to pick up lunch here. Unfortunately, their Baked sweet potatoes with coconut yoghurt and herb butter had just sold out, but I’ll have to try and recreate this at home and I’ll definitely have to return for an acai bowl breakfast.
Health and wellbeing eateries seem to be growing. Healthy doesn’t have to be hard – as their wifi password admits. And healthy is even more tempting where the staff are so welcoming.
Raw Press at Wolf & Badger Mayfair, 32 Dover Street, London, W1S 4NE